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'Newbie' CR question

 
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ChristineC



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: 'Newbie' CR question Reply with quote

I have just finished college, so have a BA, but so far no TEFL cert.
Hoping to move to Costa Rica (or open to other Latin American countries) to teach english for about a year at the end of August/beginning of September. I'm 22 and Irish/American.

It's temporary, and not a career move, so spending the money on the cost of a CELTA (or Trinity, SIT or similar) feels like a lot. I had been planning on doing an on-line course, but research on these forums is pointing to these being a complete waste. I've worked in summer camps for six years, and done lots of private tutoring, so I know I enjoy teaching but that this doesn't qualify me to be able to teach English. Do I need to bite the bullet and pay for a CELTA course? If not should I do an online course to relearn grammar and some teaching methods, or should I do independent research and learning on these and look for work with just a BA?

Last question: Is arriving in CR beginning of September with about 2000 USD saving (and a BA or BA + online TEFL) to look for work teaching english going to be ok to survive on? I've no debts to pay off and just want to earn enough to get by and possibly do a bit of traveling.

Lots of question, sorry, but any advice on these would be greatly appreciated! Mostly wondering if I should use the money I have to do a proper TEFL course or as money to get by on when I arrive. Thanks!
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zizkov99



Joined: 04 May 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celta is definitely the most expensive usually costing around $1000 more than other on site courses.Personally I don't think Celta is at all worth the extra grand, and those who say differently are usually teachers who took Celta and need to justify to themselves and others the spending of that extra money. Ive taught in several different countries and have never had my lack of the Celta stamp on my certificate be an issue. However on line courses are a joke and most directors know that, so I would eliminate that option. So my advice is take one of the regular courses, there are 3 or 4 good ones in Costa Rica. They cost less than Celta and its basically the same thing.
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jprimm



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took and online course and in 5 years have never had any problem finding a job. The others, in my opinion, are really not worth the money. Bridge has an excellent online course which is not a joke.
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zizkov99



Joined: 04 May 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe "a joke" was a bit harsh, but on line courses are definitely less respected by most schools and rightfully so. Reading about ESL teaching while sitting alone in your room in front of a computer can not be compared to an interactive classroom setting where you're taught by real live teachers and have to practice teaching in front of real live students. I'm not saying that anyone who takes an online course will be unable to find a job, but it will make it more difficult and more stressful, and you won't be as prepared for the classroom if you do find a job.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Onsite training is going to be better. Plus, you'll be in country and can start looking for jobs while you're still taking the course. Teaching ESL is different for teaching a straight forward history class in your native language. It can be intimidating. The onsite courses that have practical teaching hours really help get your feet wet.
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tuanis mae



Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 34
Location: costa rica

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely agree with zizkov99 and dhsampso, and I'll give another reason why onsite classes are way better. The experiences you have, the people you meet, the laughs, the bonding, all of these are an important part of traveling and living in a new country, and none of these can be had by "sitting alone in your room in front of a computer screen." I had a blast in my tefl course, met some great people and created some amazing memories. The thought of missing all that to save a few hundred bucks I think is ridiculous.
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davehb34



Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took my TEFL at Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica and it was a great course. I met friends that I still talk to today and it made my time there more enjoyable having friends already. The course itself was very good as well.

Having said that it was $1,600. There are many countries that don't care if you have a TEFL cert or not. Also, other countries don't care whether it's online or not. It also depends on if you plan on teaching at a language center or an international school. So the answer is that it really depends.

In your case since it's just temporary job I wouldn't spend the money. The pay in Costa Rica sucks and you won't get paid much more for having a TEFL certification. That's just me though.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the TEFL course from Maximo Nivel as well and it was great. Worked for them afterwards as well. If you sign up with Maximo Nivel at least 60 days/2 months in advanced, you get a discount for their program (I think I paid $1,400 for the course). The pay is enough to get by, but you won't be eating out a lot at expensive restaurants and will probably need to get a roommate. I had a Costa Rican roommate and it turned out great. Practiced Spanish all the time, showed me around, etc. I think that is the best route to go.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mainly work online but will I have any problem finding a few classes in San Jose without a TEFL?

I have taught in South Korea and Taiwan for close to six years. I have a degree as well.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you've taught before, I think you'll be ok. I know a couple of friends who taught without TEFL and didn't have trouble finding a job. One actually got a job at a private elementary school. The language institutes are the ones that tend to require a TEFL/CELTA certificate, but there are exceptions.
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