Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Considering Teaching Overseas - Need Advice
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Newbie Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
luv2travel



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject: Considering Teaching Overseas - Need Advice Reply with quote

Hello,
This is my first time on the forum. I am a teacher (in my late 30's) in Ontario, Canada and have been supplying for the past 6 years. I completed 2 short-term LTO's during this time but haven't been able to secure any other LTO's even though I have applied to both Catholic school boards that I work for. I'm finding the teaching profession to be very challenging and frustrating as a supply teacher and have considered pursuing other careers but I'm not sure what I want to do. While I'm searching for other viable career options, I was told to reconsider teaching and to 'hang in there' but it's very difficult to 'hang in there' when nepotism seems to win in the end.

I have considered teaching overseas for a few years but only considered going to Italy because I was comfortable with the culture and language. My family is Italian, and I have travelled to Italy many times and felt comfortable being in Europe. However, after reading other expats stories about living and working in Italy, and trying to make a living, I decided that Italy was probably not the best choice to teach in. So, I decided to keep an open mind and have been considering places such as Korea, Spain, Thailand, and South America.

Just to let you know, I have my Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior qualifications in English and Family Studies. I also have Special Education Part 1.

I have a few questions:

1. Do I need to complete a TEFL course in order to teach overseas or is this program only for people who do not have a teaching degree?

2. Does completing TEFL course qualify a person to teach English as a second language?

3. I think that I would like to teach English to students and/or possibly to adults as well. Does anyone have experience in doing this and if so, do you enjoy it or do most of you teach the regular curriculum in the classroom?

4. Based on your experience(s), what are some of the best schools/countries to teach?

5. When do most schools begin their hiring process? I'm guessing it's too late for the new school year in September?

6. How did most of you find your teaching positions? Did you go to job fairs or through Dave's ESL Cafe?

7. Are there teachers who took a leave of absence from their teaching job in their home country to work overseas, and if so, what arrangements did you make for your home? Did you sell, or rent it?

I appreciate your kind thoughts and sugggestions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11534
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My family is Italian, and I have travelled to Italy many times and felt comfortable being in Europe. However, after reading other expats stories about living and working in Italy, and trying to make a living, I decided that Italy was probably not the best choice to teach in. So, I decided to keep an open mind and have been considering places such as Korea, Spain, Thailand, and South America.


First of all, do you have an Italian passport in addition to your Canadian one? If yes, then Europe is a legal option for you. If no, then you will need to focus elsewhere as Canadians are not legally eligible for automatic work permits (though there are working holiday visas that might apply to you).

I can answer for the greater European region - this is where I have been based for the past 14 + years, with a 3 year stint in Canada:-). I worked in Netherlands, Czech Rep, and Luxembourg, but have friends, acquaintances, teaching partners, and contacts in most of Western Europe. For input from people specifically living and working in Spain, you should ideally post on the Spain forum below.

In Europe, the market is fairly competitive, and while you might (again, assuming that you have an Italian passport) find something with your education degree, a CELTA or equivalent TEFL course would be helpful. The approaches and methods used in language learning are quite distinct from general education.

TEFL certification (CELTA or equivalent = 120 hours +/- onsite, with supervised teaching practice included. online/short courses do not meet the standard) qualifies one to teach language at an entry level. For the 'better' jobs a DELTA or related MA is usually required, but such further qualifications should ideally be pursued after one has already spent a couple of years teaching language.

Most language teachers are not teaching regular curriculum, EXCEPT in international schools. You are probably qualified for international schools and should do some research on the topic, but openings in desirable countries aren't numerous.

So far as 'best' countries and schools, it totally depends on what you need/want/like. I personally prefer the lower wages and better lifestyle in Europe to the more lucrative jobs in Asia, but obviously many teachers don't agree with me. (and I have a legal 'in' to Europe)

When schools start depends on region. In Europe, the hiring season begins roughly next week BUT: jobs in this competitive region are rarely found from abroad. You would need to be here, in a city, with CV in hand, to be considered seriously. It probably is indeed too late for the international school route here for 2011/2012.

I have always found my European jobs (over the past 14 years) by interviewing in person.

So far as your personal arrangements regarding home and stuff - totally up to your personal circumstances. I sold everything and have never looked back, but that's obviously not for everyone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Considering Teaching Overseas - Need Advice Reply with quote

luv2travel wrote:

<edited for brevity>

So, I decided to keep an open mind and have been considering places such as Korea, Spain, Thailand, and South America.

Just to let you know, I have my Primary/Junior and Intermediate/Senior qualifications in English and Family Studies. I also have Special Education Part 1.

I have a few questions:

1. Do I need to complete a TEFL course in order to teach overseas or is this program only for people who do not have a teaching degree?

2. Does completing TEFL course qualify a person to teach English as a second language?

3. I think that I would like to teach English to students and/or possibly to adults as well. Does anyone have experience in doing this and if so, do you enjoy it or do most of you teach the regular curriculum in the classroom?

4. Based on your experience(s), what are some of the best schools/countries to teach?

5. When do most schools begin their hiring process? I'm guessing it's too late for the new school year in September?

6. How did most of you find your teaching positions? Did you go to job fairs or through Dave's ESL Cafe?

7. Are there teachers who took a leave of absence from their teaching job in their home country to work overseas, and if so, what arrangements did you make for your home? Did you sell, or rent it?

I appreciate your kind thoughts and suggestions.


I'll try to keep this brief and although I do speak "in general" and with a focus on the areas you have mentioned. There ARE other options out there as well.

1) Do you NEED a tefl to get a job = NO.

In the job search, your teaching credentials trump a 30 day TEFL course in all but a few language academies and permit you to legally work in ALL of Asia and all of the Americas south of the Rio Grande.

Would a TEFL cert be advantageous to you = yes. EFL is NOT the same as English Language Arts.

2) It is an entry level certification. For those who plan to make a career out of EFL they usually move on (in time) to a DELTA or MATESOL/MA applied linguistics.

3) Having done all 3 (regular curriculum, EFL (kids to adults) I have found that I prefer working with kids (K-6). They are different as you well know but all can be equally rewarding. The "what to teach" also varies with the teacher.

4) Having worked in Korea, China and Thailand (among others) this question has no real answer. How high is up? It depends on you. They all have advantages and disadvantages.

5) Again, it is country specific. Many "International Schools" base their academic year from Sept to June. The local schools do NOT.
For your specific countries: Korea starts their academic year on March 2 and Thailand starts its academic year in mid May with recruiting happening about 3-4 months ahead of the academic calendar. Language academies hire year round.

6) Again, job type and country specific.
For TEFL and Korea or thailand, then Dave's is OK for looking.
For Thailand, MOD EDIT is another place to look.
for China, get up to speed by checking the SAFEA website then look for recruiters.
For international schools, job fairs or places like www.ibo.org or www.tes.co.uk/ (look for their international job postings) are places to start your search. International schools don't post jobs on ESL job boards.

7) When I moved abroad I put my house under the care of a property management firm. They took care of the tenants and ensured that the mortgage was paid and property was maintained. Others have, after a few years, just sold up and moved on. Others have continued to build a portfolio of properties for their retirement.

8. ) Unsolicited advice:
When you are looking for jobs abroad do NOT just look at the base salary. Look at the whole package then look at the savings at the end of the year. Things can surprise you.

I was working in Korea and earning about $40k per year (plus benefits). I was saving about $12-15k per year.
I moved to a position in Thailand that actually pays $10k less per year than I was earning in Korea but my savings at the end of the year went up to $20k from the $15k I was saving in Korea due to the differences in the costs of living.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
smurfetta



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are well qualified to work in an international school. You should consider attending the Queen's university international schools job fair this winter since you live in Ontario. I will post more info later for you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
smurfetta



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out these websites if you are interested in teaching in international schools:

www.internationalschoolsreview.com

www.tieonline.com

Also, google search associates.

Since you are a Canadian teacher, you could also check out Maple Leaf Schools in China. It is a BC curriculum offshore school. They pay pretty well and are a good stepping stone into getting a job at other international schools. I've met teachers who started their international teaching career there and moved onto IB schools.

There are other BC offshore schools too in China and other countries. There are also other Canadian international schools overseas. Sorry, I don't have a list of them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. It helps, but usually a BA is a requirement for visas.

2. Kind of. Experience and more study, such as a diploma or MA help

3. I teach EAP, but teaching kids and adults English is also rewarding.

4. Asia is nice

5. For intl schools, it can be super last minute to over 6 months in advance.

6. INtl school job fairs are useful, as is IBO and TES. Dave's is good for bilingual and EFL jobs.

7. Sorry, didn't do that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
luv2travel



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

Thank you everyone for your responses. I appreciate it. I haven't had a chance to come back and respond until now.

I'm going to take some time to research the different schools, and teaching overseas topics on this forum. It seems that there is so much to know! It can be a little overwhelming at times. I think too, I'm a bit scared/nervous because I'm not sure what I want to do. There are times I tell myself to not think too much about it and 'just do it' and then there's the more conservative part of me that hesitates and wonders, 'what if I don't like it or what if I don't know what I'm doing?' It sounds dumb but after supply teaching for so many years, and used to 'living' a certain way, going abroad to teach is a little scary. However, if I want positive changes to take place in my life, then I need to make that change happen rather than sit and wait for it to happen.

I will look into the different programs that some of you suggested. I remember reading on another forum that some teachers wanted to get out of teaching TEFL or CELTA based programs. I also read that they will not do this for a long period of time. Is there a reason for this?

P.S. I went this morning to file my documents with the Italian Consulate. I will return in 1.5-2 months to apply for my Italian Citizenship and hopefully receive it by the beginning of next year. From my understanding, it takes a several months to receive it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
luv2travel



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[size=12]spiral78 - Do you mind if I ask you where in Europe you are teaching in?

I also have a few questions regarding some of your comments.
Most language teachers are not teaching regular curriculum, EXCEPT in international schools.
So for teachers who take TEFL or CELTA, what type of curriculum are they teaching, if any? Or do they teach the language English (oral, written) to foreign students?

Thanks.


Last edited by luv2travel on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

luv2travel wrote:
P.S. I went this morning to file my documents with the Italian Consulate. I will return in 1.5-2 months to apply for my Italian Citizenship and hopefully receive it by the beginning of next year. From my understanding, it takes a several months to receive it. [/size]


I have a handful of students in Peru get citizenship and it takes from 6 to 12 months, but I think it depends on the consulate. Hope you get it. Either way, I'm sure it'll be faster than the citizenship I'm trying to get.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

luv2travel wrote:
So for teachers who take TEFL or CELTA, what type of curriculum are they teaching, if any? Or do they teach the language English (oral, written) to foreign students?


The latter. They're teaching English skills to students who don't have English as a foreign language. It's often done in institutes, schools, or univiersities.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11534
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
luv2travel wrote:
So for teachers who take TEFL or CELTA, what type of curriculum are they teaching, if any? Or do they teach the language English (oral, written) to foreign students?


NG answers: The latter. They're teaching English skills to students who don't have English as a foreign language. It's often done in institutes, schools, or univiersities.



If I understand correctly, this is a question about what most entry-level EFL teachers in Europe are doing - those who have a CELTA or equivalent. This response is not very precise or accurate in that realm. Understandable for someone whose experience (outside of a few months) is in other parts of the world.

From my more than ten years of teaching in this region, most entry level teachers work with businesspeople, though teaching children is becoming more common in some areas.

What 'business English' means is that, when we have students at lower levels, teachers normally use a general series of coursebooks such as Headway, and when the students are higher level, move into business-specific curriculum such as Market Leader (there are many other options for coursebooks - Cambridge has a new business series I haven't seen yet, for example). There are a range of coursebooks which can be adapted and supplemented for business students. These are often supplemented at intermediate plus levels by authentic in-field materials either from the student sor found by a teacher. This forms the basis for many business courses. Schools usually have some coursebooks which they prefer, and may give some guidance regarding what they want taught. Overall, lessons are generally linked to the business field that students are involved in.

It is pretty rare for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers to get jobs in regular state-run schools. There, English is normally taught by local teachers (non-native English speakers). The children's EFL programmes I am aware of are 'extra-curricular' and cover general English skills. I do not know what coursebooks may be used there.

To get university jobs, one normally needs a related MA and some experience, along with local language skills and contacts. These teachers work with content-based materials in many cases, but English language and conventions are the major focus. It's helpful in this case to have background and experience in university-level writing and speaking in whatever field/fields (medicine, economics, etc).

If you are aiming for Italy, you will find more info from people who are teaching there on the Italy forum below.


Quote:
A1. It helps, but usually a BA is a requirement for visas.


BA is not legally required for entry-level work visas in the EU, though obviously most teachers have one and if one hasn't, it's clearly a disadvantage. As luv2travel is a qualified Canadian teacher, obviously he/she has this in any case.

Quote:
I remember reading on another forum that some teachers wanted to get out of teaching TEFL or CELTA based programs. I also read that they will not do this for a long period of time. Is there a reason for this?


Teaching at the CELTA level is not what most people want to do long-term because wages at this level are subsistence level. To get the better jobs around, a related MA and local connections and language skills are normally needed (again speaking for the European region).

(Post edited about a million times because it's about four in the morning here Shocked )
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops, Embarassed you're right. Due to the odd quotes, I thought the OP was referring to the places they mentioned at the beginning,

Korea, Spain, Thailand, and South America.

You know how you feel at 4am and can-t think that well? That-s how I feel all the time. Prego brain, what you are you going to do? Embarassed If you-ve ever been pregnant you-ll know what I mean. If you haven-t, then give me the benefit of the doubt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 875
Location: the world

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
(Post edited about a million times because it's about four in the morning here Shocked ).

Actually, that’s pretty impressive writing for 4 in the morning! There are days when I could barely manage that at 4 in the afternoon ... (I’ll have to call it ‘can-barely-speak-let-alone-write-english-anymore’ brain). Cool
spiral78 wrote:
It is pretty rare for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers to get jobs in regular state-run schools. There, English is normally taught by local teachers (non-native English speakers).

I worked in Germany for a number of years and that was true then, too. German state teachers taught English programs in state schools. I relieved for a while in an international school there in my school subject area – not as an EFL teacher.

As I understand it, luv2travel, you're a qualified core English subject teacher and that opens up quite a lot for you, including the possibility of working in state schools in the UK (whether you’d really want to put yourself through such an experience is a different matter). English was, and may still be, a shortage subject there. Special needs teachers were, too - if that's what you mean by "Special Education Part 1".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
luv2travel



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have been trying to send some private messages but the site won't allow me to until I post 5 postings. Errrrr. I'm a bit frustrated with this but that's the way it is. So here is posting #4. lol.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
luv2travel



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is posting #5. lol. Hopefully, I can start contacting some of you via private messages to ask you some personal questions.

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I appreciate it. I am still doing research on overseas teaching. It can definitely be overwhelming with the amount of information out there. I'm trying to think what life was like before computers and not having so much information or option available!lol. It seemed easier but I know in many respects, having the information at your hands has been invaluable. : )
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Newbie Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2018 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China