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Want to teach in Singapore

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Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 19
Location: India

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:18 am    Post subject: Want to teach in Singapore Reply with quote

This is my situation:
I was educated in the UK and am a native English speaker but have an Indian Passport.
I'm 55 years old and in good health.
I have a Bachelors in History but I teach English-I also have a Bachelors in Education.
For personal reasons I need to settle in SE Asia.
I have about 10 years of part time undocumented Home School teaching experience & another 3 years of documented International School teaching experience in Bali.
I would prefer a school teaching job over ESL but am willing to try ESL if required. Online teaching is also an option. I would need at least US $ 1000 + accommodation from my day job.
What would you suggest I do to land a job in SE Asia. I'm aware that many countries will only accept native speakers so I'm looking for any loopholes ie some schools bring in non native speakers under the category of Social Science Teachers and then get them to teach English. Lastly do I need a TEFL Certificate or is my Teaching degree enough? If not,which is the cheapest online recognized TEFL Course?

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Uncle Gweilo

Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Online TEFL/TESOL Reply with quote

Most of the serious schools I've looked at basically anywhere wont accept the online courses unless you've got a swag of experience backing it up. Those that are constantly advertising for teachers in online want ads may, but there's probably a good reason(s) why they're always advertising. It might have been okay ten years ago but not now.

There's a company called I Can Read that has a swag of schools in Singapore and advertise fairly regularly. The wages sound good- SGD 3,500 plus SGD 1,000 housing allowance after the qualifying period- but living in Singers aint cheap. Renting a furnished bedroom in someone's house or apartment will set you back SGD 800 a month. A two bedroom flat can go for SGD 1,200 to 1,500 a month in the cheaper areas. They advertise it is NOT an ESL position and have their own system for teaching reading. It's a company I am interested in but don't have the qualifications or experience to really get a look in. They also have a school in Penang. The salary there is similar numerically, but in MYR- which is worth approximately 40% of the SGD. 1 USD is approximately SGD 1.25 and you can live a lot more cheaply or get a better bang for your salary buck in Malaysia than Singapore.

Basic teaching jobs in Singers that are at schools start at SGD 3,500 a month. That's a government minimum salary for a "foreign expert" in basically any field, so that is what's offered. You can bargain for more, of course. Heard some bad reports about excessive hours and teaching subjects you're not qualified to teach- like P.E.- and havng to turn up for school sports weekends to fly the school flag. All of this, of course, unpaid. Hopefully that's not all just spoiled westerners wanting as much as they can get for as little output as possible, but where there's smoke...

Taxation in Singapore is very low, so you get to keep most of what you gross. Apart from accommodation, living a western lifestyle in Singers will clear your bank account faster than a double dose of epsom salts. Living like a local can be quite inexpensive, but it's not for everyone.

Your experience as a teacher may stand you in good stead with the British Council and other top level employers.

Hope this helps.
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