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Another "thinking of teaching abroad" thread.

 
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dan316



Joined: 18 Sep 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Another "thinking of teaching abroad" thread. Reply with quote

Hello everyone! I've been doing a lot of research over the last few months on teaching English abroad and I have to say the amount of conflicting information out there is insane! That's why I finally gave up and decided on joining this forum to try and clear up some questions that I have been having. Let me preface this by saying I have TRIED to search for answers both on this forum and others that would adequately answer my questions but I have been unable to get specific answers for the questions I had, so if the answers are somewhere here on this forum I do apologize.

Question 1: About that pesky BA/BS... -

I currently do NOT have a BA/BS. I went to college for 3 years but I majored in drinking and apparently that wasn't an acceptable major where I went to school. I am currently enrolled in an online program and will be able to finish my degree in a little over a year and a half, which is a relief. I understand that in most parts of the world a BA/BS is a MUST HAVE, so for the time being I am more worried about the countries where it is not a necessary item. I'm focused on China, and while I understand that in most areas of the country it is necessary to have a degree there are ways around it and that I can still teach there. I'm not trying to be unethical, I'm just trying to get answers. I may check for answers in the Asia sub-forum for this specifically if that's necessary.

There certainly are countries that I want to teach in that I know require a BA/BS so I will look towards them when I complete my degree, but I'd really like to start getting experience under my belt as soon as possible.

Question 2: Why is it so hard to find a reputable TEFL/TESOL course online?! -

I've been searching in and out for weeks now trying to find the most reputable online course for a certification. I live in Pennsylvania and I work full time so taking an in-class certification course is out of the question for me, although I have found multiple online courses that require a 20 hour in-class practicum which is certainly something I want. Which websites actually provide a quality, accredited and respected certification? As of right now I am leaning towards "ontesol"(www.ontesol.com) and their 250 hour program. It involves the 20 hour practicum, and I want to get the most knowledge possible for my certification.

Question 3: Completing my BS while teaching?

Like I previously stated, I am finishing up my BA online. Have any of you worked in another country teaching and taken classes for yourself(such as an MA) at the same time? Do you find it too time consuming or have you been able to manage both? As I said, I am working full time already and taking courses(2-3 per semester), but it still is a bit intimidating thinking of taking courses while teaching in a foreign country.


I thank you all for your answers!

-Dan
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. BA/BS issue
- The ethical debate works both ways. Many employers who are willing to hire illegal/unqualified workers are just as happy to withhold paycheques, provide you with little to no support, and just treat you like crap. So keep that in mind. If you can wait, then wait. It is hard enough to be a newbie teacher even when you have the TESL education and quality conditions to work in. I think there is quite a romantic love affair with TEFL that can blind people to the reality that it is just another career.

2. Reputable online courses
- It is hard to find them because they hardly exist. I have heard of ON TESOL and if this is the one that qualifies you for TESL Canada certification level two then I can say that it will be a quality basic certificate. I did mine at a university but it was also equivalent (250 hours + 20 hours practicum) and it was worth it. Most online TEFL certificates are garbage and that's because people are willing to pay for garbage.

3. Sorry, no experience with that.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4032
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to Santi's comments, consider doing a CELTA or equivalent, onsite TEFL cert in the country you want to teach in. But do so after you complete your degree to better qualify for legit positions. Right now, you have a full-time job and you're in school; no need to rush things.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree completely with Nomad Soul.
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tttompatz



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

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Another "thinking of teaching abroad" thread. Reply with quote

dan316 wrote:
Hello everyone! I've been doing a lot of research over the last few months on teaching English abroad and I have to say the amount of conflicting information out there is insane! That's why I finally gave up and decided on joining this forum to try and clear up some questions that I have been having. Let me preface this by saying I have TRIED to search for answers both on this forum and others that would adequately answer my questions but I have been unable to get specific answers for the questions I had, so if the answers are somewhere here on this forum I do apologize.

Question 1: About that pesky BA/BS... -

I currently do NOT have a BA/BS. I went to college for 3 years but I majored in drinking and apparently that wasn't an acceptable major where I went to school. I am currently enrolled in an online program and will be able to finish my degree in a little over a year and a half, which is a relief. I understand that in most parts of the world a BA/BS is a MUST HAVE, so for the time being I am more worried about the countries where it is not a necessary item. I'm focused on China, and while I understand that in most areas of the country it is necessary to have a degree there are ways around it and that I can still teach there. I'm not trying to be unethical, I'm just trying to get answers. I may check for answers in the Asia sub-forum for this specifically if that's necessary.

There certainly are countries that I want to teach in that I know require a BA/BS so I will look towards them when I complete my degree, but I'd really like to start getting experience under my belt as soon as possible.

Question 2: Why is it so hard to find a reputable TEFL/TESOL course online?! -

I've been searching in and out for weeks now trying to find the most reputable online course for a certification. I live in Pennsylvania and I work full time so taking an in-class certification course is out of the question for me, although I have found multiple online courses that require a 20 hour in-class practicum which is certainly something I want. Which websites actually provide a quality, accredited and respected certification? As of right now I am leaning towards "ontesol"(www.ontesol.com) and their 250 hour program. It involves the 20 hour practicum, and I want to get the most knowledge possible for my certification.

Question 3: Completing my BS while teaching?

Like I previously stated, I am finishing up my BA online. Have any of you worked in another country teaching and taken classes for yourself(such as an MA) at the same time? Do you find it too time consuming or have you been able to manage both? As I said, I am working full time already and taking courses(2-3 per semester), but it still is a bit intimidating thinking of taking courses while teaching in a foreign country.


I thank you all for your answers!

-Dan




1)

China is NOT a legal option without the BA/BS. Can you get work there = yes but it won't be with a proper visa and permits. Caveat emptor..

The WHERE will largely depend on your country of passport.
If you are from the UK then Europe is an option BUT you will also be competing with all those recent grads who do have a degree, TEFL cert and are unemployed and want the same adventure.

IF you are from the US/Canada then Central/South America is still an option.

Most (and soon under ASEAN ALL) of Asia will be off the map until you have your degree. Currently, if you have successfully completed 2 years of an undergrad (can get an Associate's) then Tawian (working in buxibans) or Korea (TaLK program only) are legal options when coupled with a legitimate TEFL course.

2) There are NO on-line TEFL certifications that are universally recognized.
CELTA offers a blended program (part on-line/part classroom based) that carries the same weight as the in-house CELTA program (global brand recognition).

3) It largely depends on what the MA is in, the nature of the job you accept (8-4 days at a school or mixed/split hours at a language academy coupled with outside work to supplement your income.

Many who have been abroad for years as expats have done it. I have never heard of a newbie expat who was able to dedicate the time, effort and energy to it.

Bottom line - finish your degree first. Depending on your country of passport it will open up far more options for you.

The "adventure of travel and teaching abroad" will still be there next year and for many years to come.

.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8982
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:36 am    Post subject: Re: Another "thinking of teaching abroad" thread. Reply with quote

It's not necessary in ALL countries, but more and more are asking for BAs. You should be able to finish online, espeically since you finished 3 years. There are schools out there for mature students.

The blended learning CELTA might be your best bet. I've also heard good things about Ontesol

You could do your BA while teaching, many people do their MA while teaching. You can manage depending on your major and your job. It's different for everyone.

Best of luck!
Sharon
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: Another "thinking of teaching abroad" thread. Reply with quote

dan316 wrote:
Question 1: About that pesky BA/BS...
This type of response is more of an attitude issue. Lose it and get the degree. One year is not that long, and far more doors will open. What's the rush to get abroad, anyway? Job hunting and interviewing alone will take several months, especially if you are not in that foreign land.

Quote:
I'm focused on China, and while I understand that in most areas of the country it is necessary to have a degree there are ways around it and that I can still teach there. I'm not trying to be unethical, I'm just trying to get answers. I may check for answers in the Asia sub-forum for this specifically if that's necessary.
That is a good thing to do. Go there.

Quote:
There certainly are countries that I want to teach in that I know require a BA/BS so I will look towards them when I complete my degree, but I'd really like to start getting experience under my belt as soon as possible.
Why? See above.

Quote:
Question 2: Why is it so hard to find a reputable TEFL/TESOL course online?! -
Because it's a contradiction in terms, as others have pointed out. You seem to want the easy way out here.

Quote:
Question 3: Completing my BS while teaching?

Like I previously stated, I am finishing up my BA online. Have any of you worked in another country teaching and taken classes for yourself(such as an MA) at the same time? Do you find it too time consuming or have you been able to manage both?
Many have done that, and yes, it's tough. People get enamored over living abroad and find it difficult to concentrate on learning a foreign language or getting online certification/degrees, especially if they majored in drinking.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re the question of teaching and studying: I did teach in further education while finishing off a masters course. It was gruelling and unenjoyable. If you have a job and can finish your degree before changing directions, I would do it.
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santi84



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 854
Location: under da sea

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak for online programs offered in Canada but here is a list of TESL Canada programs (online highlighted in green). TESL Canada-equivalent certificates are generally well-recognized in Asia, as they involve a minimum of 100 hours coursework, 10 hours classroom observation, and 10 hours supervised teaching (level 1). I have level 2 and found it to be well-worth the additional work (in terms of practical use when actually teaching).

http://www.tesl.ca/TESL_Canada_Bulletin/TESL_Canada_Recognized_Teacher_Training_Programs/Recognized_Teacher_Training_Programs.htm
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