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CELTA essential or desirable for the better universities?

 
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Noelito



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: BogotŠ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: CELTA essential or desirable for the better universities? Reply with quote

Hi, newbie to this forum but not to Colombia nor to teaching English!! Iím Irish and have been living in BogotŠ for 5 years now. My wife is Colombian and we have 2 baby boys. I have been teaching English since 2008, initially just a few hours a week but as my sons arrived, Iíve had to ramp up the teaching hours, because babies are expensive and BogotŠ ridiculously so!!

In addition to my near 5 years teaching English I also taught for 4 years in 2 highly reputable (top 200 in the world) universities in Ireland. My academic background is in Business and Computers and my focus has been on teaching Business English to private students. With the arrival of my boys however I will now have to get a full time job teaching. I reckon with my experience and contacts I can get a job in a good university however one problem I have is that I do not hold a recognised teaching qualification, to this end I am mulling over taking the next CELTA course in International House in November. My dilemma is however, whether I would be justified in spending the 3.5 million COP on the course in order to make me eligible for jobs in Los Andes and the like, or whether they (the Unis) would give me an interview/job based solely on my experience??
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally you need "school" experience (bilingual colegios) and a bachelors as the bare minimal requirements.

Also another thing which is important is "who you know".

Timing and sheer luck also play a role.

Are you wanting to live in Colombia long term?

If so why not complete an online alternative certification program to allow you to work at elite International Schools with good pay and benefits? You can complete this in Colombia.

TeacherReady.org costs 4,500 dollars and takes 9 months. Your money will be much better spent than some CELTA imo.

If you are serious and set on Universities I would recommend getting a MA TESOL.
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Noelito



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: BogotŠ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chances are I'm here (Colombia) for the long haul, and given my Spanish, teaching English is about all I can realistically do, in any case I really enjoy teaching so it's not such a cross to bear.

I've actually taught a business English course on numerous occasions in Universidad La Sabana, and Universidad Sergio Arboleda, 2 very reputable universities in BogotŠ, but only as a contractor for a company who had the contract and not directly as an employee of the universities.

I am in the prcoess of using my contacts network to see if the Unis will have me, but if there was someone here who works/worked for the likes of Los Andes, they might be able to tell me straightaway whether a CELTA or equivalent was a non negotiable.

As I mentioned, I also taught in 2 very reputable Irish Universities (to staff) so I only want to teach adults, the only 2 kids I'll teach are my own! haha
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You dont need to know Spanish to teach at an International School. All subjects are taught in English.

Why not spend alittle extra money and get yourself the best qualification for stable substantial work in Colombia?

Provide nice salary

Free housing

Moving allowance

Not to mention your kids will be able to go to a nice school for free or reduced cost.

ect
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely DO NOT take the CELTA though IH Bogota. I took it there in 2010 and it was an awful experience. No one should be treated the way they treat people at that place. Fell free to send me a PM if you want more specific info.
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windowlicker



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 183
Location: BogotŠ, Colombia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, the CELTA won't get you a job at Los Andes - I believe they require a masters. I've also heard they don't have a particularly good reputation for being a good deal as far as the pay/workload ratio is concerned. In the end though, the answer to your question is that for the universities I know, unless you have REALLY good contacts, you're going to need a teaching qualification. CELTA would be good enough for other universities, but there's really only one or two unis in BogotŠ where the pay justifies the work if you're looking to do this longterm.

You've been in Colombia long enough that you should have a good idea of what salaries are like and what types of jobs you can get...What's your target salary and teaching load?
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Noelito



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: BogotŠ

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Salaries Reply with quote

Windowlicker...At the moment I get COP $25.000 an hour and work about 10 to 15 hours a week. Works out at about 1 to 1.5 million a month

As I'm here for the long haul the is likelihood is teaching will be my main source of income. The intention is that I would have a teaching salary of 3-4 million to complement some non-teaching income I have.
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windowlicker



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 183
Location: BogotŠ, Colombia

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The unis seem to be getting tougher and tougher to get into. Personally, I don't think Los Andes is doable without a masters.

Beyond Los Andes I've got decent info on four unis in the Bogota. One (Sergio Arboleda) was paying paying about what you're making now the last I talked to them, which was three years ago. They didn't guarantee hours or have particularly good contracts. Having a CELTA seemed to help getting the job, but it seems you worked there without one.

Another uni I know here (Manuela Beltran) pays around 3 million. Having a CELTA will definitely help getting the gig, but the job seems to be pretty bad. They accept other generic teaching certifications as well. Seems like you have to put up with a lot, plus work 6 days a week.

Basically, the CELTA will help you get on at the other two universities I know, though they are getting more demanding and don't necessarily hire every semester. They pay in the 3-4 million range and have better working conditions.

My opinion is that if you're looking at this long term you need to evaluate if that makes it worth it for you, or if you're better off getting a masters, which would probably have equal weight at the universities, plus would open up more opportunities at high schools if the good universities aren't hiring.

G22 and I are constantly in a debate about IH...in any case, if you do decide on the CELTA, I know other people who have recently completed it at IH who don't have such bad things to say.
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The Internationalist



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get the MA TESOL for long term.
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