Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
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 

CELTA or other cert for Vietnam
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Vietnam
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Argofoto



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: CELTA or other cert for Vietnam Reply with quote

I am researching the best way to prepare myself for a possible teaching career starting in Vietnam. From what I have read, it is one of the better places to start a TEFL career in terms of salary combined with flexibility and ease of movement.

Currently, I am working a 9 to 5 for what for some would be a career in shipping, which I trained for and earned my B.S. in yet thoroughly can't stand anymore, probably to due a lack of the proper cutthroat "business acumen". I have a lot of fun in my local volunteer english tutor program the past few months. I also have a few international friends whom I converse online with or I have met in person and spoken with and corrected either their English or various letters, resumes, and other professional documents they want edited. I am far from being a professional though.

That being said, there is a TEFL program, Oxford Seminars, at the local university at Villanova, PA on weekends. It is now a 100 hour course and I have been to their introductory seminar which seems genuine. They claim to help with job placement, even "guaranteed job placement", but I don't know how that is stipulated in their contract. However, considering it is local and I could do that while I work, makes it easier so to speak even though my workload will be heavier.

The other option is CELTA at NYC which would require me quitting my job and living with my parents for a few weeks to complete the course... That or completing CELTA in Vietnam (ILA?).

I could just hop on a plane, land in Vietnam, and figure it out from there... However, that probably isn't the smartest thing to do as feasible as some people make it out to be. I understand the process is much simpler than other countries but really, would coming here for a short vacation and then staying be a good option?

So, I am a 27 year old white guy (a shade darker though being of Romanian descent) native born English speaker, with a B.S. in Business and minor in Humanities and a few months of teaching experience (I could probably use a few more) looking to switch careers. Financial matters aside, if I were to go to Vietnam and try to find work for say, RMIT or equivalent, which would be the best approach? On the RMIT website, it is CELTA or "equivalent" so if anyone has first-hand experience with other certifications, please let me know. I am leaning more to the "high-end" schools simply because I think starting out somewhere that it might be a bit tougher/disciplined will help shape me to a better teacher. However, I don't want something as hard/grueling as some of the places I hear farther North (though it is called South .....)

Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Footloose and fancy free Reply with quote

If you want flexibility and ease of movement, just come on over and see for yourself; it is the only way to really have all your options open when you land.

A CELTA will greatly improve your chances of being hired as a full time teacher at one of the chain schools; most of them require one and will not process any application without one. This does mean losing that 'freedom' you are after. These schools will not generally permit you to work for other schools.

Regardless of how anyone feels, the British have manged to make the CELTA the no.1 cert to have, that or the Trinity - they mention 'equivalent', but none seem to come close to the CELTA, even though they may be superior or almost identical; applications seem to go nowhere - you must be a member of the 'club'.

As for the rest of the schools (99%), you can pretty much write your own ticket. Salaries will range from 15-30 bucks an hour. Sometimes lower sometimes higher, but most ESL teachers fall within this group.

Universities do not seem to be overly concerned with TESOL certs but with no experience a cert might help. Lecturers, however, will need a master's.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: hello Reply with quote

I just think that anyone who has never done this professionally is being very unrealistic speculating about working at RMIT. I would imagine 90% or so of all the experienced, certified and qualified teachers applying there get rejected, so to have it on your radar screen (in my opinion) implies a lack of understanding of the realities of ESL in VN. Most of the students in VN are lower level, as are most of the jobs, as are most of the employers, as is the entire system. Real teachers do not automatically get better jobs. Maybe some of them do, maybe eventually most of them do, but as the system is so chaotic and unprofessional (and focused on profit over quality), do not assume you will be immediately hired in at a better organization, if you can actually find one. Just because a class is supposedly a higher level does not mean that all the students are, most are, or even any are. If you want to become a better teacher, I seriously doubt this is the best place to learn. This can be a great place to live for those who have sufficient income to live without working, then if they find something that is acceptable, it is icing on the cake. This is not a great place to be if you need a job, it is far better for them to need you more than you need them. It is not a good place to be if you have expectations of doing serious work. Just read the local news sites to see what a mess it all is. Today there was another story out on the VN teachers of English, another report on how dismal their skills are. Most of them cannot even communicate effectively with the foreign teachers that come in the classes. The whole system is like this. If you have money, you are fine. If you think teaching is going to give you a great life, danger danger, warning warning.

We have economic refugees from all over the world you will be competing with. Anyone with a good job in the west is likely much better off than the folks we have scrambling around looking for hours over here. I know a real honest to goodness certified teacher with 15 years teaching experience in the west who loves it here, but he is working in the west trying to build up enough funds to come over here and live permanently. He had no trouble getting hired here, but found that financially he is a lot better off making serious money in the west, then coming over when he has enough to make it here with or without these jobs. I suggest we come here for the life and make the work secondary. If we come here seeking (and needing) income, we risk putting ourselves in a worse position than we started from. Yeah, most people with better skills eventually get something, but I doubt this pushes their net worth higher than staying at a decent job in the west. If you already have enough net worth to live out your life, hop on the next plane over, you'll love it. If you are ready to make yourself less employable if you return to the west and are okay without work here or there, then moving over here makes perfect sense. Costs are plenty low, rents may be falling soon, local talent is cheap, and it can be a lot of fun.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 197
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: CELTA or other cert for Vietnam Reply with quote

Argofoto wrote:
The other option is CELTA at NYC which would require me quitting my job and living with my parents for a few weeks to complete the course... That or completing CELTA in Vietnam (ILA?).
As one who took the Oxford course let me recommend the CELTA. I have a BEd in Elementary Education which should easily meet the "or equivalent" criteria but it does not seem to. With your business degree you really should take the CELTA if you want to work here.

The reasons I went with Oxford may be similar to your reasons. CELTA in Hawaii was M-F while Oxford was weekends. Also CELTA in Hawaii would have cost me ~$3K vs. ~$1K for Oxford. I imagine NYC would be the same. ILA in HCMC looks closer to the $1K figure.

From what I can gather, one real difference in the courses is that while Oxford may be affiliated with a local university, the CELTA seems to be affiliated with actual EFL schools. Because of this they can give hands on practicums with real students while our practicums at the Oxford classes were simulations. For me I really believe the Oxford class was sufficient. The instructor was full time on the faculty at Univ Hawaii in what they call Second Language Studies and well qualified to teach the course. That said I now regret not taking the month off and doing the CELTA either in Hawaii or here.

Besides the TEFL vs. CELTA factor I feel I may be suffering some age discrimination (perfectly legal here) as I am 64 years old. I have had only one interview for six application letters. However, at 27 you may be right about the age schools here prefer.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Argofoto



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info and the help. One more thing about me, I live fairly minimalist and budget my expenses very well to the point I think I can save money in Vietnam.

From what I can tell, the teaching environment is somewhat lax in VN, especially compared to some others. Yet I find it hard to believe that this can be the norm all around. I think things can change over time and improve, though you are limited by your environment in some respects, it is also your own motivation and willpower that can make you overcome that. Perhaps I am an optimist and that is why I see VN as a stellar choice. I also tend to not agree with the most popular choice for starters, Korea, because it is in my nature, though perhaps I am a bit egotistic by saying that...

Is VN not a good place to "get your feet wet" ? I know what the overwhelming choice is but maybe I am just being stubborn about it...

I will take a look at the local news though as that did not cross my mind. I plan on leaving the West in the Spring of next year, so there is time.

Also, thanks for the info on Oxford. It is really the most comfortable and easiest choice but I feel I might regret it if I have the chance to take CELTA instead. I would think there is little point in taking both of them, unless maybe I am wrong?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
From what I can tell, the teaching environment is somewhat lax in VN, especially compared to some others. Yet I find it hard to believe that this can be the norm all around. I think things can change over time and improve, though you are limited by your environment in some respects, it is also your own motivation and willpower that can make you overcome that.


If you find it hard to believe that it is the norm, you should do more research. However, instead of laxity, you may find it controlled, but the control can be very ill advised. It may be better characterized as mismanaged. Motivation and willpower are not the keys to success here. Sometimes doing things properly can pay off, but it can also work against you as well in cases. I think we should do our best as its own reward, but do not expect that doing your best will cause you to be rewarded, in some situations it can create distrust, animosity, bad feelings and work against you.

Things can change, and actually change for the worse. I think most educators would agree that the seriousness of the students is falling as their wealth rises. It is my opinion that as wealth becomes more concentrated in an elite (as is happening worldwide), this exacerbates the tendencies towards individual greed, corruption, and not caring about others (or the environment). It is my opinion this is getting worse instead of better.

Not trying to be a doomsayer, just trying to be honest about what I see. I like it here, and the things that make it bad for the natives can also be good for the expats. In this kind of environment, those with resources have a great deal. But to think we are going to make things better or that it is well managed is (in my opinion) not realistic. There may be some big game changers on the horizon, but if they occur, we will be adapting, we are not setting them off.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH: Maybe the reason you didn't get interviews wasn't because of your age, but because you didn't have a CELTA. Look at the differences in certification programs as you've described them. Who would you interview?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 197
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Age vs CELTA Reply with quote

inhanoi wrote:
TRH: Maybe the reason you didn't get interviews wasn't because of your age, but because you didn't have a CELTA. Look at the differences in certification programs as you've described them. Who would you interview?

I think I was clear that I think the CELTA program is superior in most cases but a BEd has a full semester of classroom practicum, all day every day. Although being observed, you are the teacher for the whole 1/2 a school year. In addition there are part time in-classroom practicums built into other courses. I also taught a while before embarking on another career. Believe me I have a lot more classroom management and lesson planning time than anyone who just got a CELTA. In fact, no comparison.

However, you may be correct if those doing the hiring are not aware of exactly what a BEd entails compared to a BA or BSc. I touched on it in my cover letter, but maybe it does not register if those doing the hiring do not know the US system. I am not sure if there is a comparable degree difference in UK or AU.

I still think there may be some age prejudice. There may be older teachers among us but they may have long ESL experience on their CV whereas I am essentially a beginning teacher with respect to ESL. One school, which I will not name publicly, explicitly states on their website that their criteria include "From 20 age to 40 age [sic]"

I am still optimistic and fortunate that I have another modest financial resource. Wish me luck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:19 am    Post subject: Qualification Reply with quote

TRH, I feel for you, but this will give you an idea of the mind set of some employers: A personal acquaintance, with a PhD in languages, who wrote a 700 page dissertation AND won a scholarship for the best work of the year... was asked firstly whether or not he had a CELTA.

It wasn't that long ago teachers at primary school level and nurses had no need of a 3-4 year degree - not too long into the future nurses will need assistants to wash the bed pans, change sheets etc...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
TRH, I feel for you, but this will give you an idea of the mind set of some employers: A personal acquaintance, with a PhD in languages, who wrote a 700 page dissertation AND won a scholarship for the best work of the year... was asked firstly whether or not he had a CELTA.


I wonder what mindset you think this employer had? That the CELTA is more important than this candidate's other qualifications?

Based on my experience, my guess this tact was one of two other situations:

1 - hiring manager did not want to hire the candidate for some unrelated reason, and was just trying to find the most handy excuse.

2 - hiring manager was so far out of his/her depth that he had no freaking clue what any of this candidate's qualifications actually meant.

We often look at events here with our own logical frameworks, but need to remember the zaniness of it. I can tell you that there are better schools paying better wages that will hire people who do not have any degree and who only have an online TESOL. Then this example you state is like the opposite end of scale, your most qualified guy in history could be passed over, maybe because of his appearance or some other reason that makes no sense (to us). There are schools hiring Europeans who speak English as a second language, are difficult to understand, but look great in the classroom. We all know this. I have seen hiring managers look at resumes with such bafflement that it was obvious they had no idea what they were seeing. They could not even understand the complex English that the candidate used in his resume, so they were just pretending to read the document, hoping something would register. In fact, this is a very important topic in its own right, how to create an English language resume that can be deciphered by a VN hiring manager and still maintain its integrity. Not an easy task.

You will not get any argument from me that the CELTA is not superior to the TESOL. My argument is that these folks don't really know a silk purse from a sow's ear anyway, and so the difference is not that important, here, now. In the future, who knows? I think appearance is very important. The way one carries himself is important as well. The first few seconds of meeting is of supreme importance, people decide if they like you very quickly.

On the gentleman with the PhD, I would also say, one can move rubble around HCMC with a Honda dump bike or a Ferrari. Now, the Ferrari is pretty cool, no doubt about it, but is it really necessary? How happy is the Ferrari gonna be doing a job that it is about 10 levels overqualified for?

Not saying this is the problem for sure, but in the west, being overqualified can be a real problem. Over here, remember how the Viet Kieu are discounted. They speak English as a first language, VN as a second language, how many of us can say that? But, they are discounted because they do not LOOK like westerners. Right? Much better to hire Italians, they are taller and look so good in the classroom. So, it is not much of a leap to reject the PhD for whatever stupid reason they have, these people do not use logic the same way we do.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 325

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA or equiv basically means a CELTA or a Trinity Cert Tesol. There are also DELTAs and Trinity Tesol Diplomas which are one step up - about on the same level of difficulty as an MA but with no research element.

Specialist EFL teaching certs and dips cover manifestly different material and methodology than normal school teaching qualifications. It's chalk and cheese really.

In many ways - what they teach you to do in school teaching is the opposite of what they teach you on a CELTA (or equiv). I've been involved in TEFL training and people with school teaching experience and training almost always struggle at first to break out of the schoolteacher mindset. Some do very well once they get the idea though.

Academic qualifications like MAs and PhDs are even less relevent to EFL teaching and some people with impressive academic ability and achievements don't make good EFL teachers.

One thing about EFL is the need to work with students who might have very low academic ability, but nonetheless need to learn some English.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Hogwash Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
CELTA or equiv basically means a CELTA or a Trinity Cert Tesol. There are also DELTAs and Trinity Tesol Diplomas which are one step up - about on the same level of difficulty as an MA but with no research element.

Specialist EFL teaching certs and dips cover manifestly different material and methodology than normal school teaching qualifications. It's chalk and cheese really.


In many ways - what they teach you to do in school teaching is the opposite of what they teach you on a CELTA (or equiv). I've been involved in TEFL training and people with school teaching experience and training almost always struggle at first to break out of the schoolteacher mindset. Some do very well once they get the idea though.

Academic qualifications like MAs and PhDs are even less relevent to EFL teaching and some people with impressive academic ability and achievements don't make good EFL teachers.

One thing about EFL is the need to work with students who might have very low academic ability, but nonetheless need to learn some English.


This is what you will get into if you start to move around in these circles OP. You may really enjoy it or despise it.

Personally, I find it all a bunch of tosh.

On the other end of the scale, I have seen fresh CELTA graduates who cannot spell their own name, go into a classroom high on dope (smack) and still espouse what this gentleman is spewing out.

Absolute tosh.

This acquaintance of mine who is 'overqualified' also has a CELTA - PASS A. He personally said it was a waste of his time and money - The trainers, he said, were a bunch of nazis.

I'm not startin' nuffin', just sayin'.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
On the other end of the scale, I have seen fresh CELTA graduates who cannot spell their own name, go into a classroom high on dope (smack) and still espouse what this gentleman is spewing out.

Absolute tosh.

This acquaintance of mine who is 'overqualified' also has a CELTA - PASS A. He personally said it was a waste of his time and money - The trainers, he said, were a bunch of nazis.

I'm not startin' nuffin', just sayin'.


Totally agree that a one month cert is not going to teach you that much. The main point of it is getting the (supposedly) legal qualification which makes it easier to get hired.

It is well documented that one of the CELTA providers acts like jerks here in HCMC. Apollo is likely to be easier to work with. I doubt that it matters where you get it in terms of the school's reputation for quality.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: I agree Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
Totally agree that a one month cert is not going to teach you that much. The main point of it is getting the (supposedly) legal qualification which makes it easier to get hired.

It is well documented that one of the CELTA providers acts like jerks here in HCMC. Apollo is likely to be easier to work with. I doubt that it matters where you get it in terms of the school's reputation for quality.


I am in total accordance with you, Mark.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
biliana



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both you guys get 100% for accuracy.

I entirely agree with the two of you!
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 -> Vietnam All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 
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 © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC