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Is there anywhere that is as good as it used to be?
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 6:55 am    Post subject: Is there anywhere that is as good as it used to be? Reply with quote

After a lot of false starts, fundraising, and 13 years of teaching in several countries, I'm doing my MA in September, by distance from Nottingham. It's the same as their brick and mortar degree, just web based (applied linguistics with ELT focus). The thing is... now that I'm doing this, all of the places where my MA holding friends have been working for years seem to be seriously cutting back, reducing salaries and benefits, laying staff off, and generally turning good places into crappy lowest-common-denominator schools that aren't much better than language school gigs. Gigs like RMIT in Vietnam or HCT in the Emirates.

We've got a toddler and we're both in our early 40s and really not in the mood to be stuck in the erratic, unpredictable, overworked evenings and weekends cycle that is prevalent here in Vietnam.

I know that some countries don't like online degrees but I don't care- the Nottingham program is very well respected and I want to work somewhere that actually knows something about the degrees it accepts or rejects.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 1248
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oman accepts distance and online degrees and is generallly an ok place to be if you can deal with the students who are nice but lazy. The pay isn't as good as KSA but the lifestyle is better.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's definitely on my list. However, aren't salaries being reduced and conditions getting worse there too? Or is that just for ministry jobs? SQU seems to be reshuffling too, from what I understand. I spent a few weeks in Oman a decade ago and loved it. Would love to go back but not if the workplace is crappy and stressful. I'm happy to work hard and be a good teacher but I'm getting too old and jaded for management shenanigans and office politics. Didn't U. of Nizwa have a meltdown recently?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 6518
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yaramaz wrote:
After a lot of false starts, fundraising, and 13 years of teaching in several countries, I'm doing my MA in September, by distance from Nottingham.
....

We've got a toddler and we're both in our early 40s and really not in the mood to be stuck in the erratic, unpredictable, overworked evenings and weekends cycle that is prevalent here in Vietnam.
....

SQU seems to be reshuffling too, from what I understand. I spent a few weeks in Oman a decade ago and loved it. Would love to go back but not if the workplace is crappy and stressful. I'm happy to work hard and be a good teacher but I'm getting too old and jaded for management shenanigans and office politics.

SQU offers the best teaching opportunities in Oman. However, they limit their yearly recruiting and hiring to job seekers attending TESOL Arabia (UAE) and TESOL International (N. America). Plus, you'd need a couple of years of post-MA experience to make yourself competitive.

KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain don't recognize online degrees. That said, you didn't mention what type of work your husband does, but if he gets a solid-paying job with benefits in the UAE, you can certainly find adjunct work as a trailing spouse. Not ideal, but the work is there.

In addition to the decrease in oil production, another reason for the declining salaries in the Gulf is the push to hire nationals in positions expats generally hold (e.g., Saudization, Emiratisation, Omanisation...). For example, I worked with quite a few very capable Saudis who had completed their TEFL-related MAs and PhDs in the US and UK. Native-speaking expats are still in demand, but that demand isn't as high as it used to be. At the same time, the better employers in the region (those with minimal "management shenanigans" and "office politics") are tightening requirements with preference going to western teachers with relevant grad degrees and post-MA experience.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Husband also a teacher, thought with DELTA done and MA on the way. We were both hoping to get reasonable uni gigs with our MAs but it's looking a bit discouraging.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
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Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: online degrees- how do they know it's not just a regular one? I asked Nottingham and they said that distance/online are not noted on the degree. If it's the same degree as the face to face one, why the rejection?
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 822
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yaramaz wrote:
Re: online degrees- how do they know it's not just a regular one? I asked Nottingham and they said that distance/online are not noted on the degree.

They contact the university's registrar's office.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. I wasn't that interested in Kuwait/Qatar/Bahrain/Saudi anyway.

Why are they not valued, even if done with established, accredited unis? The applied linguistics MAs don't even have teaching components, so it's all just coursework and research, whether distance or in person.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 6518
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yaramaz wrote:
Re: online degrees- how do they know it's not just a regular one? I asked Nottingham and they said that distance/online are not noted on the degree. If it's the same degree as the face to face one, why the rejection?

If you're referring to the Gulf, the mode of instruction gets confirmed with your university registrar as part of the work visa application. More specifically, the representative reviewing your academic documents would either contact the registrar directly or get that confirmation in writing.

Online/distance degrees are viewed with suspicion because so many expats and even some nationals have gotten by with credentials purchased from diploma mills in the US, UK, and India. Additionally, there's the old skool presumption that learning only takes place in face-to-face environments because the student is physically present. Lots of myths about online learning, but that's the reality in the Gulf.

and wrote:
The applied linguistics MAs don't even have teaching components, so it's all just coursework and research, whether distance or in person.

Teachers with an MA in Applied Ling or a theoretic MA TESOL generally complete a CELTA or Delta as well. Or in my case, I have an MA in Teaching (MAT) from the US that included a semester-long ESOL practicum.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nottingham is indeed highly regarded. A big plus for you. I think it depends where you want to go.. There are lots of opportunities in China. I think that you and your partner could get decent university gigs in China with your experience and quals.

Some people don't fancy China, though. In many other countries the pay does seem to be going down or stalling. However, I still think that with some searching you could both find a decent job somewhere..
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We actually just left China after nearly working 5 years in Shanghai (both doing IELTS examining, him DoS of a uni program, me doing EAP in Australian joint ventures). We have thought about trying for Liverpool or Nottingham's programs in Ningbo or Suzhou, post MA, but a bit tired of the internet censorship, food scandals and pollution (we left when I was pregnant because the pollution was getting absurd).
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about working in Australia? With your shared experience I wonder if there might be opportunities in ESL programs at a university over there?
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 797
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend Ningbo.
The pollution is not like up in Beijing.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:

Teachers with an MA in Applied Ling or a theoretic MA TESOL generally complete a CELTA or Delta as well. Or in my case, I have an MA in Teaching (MAT) from the US that included a semester-long ESOL practicum.


I've got a good old TEFL cert (a 3 month/240 hour coursework/20 hour practicum Canadian college course, more than equivalent to a CELTA), which is from way back in 2002. I've been teaching since then. Didn't want a MA TESOL because the materials all just seemed to review stuff I've covered already. Wanted to explore new areas.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2359
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

currentaffairs wrote:
How about working in Australia? With your shared experience I wonder if there might be opportunities in ESL programs at a university over there?


Can TEFL teachers get in on the immigration points scheme? I'm Canadian and he's British.
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