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CELTA or Masters?
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mandrews1985



Joined: 12 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: CELTA or Masters? Reply with quote

Having spent 2 years in Korea teaching at a very demanding hagwon, I am looking to try my hand elsewhere.

Though I know having only 2 years experience, unrelated BA plus a 120 hour (offline) TESOL certificate is not going to open up many more doors than being a fresh of the plane noob. I have nearly no chance of getting a university job, which would be my preference. (I enjoy teaching the older students more than elementary age lot)

So I have been thinking about taking some time out and getting a CELTA or MA, which should improve my prospects. What is more important over here? Will a CELTA make up for not having a masters?

I'm not trying to set the world alight, merely have more than 10 vacation days a year and finish work at a reasonable time. (5pm ish...)

I know EPIK offers this, but i have met a few absolute wasters on this program, who are there just for an easy ride. It's put me off big time.

Any advice is welcome, especially for those that have been in the same position as me, as I'm sure many of you have. I'm very interested to hear from those with a CELTA too.

Thanks,
Mandrews1985
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artyom



Joined: 28 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: CELTA or Masters? Reply with quote

mandrews1985 wrote:
Will a CELTA make up for not having a masters?


Short answer - no. The CELTA and a Masters are not even nearly equivalent. You'd need to be looking at the Delta (which is the same level as a Masters on the NQF). TBH not that many places in Korea really value the CELTA - imo - however a Masters is valued.

There is a big difference between the two - cost, time (4 weeks compared to 1-2 years), etc.

If you're looking for a university job, a CELTA won't be enough.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to read up on the Delta. It's not at all like a Masters, nor is it considered its equivalent in the UK. Case in point: since 2010, you need a Postgraduate Certificate (typically earned after completing the first year of a Masters' programme), if you have a Delta in order to teach at the FE level.
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Francis-Pax



Joined: 20 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: CELTA or Masters? Reply with quote

mandrews1985 wrote:
Having spent 2 years in Korea teaching at a very demanding hagwon, I am looking to try my hand elsewhere.

Though I know having only 2 years experience, unrelated BA plus a 120 hour (offline) TESOL certificate is not going to open up many more doors than being a fresh of the plane noob. I have nearly no chance of getting a university job, which would be my preference. (I enjoy teaching the older students more than elementary age lot)

So I have been thinking about taking some time out and getting a CELTA or MA, which should improve my prospects. What is more important over here? Will a CELTA make up for not having a masters?

I'm not trying to set the world alight, merely have more than 10 vacation days a year and finish work at a reasonable time. (5pm ish...)

I know EPIK offers this, but i have met a few absolute wasters on this program, who are there just for an easy ride. It's put me off big time.

Any advice is welcome, especially for those that have been in the same position as me, as I'm sure many of you have. I'm very interested to hear from those with a CELTA too.

Thanks,
Mandrews1985


Hello! I have been teaching EFL for nearly a decade now. I have a CELTA equivalent, an MA TESL/TEFL, and I am currently earning my doctorate. I left Korea several years ago. Now I teach in the Middle East.

Here is my recommendation for you. This is coming from a very experienced teacher who has taught in good jobs in multiple countries. You should do both. CELTA is not the same as an MA, but having a CELTA or equivalent is very important in many of the good jobs. Others might disagree, but many of the people on this website are negative people with little experience.


Last edited by Francis-Pax on Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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artyom



Joined: 28 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
I think you need to read up on the Delta. It's not at all like a Masters, nor is it considered its equivalent in the UK. Case in point: since 2010, you need a Postgraduate Certificate (typically earned after completing the first year of a Masters' programme), if you have a Delta in order to teach at the FE level.


I wasn't saying that the Delta is equivalent to a Masters - but rather that the quality of the work expected on both is the same - this is the reason that the Delta and Masters are both level 7 on the NQF. I have both so I do understand that there are differences.

In my post to the OP, I was saying that no, a CELTA will not make up for not having a Masters. However, a lot of jobs, especially those in Europe often do ask for the Delta or equivalent (e.g DipTESOL) and not specifically for a Masters. Also there are a lot of articles, a couple of quite interesting ones from ETP last year if I remember correctly about whether to get a Delta or Masters. So would a Delta make up for not having a Masters - I think, in some places yes. But as I also said, in Korea the Masters is typically valued.

I think if you are doing the CELTA, Delta or Masters for personal, intrinsic reasons then they are all very worthwhile. However, for more extrinsic reasons such as getting a good job in Korea, I believe that a Masters is more valued and I expect, although people may disagree, that many places wouldn't even know what the Delta or CELTA were.
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Francis-Pax



Joined: 20 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

artyom wrote:
12ax7 wrote:
I think you need to read up on the Delta. It's not at all like a Masters, nor is it considered its equivalent in the UK. Case in point: since 2010, you need a Postgraduate Certificate (typically earned after completing the first year of a Masters' programme), if you have a Delta in order to teach at the FE level.


I wasn't saying that the Delta is equivalent to a Masters - but rather that the quality of the work expected on both is the same - this is the reason that the Delta and Masters are both level 7 on the NQF. I have both so I do understand that there are differences.

In my post to the OP, I was saying that no, a CELTA will not make up for not having a Masters. However, a lot of jobs, especially those in Europe often do ask for the Delta or equivalent (e.g DipTESOL) and not specifically for a Masters. Also there are a lot of articles, a couple of quite interesting ones from ETP last year if I remember correctly about whether to get a Delta or Masters. So would a Delta make up for not having a Masters - I think, in some places yes. But as I also said, in Korea the Masters is typically valued.

I think if you are doing the CELTA, Delta or Masters for personal, intrinsic reasons then they are all very worthwhile. However, for more extrinsic reasons such as getting a good job in Korea, I believe that a Masters is more valued and I expect, although people may disagree, that many places wouldn't even know what the Delta or CELTA were.


One thing I know for certain: a DELTA means absolutely nothing at a Korean university. It also would not make a difference in most private institutes in Korea.

I agree with Aryom about DELTA being valued more in Europe. I think that is generally true, but if you want to work at a university you still need an MA. The DELTA is mainly valued in language institutes. The points raised about the NQF is also correct with regard to the DELTA. Many UK MA TESOL programs usually waive the language teaching methodology module if a candidate has a DELTA.

All of this said, I think it is important to understand the CELTA and DELTA in historical context. The CELTA and DELTA came into existence before plethora of MA TESOL programs that now exist. The development and acceptance of distance education is also quickly changing the landscape. I think the CELTA and DELTA are being displaced by postgraduate degrees in the field. TESOL as a field of study and as a professional practice has matured a lot in the past 20 years. People who stay in field need to think about the trends that lead to the future.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

artyom wrote:
12ax7 wrote:
I think you need to read up on the Delta. It's not at all like a Masters, nor is it considered its equivalent in the UK. Case in point: since 2010, you need a Postgraduate Certificate (typically earned after completing the first year of a Masters' programme), if you have a Delta in order to teach at the FE level.


I wasn't saying that the Delta is equivalent to a Masters - but rather that the quality of the work expected on both is the same - this is the reason that the Delta and Masters are both level 7 on the NQF. I have both so I do understand that there are differences.


All right. It sounded to me as if you were suggesting that they are equivalent. Clearly, it was a misunderstanding.

I responded because I don't want more people to get the wrong impression (there's a guy at work who keeps bringing up his CELTA (or is it a Delta, I'm not sure since I stopped paying attention) in discussions as if it makes him a greater authority than those of us who have an MA in ESL/EFL or applied linguistics).
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I responded because I don't want more people to get the wrong impression (there's a guy at work who keeps bringing up his CELTA (or is it a Delta, I'm not sure since I stopped paying attention) in discussions as if it makes him a greater authority than those of us who have an MA in ESL/EFL or applied linguistics).


If the MAs had no teaching practice then he would be a greater authority on how to each an EFL class.
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Francis-Pax



Joined: 20 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
Quote:
I responded because I don't want more people to get the wrong impression (there's a guy at work who keeps bringing up his CELTA (or is it a Delta, I'm not sure since I stopped paying attention) in discussions as if it makes him a greater authority than those of us who have an MA in ESL/EFL or applied linguistics).


If the MAs had no teaching practice then he would be a greater authority on how to each an EFL class.


I don't agree. The practical component of the CELTA course is very dogmatic in terms of presented models of teaching and evaluation. I do not think that the CELTA way of teaching is particularly better. A good MA TESOL provides much more background on language teaching methods, language awareness, and knowledge about second language acquisition. There is no research that substantiates that a teacher with a CELTA knows more about teaching (theoretically or practically) than people with an MA without a practicum, so your comment is not grounded in anything.

Teaching practice in teacher training courses are usually delivered with pre-service teachers in mind. The aim is usually to instill a way of thinking about how to plan a lesson and to provide feedback on teaching. Teaching practice does not have many longterm effects. As teachers mature and change contexts, they modify their teaching behaviours and ways of teaching.


Last edited by Francis-Pax on Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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zombiedog



Joined: 03 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so much depends on the teacher. I have an MA in Lit and a CELTA, and I don't think I'm a great teacher. I try, but not "great" by any stretch. I've met BAs who I think are great, and I've met MAs in ESL who stink.
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Francis-Pax



Joined: 20 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zombiedog wrote:
so much depends on the teacher. I have an MA in Lit and a CELTA, and I don't think I'm a great teacher. I try, but not "great" my an stretch. I've met BAs who I think are great, and I've met MAs in ESL who stink.


It all depends on what you define as good and bad teaching. What does that mean? I think the thoughts and ideas expressed in this thread are characteristic of very simplistic ways of thinking about teaching.

People are quick to throw out terms like 'good teaching' and 'bad teaching' without thinking about how enormously complicated these constructs are in practice. If you go to the US public schools, 'good teaching' is equated with improving test scores under the No Child Left Behind Act. Is that what you mean?

It's too simplistic here.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't agree. The practical component of the CELTA course is very dogmatic in terms of presented models of teaching and evaluation. I do not think that the CELTA way of teaching is particularly better. A good MA TESOL provides much more background on language teaching methods, language awareness, and knowledge about second language acquisition. There is no research that substantiates that a teacher with a CELTA knows more about teaching (theoretically or practically) than people with an MA without a practicum, so your comment is not grounded in anything.


Well, you also don't agree with the British Council, International House and many other reputable language institutes who don't take anyone on without a practical qualification. Nothing new there, many people don't agree with big organizations' ways of looking at things but they do have a lot of experience in language teaching and presumably have done their own research into what works for them in the class room.
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Francis-Pax



Joined: 20 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
Quote:
I don't agree. The practical component of the CELTA course is very dogmatic in terms of presented models of teaching and evaluation. I do not think that the CELTA way of teaching is particularly better. A good MA TESOL provides much more background on language teaching methods, language awareness, and knowledge about second language acquisition. There is no research that substantiates that a teacher with a CELTA knows more about teaching (theoretically or practically) than people with an MA without a practicum, so your comment is not grounded in anything.


Well, you also don't agree with the British Council, International House and many other reputable language institutes who don't take anyone on without a practical qualification. Nothing new there, many people don't agree with big organizations' ways of looking at things but they do have a lot of experience in language teaching and presumably have done their own research into what works for them in the class room.


You have misconstrued my comments. The CELTA and DELTA are credentials that have a lot of weight for those organisations. They still are considered to be 'good qualifications' in non-tertiary contexts -- especially in Europe or other places influenced by the British ELT tradition. My comments were not speaking to that. Please look carefully at what I was replying to.

You also need to bear in mind that there is a conflict of interest between the BC/IH and Cambridge ESOL. Both of these organisations offer CELTA/DELTA courses and administer Cambridge ESOL tests. They have a vested interest to perpetuate the qualification. It is a profitable industry. I am taking more of a critical view.

Again, I point to something I wrote before. The nature of ELT is changing. This includes how qualifications are viewed in light of the development in the field. The CELTA and DELTA emerged at an early stage of development in ELT long before the degrees that are offered now (and in many cases by distance education).

ELT like any professional practice in education changes and becomes more professionalized and academically mature as time goes on. These are points that are difficult to understand in context to new teachers in ELT, especially for those who have only taught in the Korean context. However, from my point which includes having taught in multiple countries over a long period of time and higher studies (certificate, masters, doctorate), the evolution is very clear.
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The Cosmic Hum



Joined: 09 May 2003
Location: Sonic Space

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwardcatflap wrote:
Quote:
I responded because I don't want more people to get the wrong impression (there's a guy at work who keeps bringing up his CELTA (or is it a Delta, I'm not sure since I stopped paying attention) in discussions as if it makes him a greater authority than those of us who have an MA in ESL/EFL or applied linguistics).


If the MAs had no teaching practice then he would be a greater authority on how to each an EFL class.


Lol...do you really believe this?
Is this the type of thing CELTA instructors have swallowed as gospel and just expect others to believe? lol

Francis-Pax wrote:
You also need to bear in mind that there is a conflict of interest between the BC/IH and Cambridge ESOL. Both of these organisations offer CELTA/DELTA courses and administer Cambridge ESOL tests. They have a vested interest to perpetuate the qualification. It is a profitable industry. I am taking more of a critical view.

Ed also has a vested interest in these courses and tests.
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Hank the Iconoclast



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Francis-Pax wrote:
edwardcatflap wrote:
Quote:
I don't agree. The practical component of the CELTA course is very dogmatic in terms of presented models of teaching and evaluation. I do not think that the CELTA way of teaching is particularly better. A good MA TESOL provides much more background on language teaching methods, language awareness, and knowledge about second language acquisition. There is no research that substantiates that a teacher with a CELTA knows more about teaching (theoretically or practically) than people with an MA without a practicum, so your comment is not grounded in anything.


Well, you also don't agree with the British Council, International House and many other reputable language institutes who don't take anyone on without a practical qualification. Nothing new there, many people don't agree with big organizations' ways of looking at things but they do have a lot of experience in language teaching and presumably have done their own research into what works for them in the class room.


You have misconstrued my comments. The CELTA and DELTA are credentials that have a lot of weight for those organisations. They still are considered to be 'good qualifications' in non-tertiary contexts -- especially in Europe or other places influenced by the British ELT tradition. My comments were not speaking to that. Please look carefully at what I was replying to.

You also need to bear in mind that there is a conflict of interest between the BC/IH and Cambridge ESOL. Both of these organisations offer CELTA/DELTA courses and administer Cambridge ESOL tests. They have a vested interest to perpetuate the qualification. It is a profitable industry. I am taking more of a critical view.

Again, I point to something I wrote before. The nature of ELT is changing. This includes how qualifications are viewed in light of the development in the field. The CELTA and DELTA emerged at an early stage of development in ELT long before the degrees that are offered now (and in many cases by distance education).

ELT like any professional practice in education changes and becomes more professionalized and academically mature as time goes on. These are points that are difficult to understand in context to new teachers in ELT, especially for those who have only taught in the Korean context. However, from my point which includes having taught in multiple countries over a long period of time and higher studies (certificate, masters, doctorate), the evolution is very clear.


QFT. While I see value in getting a CELTA, it's definitely something to do before you come to Korea or midway through your first year. DELTA would be useful too with a MA, but I got certified in the States (while doing my student teaching at an international school) as I found that much more useful for my career. It also reinforced a lot of things I learned in my MA in ESL/EFL.
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