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Benefits of a MA TESOL
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kumuka



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:52 pm    Post subject: Benefits of a MA TESOL Reply with quote

Question I am working at a Uni in Korea for nearly two years now, and want to expand my position possibilities, ie academic director,etc.

So, I am considering earning a MA TESOL, but wanted to first get some input from current MAs. I already have a Masters in Business as well but the TESOL diploma seems to be a requirement to move ahead in this game.

Have you found the diploma useful to attaining higher level positions, i.e. academic director, etc.
Besides the personal satisfaction, what have you found are the economic and position benefits?
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:01 pm    Post subject: re: great question! Reply with quote

I have been asking the same question to myself a lot lately too. I have a masters of science; have been working at a Uni for four years now, before I was with EPIK and a hogown, and really I am beginning to wonder where this is all going. I second your question and I look forward to what others have to say. Are there chances for advancement in Korea, or is it a dead end job even at the university level?
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think one needs to look beyond the confines of "teaching" and "Korea" in order to see the benefits of a MA in TESOL.

CM
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Hotuk



Joined: 10 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What CM says sounds about right - the ads I see for a MA/TESOL or Applied Linguistics come from Japan, or more often, the Middle East. Other places in the ME go further, wanting a DELTA (not just a CELTA), as do many European schools.

And though the wages are higher than here, and the vacation/benefits are better, they're not order-of-magnitude better.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently MA in Applied Linguistics (TESOL) from Maquarie University. I have found a couple of things useful for my classes so far. I am thinking that it will make me far more marketable than i am now. Especially outside of Korea.

I however do not have a MASTERS yet. So my increase in marketability is probably higher than those without. I mean that I will be moving up to the same level from a level lower than you are at now.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In keeping with this topic, what are the best schools that offer a MA in TESOL?

CM
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Bingoman



Joined: 05 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you guys with an MA in TESL can do in Korea besides teaching at a university? Anything (even) better you can get?
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Ryst Helmut



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Location: In search of the elusive signature...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 7:24 am    Post subject: I gots Reply with quote

What does an MA in TESOL (or related field) do?

Well, it does open doors more easily, but as always, everything here is about average. I mean, that there are few REAL differences among univs....save vacation, and hours. There are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier schools...those are easy to figure out. As for more money, well, yes. At my univ. a guy with an Ph.D. makes only 30,000 more than the guy with a BA. Asinine, yes.

On the other hand, this MA thing is overrated, as I have seen REPEATEDLY at my school where MA (even those individualy with multiple advanced degrees) get passed up for 'lower-level' educated folk....depends on what the school is looking for...you know, age, sex (yes, please!), nationality, yaddy-ya.

I have only completed 18 US semester credits of TESOL classes at the master's level...gotta go to the school for the rest, so my pay is unaffected. Bugger!

I feel that my online education is sub-par to that of the 'traditional' classroom. Yes, yes, I know, here we get to immediately use and implement what we learn, but same for those in the same field within university/classroom distance. I will probably write a lot more later, just tired and wanted to touch the bases...

As for where. Well, I have several friends and acquaintances (Korean professors who hire/fire foreign instructors) and I asked them how they would feel if I had X degree from X school...here's what seemed to be the consensus.

Distance learning : No

1. They felt that I must be lazy not to do it in my home country...or couldn't get into a good school.
2. Distance education is lacking, therefore substandard teacher will be created..
3. IF I were to get a degree via distance learning, get it from (from best to worst) US,Canada, England,Australia.

They really didn't care which degree you had (relating to TESOL) as almost all of the degrees teach the same courses and theories...essentially.

I personally feel that totally on-line schools are...ummm, not as competitive as those that are 'traditional,' and thus admit students on different standards....possibly lower. Point A, I'm dense....and have less-than-stellar undergrad grades. Got laughed at by Admissions Dept. of my Alma Mater, yet (if I recall correctly, sorry, 4 years ago did this) all of the schools that offered programs via the net accepted me.

My school was quite professional, and a great support system for the students...but a state uni in the US, so the dreaded GRE is needed.

More later!

Shoosh,

Ryst Helmut
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 2:46 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

If you already have a MA then I'd say that it would be a waste of time. Getting certified as a teacher is much more inteligent than getting another MA. Big Money only gets paid when you have something that is in short supply. MAs in this game are not in short supply these days so why add a another bit of paper to the heap.

Look around and you will see that both here and the middle east are in fact wanting certified teachers for the better jobs. The other thing is that certified teachers are in demand back home also but not our lot.
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kricket



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: The Land of Kimchi and OB Beer

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Um Reply with quote

Anda wrote:
If you already have a MA then I'd say that it would be a waste of time. Getting certified as a teacher is much more inteligent than getting another MA. Big Money only gets paid when you have something that is in short supply. MAs in this game are not in short supply these days so why add a another bit of paper to the heap.

Look around and you will see that both here and the middle east are in fact wanting certified teachers for the better jobs. The other thing is that certified teachers are in demand back home also but not our lot.


MA's in Applied Linguistics - TESOL are a dime a dozen here....but PhD's in Applied Linguistics are in short supply... Why not spend the time and money to get one and be a highly trained specialist in the field.

Koreans respect credentials. I'm willing to bet Korean universities would be willing to pay more, offer equal recognition as Korean Professors, and offer better opportunites to advance if you had one...
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:01 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Um, don't bet money. There have been a few that have worked their way in here but not many. A lot have however stayed long periods with Korean universities only to get angry when they have realized that their university wasn't going to ever upgrade their position.

Normally speaking they offer straight up what they intend to pay you apart from set raisers given for years of service.


There are a few places paying up around the four million mark but they start you on that.


At present Korean Universities are talking about bringing in 1 year contracts for Korean professors. That should tell you something.
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the_beaver



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to embark on my MA Tesol adventure in the not-too-distant future so I have an interest in this topic.

Most of the posts here have discussed benefits in terms of money and jobs, but I'm more interested in the benefits to your teaching. I've studied and read quite a bit of theory on my own and it has helped my teaching immensely. Do you people who are studying or have completed an MA in Tesol feel that it has helped your teaching?
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 7:19 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Dear Beaver Australia is about the cheapest for a M.A. at about 7,000,000 won for an eight unit master's course.

Now if you were to look around for good teachers both here and in your home country and employ them on casual rates for a few hours to give you guides on how they teach then you would get a lot better value for money than from a Uni. Teachers teaching RSA and TESSOL in the main would be tossed out over here in most places as boring and useless.

There is little to gain besides a very useful bit of paper that can be used to pass requirements for immigration and management at work locations.


Last edited by Anda on Sat Jul 19, 2003 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ryst Helmut



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Location: In search of the elusive signature...

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Holy Schnikes! Reply with quote

Lordy, Lordy, what's this world coming to? I agree with Anda!!!!

Beaver,

I found out that my MA work in TESOL and ALin. was, ummm, not really worth it. It does allow me to point to 'solid proof' that what I do works... according to the experts' texts...woohoo. (twirling finger)

My courses were first off about multicultural understanding....ummm, yeah, like I need that (raised in a slew of areas and different countries). Then, the courses delved into theories. Ok, useful, not PRACTICAL. Then my portfolio and what-not were to be based on multiethnic-multicultural classrooms. Umm, yeah, just like my Korean classroom.

When I run out of ideas, or want something different, I consult the greatest gift Al Gore gave us....the Internet. Also, I ask other teachers for advice. These two mediums are ten-fold better than my MA work.

As for the useful stuff learned....well, useful if you were allowed to implement it. For example, you may learn about placing students (you know, putting them in the correct level of class, according to international "regulations"), but that'll be moot, as your school will have its own system and won't budge.

When doing my coursework, I read X, and said, 'duh!' I guess it depends on how long you've been teaching, especially ESL/EFL, to find out whether or not courses such as these would aid you.

Unless you are going to make this field your career, I wouldn't invest so much time and money into it....peruse the Net and chat with others as this is more worthwhile.

Shoosh,

Ryst
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, when you say "certified teacher" do you mean Dip Ed. English, Music, Drama or the like? That's what I have, which qualifies me to teach high-school in my own country. I have that, but no TESOL MA and I got uni jobs so I guess it is some what of a help. I still think I'd have an advantage with a TESOL MA on top of that as my Dip Ed. is not specific to ESL.

Regarding the benefits to your teaching, I have to disagree in part with those that say it's virtually useless. I have not started mine yet, but have purchased the books and started reading. Some courses of course will feel pretty useless, unless you're in a position to design a curriculum ( not likely here is it? oh, no, what could the natives possibly tell us about how to run a language course! ) but I have books on approaches to teaching grammar, and methodology which contain discussion of actual language exercises ( this is what's helpfull for teachers in my view, everything else is just theory ) and have been helpfull.

I think an MA in TESOL would be very usefull for anyone who is in for the long haul ...
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