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Teaching in Colombia (CELTA Bogota)
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DashGlobal



Joined: 14 Oct 2010
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Colombia (CELTA Bogota) Reply with quote

Hello eveyone,

Im a 24 y/o recent college grad. I want to spend the next 2-4 years teaching English abroad. I've read were you need a certificate to be more desirable to Universities and Language Schools. I was looking at the CELTA school in Bogota Colombia, anyone have any experience with them? How much does it cost? How many times a year do they offer classes?

Thanks!
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 738

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How much does it cost? How many times a year do they offer classes?


Umm. . . are these serious questions?

1. International House, Bogota: $1,595 in 2011; CELTA course offered Feb (begins Jan 31), March, May, August, and September

2. Bridge TEFL, Bogota: $1,895 in 2011; CELTA course offered Feb (begins Jan 31), March, May, August, and September

Hmmm, makes you wonder if they're advertising the same course, doesn't it? IH is located at Calle 10 No 4-09, Barrio La Candelaria. Bridge doesn't give a street address, but says the school is located in La Candelaria. Both describe "12 spacious classrooms and a study room with computers." (I think I'd rather pay the IH price than the Bridge price for the same course.)

Edit: I've just had a look at the Cambridge ESOL website, and they no longer list Bridge as a CELTA provider in Bogota. And IH says that the Bogota school is "one of the newest additions to the IH organization." So it's a fair bet that IH has acquired or merged with Bridge Bogota.

Cambridge does still show British Council as a CELTA provider in Bogota, so that may be another possibility.
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JonnyBravo



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 80
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

British Council has a course in November but they are charging COP 4.000.000, equal to USD$2230. A lot more expensive than other course offerings.

Anyone put any value in non-CELTA courses (TEFL, TESOL, etc) that are offered in Bogota?
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DO NOT take the CELTA at IH Bogota! I just got done taking the CELTA there and it was a miserable experience. Almost nothing works at IH Bogota, the copy machines, printers, computers, wireless connection all work sporadically if ever at all and the training staff leaves much to be desired. The class I took had a much higher failure rate than normal, which is a direct reflection on the training received.

Another thing is you will not make any more money in Bogota if you have the CELTA. A person with a degree and no CELTA training will make the same amount as someone who has the CELTA certificate in Bogota (around 15,000 pesos an hour) which is like $7.50. So I recommend either taking the CELTA elsewhere or saving your $1500 for living and simply come down here and begin applying for jobs.
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Botero82



Joined: 28 Oct 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JonnyBravo,

I also took the CELTA at IH Bogota and I beg to differ. I took my CELTA in February and used to work at IH Bogota. I had two CELTA tutors and each had completely different styles of teaching. One of my tutors was very direct whilst the other one would give me hints and let me do some research. I preferred my tutor that was direct, but thatís a personal thing. Some of my colleagues much preferred the other tutorís style. All in all though, I think both tutors were excellent.

The computers and copy machines weren't perfect, but they worked fine for me. I know there used to be problems with the photocopy machines, but about 1 1/2 months ago they installed a brand new one that works fine. With the wireless connections it depends on where you are in the school, I find I have the most luck when Iím downstairs in the foyer.

With the amount of pay, where did you go and get that amount? Go somewhere else, youíre getting completely ripped off! I worked at IH Bogota now and I made 28,000 Pesos an hour (about $14) and for teaching locations that are far away I made 31,000 Pesos an hour (about $15).

With taking CELTA or not, I felt that I wanted to be taken seriously and not feel like Iím just fluffing around. I used to teach English in China with no qualifications and frankly I felt like I was a bit of a faker just improvising as I go along. The CELTA is an intensive one-month course (one of the hardest things Iíve ever done) but in return it taught me not only how to teach English but also how to be a good teacher meaning how teach correctly and how to relate to my students.
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windowlicker



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

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who has been in Colombia a while now, I strongly disagree G22's comment about non-CELTA qualified teachers earning the same as qualified teachers.

Fresh out of the course, qualified teachers will make more, on average, than non-qualified teachers. The difference may not be significant, but qualified teachers also frequently have lots of non-salary benefits that non-qualified teachers almost never get. The organizations that employ qualified teachers are more reputable, more likely to get foreigners a visa, provide health insurance, "PRIMA" bonuses in June and December, and provide better work conditions. You also have much more job mobility.

Personally, I can vouch for the British Council course. It's expensive, but the trainers and center resources are excellent. I thought it was completely worth it. Having worked at IH, I would expect the course there to run a little less smoothly than at the BC, but in the end it is significantly less expensive and the certification you're getting is exactly the same. Unless things have REALLY gone badly at IH in the past year, I think it would be a fine place to do the CELTA.
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to give IH Bogota your money, go ahead, but I strongly advise you not do it. I just got done taking the course there and you will have to take my word for it that none of their electronic devices work very well. The "new" copy machine wasn't operational when I was taking the course because the people working there couldn't figure out how to get it working so there was only one copy machine and it was old and rarely worked. About a third of the class complained after the course was done. Really I found that the tutors were not all that competent.

When the course was done IH House Bogota informed the students that they were not currently hiring any new teachers and had no plans to hire new teachers any time soon. The most I know of any of the students in the last CELTA class making is about 18,000 cop an hour. If you do decide to take the CELTA there don't say you weren't forewarned.
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JonnyBravo



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 80
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Botero, I only mentioned the cost. I think you're comments were directed at G22.
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prescott



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone clear up the differences in opinion expressed by G22 and Botero22 regarding typical institute pay? Also, can it be true that IH Bogota is currently not hiring new teachers? I'd appreciate any relevant information. Thanks.
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gringuitoachilenado



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject: Bridge's "partner school" is in fact IH BogotŠ Reply with quote

Hello all,
I also noticed that international house bogotŠ and bridge linguatec have the same exact course dates and offerings. The only difference is the price. I contacted Bridge Linguatec and they confirmed that IH is in fact their partner school in BogotŠ. They mentioned to me that the difference in price is "due to our worldwide lifetime job placement assistance that we offer to any of our onsite course graduates" .

Does anyone have any personal experience with the British Council in BogotŠ? I noticed it costs about $2200 USD and am wondering if that extra cost is worth it (compared to IH BogotŠ/Bridge, or EBC)

Thanks for the help,
el gringuito achilenado...
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Daddyo



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Bridge's "partner school" is in fact IH BogotŠ Reply with quote

gringuitoachilenado wrote:
Does anyone have any personal experience with the British Council in BogotŠ? I noticed it costs about $2200 USD and am wondering if that extra cost is worth it (compared to IH BogotŠ/Bridge, or EBC)

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Well, I've noticed the price tends to drop the closer they get to the starting date of a course. My suggestion is to throw them an email a week before, and see what the price is.

But ya know what? If they don't give it to you for $1,500 tops, keep looking. There are lots of schools, lots of competition, and you shouldn't chase any one of them.

Also, an aside: I've seen a few posts now on Dave's by teachers who 'want to get accredited" because they "feel like they're faking it". Is that a shill?
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windowlicker



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

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some things really need to be cleared up in this thread, because there seems to be a lot of disinformation going around.

prescott wrote:
Can anyone clear up the differences in opinion expressed by G22 and Botero22 regarding typical institute pay? Also, can it be true that IH Bogota is currently not hiring new teachers? I'd appreciate any relevant information. Thanks.


I'm sure G22 is telling the truth based on his experience. However, it seems to be very limited experience he's drawing from. Typical pay with a CELTA at a language institute should be $25,000 hour at a minimum. At a high school, minimum acceptable salary for a native teacher with a CELTA is $2.5 million, and you can often get more. I'm not in Bogota now, but unless the job market has drastically changed in the 3 months, that's the way it is. Period. End of Story.

Is IH hiring now? I would be surprised if they're not (they have a pretty frequent rotation of teachers), but it's possible. G22 seems to know from personal experience they're not, but may have been told this due to performance during the CELTA. Best way to find out is to check the recruitment section of the IH website. If nothing is listed there, you could always call to ask.

Daddyo wrote:
Well, I've noticed the price tends to drop the closer they get to the starting date of a course. My suggestion is to throw them an email a week before, and see what the price is.

But ya know what? If they don't give it to you for $1,500 tops, keep looking. There are lots of schools, lots of competition, and you shouldn't chase any one of them.


Maybe Daddyo is trying to say there are lots of schools worldwide, but in Colombia there are only two places that offer CELTA: The British Council, and International House. I don't know what the deal is with the other school whose name is being thrown around, but if anything it must be as many have suggested and be part of IH. That means for a reputable, widely recognized certification there isn't really a lot of competition in Colombia. I would be shocked if the British Council offered you a lower price for signing up in the last week before the course (IH I suppose possibly would, but even in their case I'd be surpised), and if you are really trying to get into a course I would highly recommend you not take this route: enrollment for the course can and often will fill up.
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Daddyo



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: CELTA SHMELTA Reply with quote

Oh whatever. I wish people would stop throwing the word CELTA around like it means something. It doesn't. It's not even a patented brand. It's an acronym for Certificate in English Language Training to Adults, and virtually indistinguishable from any other acronym'ed (is that a word? Will one of you hyper-vigilant school marms out there correct me if it isn't?) certificate course -- TESOL, TEFL, TESL, etc. Or at least those which offer 90 to 120 hours of instruction and a lengthy (30 hours or more) practicum. There's also an apparent myth that it's part of Cambridge, and the latest information I have from a friend of mine who is actually attending Cambridge is that it's not.

Actually that organization is very interesting from a marketing point of view. Instead of creating a company name, like Corning or Acme, they created a certificate 'brand' - CELTA - and identified themselves with that in all their marketing. It's very clever! They're not a company at all, they're a brand. Like Aspirin or Windows. I doubt anyone really knows exactly who or what they are. Maybe they're the crab people!

So nobody can say that non CELTA (whatever that means!) certified teachers are 'not qualified', while CELTA certified teachers are. THAT my friends is completely bogus. TEFL, TESL, TESOL certified teachers are all CELTA certified. They're indistinguishable. Nobody rules, ok?

Back to the point of the thread: I reiterate my statement that you can get the course for less than the going rate if you parachute in just before the first day of class and they have an opening. You're rolling the dice however.

Actually I was just over at IH the other day (I live in Bogota) and they have very nice facilities. I don't know about photocopiers, but they're in a lovely and spacious heritage building right there in Candelaria and there are two soldiers with machine guns and battle fatigues outside on the corner 24/7.
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windowlicker



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

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the CELTA, every course is monitored for quality by an outside observer, whose input allows the teaching center to maintain use of the CELTA brand name.

In Colombia, CELTA is worth something. Yes, there are other, much cheaper courses around the world of similar quality. Colombia, however, is not a country where I would take the risk on a course like this. Chances are you will get really terrible quality. If you want to do a different, equivalent course, go for it...I just recommend you not do it in Colombia.

Doing CELTA in Colombia can also be to your advantage if you want to work in Colombia, particularly if you do it with the British Council. The British Council is well respected in Colombia and having on your resume that you did your certification there will catch an employer's eye. I was told that one of the reasons I got my current job was because of having done my CELTA at the BC in Bogota, and the fact that the school was able to talk to my CELTA tutor at the BC to get a reference.
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windowlicker



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

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And to respond to Daddyo's comment about the CELTA not being affiliated with cambridge, here's the CELTA website...what's the logo at the top?

http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/teaching-awards/celta.html

The CELTA is definitely, 100% for sure, administered by the ESOL Department at the University of Cambridge.

Again, in a country like Colombia where organizations are famous for making terrible quality rip-offs of just about anything, having a certification that is accredited by an organization like the University of Cambridge means something. That's not to say nothing else will serve you here (you can get jobs with other certifications, or if you're really lucky, with no certification at all). That's also not to say that other, non-brand name certifications aren't good, but the fact that an employer knows exactly what the CELTA is and who it comes from is respected here.
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