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Opportunities in Asia for a non-native speaker?
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Astronamix



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 4:34 pm    Post subject: Opportunities in Asia for a non-native speaker? Reply with quote

I'm from The Netherlands and I want to start teaching English in Asia next September for at least a year. I can use some advice. I know China would be a good place to start teaching, but as I haven't decided yet which country in Asia I want to go to, I am considering countries like South Korea, Japan and Vietnam too.

Here's my concern. Often, when I am looking at the job descriptions, I come across the requirement: "Must be a native speaker with a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa." I only hold a Dutch passport, so I wonder how to go about this. Is this a strict condition set by the government of the country? Or is this just a requirement from the language school itself, to make sure the level of English of their teachers is good enough? In other words, can I get a work visa for an English teaching position with a Dutch passport? I already know China will still be a possibility, but what about Japan, South Korea and Vietnam?

Then a question about the preparation period. First of all I think I will do the IELTS test, just to be able to show my command of the English language is good enough for teaching. I also have the possibility of taking the CELTA course before leaving, but I read a lot of times that this course isn't very helpful in Asia. What do you think? The other option would be to just start teaching first and if things work out well, do the CELTA with after a year of teaching experience.

Alright, one more question: what do you think would be a nice city/school to start?


Last edited by Astronamix on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You state you only want to teach for one year. Then focus on China since it's likely your best bet for securing work.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Opportunities in Asia for a non-native speaker? Reply with quote

Astronamix wrote:
I'm from The Netherlands and I want to start teaching English in Asia next September for at least a year. I can use some advice. I know China would be a good place to start teaching, but as I haven't decided yet which country in Asia I want to go to, I am considering countries like South Korea, Japan and Vietnam too.


For info about Japan, I'd recommend the following threads:
Non-native English teachers in Japan?
Indonesian citizen wants to teach English in Japan

Quote:
Here's my concern. Often, when I am looking at the job descriptions, I come across the requirement: "Must be a native speaker with a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa." I only hold a Dutch passport, so I wonder how to go about this. Is this a strict condition set by the government of the country? Or is this just a requirement from the language school itself, to make sure the level of English of their teachers is good enough?

It depends on the country. In some cases, it is a legal requirement for a visa as an English teacher. In Japan, I don't believe there is a citizenship requirement, though there may be requirements about the language in which you received your education, depending on visa type (see here for info on visa types in Japan and their requirements).

Quote:
I also have the possibility of taking the CELTA course before leaving, but I read a lot of times that this course isn't very helpful in Asia.

While it is true that a CELTA is not required for many positions in Asia, you're already going to be at a disadvantage in terms of hireability due to English not being your first language, so anything to boost your resume will be important. If you are serious about teaching English abroad, I'd recommend doing the CELTA. If teaching English is just something you want to try out to see if you like it, go ahead and apply for jobs, but know that you will be at a double disadvantage being a non-native English speaker with no formal training.

You might also be interested in TEFL Equity Advocates and TESOL International Association's Non-native English Speakers in TESOL Interest Section.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently saw an ad for a school in China requesting teachers of any nationality with C1 level of English.
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Shanghai Noon



Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 589
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP: what kind of education do you have? You might have a chance in China.
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Knedliki



Joined: 08 May 2015
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a TOEFL/IELTS (don't know what score you need ) and a degree you could work legally in Thailand.
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Astronamix



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your advice. Even Thailand seems to be an option now!

Quote:
OP: what kind of education do you have?


I have a BA in Philosophy and finished a Master's programme in Culture & Organization. The latter was entirely in English. Because I had the plan of teaching English abroad before, I'm also in possession of a TEFL certificate (online, 120-hr). Although the TEFL course I followed some years ago involved a practice weekend, I don't see how an online certificate will help me much being a better teacher in front of a classroom.

Quote:
While it is true that a CELTA is not required for many positions in Asia, you're already going to be at a disadvantage in terms of hireability due to English not being your first language, so anything to boost your resume will be important. If you are serious about teaching English abroad, I'd recommend doing the CELTA. If teaching English is just something you want to try out to see if you like it, go ahead and apply for jobs, but know that you will be at a double disadvantage being a non-native English speaker with no formal training.


Ok, I have to be honest here. I find that hard to tell, whether I am serious about teaching English abroad. It is hard for me to tell whether or not I am still teaching within five years time. It is like this: if I do not start teaching at all, I certainly will not be teaching by that time.

Considering the CELTA: I'm thinking of doing the course in an English speaking country, preferably part time, for that would really add to the overall experience and gives me the opportunity to work on both my teaching skills and my English language skills. Any suggestions for good locations to do so?


Last edited by Astronamix on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astronamix wrote:
Ok, I have to be honest here. I find that hard to tell, whether I am serious about teaching English abroad.
....

Considering the CELTA: I'm thinking of doing the course in an English speaking country, preferably part time, for that would really add to the overall experience and gives me the opportunity to work on both my teaching skills and my English language skills. Any suggestions for good locations to do so?

It's certainly unclear why you want to teach EFL. You might think hard about that before sinking around 1300-1400 GBP for a CELTA course in an Anglophone country, especially since you plan to teach for just one year.

The CELTA is the same course structure and curriculum regardless of where it's taken. As for course info and locations, visit Cambridge English for CELTA providers in English-speaking countries. You'll have to determine which location best suits your budget.
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Astronamix



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually wrote in my Original Post the following.

Quote:
...for at least a year


So I don't really get why you mentioned twice now that I want to teach English for just one year. Like a lot of other things in life, it starts with one year, right?

Why I want to teach EFL? I just think I am the kind of person that likes being abroad, because I learn a lot that way myself too. Teaching seems to be a good way to do so. I've been travelling quite a bit in my life and met quite some EFL teachers in different countries, they gave me a fair idea of what it is like and I think the lifestyle suits me.


Last edited by Astronamix on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Shanghai Noon



Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 589
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have a BA in Philosophy and finished a Master's programme in Culture & Organization. The latter was entirely in English.


Where did you get your degrees?
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Astronamix



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my degree in Amsterdam. To attract more international students, many universities in The Netherlands have curricula in English these days.

Last edited by Astronamix on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Shanghai Noon



Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 589
Location: Shanghai, China

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then I am afraid China might be problematic. Many provinces in China now require that applicants be educated in native English speaking countries.
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Astronamix



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Many provinces in China now require that applicants be educated in native English speaking countries.


Which provinces exactly?
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In the heat of the moment



Joined: 22 May 2015
Posts: 393
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astronamix wrote:
Quote:
Many provinces in China now require that applicants be educated in native English speaking countries.


Which provinces exactly?


I imagine the answer will not be clear, and will be out of date soon. One way to find out is to apply for jobs, even better would be to actually be in the area and speak to recruiters and schools in person. There's a shortage of EFL teachers in China and having a warm body and ability to speak English is a minimum requirement, the advertised minimum is for publicity purposes. The last time I worked there, in a very good and popular boarding school, a colleague had the 'right' passport but no degree or CELTA. He'd previously worked in another school in a very unpopular area, then found a better job by word of mouth.
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Astronamix



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One way to find out is to apply for jobs, even better would be to actually be in the area and speak to recruiters and schools in person.


That would be an interesting way of doing it, just going to the area and speak to recruiters and schools in person. I might just go there, to see if there are opportunities for September. I am just a bit worried that when I do that, and get a job offer, I will have to go back to my home country to get the formalities done, like obtaining the documents for the work visa. I'll find out.

Anyway, I'm pretty confident I will find a school that wants to hire me.
I have a rather clear idea of what to expect now too.

I am taking the necessary steps soon Arrow Z

Thanks for your advice! Cool


Last edited by Astronamix on Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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