In fact, if you follow the link at the second post down, right after 'Gawain reckons not', you'll soon see another link to the englishdroid article (with which I began this thread).
Something that a guy called 'distiller' said on that "Gawain Poll" thread got me thinking:
Of course, he's right, but how many of us originally did a first degree in education, or have the money, time or inclination to do a further TEFL qualification?It's been said before, even by me several times, but I guess it bears repeating that you can make TEFL a joke or you can make it a well paying career.
A lot of people seem to think they can cruise into TEFL with no qualifications or experience and live the high life. You may be able to get a job but not much of one.
You want this to be a serious career? Then get serious! Get a first degree related to education or English, get a certificate/diploma in TEFL or a masters while gaining experience, teach in your home country and then go abroad. You will be a commodity capable of getting ridiculously well paid international school jobs and the dream of living abroad and having fistfuls of cash will come true. How many times do we need to see these "I have no degree, no experience, no money and am not able to count past ten. Can I get paid to hang out at the beach as an English teacher” posts?. One would not think that one could have an unrelated degree or no experience and training and get a good job in any other field so why do people think it is so in ESL? Because you speak English? Don't let your western hubris blind you to the fact that the best jobs, and there are a lot, go to the best-qualified and experienced teachers. I don’t have a problem with people wanting to piss around seeing the world on a shoestring using TEFL as a means, I did it for a while, but I have no sympathy for those who bemoan the lack of progress in their TEFL careers when they have done nothing to improve themselves as teachers or their marketability.
My (first) degree isn't in education (and if I could choose again I would probably do one in something linguisticy and/or languagey, which might've led into an academic career or at least not teaching-learning the English language), and a lot of the reservations I myself have with further qualifications are to do with finding a good diploma or MA programme that I feel will not patronize unnecessarily and boost me not only a rung or two up the career ladder - with an appropriate increase in pay to recoup the expense - but also be more rewarding and stimulating to me personally (yes, who among trainers would believe that teachers have personal pet interests and possible "research" agendas).
To be totally honest I haven't been saving away for a Dip or an MA so it is a bit academic whether I would do one or not, but I do find it a little disappointing that teachers are held to be a bunch of morons spending their money only on booze and possibly prophylactics whilst somehow also miraculously putting some shekels aside for that eventual course where they'll incredulously cry, 'What, you expect us to buy a thing called "books"?!'. That being said, I suppose I woudn't mind being dragged kicking and screaming through a serious course in e.g. SF Grammar and analysis...but I wonder if at the end of it I'd just say 'Hmm, right, that was indeed world-shattering, what's next on the plough-through?'.
BTW I'm waiting for Dave to OK my becoming a member of the International forums.