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sashajade



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Where do I begin? Reply with quote

Hello! I am interested in teaching English overseas. I am 40 years old and have a B.A. in Theology, as well as some Master's work in theology. I would like to know the next step to take. I have made an effort to read several posts on the forum but have decided to just ask my questions.

It seems like it's really important to earn a TEFL certificate. Any suggestions on the best place to earn it? Do you have to spend a lot of money, and is an online certificate sufficient? Also, is it best to choose a country that I would like to work in and then find the best school to earn the certificate?

I am very interested in working in Europe, particularly Italy, but am open to other countries. I am also interested in Korea. It seems like the pay is better in some of the Asian countries, but I am most interested in Europe. I would be open to starting out in a country such as Korea to get experience, and eventually moving to a country in Europe. Unfortunately, I need to earn enough that I can also pay bills here in America. Is this feasible?

I appreciate anyone taking the time to answer my questions. Thank you.
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ICAL_Pete



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being certified will certainly make you more marketable but, perhaps more importantly, it will prepare you for the job. In most places the basic requirements for entry level teaching positions are a degree plus a TESL/TEFL certificate. There are quite a few good TESL/TEFL courses both online and onsite to choose from. It really depends on how much time, money, and commitment you are prepared to invest.

Online courses are a good option particularly if you have a limited budget to further your studies or if you have other work and/or family commitments that restrict the amount of time you have available to study. You can find good online courses that provide quality training and allow you to work at your own pace. Having no deadlines but those which you set for yourself is a great advantage. Working on a course with a flexible schedule where your personal tutor can be contacted 24/7 or your coursework can be submitted whenever ready has allowed many of our students – teachers to complete successfully their TESL/TEFL Certificate course, further their knowledge and gain better prospects of employment.

As for your selected countries, Korea should be no problem with your qualifications, but bear in mind that due recent visa regulations concerning the E2 Teacher’s Visa the visa process takes longer to complete and so you should plan your trip well in advance.

Your American citizenship might be a problem in Italy, and Europe in general. EU passport holders are usually preferred as they represent less hassle for the school in terms of bureaucracy but that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to rule out European countries. Just be aware of this aspect when you apply for jobs there, particularly if you apply from abroad.
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sashajade



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering if this is a good, realistic game plan: Take an online certification course, get a job in a country like Korea, where I can get experience and save money. If after a year, I decide that I really want to do this for several years, then, earn a CERTA degree overseas, and look for a job in Europe. I am a little short on money upfront, and I want to make sure that I really want to do this long-term before I spend a lot of money on schooling. I would ultimately like to end up teaching in Europe someday. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
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ICAL_Pete



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see nothing wrong with your plan.

A good online training course will provide you with the basics you need to get started; the teaching experience you will gain in Korea will be valuable not only in terms of credentials but also to gauge whether teaching is for you, and both things together will increase your chances of finding other employment opportunities elsewhere.

Good luck with it!
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crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to keep in mind is that not all schools will accept online TEFL certificates. If you simply want something to give you the basics, an online TEFL can be a good place to start, but if you are thinking of staying in the field for an extended period of time, I'd recommend doing a CELTA course (which is certified by Cambridge University and is widely accepted around the world). After doing a CELTA, you can then go on to do a DELTA, which is a pre-req for many Director of Studies positions at schools around the world.

You may want to look into Hong Kong or mainland China as well. For jobs, check out: www.eslemployment.com or www.eslcafe.com.
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Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
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"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allow to me to look at your question from another angle, and please forgive me if I'm making too many assumptions.

Given your background in theology, perhaps you could seek a teach abroad opportunity through your church/temple or through a faith-based organization. I have very little experience in this area, but have seen that there are a number of groups working worldwide. It may not be necessary, to get a TEFL or CELTA diploma, at all, in that case.
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Life is a verb, not a noun - Now Bloggin' and Working Hard
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btownsend



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 21
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

The issue of whether your course is done online or not is irrelevant. It is the quality of the course and the final certificate that matters. You can study online for he Cambridge DELTA course (International House runs one) and this is widely recognised no matter how it is delivered. You can also study online for an MA in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages at London University and others in the UK and presumably in the US as well. Clearly these qualifications are going to be meaningful but they are not initial qualifications.

Other online course might be useful in giving you insights into TEFL but are not likely to impress employers unless they can be externally validated in some way.

If you are serious about TEFL, then it is surely worth investing your money and time in proper training so that you can develop your skills to enable you to make a useful contribution. I'm sorry but the last thing the profession needs is another unqualified wannabe.
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Brenda Townsend Hall, Ph.D.
www.esl-school.com
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