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Joined: 18 Mar 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:02 am    Post subject: New Life Reply with quote

Really hope there is someone out there that can help me with some questions regarding teaching abroad.
Due to some medical issues I can no longer work in the fields where I have experience.
My interest level in teaching abroad is very high. I am 52 years of age, and have no formal education other than high school and a few college courses when I was very young. I am reasonably intelligent, and confident that I could get through a TESOL course with little dificulty.
My lack of a degree, lack of experience teaching, and age do concern me somewhat, but I believe that I can get past these dificulties.
Am I living in a dreamland?
What are the best TESOL courses/certificates?

I have many other questions, but no sense going there unless I'm not living in a dreamland.
Would appreciate honest opinions and ideas.
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's possible, but you'll probably have to look a little harder to find work than a recent graduate.

You will need to decide where you want to go. Perhaps somewhere like China or Taiwan is best (where they are less strict about formal qualifications) or somewhere like Nepal where they are desperate for teachers.

Start, though, by getting some kind of qualification - a TEFL Certificate - so that you have something to show a school.

And in all likelihood you won't be able to get a job unless you are in the country and knocking on the door of the school.

Take a look here at a detailed article on teaching English without a degree and how to go about it: TEFL without a Degree.
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Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Club,

I'd agree with Pete, but add that you really need to do a self-assessment of your situation before delving into this.

You do realise that teaching English only pays enough to live (depending on location, anywhere from barely surviving to living well by local standards) and almost never enough to pay bills back home, or pay off debt, or cover things like extra healthcare expenses.

Some people have had better luck living cheaply and making decent wages, but in the current economy those days seem to be mostly gone.

So, at your age the question becomes one of how long you are wanting and willing to do this, and are you going to be ok not being able to put money into a retirement?

Also, if you have some health issues, be aware that while teaching you are basically a performer. You're active and bouncing around, and demonstrating, and explaining. Basically, it can take a lot out of you. Make sure you can handle that.

I will say this, if you have assets and resources that you could liquidate so that you could move to somewhere cheap with a decent quality of life like Mexico, then buy a cheap place to live and get all the furniture and such you need, then you can live quite comfortably teaching English part-time.
The first step to teaching is realizing that you don't know nearly enough yourself.

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Joined: 22 Mar 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:07 am    Post subject: New life Reply with quote

Like you, I changed to teaching late in life after a career in hospitality.There is certainly a bias against those over 35 and if you enroll for a TESOL course you will not be told this because the establishment wants your money.

There is great demand in China and if you look hard enough you will find a position that doesn't insist on a BA and teaching experience.As for money,you can comfortably support a couple and still save working as little as 15 hours per week in a private language school.Government schools pay less.

Once on the ground you will find it is not unusual for people to approach you offering work as an English teacher, the demand is so much greater than the supply.

I suggest the Advanced TESOL Diploma, not cheap but worth the cost.You haven't said what country you are from but some offer cheap, short TESOL courses that are little more than useless.

Hope this helps.
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Joined: 22 Mar 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject: New life Reply with quote

Hey, Club. I was 55 when I did my TESOL course. I did the TEFL International course in China, and was lucky to have a job waiting for me when I finished my course.
I left a perfectly good job in the USA to come to China and teach.

In China, you pretty much need a TESOL certificate, that's a good piece of paper to have when applying. There may be exceptions, but in the biggers cities (where you get more money) they are mostly looking for a TESOL cert. The government schools and universities really want people with degrees, but there are many private schools that need teachers and will accept the cert. There appears to be a high turnover in the field, so that makes for a teachers market to some degree.

I've been teaching for a year now. I teach kindergarten through adults in a private school. I make a decent salary for a big city in China.
It is hard work some times. You do need to be very active, especially with the younger ones, so health is a factor.
I could go one ad infinitum, but I will say you can do it if you decide to make it happen.
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Joined: 24 Nov 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Club

I agree with some of the other posts that you might not find it as easy as younger graduates to get a job but I am sure that you can get into English langauge teaching if that is what you want to do.

Why not try Thailand? there are some decent schools that run CELTA courses and offer help in finding employment locally when you become qualified. TEFL International are supposed to be good and they are on the coast at Ban Phe, lovely place. Check out for details of course and potential jobs.

China is a distinct possibility also, although caution is needed when accepting jobs when you are without a degree.

To start yourself off, why not approach your local jobcentre and ask about funding to do the course? You sound like you may qualify for help through restrictions on the type of employment you can take up through health reasons. I did my course in Hull and all expenses and course fees were paid by the local Enterprise Council That was 1994, but it would be worth seeing if such assistance is still available.

Good luck
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Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 185
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't bother with, I found it to be a total waste of time.

If you must get a job, use ESL websites like this one or esljobfeed, or using etc. etc.

It sucks to make a career change late in life, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Age factor and experience are important issues, but don't be disheartened, try to have some extra short courses as there is new research daily, Nepal and Korea etc are good option; try there.
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Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody mentioned to try Thailand without a degree?
I guess they have a degree.
Seriously, you will NEVER be able to work legally in Thailand without a degree. You won't get a work permit. I know, I tried :(
Though there are plenty of places that will take you without one. China. Indonesia. South America. Most of these places it is possible to not have a TEFL cert either. But, considering you have no experience, it may be harder to get employment. More and more schools in China and Indonesia are asking for the TEFL cert these days.
Or, you could wait till a couple of weeks into the semester when the schools are desperate for a native English speaker as their scheduled teacher has left/not turned up for whatever reason. This would give you a chance to build up the experience you need. Be careful though. :)

EDIT: I just saw someone mention Korea? Same as Thailand I'm afraid. No legal ESL employment without a degree.
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