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15 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'll start a thread for anyone who has questions about doing an English teaching course. Teaching English allows you to live in another country and earn money. If you legally work in another country then it's often much easier to get a long stay visa. Finally, teaching can be a lot of fun, and very rewarding.
First up, yes you can teach in many countries without a teaching qualification, but to get the better jobs you'll need at least a degree.
Why do a teaching course? The main benefit is you get lots of experience of lesson planning, and on a course like the CELTA you'll soon be told where you're doing great, and where you need to improve.
I'm currently doing the CELTA, so ask any particular questions you might have about this qualification. I also started (and might even finish) my basic 120 hour TEFL course, which cost me £175 (less than $300 I guess) including a weekend face to face 20 hour course.
The first thing I'll say is that after speaking to a few CELTA students now, if you can do the course part-time, then do it! The intensive course is exactly that - intensive! The intensive newbies had their first class today. This time next week I expect to see them downing the expressos like crazy when they get into school .
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What do you learn in a CELTA? Can you expound, please, Xiongmao.
I already have a 100 hour TESOL certificate, so what can I learn in a CELTA? Does grammar get taught in it (and other practical knowledge), or is it mostly about teaching teaching techniques and theory?
CELTA is a top-notch certificate for this field. From what I hear, people doing it spend full-time hours in class, with homework after, learning to teach English.
I took a ESL college course as part of my coursework. I didn't learn enough to know how to really teach. I had to pick that up. But I got a job in South Korea, and you may still be able to get a job in South Korea without a CELTA degree.
English teaching overseas pays okay if you are single and don't have kids. I think the wages for South Korea on Dave's ESL are about $1800 to $2000 a month plus housing. I was making $1600 a month or so back in the mid 1990's in South Korea, eating out every day (not drinking though) and I brought back $6000 in savings at the end of one year.
I developed quite a taste for Korean food while I was there. I introduced my wife to it when I was there, and she cooks some Korean cuisine every month or two.
You can probably make close to $1000 a month in Indonesia at an English institute. But if you got a degree in education, did student teaching, and became a teacher, you could probably make $30 something thousand at an international or national plus school. I knew one guy who made over 90K at Jakarta International School in the late 1990's. He was the head of a program, too. JIS is the top school there.
I would recommend the opposite. Under a version of the Patterson principle, the work you need to do tends to expand with the time available for it to be done. In the part time course you have a lot more time to agonize over lesson plans and such and so apparently tend to do so, and therefore you end up spending a lot more time overall. With the full time course you have to just get it done, so it ends up being more efficient. Also, if the course providers are politically correct douchebags, which is apparently somewhat common, the intensive course gives them less time to decide to fail you on that basis. The only exception would be if you had no public speaking or related experience, in which case the part time course would give you more opportunity to learn.
While the intensive course is indeed intense, it is doable if you have no other responsibilities. I even managed to designate the first two Saturdays as drinking days (too busy on the third) so it wasn't too bad.
Last edited by Cornfed on March 5th, 2015, 6:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
You learn teaching techniques and grammar and practical teaching stuff like games etc. Your lessons follow a particular pattern and particular heuristics such as more controlled activities to more expansive activities. It follows the Communicative Language Teaching theory, but there isn't time for a lot of theoretical pontification, so you just need to take it on faith, or pretend to. You should have to do six hours of assessed teaching (and perhaps a few of unassessed teaching) of students at particular levels. We posted notices at the nearby university for free English lessons and got a huge surplus of potential students, which caused problems. I don't know whether this is normal. After your assessed lessons you have a discussion where others critique your performance. Under the circumstances, this can be somewhat emotionally draining. Your also have to do written assignments, the main one of which is interviewing a student and stating his (or her) background and current state of English competence and making specific recommendations for future learning.
Yes I guess there is an element of political correctness in teaching - back home teachers are known to be somewhat leaning towards the left (Guardian readers as we call them). Anyway, I've had no problems with this so far, the teachers are all great.
The course assumes no previous knowledge of teaching/teaching English and starts from basics.
Like all native speakers, I have real problems with grammar (I don't really know the names of all the tenses for example - I never learnt grammar that way). But really when you're teaching you have to use lesson preparation time to get up to speed on a particular topic.
You start doing 20 min lessons, and eventually teach for a full hour (on your own).
Every day you also get an hour's lesson about a particular topic, basically there are lots of ideas for when you're teaching grammar, pronunciation and so on.
There are four written assignments to do as well.
I'm doing mine at a language school, and our test students are real Spanish students who pay to attend our classes (!). I also have 3 different tutors, plus specialists drafted in for particular lessons.
The school I'm at charges for the lessons which makes the students more motivated to actually turn up to classes. Not that they need too much motivation, with such high unemployment here compared to somewhere like the UK.
Lots of places do the CELTA, but from speaking to others I'd say it's a good idea to look around your school first. Also try to do one at a University or a language school - avoid further education colleges.
Actually I have to say that so far it's been less difficult than the 120 hour online TEFL certificate I'm doing. But the CELTA is much more widely regarded.
As to jobs, there are teaching jobs everywhere but it's not a well paid job in somewhere like Barcelona (or indeed the rest of Western Europe). But you can make enough to live on.
After a CELTA you can do other courses. The DELTA (diploma) allows you to be come a teacher trainer. Or you can do short courses to help you climb the corporate ladder and become a language school manager.
I forgot to add that doing a CELTA or other course with real people comes with a good social life. My school runs a few social events and last night I went along. Nobody showed up from my course, but I joined a few of the people doing the full time CELTA. We started in the school bar, then went to another bar, then a pizza place, then a Jazz club, then bought some beer from random dudes in the street, then went to another bar. I'm pleased to say that despite going to Barcelona's most dangerous neighbourhoods none of us had our wallets/phones/jewellery stolen.
It's a great place for a night out here, given that you can buy a whole bottle of wine in a restaurant for €8 and food is very reasonable if you shop around and eat what the locals eat.
As to the CELTA course, the full timers seem to be taking it in their stride, although they are all on the first week.
I heard many interesting things. Like you can make €2000+ a month here teaching English privately, but you have to be prepared to work hard and travel round a lot.
I also heard that Mexican/Latin American Spanish is easier to learn as they speak more slowly there than they do in Spain. Not sure if that's true or not. Thankfully a lot of people speak English here so it's not hard to do stuff.
If you want to teach English, but you're not a native speaker then why not teach another language? I met three Chinese students last night who are here learning Spanish. Spanish has a CELTA equivalent, and I expect other languages have them as well.
I'm not sure what I'll do after the CELTA. Hopefully it will open a lot of doors, and living in Barcelona is a really great thing to talk about in future job interviews.
I would be interested in teaching business English, and you can do add-on courses for that.
Hey, I have another question... I've heard that a lot of ESL schools abroad require a physical exam before they'll let you work there. What kind of conditions can disqualify you? Hypertension? Enlarged prostate? Other?
I don't know how it is in Asia, but in Europe I don't know why the schools would even care, because you're required to get health insurance if you get a visa allowing you to stay beyond 90 days. It's not expensive, though -- in the Czech Republic probably about $80-100/mo. for somebody your age. And the schools don't really have any interest in requiring you to be healthy; they can always hire somebody else. It's the governments in these countries that don't want the health care system overburdened; hence the health insurance requirement.
But somebody like zboy1 or Ghost could probably tell you definitively for Asia.
Thanks for the info. Eastern Europe is my first choice. You know that I'm 48, right?
Yes. Guys in their 20s probably pay very little.
You usually get tested after you come to China. For other countries such as Russia or S. Korea, you will need to do a checkup beforehand.
Health problems that will get you barred from teaching abroad: Cancer, Aids, and diseases like that. Another big red flag for countries: STDs. If you have one, it's guaranteed you won't be allowed to teach abroad.
In some countries, they much prefer younger over older teachers, especially in Asia. So, if you're older, you better be in good shape or else you might not get your employment Visa in places like China.
Any of you guys met ESL teachers that just sucked as teacher or just had a poor command of English but for whatever reason was able to find work ?