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Teaching english abroad

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
hey all,

was just wondering if any of you have tought english as a foriegn language anywhere in the world? was thinking of doing it soon and any tips or advise would be much appreciated...

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not yet. I've been saving up for seemingly ages now. Count yourself lucky you're from Ireland. Euros are actually still worth something.

    Where you planning on going?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not yet. I've been saving up for seemingly ages now. Count yourself lucky you're from Ireland. Euros are actually still worth something.
    This pretty much is how I feel... I can't really even afford rent and bills and food. :rolleyes:

    I would recommend a CELTA if you can afford it... The countries you can work in depends... There is a need in some countries, others you need a degree, or even a Masters to get in.

    My mate reckons however, that it's getting harder for British, American and Aussies to get TEFL jobs because Indian people will work for cheaper.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You don't necessarily need loads of money to teach abroad. All I had to pay for was a £100 flight, and that was refunded in my first pay cheque.

    I don't know which countries would rather hire an Indian English teacher than a native speaker, but all the teachers here (Turkey) are native speakers.

    A CELTA will help. To teach here you must have a degree and a CELTA.

    Don't think teaching is an easy option. It's actually pretty hard work and can be stressful. Teaching can be a real struggle if you're not actually interested in teaching/have knowledge of the English language/have a difficult class.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thinking of going to spain as the contracts are quite short i think it 3 months minimum so at least if it isnt working out i wont be tied down for too long....what is CELTA? i have a degree anyway and with regards to the actual work my brother did it in italy for two years and i realise what it intails.....just really want to get out of this recession infested hole! just after getting a phone call saying take the rest of the day off because its that quiet! plus im only working two days a week! ahhhh:shocking: :mad:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can probably forget about Europe tbh, particularly Western Europe. I doubt you'd get a job without qualifications and experience. My mates had a CELTA and degree and went to Spain to look for a job, but came home without finding one after looking all summer. The career teachers end up in Europe, so they don't tend to take on people just because they're native and have a degree like some other countries. Even Eastern European countries are apparently quite strict about qualifications. If you're after a developed country, then Japan, Korea and Taiwan are probably your best bets. Maybe Russia. But generally, you're looking at less developed countries. The Indo-China region, Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East with the exception of UAE and Turkey.

    Your degree is generally required for immigration purposes, rather than as a requirement of the job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katchika wrote: »
    You don't necessarily need loads of money to teach abroad. All I had to pay for was a £100 flight, and that was refunded in my first pay cheque.

    Assuming I get on the course I want, I'm going to have to pay $1500, plus about £500-600 for the flight, plus living costs for the first two months (a month for the course, and at least a month before a first paycheque), as well as things like security deposits. :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    My mate reckons however, that it's getting harder for British, American and Aussies to get TEFL jobs because Indian people will work for cheaper.

    That's gotta be bollocks. The only reason you're hired over local teachers is because you're native. Why would they import non-native teachers, when there are plenty in the country in the first place that will normally work even cheaper?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Assuming I get on the course I want, I'm going to have to pay $1500, plus about £500-600 for the flight, plus living costs for the first two months (a month for the course, and at least a month before a first paycheque), as well as things like security deposits. :p

    Well yeah I wasn't including course costs. I just used my overdraft and saved up money for that. You can do CELTA in the UK, part time as well as full time, could be cheaper.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's still more expensive to do it in the UK. It's about the same price now (was way less 6 months ago), but it would cost so much more for living costs while I do it.

    Plus the company that runs it also owns schools, and will give you a job (with a $750 startup bonus) if you're any good, or help you find one with proper continuous training. I'd rather do that, than go to a new country blind and try and find a job. You get a month to look for a job, make some friends, and get used to your new country, which I'd prefer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well yeah...I did my CELTA in New York, which wasn't really cheaper than in the UK but it was a good experience.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tbh, I don't see the point in doing it in another English-speaking country (other than to see another country). Can't be many job opportunities for a newly qualified teacher in a place like New York. I just figured if you do it in the country you want to start teaching in, then you have a chance to see whether it's a complete shithole that you can't stand before you commit to a year there. :p Plus it's easier to find a job when you're already in the city, rather than faffing about with phone interviews and stuff.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are a lot of opportunities in New York actually. I just wanted to live there for a bit, and I didn't know which country I wanted to teach in eventually. Where are you wanting to do your course?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Saigon.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's still more expensive to do it in the UK. It's about the same price now (was way less 6 months ago), but it would cost so much more for living costs while I do it.

    Plus the company that runs it also owns schools, and will give you a job (with a $750 startup bonus) if you're any good, or help you find one with proper continuous training. I'd rather do that, than go to a new country blind and try and find a job. You get a month to look for a job, make some friends, and get used to your new country, which I'd prefer.

    What company??? thanks for the info by the way i was planning on booking a course this week, there is a deal on for the month of January so it is a few hundred euro cheaper.

    also what is a CELTA?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    a friend of mine went to teach in portugal. she didn't have to work too hard to get it, and afaik didn't do any courses beforehand. she finished her gcses and got hooked up with a school over there and off she went.

    as katchika said, all she paid was the plane ticket.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What company???
    It's called ILA. It's part of Study Group, which I think is a British company. Just go on the Cactus TEFL website and search by course type and location.
    thanks for the info by the way i was planning on booking a course this week, there is a deal on for the month of January so it is a few hundred euro cheaper.
    Which course are you looking at doing? Most jobs will ask for "CELTA or equivalent." What they mean by that is a 4 week full time (12 week part time) course, at least 120 hours teaching in total, with at least 6 hours of practical teaching experience. That last one is the most important, because a lot of online courses will claim to be 120 hours, but you'll never even teach a student. So make sure any course you do offers that. Some places offer weekend courses, or even online courses, but they're really not worth your time. If an employer will hire you with one of those, then they'll probably hire you without qualifications in the first place.
    also what is a CELTA?
    CELTA. It's the industry standard entry level qualification run by Cambridge University (Trinity CertTESOL is the other one, run by Trinity College).

    Oh, btw, I'm just repeating advice I've been told.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    Which course are you looking at doing? Most jobs will ask for "CELTA or equivalent." What they mean by that is a 4 week full time (12 week part time) course, at least 120 hours teaching in total, with at least 6 hours of practical teaching experience. That last one is the most important, because a lot of online courses will claim to be 120 hours, but you'll never even teach a student. So make sure any course you do offers that. Some places offer weekend courses, or even online courses, but they're really not worth your time. If an employer will hire you with one of those, then they'll probably hire you without qualifications in the first place.

    http://www.onlinetefl.com/weekend-tefl/course.html

    It was the 120 hour one i was thinking of doing....im confused now as what to do, they claim that they will help place you in a job before you go over and it is quite cheap at the minute
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.onlinetefl.com/weekend-tefl/course.html

    It was the 120 hour one i was thinking of doing....im confused now as what to do, they claim that they will help place you in a job before you go over and it is quite cheap at the minute

    Hmm, I'm still dubious. I think it might be false economy. All courses will offer help in getting a job. But you're not paying all that money to access to a database of jobs. It's not a 120 hour course in the same way as a CELTA, and £400 is still a pretty hefty investment. Personally, if I was going to make an investment to qualify me as a teacher, I'd pay a bit more for the industry standard. I'd rather pay £800 and know I've got the best qualification than £400 and not be sure. Obviously they can find testimonials from people who have done the course and now have work, but I could find you plenty of people who are working without qualifications. Some countries require a minimum legal standard for TEFL teachers, and I would be surprised if this course would be considered enough. I'd find out how much practical teaching practice you do in the course. If the answer is none, as I suspect, then I wouldn't bother.

    If you're interested, they're offering a CELTA in Wroclaw for £779, or Krakow or Budapest for £799. All offer a £50 discount for early payment. There's also one in Johannesburg for £769. But they are all intensive full time courses, so you would need to be able to live for 4 weeks without wages (8 weeks in reality, because if you get a job afterwards, you're probably not going to get paid for at least a month - this is where picking a cheap country is a good idea). I know it's double what you wanted to pay, but it is the best course you can do, and the only one I'm certain will be accepted anywhere in the world. Here's the details of the Krakow one as an example. The others are on the same website.

    I've just done a quick Google, and came to this negative writeup of i-to-i. In the comments section at the bottom:
    I would highly recommend choosing another program! Try a TESOL program. I currently have an i-to-i certification and I believe there are better courses out there. To be honest, if your really looking at becoming a serious teacher I'd get a degree in the field you'd like to teach in. It will open more doors and provide you with better pay. A TEFL/TESOL qualification would be perfect to get you started and you could probably enroll in an online masters certification or what ever you may need. Hope that helps. Do a great deal of research before choosing!

    Whatever you do, don't base your decision on the fact that there's a special offer on at the moment. These things come and go all the time. Make sure you research the thing fully and make an informed decision.

    A good resource is Facebook. Find out if there's a group for expats in whatever city you want to work/do a course in, and you can bet that a good number of them will be English teachers. Then you can find out how strict schools are with qualifications, whether a particular course provider has a good reputation, etc. Also, search for i-to-i TEFL on Facebook, and there are a lot of groups for people who have done the courses, so maybe you could ask some of them for their experience of the course.

    But personally, I would do a CELTA or TrinityCERT if you can afford it. They're just so much better and widely recognised than anything else on offer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i'm not convinced about qualifications - more or less anyone can do that, and some of them are even offered as "weekend courses" etc which must include precious little practical experience

    i have no teaching qualifications whatsoever, yet i have taught english abroad to children from 10 to adults of 76 and have 2 years of experience doing just that. all this in western europe. like in any job, contacts are more important than qualifications. and experience is more important than qualifications. of course, it's catch 22 - how to get the experience without the qualifications...

    finally, please don't think that it's easy. i certainly never learned our own english grammar at school, and as a teacher you need to really know your shit. teaching is a high pressure job and it's difficult. private students can pay up to 60 euro an hour with companies like berlitz (even if the teacher will be lucky to see 18 euro of that) and you need to give them something worth their money.

    it's fun and rewarding, but not an easy job at all. you could get lucky with customers, but you might not. you might get someone who just wants to speak to a native, but you might get someone who demands to know why you use the past participle and 3rd form in past perfect as opposed to any other form etc. and if you don't know, you're not worth paying for ;) but don't worry, its learnable!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd echo what phoenix said, it's not easy but it can be learned. There's a huge gulf between career teachers and those who just want to use it to bridge a gap. There's room for both in the market but one or the other will have more success depending on their circumstance, the school and the country.

    I am currently studying for the DELTA while teaching EAL in the UK, and hope to go into training teachers in the future. I wouldn't agree that qualifications aren't necessary, they definitely are to teach in the UK and in the majority of other countries (in desirable schools, anyway). Previously I taught in Germany, it's an incredibly tough job market out there... but the good news for you is that Spain's a bit easier, particularly for summer schools and short-term contracts (which it sounds like you want). I would say that a lot of it is luck, being in the right place at the right time and "talking the talk".

    It's an amazing job, can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. I began in the field as a means to an end, so I could travel and now I have a family so I can support my children wherever we end up. At the moment I'm focusing on building a career, but it's reassuring to know wherever we end up (being of a nomadic nature) I can work. My husband is a sometime worker in the field, too, and has also taught in Australia and New Zealand on the back of his CELTA (from the same UK college I trained at, which is definitely a step up the ladder in some respects from some courses in other countries).

    The CELTA will always get your foot in the door, but experience and knowledge of the market/the subject area are always going to seal the deal.

    Any questions feel free to ask, I'm no expert but I've worked in a few different countries and heard a million horror stories and rave reviews of ESL :)

    Oh, I would advise to avoid Berlitz if you want to work anywhere else afterwards. They may offer to train you up from novice-status but their methods are at odds with everyone else's and incredibly prescriptive which goes against EAL certainly (if not so much the EFL of Japan and China). Well, if you wanted to work for a year I would recommend getting trained up by Berlitz and then moving on to other work. If you're playing a longer game it's a bit of a waste of time --- from the mouths of my colleagues who have been Berlitz-trained and CELTA-trained, too. They don't pay too well either, but they're certainly not alone on that. There's a bit of an internal problem in the ESL market at the moment due to unqualified teachers who are willing to take low wages which undercuts the demands of qualified teachers. If a country (certainly some countries) can employ an unqualified but native speaker for lower wages they will do, despite the low standard that may provide...

    Erm anyway I'm off on a ramble. Hope you decide to do it, it's an amazing field to work in. I teach refugees and asylum seekers now and it's so, so hard emotionally but amazingly rewarding nonetheless. I loved teaching kids in Germany and adults in Poland just as much. It can offer so much, go for it! :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you all for your quality advise!:thumb: im gonna take on board all that you have said and not jump into a course too quickly, i still have more research to do and I still really want to do it, I understand that it isnt an easy job but I think as you say everything is learnable and im prepared to do that.....So im gonna look more into it and ill let you know what im going to do....cheers again!:thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's gotta be bollocks. The only reason you're hired over local teachers is because you're native. Why would they import non-native teachers, when there are plenty in the country in the first place that will normally work even cheaper?
    English is one of the official languages of India.

    It's only what I have been told by somebody who is studying international business. I don't know how true it is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    English is one of the official languages of India.

    It's only what I have been told by somebody who is studying international business. I don't know how true it is.

    that's probably true

    another reason to hire a non-native speaker is that they generally know the grammar a lot better than native speakers do
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    South Korea seems very popular.

    Two friends of mine teach there (I just got back from seeing them) and it seems like a good job.
    I met some of their kids, who are awesome :)

    It's a fantastic country with lots to do and see, very very friendly helpful people and if you can teach in the Seoul area you'll never want for anything - good food (Western and Korean), plenty of bars and enough attractions to keep you busy for months is all easily reachable by a very cheap but effective transit system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Argentina is really in need of some good english teachers, I am currently located there and the demand for english speakers is huge, since its a spanish speaking country the english speakers are very, its not even thought in every school so your chances to teach would be big here.
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