Replies: 31 - Last Post: Jun 20, 2013 7:59 AM Last Post By: AZ80
Jun 18, 2013 6:21 AM
15Your grammer, punctuation and ability to communicate clearly in the language, leaves much to be desired
Since you're being pedantic, it's "grammar". Or were you being ironic?
Nauta (travelinstyle) has some fair points hiding behind the cantankerous old man role he so loves to play.
A few thoughts spring to mind that don't seem to have been covered by earlier posters:
Do you have a British passport? If your passport is from a non-native English speaking country, it is impossible to work legally in many E Asian countries, including Korea (where I taught English for 2 years) and Taiwan (where I'm teaching now).
I have a CELTA, and the opportunity to use a lot of what I learned is woefully lacking. Teaching phonics to 7 year olds doesn't require a massive and far-reaching grasp of English grammar. Pronunciation, however, IS important. North American accents are king in this part of the world, and it's hard enough to get a job in some places if you have a British accent, let alone an accent from somewhere else or unusual pronunciation.
Have you considered going overseas to take your CELTA? I would recommend a residential course rather than one you can commute to from home. It's a fairly intensive month, and you'll be up to your neck in lesson planning and essay writing. Best not to have to deal with a commute, and cooking your own dinners etc,, on top of that.
I did mine with International House in Thailand. They have full board courses in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. My course in Chiang Mai was excellent, and good value when you consider what was included. Airfare apart, I doubt it would cost any more than doing it near where you live.
+Organisations which teach CELTA have a vested interest in taking your money.
If they teach you and you fail it's not their fault is it?+
They have a vested interest in taking your money AND in you passing the course. On my course, a couple of people weren't really up to scratch. But they got plenty of one-on-one attention from the tutors and they both scraped a pass in the end. I guess having a couple of "fails" would negatively affect the statistics from that particular testing center, something which the tutors (and CELTA themselves) would be keen to avoid.
Bring at least 3 months living expenses if you're striking out on your own. You can get away with taking less if you're heading to a pre-arranged job (which is usual in eg. Korea). Here in Taiwan and many other places, you'll be stepping off the plane and starting from scratch. You'll need to find somewhere to stay when you arrive, find a job, put down a deposit on an apartment, buy essential items for your apartment, and a million other things before you even get close to getting your first pay check. And the chances are, that pay check will be none too impressive when it does arrive.
Jun 18, 2013 7:14 AM
16Dominic, yes grammar not grammer, typo. I'm sure however you will agree there is a difference between one typo and continual spelling errors. Nor am I planning on teaching English which would mean even if I misspelt every second word, it would have no relevance.
I still think the OP is not addressing the real issue. Teaching English for a 'few months' is not the solution to his problem.
Jun 18, 2013 7:22 AM
17^ Indeed, he needs to commit to at least a year. Most places will insist on a year's contract anyway. Getting a CELTA is a good first step to show you're serious.
I'm sure however you will agree there is a difference between one typo and continual spelling errors
I agree, of course. But when a post criticizing grammar or spelling contains a mistake, I am unable to resist pointing it out :-)
Jun 18, 2013 2:03 PM
18Thank you guys and girls for contribbuting valuable informations - I appriciate it imensely. You now who you are!!!
Dominic in particular, thanks for your advice. No, I am not a UK passport holder, but an EU one. I am aware that it is more difficult for non-native speakers to get English teaching jobs abroad. However, I have read many success stories and I am confident about my language skills and my CV (which, I have read, helps with applications for teaching jobs) Is this true, by the way? In terms of pronunciation, I have a very clear English accent - part of my education and subsequent training in law included elocution lessons which resulted in my accent being more posh then it should be. I can easily convert to American accent if it would help.
I do prefer taking the CELTA course here, before I go away, and I am not so fussy about where I go. Also, I am not looking to make or save any money from teaching English abroad, but merely to sustain myself during my stay there - is that possible? Does it depend on the country or the city where one teaches? Or, will I need another source of income and/or savings?
Edited by: Travelino
Edited by: Travelino
Jun 18, 2013 5:49 PM
19I am confident about my language skills and my CV (which, I have read, helps with applications for teaching jobs) Is this true, by the way?
In my experience, employers here are most interested in how you look. If you're white, good-looking, slim, blond-haired, preferably female and aged around 25, then your chances of getting employed rise sharply. Any combination of these factors will help. Always supply a flattering photo with your resume. Sorry, but employers won't be very interested in non-teaching related experience.
All the confidence and language skills in the world won't be much use in Korea, where as a non-native speaker you simply aren't eligible for an E2 visa so cannot legally live and work there. You could try to find "under the table" work but I wouldn't risk it, you'll expose yourself to very unscrupulous employers and you'll have to keep leaving the country on visa runs.
In Taiwan, especially in the city where I live, the problem is one of oversupply of teachers. Every job gets many applicants. Why would a school owner hire a non-native speaker, when they have a ready supply of Americans to fill every job vacancy? It's hard enough to find work here as a Brit. A few people who are native speakers of French and Spanish scrape a living here, but demand for these languages is low.
Check which countries you can realistically work. China and Cambodia might be possibilities. In most places, you'll be earning good money by local standards (although usually not by Western standards), so provided you get enough teaching hours you'll be able to sustain yourself.
Jun 19, 2013 12:51 AM
Well, in terms of my appearance, I believe I look presentable lol. I am white, good looking guy, but I am not blond (I can always change my hair colour though) :)
OK - these are the place I am potentially interested in - maybe you could give me your opinion on my chances of landing a job in these places, as well as visa: China, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Morocco, Turkey, Costa Rica, and Mexico! By the way, a friend told me of an Eastern European guy he knows who did English teaching jobs all over the place, even with a very thick Eastern European accent! Was he just lucky? I am not sure though which countries he thought in.
Jun 19, 2013 1:04 AM
21Reality check - if you think you're good-looking, and have the gall to tell others that - maybe you're just self-deluded?
If that is the case, I suggest you get a job as a street sweeper instead. You'd get a more balanced outlook on life and your place in the scheme of things. And you'd save yourself the quite high CELTA training fees.
Jun 19, 2013 1:11 AM
Jun 19, 2013 1:50 AM
Jun 19, 2013 2:29 AM
Jun 19, 2013 3:01 AM
Jun 19, 2013 4:25 AM
26I'm sorry, I know very little about teaching English in those places. I can tell you however that wages in Latin America are generally very low. My girlfriend taught English last year in Honduras (where we met) and was paid the princely sum of $350 a month, plus a free house to live in. Not really a liveable wage for a foreigner. But there was no shortage of applicants for jobs at her school.
Dave's ESL Cafe website should have some answers for you for at least a few of the countries on your list. Good luck!
Jun 19, 2013 10:53 AM
27I taught English in Mexico...made about $8 per hour in private academy which is considered very good. Have a Bachelor of Education degree, this had to be translated and notarized before I got my work visa. I managed to get contracts with companies, after establishing myself as a good teacher. This paid a lot better. Teaching there was a great experience.
Jun 20, 2013 12:42 AM
28Unless you plan to teach English as a second language as a long term career, forget the certification. It's a waste of time and money. Of all the certifications, CELTA is the most time intensive and costly. If your goal is just to get away for a few months or a year, save enough money to supplement the low wages you will be earning, for example, teaching a bunch of 7 year olds the alphabet. Since you are not a native speaker, prospects will be more difficult in Asia in particular, which happens to be where the better paying TEFL jobs are - many of which only require a university qualification (not all however require this) and native speaking ability.
Jun 20, 2013 1:50 AM
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