No Teaching English Overseas thread should here goes.
Anyone have experience with the i-to-i online TEFL course? Perhaps commiting to CELTA. will be more favourably looked upon by employer?
My partner and I are going to Central/South America next year and want to work our way around. I have a BA but she is unqualified.
Also share your best/worst experiences teaching English overseas.
>Anyone have experience with the i-to-i online TEFL course? Perhaps commiting to CELTA. will be more favourably looked upon by employer?
Funnily enough I have done both. I Did The i-to-i Online in the UK but wasn't entirely happy with it so did the CELTA in Bangkok with International House.
The i-to-i Certificate isnt worth the paper its written on and It would be better for you to buy a couple of good books, read some free online lesson plan guides and forge the certificate. The one month CELTA was good though, It was a very intense course with a steep learning curve but you got good practice and good tuition. If you can afford the cost I think it's worth it.
The CELTA and a Degree combined will put you in a good position to get a comfy job at the high end of the pay scale. However I expect it will be possible to get work without either if you're willing to work illegally (Probably private tuition or an evening school). Most countries require a degree for legal work but underdeveloped countries will often turn a blind eye to Unqualified English teachers as its in their interest to keep you.
I taught at a Private catholic school in the middle of Bangkok for a year, It was fun, but much harder than I expected it to be. Discipline in the class was my main problem and I struggled with some of the naughty students. I'd recommend teaching either adults or the under 12's as once they hit their teens many of them become proper arse holes.
Feel free to ask more specific questions.
I'll also add that with the i-to-i you do get a one day training thing in person, but it is very basic. I asked the i-to-i trainer about her thoughts on the CELTA and she recommended it to me whole heartedly.
Online TEFL courses are always absolute garbage, and every employer worth their salt knows it. You cannot learn TEFL online, it's impossible, you need class experience and at least some in-person coaching, which is what something like CELTA does. Online courses only exist to take money from the naive and gullible. Some bottom-of-the-barrel employers may accept it in China, but otherwise all that kind of trash will get you nowhere.
Obviously, in desperate places, they'll accept whoever and whatever they can get. But don't expect them to bend over backwards for you. It is you who will be getting peanuts, and often you will be expected to have your own material. Though frankly, no teacher should be without his or her bag of tricks.
Great post. I had my doubts about i-to-i and you've confirmed them for me.
Couple more questions:
do you rate any alternatives to CELTA?
Can you elaborate about your experience studying CELTA?
At the moment I'm not looking to make a career out of teaching English, just subsidise my travel costs. Is the investment in a CELTA diploma worthwhile in the short term?
Thanks for info mate
>do you rate any alternatives to CELTA?
Trinity Cert is the only other one I know that is recognised worldwide and seems like an equivalent to the CELTA
>Can you elaborate about your experience studying CELTA?
As I said, I did mine in BKK with IH. The website is here so give it a look. Contains more info than I care to type.
>At the moment I'm not looking to make a career out of teaching English, just subsidise my travel costs. Is the investment in a CELTA diploma worthwhile in the short term?
How long is short term? I think if you plan on staying a year or more than a year it will be worth it as It should help you secure a better, higher paying job.
If you only want to stay a few months I wouldn't bother.
Bot the certificate doesn't expire, its a permanent addition to your resume and will be recognised anywhere in the world.
Just tell employers that you have experience teaching students via volunteering at cultural centers, or tutoring at college / uni. I actually did have that experience, but was never asked to provide references. Any actually good school doesnt give a shit about TEFL courses. I landed in a fantastic school with nothing.
>I landed in a fantastic school with nothing.
You got lucky.
And in any case, even if you get lucky and find a job in a good school without qualifications or experience you cant expect to stay very long if you don't know what you're doing.
I've been recommended teaching English overseas, but I don't have the faintest idea of what it would involve or where to start/find out more
do you need teaching skills?
how strong do your english skills have to be?
From what I understand, unless you're lucky, some qualification/teaching experience is necessary.
As explained in this thread online TEFL courses are not worthwhile. A good bet is CELTA or Trinity cert. A bachelor's degree is helpful too. Google is your friend.
To get a good job that pays relatively well I assume you'll have to be a native speaker or fluent, with a good understanding of grammar.
If this is not you you can still end up in some shit school in the ass end of China getting paid in chicken feet. It would be an experience.
I went to a workshop back in uni where a guy came in and laid out the pros and cons of these programs.
He said best to avoid TEFL because all they do is acclimatize you for culture shock. He suggested a really smart program (though limited to one place) was Hess Taiwan.
He mentioned you'll do really well with just a BA but if you want a higher paying job, and a chance to teach at a private school (where the diplomats, heads of state kids go to) its best to get a MA.
I'm seriously considering it as all the work I can get is shitty chef jobs that are way under my skill level.
Oh, just a few good books, and a binder of photocopiable grammar or reading-plus-discussion activities. Stephen Bailey for writing, Jim Scrivener teaching books. Good for mining ideas and adapting from there. Depends on the level you're teaching, if it's kids, students, business people, other specific purposes, etc.
Same, sorta. I do have a CELTA now, but I only did it to shore up my resume and because an employer agreed to pay for half of it. But I started without one. I did work in publishing before, and had an MA where I had worked as a TA, so I guess that helped too. I already had a few years of teaching under my belt when I did the CELTA, and don't feel I got a hell of a lot new out of it... Don't regret it, I had fun, took home a few bits of info, but a lot you will learn on the job.
Still, I wouldn't say that's a norm or that everyone can expect that. I do think I got lucky, and frankly I was better/smarter/cared more than a lot of other barrel-scraping English teachers around, so I was given more responsibility and ultimately more hours and good references for the next job. Helped me get my foot in deeper.
Yea, certs just help you get to the interview stage. Where I work, no one is ever hired without (as part of the process) planning a lesson. We put them in our little 'library' and say "see you in an hour with your lesson plan", which they'll have to go over.
Does any body have a download link to pic related or feel like emailing me a PDF? I can't fine one anywhere.
I know I can buy it online but I have classes this week where it would come in handy.