TEFL confusion!

Discussion about courses, qualifications and teacher training. Please do not advertise TEFL courses here.

Moderator: Susan

TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Rachbristol » 10 Feb 2010, 16:44

Hi Everyone,
I have been looking through the internet for weeks trying to find out about TEFL courses- there are so many different types I'm so confused!!!
I am just about to finish my Degree in Education and would like to teach english abroad in somewhere like Thailand or India. I have seen that there is a course called the CELTA but don't think I need such an intense course and also very expensive. I would also like to have the opportunity to teach primary and secondary age as well and have a fair bit of experience in the primary class teaching. I am swayed towards doing a TEFL but am unsure of the amount of hours I would have to do so the qualification is acceptable internationally. Also do you do a normal TEFL and then a separate qualification to teach children or does the fact that I will have a degree in education mean I don't have to do so much? whats the best way to go about the whole thing? is doing it in the U.K the best thing to do and then go to the country you want to teach in?
Sorry for asking loads of questions but i cant seem to find a straight answer on the internet.
Thank you in advance
Rachel
Rachbristol
Registered Member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Feb 2010, 16:14
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Lucas » 10 Feb 2010, 20:45

Hi Rachel,
CELTA is not really required to teach in Asia, but it's highly recommended to take an advanced course. An alternative to CELTA and Trinity is Ontesol's 250-hour online course with practicum (You can arrange to take the practicum anywhere in the world), which is recognized by TESL Canada. This program is an extended version of Coventry House International's 5-week Trinity CertTESOL and the practicum is 20 hours as opposed to CELTA's 6-hour practicum.

Another option is to take a course on-site in the UK for approximately GBP500 or an introductory online course for less than GBP200.
Ontesol - Online TESOL/TEFL courses. http://www.ontesol.com
Lucas
Gold Member
 
Posts: 94
Joined: 07 Aug 2009, 19:53
Status: Other

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 11 Feb 2010, 12:13

[quote="Rachbristol"]I am just about to finish my Degree in Education and would like to teach english abroad in somewhere like Thailand or India.[\quote]

Thailand is a common destination for teaching English, India less so. You're more likely then to get work in Thailand (or if you're interested in Asia, places like Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan and so on).

To get a first job in these countries you'll need a degree (which you'll have shortly) and a TEFL certificate. As you say, the CELTA is a possibility but intense and expensive however there are other options, a local 4 week course as a school near you or online. Almost any reasonable TEFL certificate is acceptable for a first job in Asia and there is not normally a special adjunct or qualification for teaching English to children.

You may find this link useful which explains about getting a first TEFL job abroad: http://tinyurl.com/y8rxvbj
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Alex Case » 11 Feb 2010, 13:01

"CELTA is a possibility but intense and expensive however there are other options, a local 4 week course as a school near you..."

Why do you keep saying this Pete? CELTA is also a 4 week course and probably available somewhere relatively local, and any 4 week course worth its salt (e.g. the one I was a trainer on) will be just as intense. Also, doing an unknown TEFL course back home might be just as expensive as taking a CELTA in the cheapest country you can find, especially if you need to pay rent back home and were going to fly to that country anyway.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 11 Feb 2010, 13:23

Alex Case wrote:"CELTA is a possibility but intense and expensive however there are other options, a local 4 week course as a school near you..."

Why do you keep saying this Pete? CELTA is also a 4 week course and probably available somewhere relatively local, and any 4 week course worth its salt (e.g. the one I was a trainer on) will be just as intense.


That's not usually the case though. There are alternatives to CELTA which are not as intensive and far less expensive and will still be accepted by a school to get the job.
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Alex Case » 11 Feb 2010, 14:15

How could a four week on site course be less intensive. It seems only by teaching you less, leaving CELTA as better value for money. CELTA is also far less intense than the first 4 weeks of teaching in your new job with no face to face training before you start.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 11 Feb 2010, 14:47

Alex Case wrote:How could a four week on site course be less intensive. It seems only by teaching you less,


In much the same way as you will learn less by taking a BA as oppose to an MA or PhD. There are levels of certificate courses to suit different types of learners and ultimately leading to different types of teaching jobs in different locations. You would not expect that the same qualification that will get you a job in a small, remote school in China will get you a high level teaching job in a university.

Alex Case wrote:leaving CELTA as better value for money.


That doesn't make sense. Because a course is not as intensive does not mean it is less value for money. I don't quite understand your reasoning here.

Alex Case wrote:CELTA is also far less intense than the first 4 weeks of teaching in your new job with no face to face training before you start.


Being a student in one instance and a teacher in another means they are very different scenarios and not necessarily comparable. Both have levels of intensity, stress and demands but focussed on different areas.
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby czkluk » 12 Feb 2010, 10:06

I took a generic course and had no problems finding work after my course. I would have chosen CELTA but their response to my emails was really far too relaxed and verging on arrogant. Hence my choice to go for the TEFL operator who responded best to my endless questions. Anyway, I'm not on here to promote the school I studied with.
I'm on here to write that I now run my own language school and I just wanted to add to this debate that we will take on any teacher WHO CAN TEACH. It doesn't matter what course they took as long as they can perform in the classroom. The Onsite qualification is preferred but is not always a guarantee of quality of teacher performance. An Online qualification is accepted as long as the teacher has some teaching experience.
czkluk
Registered Member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Feb 2010, 08:45
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Alex Case » 12 Feb 2010, 21:59

Pete

It seems your ability to produce totally bogus arguments that are not even worth refuting is endless, so rather than waste my time with them I will just repeat this:

ICAL and other online TEFL providers have a commercial reason for spreading the ridiculous idea that the (4 week!) CELTA is an advanced teaching course. Just as in any kind of teaching, the only advanced course is a post-experience MA, and that is what you will eventually need for the genuinely good jobs, with a DELTA or Trinity Diploma being the intermediate qualifications.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 12 Feb 2010, 22:19

Alex Case wrote:It seems your ability to produce totally bogus arguments that are not even worth refuting is endless, so rather than waste my time with them I will just repeat this:


Which bogus arguments? I really would like to know what you are talking about here! What have I said that is bogus?

Alex Case wrote:ICAL and other online TEFL providers have a commercial reason for spreading the ridiculous idea that the (4 week!) CELTA is an advanced teaching course.


Most people, I think you will find, believe CELTA to be advanced. And, by the way, CELTA have equally commercial reasons for spreading the idea that their course is for beginners! ;)

The idea that online providers are somehow less trustworthy because they are commerical is ridiculous as all providers whether they are online or a local school or a CELTA school have to make money or they would not exist. It's as simple as that.

Alex Case wrote:Just as in any kind of teaching, the only advanced course is a post-experience MA, and that is what you will eventually need for the genuinely good jobs, with a DELTA or Trinity Diploma being the intermediate qualifications.


Not at all. This is simplistic and fallacious. There are levels of courses from very simple introductory courses to very advanced courses, choosing what you deem as "advanced" does not, by dint of doing so, make it "the only advanced course". Genuinely good jobs will require higher qualifications (no one disputes that) but entry level jobs don't. It's as simple as that.
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Alex Case » 12 Feb 2010, 22:36

"Most people, I think you will find, believe CELTA to be advanced"

An advanced qualification would be one that got you a higher level job, such as a teacher trainer, DoS or university lecturer. All those usually demand a Diploma or MA, and none of them would demand you take a CELTA if you didn't already have one. I've worked in 7 countries over 15 years and everyone I know takes a 4 week course with 6 hours of observed practice to be the absolute minimum, with being forced to employ teachers with less being a sign of absolute desperation (and usually of the school doing so being in terminal decline). All the decent starter jobs demand this, with some making that more specific and asking for CELTA or Trinity. The vast majority of jobs you can get with a pre-experience online qualification, you can also get with no qualifications at all. Not having a (minimum) 4 week cert, preferably a well known and respected one, will limit your choice of first job; reduce your ability to do your job well, enjoy it and continue to improve as you teach; and permanently set you back in your career.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 12 Feb 2010, 22:44

Well Alex I think we'll have to agree to disagree since my experience and those of a great number of TEFL professionals I've met has been very different indeed from yours.

Perhaps you just move in higher circles than me. :)
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Alex Case » 12 Feb 2010, 23:26

If that were in fact true (and we have little choice but to take everything you say with a pinch of salt, given your commercial interests), how do you think I managed to "move in higher circles"? That's right, by taking a CELTA (actually the old RSA/ Cambridge CTEFLA- showing my age) before my first teaching job and then taking the best jobs I could find.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 13 Feb 2010, 09:18

Alex Case wrote:and we have little choice but to take everything you say with a pinch of salt, given your commercial interests


Let me try to understand this. Because we are a commercial organisation, then you believe that everything I say must be taken with a pinch of salt?!

So do you believe the same of ALL commerical organisations or just ours?!! :?

Come on Alex, were this the case then every single private school on earth (including those where you work) must be viewed with suspicion because according to your logic since they are commercial organisations everything they say must be viewed "with a pinch of salt".
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby Alex Case » 13 Feb 2010, 11:02

Absolutely. Every person who has a direct financial interest in the question at hand should be listened to with a distinct skeptical attitude. Some will twist the truth deliberately, others will do so subconsciously. A few will manage not to, but a bit of suspicion is needed to work out which is which. You have everything to gain from people believing the absolutely baseless myth that people should start with another qualification and then do CELTA a couple of years later (when in fact they could do a DELTA a couple of years later and so really have their choice of non-university teaching, management and teacher training jobs). I have nothing to gain from people taking any course of any kind, but if the question was whether people should get paid for doing pre-publication reviewing or not, you can certainly take anything I say with as much suspicion as you like.

My point is made. Your "rebuttals" are nitpicking and pointless. You have just stopped me offering two or three free worksheets to teachers by wasting my time. Discussion over.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 13 Feb 2010, 11:12

Alex Case wrote:...the absolutely baseless myth that people should start with another qualification and then do CELTA a couple of years later...


And I still maintain that experience before CELTA is a good thing. You obviously disagree; others will make up their own mind.

Alex Case wrote:You have just stopped me offering two or three free worksheets to teachers by wasting my time. Discussion over.


No, Alex, I didn't stop you doing anything. You decided to take up your cudgel on this issue, not me. Your choice to write here rather than do some worksheets. Don't pass the buck on this one.
User avatar
ICAL_Pete
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 09:05
Location: UK
Status: School Admin

Re: TEFL confusion!

Unread postby systematic » 17 Feb 2010, 02:28

ICAL_Pete wrote:Your choice to write here rather than do some worksheets. Don't pass the buck on this one.
Pete,
while I often support you on many issues, you will have not ignored throughout my participation on this board, that I do have a slight aversion to the constant advertising that goes on under the pretext of providing advice for readers. That said, it's not my site. On boards I run, even banner-paying clients are not allowed to vaunt their services in their posts or their signatures. The net result is that it ensures that responses to newbies' requests for advice are more objective.

Rachel,
CELTA vs other courses. There are no 'levels' of TESOL courses. Every course is a level of its own according to the curriculum and syllabus it is comprised of, the various kinds of so-called accreditation accorded to them that have also been discussed (exposed?) in depth elsewhere on this board, and the price. Every individual has to weigh up all this information, including the advice on boards like these, and make their own decision.

The recruiters
This poses a quagmire of information for the employers, who as a result, generally accept without question a CELTA or a Trinity, and perhaps a TEFL cert provided by the humanities dept of a truly recognised university. As far as practically all the other certificates are concerned, whether online or not, they are generally met with a squint, put to the corner of the interviewer's desk, and both parties proceed to a classroom where the candidate is then expected to prove his worth with a demonstration lesson in front of a live class - maybe after being given 30 minutes to prepare while the next job candidate is being interviewed, or the recruiter goes off for a coffee, or to phone the previous employer for a reference.

Thailand,
And to anyone wanting genuine info on working in Thailand, don't hesitate to ask me, another old RSA/ Cambridge CTEFLA grad with over 30 years in the business, and ten of them in Thailand where no TESOL cert is officially required at all by any recruiters intellingent enough and/or experienced enough to evaluate the candidates' other qualities.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other


Return to Teacher Training Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 14 guests

cron