getting started

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getting started

Unread postby herobear » 22 Oct 2011, 16:43

I'm a 27 year old electrician from Sheffield and I'm hoping to start teaching english in China next April, My girlfriend is chinese and last year I spent a month in China with her and fell in love with the country. We're both struggling to find work here and are really enthusiastic about forging a new life over there.

I am wondering what kind of courses I should take before I leave, I've heard you can take a tefl course over just 1 weekend! where as other courses last 4 weeks, can you still find emplyment with just a weekend course? Other people have told me you need a degree and 2 years experience?

Also could you tell me if I could work a longer course around my current job and roughly how much it would cost?

thank you so much

Andy
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Re: getting started

Unread postby Briona » 22 Oct 2011, 21:55

Hi Andy,

It's true that you can take a TEFL course over one weekend, but the 'qualification' is not worth the paper it's written on. You certainly won't learn to teach in one weekend! To be honest, if you wanted to learn a language, would you choose a teacher who had 'qualified' over the weekend? Thought not!

There are two types of TEFL courses - online courses and face-to-face courses. Online courses are self-study rather than taught courses. You do the work at a time that suits you and submit exercises to an online tutor who will mark them and provide you with feedback. Some online courses include a 20hr classroom element (the weekend course that you mentioned above), and though many trainees find it useful, it cannot be equated to the observed teaching practice mentioned below. Prices for online courses vary, but you should expect to pay between £200 and £500 depending on the length of the course.

Some schools will only accept face-to-face courses, such as the CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL. These are the 'gold standard' of TEFL courses and are recognised and accepted worldwide. They are taught courses generally done intensively over four weeks (although it is possible to do the CELTA part-time over six months) and they include the all-important 6hrs of observed teaching practice. At around £1,000, they don't come cheap. They will however open more doors than an online TEFL certificate ever will. If you want to teach in Western Europe they are recommended, and if you want to teach in a native English-speaking country, they are essential.

That said, to teach in China an online TEFL certificate will more than suffice. The best advice I can give you is to do the longest course you can afford. Bear in mind though that the industry standard is 100-120hrs, and that you will be competing for jobs against people who have this. Demand for EFL teachers in China is high, and currently you do not need a degree or experience to teach there.

Hope that helps.

Briona
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Re: getting started

Unread postby herobear » 23 Oct 2011, 10:02

thats covered pretty much everything i wanted to know, thankyou x
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Re: getting started

Unread postby SGreene » 28 Oct 2011, 03:43

Dependig on where you go in China, the demand can be so high that the mere fact that you are a native English speaker will get you a job. However, the better schools, and the better pay and conditions associated with those schools, will demand quality certificates.

The only thing I would like to add is that you can now do the Cambridge CELTA course as a blended option. This means you do all o fhte theory online and then do 'live' teaching practice. I have done the preparation to be a trainer for this course and it looks like it will be a great alternative for people who want to fit it around a busy schedule.

Good luck.

Stephen
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Last edited by Susan on 28 Oct 2011, 19:20, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To remove link
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