Please Help a Confused and Indecisive English Boy!

Help, tips and advice in teaching English

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Please Help a Confused and Indecisive English Boy!

Unread postby FatDog » 09 Nov 2011, 15:17

Hello Lucy,

I'm new here. My name's Lee, 22yo from England. For the last few months I've been procrastinating (as usual) about getting into TEFL. I'm sure all of the info I'm after is probably spread across the web but I've been finding it very hard to get clear answers on things e.g. what courses to do, what courses are cons, if not having a university degree will prevent me from getting work - working visas? The highest qualifications I have are A-Levels.

I've been in a full time job (completely unrelated to TEFL) for the last 3 and a half years, but have decided to leave and go travelling probably from August 2012 for about 6-12 months, so am thinking about what to do when I get back. Also, this could be useful while I'm travelling!

I'm not sure if I'm right for TEFL though. I don't have a lot of authority/control over kids but I suppose that's something I can learn. I do have a passion for the English language and believe it's one of the few things that I'm good at. Something I should probably mention is that I have OCD; feel the need to check things over and over and get anxious easily. It affects me quite a lot in my current job but I don't really think it would cause me many problems with TEFL, apart from the paperwork maybe, or if I have a mental breakdown over misbehaving kids!

One place I would absolutely love to teach in is Japan (having spent a couple of weeks there last year). If that's not possible, then another country in South/East Asia.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks very much!


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Re: Please Help a Confused and Indecisive English Boy!

Unread postby Lucy » 12 Nov 2011, 22:34

Hi Lee,

I’m going to answer your questions with a question of my own! I hope that my question will help you to get it straight in your mind what you really want to do. Do you want to teach English for 6 months and then go back to your current job? Or do you want to continue teaching after those 6 months? If you want to continue teaching and to make a career out of TEFL, it is worth investing in a good TEFL course. If you only want to teach for 6 months, I’m not sure what to say. I’m afraid a good TEFL course is expensive and I’m not sure it’s worth it if you are going to give up after 6 months. This is a decision you’ll have to make.

Having said that, you will be more limited in job opportunities if you haven’t followed a good course. Of course, you can still get a job but it probably won’t be one of the better ones. I won’t advise you on courses you can look at the TEFL training discussion forum the issue of which course to follow has been covered many times.

Your lack of degree will also be an issue; in many countries you cannot teach without a degree. There is no way around this if you want to teach legally; you may not be able to get a visa for a teaching job without a degree. I think Japan may be one of those countries. I’ve never worked in Japan so I’m not sure. You could put your question in the Employment discussion – Asia board viewforum.php?f=21 I’m sure you’ll get a reply there.

As for having authority over children, that doesn’t have to be an issue. You can get a job teaching adults which means the question will never arise. That will also reduce your anxiety and help with your OCD. I don’t know much about OCD; I guess it would affect paperwork, as you say. It could also affect your lesson planning; new teachers tend to spend a lot of time preparing their lessons; if you feel the need to check everything you prepare many times, you will spend more time on this aspect of teaching.

Please write in again if you have any other questions and do look into the other forums on this site that I mentioned.


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