Newbie looking for first country to start

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Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby kevinman » 07 Mar 2010, 21:09

I have been doing some research on my own and I am getting preparing myself for tefl. There is a lot of great information on this forum thanks to the veterans and I hope to learn a lot from you.

I am trying to decide on the best course of action for my current position. Mainly I want to know which are the best places for a tefl newbie to go first for jobs and to gain experience. I have a few places/countries in mind but also I want to be realistic about my chances of success wherever I do decide to go first.

I am a 29yo male with no degree from the Bahamas and I am looking to take either TEFL or CELTA (not sure which yet). I have worked in the IT field for a number of years and some of that time has involved training users, though usually on a one on one basis. I speak some spanish but I am not fluent at this time.

Here are my concerns at this point:
1. I know that not having a degree will be a problem in some places.
2. I have read that some places do turn down applications from black teachers or they are treated differently either on the job or within the society they choose to take up residence. I would rather not waste an expensive plane ticket to a place just to be turned down everywhere (korea?) and to avoid putting myself in a possibly dangerous situation (russia?). If I'm being too paranoid don't be afraid to smack me upside the head :lol:
3. I would like to go some place with a good social environment outside of classes, possibly where there are a fair amount of other english speakers.
4. The age groups I am thinking of at this point would be either young children or adults.
5. With my previous background I would be very interested in private tutoring since I do well in that type of teaching environment already (also the pay is better).
6. Hopefully being a citizen of a commonwealth nation counts for something in terms of getting work visas and other travel/work essentials in fellow commonwealth nations?

The countries that I have considered range from south america to southeast asia to europe (mainly western). As you can see I'm all over the place lol.
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Re: Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby kevinman » 13 Mar 2010, 03:47

No one?
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Re: Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 13 Mar 2010, 13:05

Ok, regarding the degree then you're limiting your options. The countries most touted as ones suitable for work without a degree are China and Taiwan but you usually have to be there in person to get the work.

Take a look at this for more: http://tinyurl.com/ybh5c5x
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Re: Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby systematic » 13 Mar 2010, 15:06

kevinman wrote:No one?


Hi Kevin,

There was probably no quick reaction to your message because the answers to most of your questions a re all here already. Do take a moment to search the forums. You can also use the search feature (text field in the top right hand corner of the page) by entering some keywords. It might be possible that some old prejudices are still lingering in some parts of the world, but there are plenty of Africans and people of African descent working here in Thailand as teachers. Your main problem would be of not having a degree.
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.
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Re: Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby kevinman » 13 Mar 2010, 16:44

Ok, the degree part I pretty much knew about already. I was just mentioning it in passing. I agree the search feature is quite helpful but it has not been of much use for the questions I have asked.
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Re: Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby systematic » 14 Mar 2010, 00:13

kevinman wrote:I

Mainly I want to know which are the best places for a tefl newbie to go first for jobs and to gain experience.


There aren't any best places as such, but here are some answers:
1. I know that not having a degree will be a problem in some places.
You know about this already. In fact a degree is needed in most places. It would certainly be needed if you wish to command a reasonable salary.

2. I have read that some places do turn down applications from black teachers or they are treated differently either on the job or within the society they choose to take up residence. I would rather not waste an expensive plane ticket to a place just to be turned down everywhere (korea?) and to avoid putting myself in a possibly dangerous situation (russia?). If I'm being too paranoid don't be afraid to smack me upside the head :lol:
I've answered that as far as Thailand is concerned. If you were to be able to get employment in Europe there would certainly be no problems whatsoever wiinth countries with traditionally multi-ethnic populations such as the UK and France. For the rest of the world perhaps Alex has some answers.

3. I would like to go some place with a good social environment outside of classes, possibly where there are a fair amount of other english speakers.
This depends probably more on where in the country you wold be rather than which country. In Thailand in very large cities such as Bankgok, Pattaya, Phuket, Udon Thani (but non strangely Khon Kaen or Nakhon Ratchasima), the social environment is almost a home from home for expats. In rural areas however, you could be the only white/black teacher around for miles, and be spending your evenings and spare time in the virtual social environment of the Internet. bars are not part of the infrastructure in many Asian, except, as mentioned, in districts where there are plenty of Westerners to fill them.

4. The age groups I am thinking of at this point would be either young children or adults.
That only cuts our secondary education. if you want to get a job, it's probably best not to be too choosy about age groups.

5. With my previous background I would be very interested in private tutoring since I do well in that type of teaching environment already (also the pay is better).
You will only get this in any reasonably quantity as a spin off from some more regular work

6. Hopefully being a citizen of a commonwealth nation counts for something in terms of getting work visas and other travel/work essentials in fellow commonwealth nations?
Not really. EU citizens get jobs far more easily in the EU of course, but in the world of TESOL, most people probably wouldn't even know how to define the 'The Commonwealth' if you asked them. Most people in Southeast Asia, for example, and that includes a lot of teachers and other educated people, can't even point to the United Kingdom on a globe.

The countries that I have considered range from south america to southeast asia to europe (mainly western). As you can see I'm all over the place lol.
That gives you an extremely wide choice - 90% of the TESOL destinations!
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Re: Newbie looking for first country to start

Unread postby seanaway » 30 May 2010, 19:38

Agree with the outline above. You seem to be looking at the world through a shotgun - how about getting a focus? Europe - west - that's still a lot of countries and cultures. Have you any background reading done on any of these? It would help you get a taste of palces.

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