No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Discussion about jobs and employment conditions in Asia inc. Middle East. Please do not post job ads here.

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Re:

Unread postby systematic » 11 Mar 2009, 05:04

Just for the record...
ani uk wrote:I also dont have a degree
I do have a TEFL qualification from Chiang Mai University in Thailand.
I am annoyed that I spent so much money and now can't work there.

A British person resident in the large city of Udon Thani, Thailand who very recently (Dec 2008) completed the CM course has expressed considerable disappointment at not being informed that a degree is required for teaching in Thailand. This is standard practice by most TEFL course providers in the country. Since graduating from the course he has never been unable to obtain employment within a reasonable commuting distance from the house he has built. He finally returned to his native UK in March 2010 to seek other employment in order to boost his funds for his return to his home in Thailand.

The Chiang Mai University course is apparently operated on the campus by an outside organisation and is managed on its behalf by a Western lecturer at the university. See comments on the the Alex Case blog on this tefl.net site regarding the management of the course.

Jeremy Harmer

Alex mentioned Jermey Harmer. Harmer is probably the most well know 'TEFFLER' on the globe and his works are the standard reference in the business. IMHO, any course that does not use at least some of his material, needs redesigning. Although TEFFLERs stand accused of a lack of professionalism in TEFL, I was humbly fortunate to take part at one of his workshops at the SAMEO international conference in Singapore a couple of years ago. I do not regret the experience. See why here: http://www.jeremy-harmer.com/biography
Last edited by systematic on 04 Jun 2010, 02:08, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updating and copyediting.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Doogs » 12 Mar 2009, 01:00

Peter Easton wrote:
A lot of people teaching here are currently on tourist of business visas anyway, since the Government changed the rules after the Olympics.


Working on a tourist visa or a business visa is illegal no matter where you are in China.


Oh, really! How stupid of us all not to know that :roll: I guess we should all pack up and leave right away then.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Peter Easton » 12 Mar 2009, 10:00

Well it seems pretty irresponsible to advocate working on tourist and business visas when you can be deported for doing so. It’s the wrong advice to give to people who are planning to come to China.


“Oh there’s plenty of people breaking the law, come to China do the same as me, it’s easy, all will be fine….”

Yes, well done :roll:
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Peter Easton » 30 Mar 2009, 03:01

^ I see professionalism as a day-to-day attitude; a work ethic in someone who gives a shit about the bottom line.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Ajarn.Chan » 06 May 2009, 16:26

A writer in another forum recently posted this. I think it is too important not to share as quickly as possible, so I am copying it here. I hope I do not offend anybody doing that.
from:
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Fake-Degr ... try2716795

QUOTE
(mr_hippo @ 2009-05-06 19:14:32)
Whenever I read a thread that starts with “My friend has a problem...” or “I know someone who…”, I am tempted to write “Cut the crap and start again using the first person!” So this is about me.
First of all, a bit about myself - I left school with GCE ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels which included English Language and English Literature. Very few of my generation went straight from school to university and I can’t remember anyone from my year that did. I went into nursing and have over 20 post-nominal letters after my name.
I settled in Thailand in 2002 and my nursing qualifications counted for nothing – nursing, when I qualified, was not a degree subject in the UK
Two of us from the same TEFL school found employment in a school in Nawamin, Bangkok and neither of us had a degree! We were advised by senior staff there to get fake degrees and then we would be able to get work permits and teacher’s licences which were duly issued. I left the school in 2004.
Fast forward to last Monday ( 4th), my extension based an marriage to a Thai would be approved for one more year and as my wife works not too far from there, she decided to go and leave me at home. Immigration phoned me at 1 o’clock to tell me that I have to go in person to sign a few papers; I thought that we had signed everything on the first visit! I phoned my wife and said that I would meet her there.
After waiting for about an hour, we were ushered up to the 5th floor (Immigration Police) where I was accused of using a fake degree – there’s no point in lying about it, is there?
So at about 5pm, I found myself in the Immigration Detention Centre in one cell with about 80 other odds & sods of various nationalities, no bedding and only a hard floor to try and sleep on. Tuesday (5th) was a holiday so my appearance in court would have to be today. I appeared before the court this afternoon and the case is being investigated further. I am now out on bail. The best result that I can hope for is a small fine and told to go back to England for a new visa.
I know there are others who have worked or are still working with fakes and I was told by Immigration Police that they are actively investigating over 60 more cases. I left that school 5 years ago so you have been warned.
ENDQUOTE

Personally I have risked working through an Agency without a degree, but I never made any claims that I had one. Now I certainly will not consider it. Seems like the screws are tightening and the scope for slipping through the net is diminishing :(

Oh well, maybe it is time to leave and get a 'proper job'.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby systematic » 07 May 2009, 00:18

As I have mentioned several times before, much of the mischief rests with the TESOL course provides who are so keen to enroll candidates, that they are careful not to mention that a degree is also needed in Thailand. This also includes courses that are made to look as if they are offered by universities in Thailand.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby jonmonca » 26 May 2009, 16:25

Well,I am really down at the moment. I am just about to finish my TEFL course and had my heart set on going to Thailand.Through my recent research I have now discovered that this is impossible. It was in no way told to me that I needed a BA to teach TEFL. I suppose that I am a victim of my course provider who told me that finding a job in Thailand would be easy. I have taught at a technical level for 18 years now,am a great teacher in my field,and am very disheartened by this whole thing.I am now wondering what I can do with this expensive but worthless piece of paper? Does anyone know of anywhere in Asia that I would be able to teach? The prospect of getting a BA at this point in my life is not feasable due to my age and having to work.
I need advice please. :?:
Thank you.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby systematic » 27 May 2009, 02:21

jonmonca wrote:...Through my recent research I have now discovered that this is impossible.... It was in no way told to me that I needed a BA to teach TEFL. I suppose that I am a victim of my course provider who told me that finding a job in Thailand would be easy.
Thank you.

The number of countries where one can teach without a degree is getting lower. The few that still don't require one are now major destinations for degreeless teachers - a plethora that is driving the poor salaries and conditions in those countries even further down. Working without a degree is the most hotly discussed and duplicated topic on this board, but generally only because many new members don't search the forums.

Concise and regular information about working in Thailand has regularly been reported on this board since 21 April 2008. There is one course provider in the north of Thailand that carefully words its marketing to impart the impression that it is a department of a university. The course appears however, to be operated on the campus by a third party company and simply 'managed' by one of the university's staff. This organisation is notorious for not warning their candidates that work in Thailand is well nigh impossible without a degree. One graduate from one of the classes of 2008, a mature and famous retired sportsman and author who has no degree, has still (March 2010) been unable to find legal employment in and around one of Thailand's largest cities.
Last edited by systematic on 04 Jun 2010, 02:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Ellechim » 27 May 2009, 17:35

Jonmonca are you in the UK?

If you have 18 years experience surely that would count for something?

If you look at the OU site, there is a section on transferring credits, why don't you look at that and see waht you can claim for (Cambridge CELTA is 20 points).

If you are are in the UK what are the limitation sof doing the doing the teaching that they are promoting at the moment, you may have to work a coupele of years in the UK, but then you will have the paper and can go on your merry.

I too left uni without a degree and I am applying for a space for an online in Australia, but as my chosen Country is Italy, they are more interested in the CELTA.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby jonmonca » 28 May 2009, 20:50

Actually I am in California. I am wondering what the 'OU' site is?
I just found out that no BA is needed in Cambodia but it seems the conditions leave a little to be desired.
J.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Susan » 30 May 2009, 19:45

OU is the Open University. They accept students from outside the UK. All (or most) study is done by distance learning.

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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby wez87 » 02 Jun 2009, 17:49

Hi,
I see alot of placements state a degree as necessary criteria for employment, although I do not have a degree I do have a 'Higher Education' qualification.
I have a higher national diploma as well as many work based NVQS.
Will this be taken into account?
Thanks
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby Martinf » 19 Jul 2009, 18:34

Hi guys,

New to the site today and I have a question that follows what has been said in this thread so I thought I'd stick it in here rather than start a new thread.

Like many others I've seen here and elsewhere I've come across the problem of needing a bachelor to be able to get a working visa for most Asian countries. Since I don't plan to spend the next three years in one place, an online degree, such as the one from OU that Ellechim mentions seems to be a good (if slightly pricey when on a TEFL budget) option.

However, a lot of the sites and job offers I've read specifically state that you need a '3-year bachelors degree'. For Korea for example you need a whole list of things including documents from your uni in a specially sealed envelope.

So my question basically is this: Before spending countless hours and upwards of 6000 pounds on a bachelor at the OU, is such a degree going to be accepted by immigration departments of Asian countries as a valid 3-year bachelor?

Any information from someone 'on the inside' would be very much appreciated.

Cheers,
Martin
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan..

Unread postby krumike » 10 Aug 2009, 08:15

There are a lot of stories going around Thailand and the teaching industry, stating that you need a degree in order to teach English in Thailand. This is not true. I am a teacher in Thailand and know many teachers that do not have degrees.All of these teachers have jobs, some have work permits while others are being paid under the table.

You will notice that smaller language schools will reguire a degree (international franchise rules) but alot of schools won't. Government schools get assistance from the government if they hire a teacher with a degree, if the teacher does not have a degree, then they do not qualify for this assistance,so it costs the school more to hire a teacher without a degree.
I am working at a school with 3300 children in 2009 we have 6 Philippines teachers, all without degrees and all with work permits?
A degree is not needed but will open many doors for you.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby anagram » 29 May 2010, 18:31

Doogs wrote:
Peter Easton wrote:
A lot of people teaching here are currently on tourist of business visas anyway, since the Government changed the rules after the Olympics.

Working on a tourist visa or a business visa is illegal no matter where you are in China.

Oh, really! How stupid of us all not to know that :roll: I guess we should all pack up and leave right away then.

I must apologise in advance if my post does not fit; being in a hurry, I have not read the entire thread.

However, having skimmed it I am under the impression that it has mostly been about Thailand, and I hope we could add some up to date info re China.

Let me introduce myself briefly. I have studied linguistics at a University, but never graduated, nor have I ever acquired a TEFL or other certification. After a few years in the travel industry I subsequently (1995-2005) taught English in various countries, including Japan. In 2006-9 I again worked in non-teaching positions.

I am in Thailand on holiday at the moment, with about 10 days left. I have looked into the possibilities of teaching, but it all seems too risky or complicated for someone without proper supporting documentation. Most importantly, I do not feel compatible with the people here.

I will be flying to Hong Kong on the 8th June and around the 10th hopefully receive good news of having been offered an extension on my old contract (in Europe). HOWEVER, should the opposite occur, I would urgently need to find a job in or near Hong Kong as I have very little money left.

I have skimmed several other Webpages and there seems to be disagreement largely regarding the question whether one should first look for a job and acquire a Z visa from abroad, or whether it might be better to first go to China and seek from within, and perhaps even risk working on a tourist visa.

What would the members' advice be given the current situation?
More specifically, would they recommend that I get an invitation letter from a school in China and obtain a Z visa in Bangkok? Or is Hong Kong (still) a suitable destination for that?

I should add a few bits:
- Last time I was in China was 2004, and I did a bit of "unofficial" teaching then
- I speak basic Mandarin (in addition to some Tibetan, Japanese etc.)
- I prefer "small" places like Chengdu to monster cities like Shanghai

Thanks in advance!
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby anagram » 29 May 2010, 19:44

And a few more bits:

- The reason I would consider getting a China Z visa without first waiting for a response re extension on my old contract is that if an offer in China looked very attractive I would actually prefer to quit my old company in Europe and work in China for a while. However, since I do not have official qualifications I suppose a "very attractive offer" is very unlikely, isn't it? I mean a free plane ticket, free accommodation, free food etc. just aren't going to be in the picture, are they?

- I have just remembered that one of Chengdu's main characteristics is its soporific energy / atmosphere - and while this suited me well back in 2004 because I was on holiday and actually wanted to sleep a lot, I do not think it would be so nice when trying to work. Moreover, in the South in general the climate might be too muggy in the summer, not to mention that in recent years air pollution has become a very serious problem in many Chinese cities. I should therefore think that to be on the safe side one should opt for a coastal city or a city that has good air for other reasons, such as being in a mountainous region etc.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby systematic » 04 Jun 2010, 02:57

I would think your first criterion would be finding employment without the required credentials. Whether you like the people or the climate or can speak the local language or not are secondary and are things you will probably have to come to terms with if you desperately need work.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby anagram » 04 Jun 2010, 06:27

Well, I do need work, but I am not desperate. I do not think anyone SHOULD be desperate. I sometimes think it is better to die from starvation than engage in activities (labour) that one does not actually like. Engaging in activities (labour) that one does not actually like is humiliating and soul-killing.

Referring more specifically to my question, I do not think anyone should be willing to jeopardize one's health just to earn a living, and I do not think anyone should be willing to live with people one cannot respect (in my case the Thais), just to survive.

Physical survival is not the supreme virtue.

(This is not to antagonize "systematic" - just jotting down my point of view.)
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby systematic » 04 Jun 2010, 09:36

I was just trying to be helpful by pointing out that, as I think you have also recognised, your wish list is going to be largely unattainable, at least as a teacher, without the required qualifications; so you might have to set your sights on environment a little lower if it is nevertheless teaching that you really want to do.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby bionicman » 20 Jun 2010, 20:56

Hi, I have 2 years Associate degree from accredited college in USA , Can I teach English in Thailand? I am married a Thai / US citizen and we want to move to Thailand. If I can't get work permit because I don't have BA degree can I apply for it other ways since I'm married Thai citizen? Has anyone work for J.P.teacher.com before? This agency advertises that they will hire you if you don't have BA degree. I'd like to know if it's a scam or not. Thank you.
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