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

Unread postby systematic » 21 Jun 2010, 10:35

I'm afraid I can only reiterate what I have already said many times on these forums: There is no way of working legally in Thailand in mainstream education, full-time, with a reasonable salary and working conditions, without a recognised Bachelor degree. Having a Thai spouse will not help.

If your spouse has connections, she may be able to channel some private students to you for 1-on-1 lessons - which are, BTW, quite well paid.

I have never heard of J.P.teacher.com, and a Google search draws a blank.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby Sarand » 21 Jun 2010, 16:51

You can teach in China; however, I would recommend doing a TEFL before you go.
I have know many teachers with degrees and it does not make them better or more competent teachers. You just need to be personable, confident, articulate and really enjoy teaching.
Good luck
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby Nolimit » 30 Jun 2010, 06:47

I have read nearly all of the blogs on teaching English as a foreign language on the internet and it doesn't read particularly well if you don't actually have a degree before trying to find work. I have considered doing a TEFL myself recently but i have been stopped in my tracks by reading some reports.The simple fact is that if you wish to teach English legally in virtually every country outside Europe you will need a degree to gain a work permit. I don't think this is essentially a swipe at those who don't have a degree in terms of capability but some thing more of a political point. Non Europeans are not legally allowed to come to Europe to work unless they have a degree either and maybe deported if they are caught doing so. I think the rule states that you must have skill or qualification that cannot be found anywhere in Europe before a work permit will be issued. There are of course some exceptions in terms of ancestry for example and migration programs.

This, of course doesn't solve the problem that English teachers are highly in demand all over the world and that it is not physically possible for all of the teaching positions to be filled solely by Degree students Worldwide. Having read the forums and peoples opinions it does seem that having a degree doesn't actually mean to say that you will teach English any better than someone who doesn't have one anyhow. As long as you are properly trained in the art of teaching in the form of TEFL qualification you would almost certainly get by at a basic level to teach as well as anyone. After all do you really need a degree to teach kindergarten children the ABC? I think not. The fact is that you don't need a degree to teach English in a practical form, but to gain a work permit and work legally you will need a degree there are no exceptions.

I think some simple changes could be practically made to solve this problem. If the demand is that high for teachers in certain countries, then i think the law should be changed a little. For example, offer non degree teachers a one year renewable work permit for the duration of say four years on the strength of having a TEFL, this could maybe be transferable to another country in terms of a teaching license. If you can prove that you can teach and you clear your security checks after four years then you may be allowed to apply for a full work permit on the strength of your experience you have gained. This would indeed solve the problem of illegal working and clear the labor shortage. I also don't see that it would effect the chances of any degree students finding work either, i mean if your good enough and you can find work then you will be granted a full work permit on the strength of your degree from day one anyhow and probably gain the best jobs as well.

It just cleans up the system very quickly and i'm sure any respective governments would appreciate the extra revenue they will be receiving in taxes etc. I have worked for agents in Europe who claim to be paying taxes for their workers but don't and when caught they cleverly squirm out of the situation and blame the workers. If you think you might be in this situation then check, but the likely hood is that if you don't have a work permit then you won't be paying tax either, even if your agent is saying that he does!! Its a sad fact that you could build your life on such a system and have it snatched away at anytime by being caught working illegally. I believe the sentence for doing so in some Asian countries is a short term jail sentence and being band for 99 years from the country in which they are working not to mention the knock on effects on your return to your own country. Are people who work in such a way really criminals? Of course not, but they can be caught up in a situation and get stung. It can be very, very sad and very, very harsh for everyone involved. Also don't be fooled by clever ESL organizations who claim that you can find work on the strength of doing one of their expensive courses. The truth is that you will find work but it won't be legal unless you have a degree but they don't tell you that.

The system is out dated where teaching English is involved and it needs to be changed for the better of everyone involved from school children to stressed headmasters and illegal teachers.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby LinguRing » 27 Aug 2010, 01:28

A degree will always make it easier to get a job, often for visa reasons as well as the qualification factor.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby kerouac » 07 Sep 2010, 03:57

Ok so I have almost 2 and a half years of an english degree, and I plan on taking the International House course in Thaland in February then being on the hunt for a job in march, the hiring peak i hear? Anyhow - i have heard too many stories of people doing it without fail - so i think i will try to teach for an NGO on the thai burma border - orphan youth. Aside from this plan , i may go elsewhere - so can someone list off the mentioned countries where its still possible with some of a degree and a tefl course to teach? a few have mentioned it but never listed the places.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby kerouac » 07 Sep 2010, 04:02

I will still be pursuing my degree through my University online - will this help me at all? Also, I am seeking work within the more philanthropic side of things, low pay teaching kids who have very little. Does this change anything?
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby systematic » 08 Sep 2010, 16:21

Hi, we've said it before, we'll say it again: there's little chance of getting legal employment in Thailand without a completed degree. Do bear in mind also that under Thai law, even voluntary work is considered work, and must be supported by the same documentation.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby perfectweapon » 10 Sep 2010, 07:48

If you work in the Bangkok area it is recommended that you have a least a BA and a TEFL (for universities, and more is required for other types of schools) otherwise NO job as they (work permit authorities are very strict now). If you work outside Bangkok then you should get away with just a BA.
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Re: No degree can I teach English in Thailand, China, Taiwan

Unread postby systematic » 11 Sep 2010, 05:52

For those who are not sure of Western university degree systems, a bachelor degree is required. Some universities offer Bachelor of Science (BSc) courses, some offer Bachelor of Arts courses (BA), some offer both. Science degrees are usually science based subjects such as maths, chemistry, biology, physics, etymology, astronomy, etc. , while arts degrees usually cover all kinds of arts, performing arts, media studies (journalism, movies, TV, visual arts), history, and linguistics; a degree that touches a mix of these arts may sometimes be called humanities. It depends on your university.

The main point being illustrated here is that for the purpose of obtaining a visa and a work permit to teach abroad, both BSc and BA degrees are perfectly acceptable, whether or not the universities offer these as two, thee, or four year degrees.

In Thailand, universities will not always insist on a TEFL by any means. They will however often be looking for substantial previous teaching experience to young adults, possibly also a history of preparing mature students for TOEFL and IELTS, a language or linguistics related degree, and /or something like a PGCE or its equivalent.

For more information, search our board for more threads on this and related topics.
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