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MA advice

Posted: 04 Aug 2007, 08:56
by Kian

I have recently completed a Masters degree in Professional Writing, and I am now getting ready to relocate to Al Ain in order to gain some teaching experience via the local Sabis school. The points method is not something I would like to teach long term, but as I have no teaching experience it could provide me with a useful grounding in classroom management. My plan is to do a CELTA in my spare time.

I am wondering if having a Masters degree will be of use in the UAE, or will I need to do an MA in TESOL in order to increase my chances of getting a good contract a bit further down the line?

A Plan...

Posted: 08 Aug 2007, 13:36
by shlee
Anything you can do in terms of Professional Development will certainly enhance your employability...I am amazed at people who finish a certain level of academic achievement and think there is nothing else to learn...I have been studying hard since coming to South Korea 4 years ago. When I arrived I had two Bachelor degrees, and an M.Ed. ...Since that time I finished my MD here in Korea and will hopefully complete my PhD by January or February of 2008...EVERYTHING you do will help if you have a plan...I guess I am a student of life and truly enjoy learning for the sake of knowledge...Go for it... The UAE is high on education these days, and the Master's degree is highly valued in many circles...The MA-TESOL won't hurt, but it can add to your employability...

Posted: 08 Aug 2007, 15:49
by Kian
Hi Shlee,

Thanks for your advice. Do you think an MA in TEFL would enable me to get good contracts both in and out of that system, or is it fairly limited? Would a phd in Education or Linguistics be more useful If I wanted to work in the public sector? I was looking at doing a PGCE at some stage, but I don't really want to teach at high school, I would rather work on the college circuit.


My Preference...

Posted: 09 Aug 2007, 01:19
by shlee
If it was me, I would opt for the PhD in Education which in the long run will give the maximum advantage regardless of where you go...(That is of course if the program is good)

You could certainly get a Uni job with a PhD in Education much easier than if you had a MA TESOL, but it really depends on if you want to spend the time and money to complete your program...With that said I have seen some programs recently that are becoming more affordable and cover less time to get your PhD...They are high devlivery distance programs, but I have never really had a problem with those kinds of programs...Again, it is a matter of doing your homework first...

I'm with you on the College/University thing...I think there are way too many risks these days when working with high school students...I spent the majority of my teaching career at the high school level, and it just became too much political rambling to keep up with the people who controlled the system...At least in Uni you have a bit more control over your own schedule and you have many more options available for career lane changes than you do in the public high schools...Again, I hope this helps a little...

Posted: 09 Aug 2007, 13:46
by Kian

Thanks again for your help - much appreciated. Two more quick questions if you don't mind. Will I need to teach for a number of years before I can do a PhD? And will I need an MA in English or Education in order to do a PhD in one of those fields? The MA that I have covers a pretty broad range of English related subjects, which can actually be quite problematic.

PhD & Training...

Posted: 11 Aug 2007, 00:56
by shlee
Obviously, you should have some working and academic background in Education if you are planning on obtaining a PhD with a language emphasis...However, this doesn't mean you should spend 15 years getting ready to do it...I have worked as an educator for the better portion of my adult life, and I am now in the finishing stages of my PhD with a concentration in communications...My M.Ed. was unrelated to techig English as were my undergraduate degrees...My Medical Degree is completely unrelated to teaching English, but I have always had an interest in medicine, so at the time it was something I wanted to do, and I may still set up a practice if I find a way to do it...I would not say you are limited by your own educational background, but you should make some decisions based on the particualr program you are interested in, and if the program can be adapted to fit your interests...Many programs these days will allow for some modification based on the students specific course direction...Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with...

Posted: 14 Aug 2007, 10:48
by Kian

Just out of curiosity what's it like teaching in South Korea? Are there a lot of good schools out there? In fact, how do you go about determining the good schools from the bad? Is it just a case of looking at the school reviews on the TEFL forums?

Teaching in Korea...

Posted: 14 Aug 2007, 11:28
by shlee
From my experience I would say teaching in Korea is fun , challenging, frustrating, and exciting...I have experienced the complete range of emotions while teaching. This is my fourth year living here and teaching, so I find things are much easier for me than they were the first year...I came to Korea with an education and teaching background, so I was not being introduced to the ins and outs of instruction. However, there are cultural differences that come into play regarding work in Korea...

It requires someone who is quite flexible and someone who easily adjusts to change...In Korea the privatization of EFL - ESL is quite popular and the country has a large number of private language schools called hagwons (pronounced: hog-wons)...This segment of the educational arena has taken advantage of many things and made life for some visiting instructors quite unpleasant to say the least...The public schools are fair enough, but the country is going through an educational transition right now, so things are going to change in the near future...You can find out through some of the forums, just do a Google search for teaching in Korea and that will give you more information than you could ever want...