TESL certificate from a university

Discussion about courses, qualifications etc

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TESL certificate from a university

Unread post by tylerdurden » 05 Aug 2007, 15:55

I am going to graduate from college next year, and after obtaining by Bachelor's degree I am very interesting in teaching English overseas in Latin America. My university has a TESL certificate program which consists of Master's level courses with teaching experience, and after completing I would receive a TESL certificate. My question, is there any advantage to obtaining a TESL certificate from my university rather than from a much cheaper source? Would a school be more likely to hire and pay better with a certificate from a university, or are they all the same?

Secondly, I will be glad to teach in any private school or institution, but I would prefer to teach English in a college or university. I know that in the US you must have a minimum of a Master's degree to teach in a university, and am unsure about the college/university teaching requirements for Central and South America. I am going to get a Master's degree anyway, but am unsure of its necessity overseas.

Any information would be appreciated.

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Unread post by shlee » 08 Aug 2007, 13:29

It really depends on where you want to teach. I completed my M.Ed. in the United States several years ago, and I came to Korea and was promptly placed in a private school teaching pre-schoolers. Nothing wrong with that, but it really didn't suit the 19 years of public high school I had taught as a licensed US teacher.

The TESL certificate wouldn't hurt if you have never taught EFL - ESL before, but to say it was a must would be taking it a stretch. Now I say this and I am a provider of TEFL training, so please understand my sentiment is not jaded against TEFL/TESL/TESOL training...I just think until you know the particulars of where and what situation you want to teach in, you might wait to see what comes up.

There are always programs that will allow you to work and study at the same time with a little bit of planning...The certificates are approved by the host country you will be staying in, so it would be in your best interest to know how the area you are thinking about recognizes your University program...

Your second question is a little easier...Most places arounf the world require a minimum of a Master's degree just the same as the United States...There are rare cases where they will accept a BA with many years of experience, but those situations are quickly becoming fewer...I hope this helps you a little, and if you have any questions you want to ask, just send me a private message and I'll be glad to answer them for you...

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Unread post by ICAL_Pete » 13 Aug 2007, 11:13

Shlee wrote: ...Most places arounf the world require a minimum of a Master's degree just the same as the United States...

My experience is different. We place our certified ESL teachers in English schools around the world and the only countries where we’ve come across employers requesting an MA plus TESL/TEFL certificate and experience has been the UK and the US.

In South America the standard minimum requirements are a BA plus a TESL/TEFL Cert. and/or experience. Of course, as with any job, the more you have to offer in terms of qualifications and experience, the better your chances of landing a well paid job with opportunities for advancement. However you certainly don’t need to go as far as getting an MA in TESOL to secure a teaching position in most South American countries.

Unless your intention is to remain within the ESL industry and build a career for yourself in this field then I would personally opt for a TESL/TEFL Certificate to add to your B.A. This will allow you to get a taster of the ELT profession and see if it is really for you before committing your time, effort and finances to get to the next level.

Being certified will make you more marketable and it will also, and perhaps more importantly, give you the basic tools to enter a new profession with confidence, knowing that when you walk in a classroom you will be able to make a difference.

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