I need some initial advice please?

For general discussion between teachers

Moderator: Joe

matt123
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 01 Apr 2015, 01:10
Status: Prospective Teacher

I need some initial advice please?

Unread post by matt123 » 01 Apr 2015, 01:21

Hi,
This might be long-winded so please bear with me, I've got a lot of questions.
I'm currently in my final semester of university studying English Language (linguistics faculty) at the University of Manchester. I plan on travelling with my fiancee shortly after finishing my degree, possibly for a few years, and teaching english as a foreign language to fund my travels and gain professional work experience.
Ultimately, I'd like to have an established career in TEFL, I'd love to land a high-end tefl job in dubai (UAE) or similar developed country. However, it seems these well paid jobs ask for multiple years experience. For the first few years, I realise I have to set my sights lower, as a first time teacher, until I get some credentials.
I have a highly relevant degree and will have completed a 120 hour TEFL certification. However, I wont have my NQT (initial teacher training) which is a necessary requirement to teach in schools in England. It seems that this is not a requirement for teaching english as a foreign language, just a TEFL certificate and bacherlor degree, which I will have.

But theres a few things I'm still unsure about, namely:

1. Bearing in mind I will not initially have any prior teaching experience, what calibre of job can I initially expect with my degree and TEFL qualification. And am I realistically an employable candidate?

2. What country would you suggest as a starting point? I plan to travel to multiple areas, completing 6-12 month contracts at each before moving along

3. I don't care about how much I get paid as long as its enough to comfortably support me and my girlfriend, and accommodation is provided or accounted for in the salary.

4. I've heard horror stories of Employers not paying in China (where I hope to start, as work seems relatively easy to find) can anyone suggest reputable schools that dont require previous experience?

5. After I have been teaching english as a foreign language abroad for 3+ years, will I be realistically employable for more high-end salaries in developed countries such as Dubai, Japan, etc? It seems like these sometimes pay the equivalent of 30k+ British pounds per year + accommodation.

6. The most important question I have... As my degree is in English language and not Education, I have absolutely no idea how I would even go about teaching a class. I assume this is the same for most graduates without teaching experience, yet I know a ton of these people who are teaching in china. How do they manage it? I'm assuming this training is either included in TEFL courses, or else on-the-job initial training is provided? If not, how am I supposed to teach a class without training?
If this is included in TEFL courses, (as im hoping, otherwise I'm going to be a bag of nerves walking into a class with no clue where to start), is it sufficient to give me a good foundation that I can start teaching straight away, before ultimately ofcourse advancing my capabilities as I get more experienced?
Also, can I really get this training from an online course? I'd prefer to do the online TEFL courses, as theyre the only really accessible ones for me right now, but will these give me the knowledge and ability to teach a class? I consider myself a fast independent learner and a confident individual.


Just to recap - - :R: I DO have a 2:1 degree in English Language from University of Manchester (Redbrick) and 120 hour TEFL certification
- :W: I DONT have prior teaching experience or an NQT/PGCE.

Sorry that was so long, I hope someone is kind enough to read through it and offer some advice in spite of the length!

Thanks

Awalls86
Rising Star
Posts: 48
Joined: 06 Feb 2015, 03:07
Status: Teacher

Re: I need some initial advice please?

Unread post by Awalls86 » 23 Apr 2015, 14:34

1. Bearing in mind I will not initially have any prior teaching experience, what calibre of job can I initially expect with my degree and TEFL qualification. And am I realistically an employable candidate?

Depends on the country - some countries have such a demand for native English teachers that the only requirement is a pulse. If you want to employable, get a CELTA, Trinity Certificate or something equivalent. Regardless of what anyone says about whether it will help you to teach, it will help you separate yourself from the chaff and therefore have more opportunities.

2. What country would you suggest as a starting point? I plan to travel to multiple areas, completing 6-12 month contracts at each before moving along

Anywhere you can find a position that interests you. However, if you only wish to stay 6-12 months you are not so employable. Try to stay 18-24 months in your first job. It won't hurt if you do have a couple of 6-12 month stops, so long as your CV doesnt say "will leave in 6 months". It costs money to employ teachers (not just wages) but administration.

3. I don't care about how much I get paid as long as its enough to comfortably support me and my girlfriend, and accommodation is provided or accounted for in the salary.

Well then you do care how much you get paid, because you might find that it doesn't... although I have been comfortable in both of my posts.

4. I've heard horror stories of Employers not paying in China (where I hope to start, as work seems relatively easy to find) can anyone suggest reputable schools that dont require previous experience?

Don't use an agency. I personally would also not work for a school that didn't have a foreign (not necessarily an English native) manager - I just feel they better understand foreign teachers and can marry their expectations with those of local owners. You might try EF.
Also you will need 2 years experience of anything before you can get a chinese work visa.

5. After I have been teaching english as a foreign language abroad for 3+ years, will I be realistically employable for more high-end salaries in developed countries such as Dubai, Japan, etc? It seems like these sometimes pay the equivalent of 30k+ British pounds per year + accommodation.

You're probably looking more at 5 years, having done a DELTA/DipTrinity or MA and not having 10 jobs on your CV already. Also you want to show that you have moved from being another TEFL teacher to taking responsibility.

6. The most important question I have... As my degree is in English language and not Education, I have absolutely no idea how I would even go about teaching a class. I assume this is the same for most graduates without teaching experience, yet I know a ton of these people who are teaching in china. How do they manage it? I'm assuming this training is either included in TEFL courses, or else on-the-job initial training is provided? If not, how am I supposed to teach a class without training?
If this is included in TEFL courses, (as im hoping, otherwise I'm going to be a bag of nerves walking into a class with no clue where to start), is it sufficient to give me a good foundation that I can start teaching straight away, before ultimately ofcourse advancing my capabilities as I get more experienced?
Also, can I really get this training from an online course? I'd prefer to do the online TEFL courses, as theyre the only really accessible ones for me right now, but will these give me the knowledge and ability to teach a class? I consider myself a fast independent learner and a confident individual.

Yes - many schools do offer induction training at the beginning of a term. This should give you some idea of what they expect you to do but don't expect it to be any great insight into pedagogy.
TEFL courses do teach this and online courses too. If you want to work in the middle east then forget online courses. The CELTA or Trinity Certificate are more expensive than others but generally give you greater access to the profession and also require you to do teaching practice. You can often do this in a different country and then pick up a job.

Post Reply