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Poll: What kind of TEFL certificate do you hold?
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What kind of TEFL certificate do you hold?
1) I don't have a TEFL certificate and don't plan on obtaining one.
21%
 21%  [ 9 ]
2) I don't have a TEFL certificate, but plan on obtaining one in the future.
21%
 21%  [ 9 ]
3) I have a fake TEFL certificate that I've photo-shopped or bought in Thailand.
7%
 7%  [ 3 ]
4) I have an online TEFL certificate.
16%
 16%  [ 7 ]
5) I have a TEFL certificate that took less than 120 classroom hours to complete.
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
6) I have a TEFL certificate that took 120 classroom hours or more to complete.
30%
 30%  [ 13 ]
Total Votes : 42

Author Message
crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Poll: What kind of TEFL certificate do you hold? Reply with quote

Because of the many emails I've received about TEFL certification, I thought it'd be interesting to find out what kind of certificates you have, if any.

Warm regards,
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Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
www.esl-lesson-plan.com
crueckert@eslemployment.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb
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crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:40 pm    Post subject: Poll Reply with quote

By the way, you have to be a registered user to take part in the poll. Don't worry, it's easy and it's free. Look for the 'register' link above. It'll take just a few minutes.

Once you register, you just need to click on the appropriate box. Don't be scared!

Also, I can't edit the poll now, so if you have a Masters degree or combination of certificates, or something else that is not listed, please leave a note in the comments section.

Cheers!
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Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
www.esl-lesson-plan.com
crueckert@eslemployment.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb
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sigmoid



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:58 pm    Post subject: NONE Reply with quote

I don't have a certificate, but have something much better:

years of teaching experience. Smile
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HenryTeach



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject: Re: NONE Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
I don't have a certificate, but have something much better:

years of teaching experience. Smile


But surely in this day and age when an employer wants proof of something they can only rely on pieces of paper.

If you went for a job at a university or the BC or similar, they'd ask for paper in which case your experience - no matter how good - counts for very little.
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sigmoid



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but experience can easily be documented with copies of your contracts and letters of reference.

I already teach at a university and the "BC" is most likely uninterested in hiring me.

Anyway, if an employer doesn't value experience, then it's not the job for me anyway. I wouldn't be interested in working for them and there's no shortage of TEFL jobs.
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HenryTeach



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
True, but experience can easily be documented with copies of your contracts and letters of reference.

I already teach at a university and the "BC" is most likely uninterested in hiring me.

Anyway, if an employer doesn't value experience, then it's not the job for me anyway. I wouldn't be interested in working for them and there's no shortage of TEFL jobs.


Fair comment.

But for newcomers to the industry?
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canuckophile



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:59 am    Post subject: TEFL is just an investment Reply with quote

It's no different from anything else, including the B Ed
You won't know if you can teach until you've taught

It's certainly not a teacher training program.

If I had planned on using my TEFL class for "training," I would say that my TEFL was 100% a waste of money.

I learned noth ing, but this isn't exactly the fault of the teachers/ program because there is no way to "focus" these classes on the specific concerns of individual students - for ex., we had some students with NO teaching experience, and some who were teaching in Taiwan/Korea/ Russia and maybe one other place. Each country/culture is different and certainly the levels at which you can expect to teach English vary from one country to the next. The techniques will also vary.

The only real reason (I think) to get the TEFL is that it is a "credential" - employers look for it, and I guess you could say (somewhat an anemic endorsement) that it shows you are "serious" about teaching.

My 2 cents.
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sigmoid



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good points canuckophile...

I would say for newcomers, there are 4 primary considerations in regard to taking a TEFL cert or not:

1) financial - have you got the extra dough to spend on one?

2) where do you want to teach? - some markets are highly competitive, some countries simply can't attract enough teachers

3) do you have a degree? - if not, a TEFL cert would give you a good credential as opposed to nothing

Cool how long do you plan to teach? - if you plan to teach as a career, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and get one
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crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Canuck,

Just curious what kind of TEFL training you had. I certainly learned a lot on my CELTA course- even after having 5 years of ESL teaching experience. Furthermore, I'm now working at an International school, where I've been helping some of the teachers (who are certified elementary school teachers from their home countries) deal with the ESL students... which is mainly thanks to the training I received on the program.

I also did an online TEFL course 4 years ago because my school paid for it. Had I not had any teaching experience at the time, I can see how it might have been slightly useful. However, it would have been just as easy to read a book and learn the same.

Looking forward to hearing more from people about their experiences...
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Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
www.esl-lesson-plan.com
crueckert@eslemployment.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb
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calumn1



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: certified? Reply with quote

What really annoys me are the following assumptions.

CELTA makes you a teacher
DELTA makes you a manager
Phd in Lingusitics makes you a good manager.

So many schools are run on these false principles.
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Jamesc



Joined: 30 Jun 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no certificate, just a masters in another field. I consider myself very educated and capable. I have many years teaching experience overseas. Yes, I have learned from my mistakes, and have become a better teacher for it. I have worked with people who had certificates, and in my opinion were lacking, to put it mildly. Unfortunately, in my interviews, I have run into the " what certifications do you have?" question. And talking with other teachers, I get the inevitable " I have such and such certification"
I feel that if you have a certification, that is no substitute for 1: teaching experience 2: references from employers , and 3: a strong desire to teach as well as possible for the benefit of your students.
Certification from an accredited institution should be considered as icing on the cake, and not a barrier from employers (the good employers will know that anyway), or a "snooty factor" from teachers who earned their "certificate" from a copy shop in Thailand.
my two cents
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Nead



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 34
Location: Dublin Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an English degree (BA), years of teaching experience, then a CELTA and now studying for a Masters in Linguistics for a new career in teaching EFL. Lots of hard work and struggle but I think I am a good teacher.
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badlywornshoes



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I'm quite shocked about, that has not been mentioned here, is that for newcomers to the industry, TEFL/ESL training agencies can be particularly useful pivot tools into the world of teaching English abroad for a number of reasons.

1. The market is now ultra-competitive; more paper documentation is sought now, than ever was required ten years ago.
2. Most recognized and accredited TEFL/ESL agencies have been longstanding institutions in the country in which they operate; in many countries, who you know and the relationships you have are everything, e.g. China, where the more government officials you're friends with the better you'll do. These agencies can use their connections and peddle you as a "Foreign Expert" in a way that you alone or other programs based in the United States, Britain, and Europe, simply cannot.
3. Usually, TEFL/ESL agencies will also guarantee you job placement and housing, once you're finished with your course and will normally try to accomodate you with arrangements in the region you desire to teach in most. This can be extremely important if you don't want to end up living in a mud hut in some malaria-ridden swamp land freeland teaching English to remnant factions of the Khmer Rouge.

~BWS
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sigmoid



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The market is now ultra-competitive


Depends on where you're talking about.

Which area are you referring to?
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badlywornshoes



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
Quote:
The market is now ultra-competitive


Depends on where you're talking about.

Which area are you referring to?


In China, it's competitive nearly everywhere you go. The demand for teachers is so great that you don't even need a bachelor's degree in some cases to teach; there have been situations where teenagers are lecturing in classrooms. While the competition is certainly more fierce in the cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong) many teachers have begun ruralizing their job searches, especially the younger generation of teachers following the Jack Kerouac trail of contemporary computer-age philosophy and ideology. The generation gap between the teachers themselves has resulted in a change in the academic job market climate all over Asia. Again, my only area of expertise is Asia; I'm not familiar with Europe.
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