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EmmaRoid

Tefl - Teaching English

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

You need to get yourself a TEFL qualification or a recognised teaching qualification such as a PGCE or GTP.

There are a ton of places that do TEFL courses that are but a google search away.

Out of interest, what do you mean by "properly"?

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

You have to be white...That is all... no other qualification required...

In Korea I saw completely unqualified people who had not even finished highschool on their own admission. Teach english. One even had the gall to attempt to correct me when he was clearly wrong (he kept using bizarrely worded statements about recommendations)

It was something like the steak here is excellent. Having said that I can recommend the fish too.

In China it was even worse, they hired Russians and Poles who couldn't actually speak English to teach English classes, because they were whites and looked the part.

No kidding, China,Korea, Japan, SEA all are racist to the eyeballs, they will take a white polish person over a heavily qualified non white person.

I laughed my a55 off in Shenzhen at a few of these 'teachers'

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You need to get yourself a TEFL qualification or a recognised teaching qualification such as a PGCE or GTP.

There are a ton of places that do TEFL courses that are but a google search away.

Out of interest, what do you mean by "properly"?

If I was to relocate with my wife I need to find something to do (my day job is not really an option, I'm pigeon-holed in a niche area) and teaching english is the most obvious, most immediate, most logical avenue to explore. I don't need or expect to make megabucks, I just want a regular stream of income to throw in to the family coffers.

By properly I mean enough to be able to teach people to pass internationally recognised English quals although it could be teaching children of all ages. Prvate tutoring is very common in her culture so we think that this is the way to go rather than getting a professional teaching role. I'm degree educated (Engineering) but I have a maths/science bias and only Eng/Eng. Lit at GCSE and a History A-level. I'm not really looking to give up work, go down the PGCE route and then try my luck. I'm looking for a starter along the TEFL lines around current work commitments to give me an idea whether I'd be up for it.

And yes Ken, I am white but no its not in Asia.

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

I took a CELTA course in Canterbury last year.

It is a four week, full-time course (although I believe that there is a part-time option,) and is one of the more internationally recognised certificates.

Very rewarding albeit very demanding.

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If I was to relocate with my wife I need to find something to do (my day job is not really an option, I'm pigeon-holed in a niche area) and teaching english is the most obvious, most immediate, most logical avenue to explore. I don't need or expect to make megabucks, I just want a regular stream of income to throw in to the family coffers.

By properly I mean enough to be able to teach people to pass internationally recognised English quals although it could be teaching children of all ages. Prvate tutoring is very common in her culture so we think that this is the way to go rather than getting a professional teaching role. I'm degree educated (Engineering) but I have a maths/science bias and only Eng/Eng. Lit at GCSE and a History A-level. I'm not really looking to give up work, go down the PGCE route and then try my luck. I'm looking for a starter along the TEFL lines around current work commitments to give me an idea whether I'd be up for it.

And yes Ken, I am white but no its not in Asia.

Out of interest, where were you thinking about relocating to? There is a huge variation in TEFL pay between different countries (I looked into it briefly a couple of years ago when we were travelling). It can pay very well in places like Germany or it's basically beer money while you're backpacking in other parts of the world.

BTW, a PGCE is a complete bitch to do but a good TEFL course might be interesting. If you're looking at tutoring then you might find something in science/maths as well as English or maybe even engineering to undergraduates. In some parts of the world, tutoring can be very well paid too. My mum is currently paying 40 pounds an hour, cash money, for a GCSE science tutor in Kent. Again, though, the pay sucks in other parts of the world.

Teaching is a useful string to have to your bow though. I don't really enjoy being a full-time classroom teacher in UK secondary schools but I can always do supply, tutoring or TEFL in almost any part of the world I go to.

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

I've done it (a while ago now, trained with and taught in the British Council ) and so did a daughter - she funded a lot of her overseas travel by teaching here and there.

A lot of people ask why on earth you need to do a course since you already 'know' your subject so well. The thing is, you've never had to learn your own language like a non-native speaker has to, so you can't appreciate their problems or why they find something difficult.

(e.g. What is the third conditional? What are question tags? Native speakers never have to learn this sort of thing and most wouldn't have a clue what they are, but we all use them every day and they're highly complicated for non native speakers.)

A good TEFL course is absolutely invaluable in teaching you how to teach (all in English, to people who may be complete beginners) but there are some rubbish ones where they'll take just about anybody willing to pay the £1000 or whatever they're asking, and dish out a certificate at the end of it, whether or not they're ever going to be remotely effective.

IMO a certain aptitude for grammar and language in general is essential. Anyone who struggled with GCSE French is unlikely IMO ever to be much of an EFL teacher. Ditto the sort of person who thinks spelling and grammar don't matter - the students certainly won't agree, and they're paying, and want to pass exams at the end of it.

The courses usually involve a certain amount of language theory, coupled with watching experienced teachers in the classroom. (I found this incredibly helpful.) Plus of course a lot of teaching practice. Some courses throw you in the deep end on day one or two, i.e. in front of a class without much of a paddle.

One other thing, a good, effective course can be very hard work. My daughter did a full time CELTA course over a month. I told her she'd have to kiss goodbye to her social life - she scoffed at that until she actually started and found herself spending every evening preparing detailed lesson plans. And it was probably easier for her than for some since she already had a strong foreign language background, so the grammar side was a relative doddle.

What can be the hard part is thinking up interesting/original/stimulating ways of teaching a certain language item (and getting the students to a) understand and b] practise it) with a tutor watching your every move from the back of the class.

It's a whole lot easier once you're not being watched! And I always found it very satisfying, and often very good fun too.

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I took a CELTA course in Canterbury last year.

It is a four week, full-time course (although I believe that there is a part-time option,) and is one of the more internationally recognised certificates.

Very rewarding albeit very demanding.

Thanks, will look into it, Ken recommended the CELTA course too.

Out of interest, where were you thinking about relocating to? There is a huge variation in TEFL pay between different countries (I looked into it briefly a couple of years ago when we were travelling). It can pay very well in places like Germany or it's basically beer money while you're backpacking in other parts of the world.

BTW, a PGCE is a complete bitch to do but a good TEFL course might be interesting. If you're looking at tutoring then you might find something in science/maths as well as English or maybe even engineering to undergraduates. In some parts of the world, tutoring can be very well paid too. My mum is currently paying 40 pounds an hour, cash money, for a GCSE science tutor in Kent. Again, though, the pay sucks in other parts of the world.

Teaching is a useful string to have to your bow though. I don't really enjoy being a full-time classroom teacher in UK secondary schools but I can always do supply, tutoring or TEFL in almost any part of the world I go to.

Greece, where currently ( :huh: ) rates are good.

The trouble is there's so much noise out there about eaching english, its tricky to pick out the useful courses/quals and not get ripped off in the process. I could probably spare some weekends but a full time course would be problematic

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I've done it (a while ago now, trained with and taught in the British Council ) and so did a daughter - she funded a lot of her overseas travel by teaching here and there.

A lot of people ask why on earth you need to do a course since you already 'know' your subject so well. The thing is, you've never had to learn your own language like a non-native speaker has to, so you can't appreciate their problems or why they find something difficult.

(e.g. What is the third conditional? What are question tags? Native speakers never have to learn this sort of thing and most wouldn't have a clue what they are, but we all use them every day and they're highly complicated for non native speakers.)

A good TEFL course is absolutely invaluable in teaching you how to teach (all in English, to people who may be complete beginners) but there are some rubbish ones where they'll take just about anybody willing to pay the £1000 or whatever they're asking, and dish out a certificate at the end of it, whether or not they're ever going to be remotely effective.

IMO a certain aptitude for grammar and language in general is essential. Anyone who struggled with GCSE French is unlikely IMO ever to be much of an EFL teacher. Ditto the sort of person who thinks spelling and grammar don't matter - the students certainly won't agree, and they're paying, and want to pass exams at the end of it.

The courses usually involve a certain amount of language theory, coupled with watching experienced teachers in the classroom. (I found this incredibly helpful.) Plus of course a lot of teaching practice. Some courses throw you in the deep end on day one or two, i.e. in front of a class without much of a paddle.

One other thing, a good, effective course can be very hard work. My daughter did a full time CELTA course over a month. I told her she'd have to kiss goodbye to her social life - she scoffed at that until she actually started and found herself spending every evening preparing detailed lesson plans. And it was probably easier for her than for some since she already had a strong foreign language background, so the grammar side was a relative doddle.

What can be the hard part is thinking up interesting/original/stimulating ways of teaching a certain language item (and getting the students to a) understand and b] practise it) with a tutor watching your every move from the back of the class.

It's a whole lot easier once you're not being watched! And I always found it very satisfying, and often very good fun too.

All of that and more. I don't have a languages background but I'm trying to learn Greek again which is not easy in itself.

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Thanks, will look into it, Ken recommended the CELTA course too.

Greece, where currently ( :huh: ) rates are good.

The trouble is there's so much noise out there about eaching english, its tricky to pick out the useful courses/quals and not get ripped off in the process. I could probably spare some weekends but a full time course would be problematic

I think that plenty of course providers could accommodate you with weekend courses so that shouldn't be a problem. Based on a very, very brief search of the internet it looks like you could certainly earn a few extra pennies doing that in Greece, which was basically the idea, wasn't it?

I'd hesitate to recommend anything course wise but I guess the usual stuff applies. Pick a provider that looks vaguely reputable, even if they cost a bit more and don't go for one of these ones where it's all done online and you basically just hand over money for a certificate. TEFL and TESOL are, IIRC, the qualifications to go for.

BTW, some info on CELTA which also looks decent:

http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/teaching-awards/celta.html

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Based on a very, very brief search of the internet it looks like you could certainly earn a few extra pennies doing that in Greece, which was basically the idea, wasn't it?

It is indeed. The Greek family's approach is to have many strings to one's bow to make a living and if I could pull this off it would be a reliable and regular income stream.

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It is indeed. The Greek family's approach is to have many strings to one's bow to make a living and if I could pull this off it would be a reliable and regular income stream.

Top plan. We're off to Aus in a year or two and I get to do supply/part time teaching and look after the nipper while the wife goes to work every day. As you say, it's a very useful source of extra income.

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All of that and more. I don't have a languages background but I'm trying to learn Greek again which is not easy in itself.

If you're the sort of person who's willing to make an effort with Greek, I doubt you'll have too much trouble with TEFL.

Good luck. :)

BTW, if you find you can't actually do a course because of time, but think you might find yourself doing some private tutoring anyway (someone is bound to ask) do get hold of an EFL grammar. Our 'bible' used to be the Thomson and Martinet (grammar for EFL) which I guess is still going strong and will explain all those rules you yourself never had to learn.

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

In an English-speaking country, or abroad? If the latter, you'll never be short of demand. I knew a Bulgarian lady who made her living teaching English: she'd learned it over several years in Edinburgh married to a Scot, but you'd never have taken her for a native speaker.

My parents first met on a TEFL course: he was teaching, she was learning.

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

British online courses available to get the ticket. You need a degree as well out here to get the ED Visa.

Pay is 35,000 Baht a month minimum. Experienced bilingual teachers in posh Bangkok schools will likely get 100,000+ a month.

Average teacher pay out here is around 6000 Baht a month, so expect a lot of envy.

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I've been teaching in Seoul for the last couple of years. A few things I would say to anyone thinking about teaching:-

-Research the country your going to be teaching in. If possible fly out for a holiday make sure it's for you. I wanted to teach in Vietnam but after backpacking over there it would've been a nightmare.

-Get a professional qualification such as a CELTA which will cost you a grand, but enable you to teach in almost every country in the world. It will also put your teaching on a different level.

-Since the financial crisis began there have been loads of new teachers often qualified teachers mostly from the States and Canada (the teacher origin of choice amongst Koreans.) Wages have dropped because loads of qualified teachers are out here now. This is why it's important to get qualifications in TEFL.

-Have an exit plan you can't do this job forever. I think I have maybe I more year left in Korea tops. Life is transient and friends come and go all the time. UK Employers view it as a holiday, not good for your CV.

-Try teaching or volunteering in a school in the UK before making the commitment.

-Learn about the native language. You will understand why your students make mistakes. As L2 speakers they have to learn mechanics of the language whilst we just 'know' it.

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Anyone done this? What sort of 'training' do you do before you go?

What do you need to do to start teaching English to foreigners properly?

A TEFL course of 120 hours or more, either online or in the classroom (or a mixture of both!) will be enough to get you work in most places around the world.

This free book might come in handy - it gives a good overview of courses, how to find the best TEFL jobs and how to apply: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/tefl-ebook.html

Good luck! :)

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I once rather unkindly said the TEFL was".... the last resort of the terminally directionless." Reading this thread I have changed my opinion.

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1. I'd strongly advise doing the 3 month CELTA rather than the 1 month if you can. Whilst the intensity of the 1 month mirrors your first few months on the job, it will give you a more solid grounding in English grammar. I regret not doing the 3 month.

2. Don't do an online course - you need the experience of standing in front of a class before someone pays you to do it. First you need to get over nerves and second you need to know if it is for you.

3. Learn the language of the country you are in. It is a common ridiculous sight to see people attempting to teach others a language when they appear unable to do it themselves. Also, the experience of sitting where they sit on a routine basis will assist in understanding their POV and instill a bit of humility.

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1. I'd strongly advise doing the 3 month CELTA rather than the 1 month if you can. Whilst the intensity of the 1 month mirrors your first few months on the job, it will give you a more solid grounding in English grammar. I regret not doing the 3 month.

2. Don't do an online course - you need the experience of standing in front of a class before someone pays you to do it. First you need to get over nerves and second you need to know if it is for you.

3. Learn the language of the country you are in. It is a common ridiculous sight to see people attempting to teach others a language when they appear unable to do it themselves. Also, the experience of sitting where they sit on a routine basis will assist in understanding their POV and instill a bit of humility.

+1

I think without that teaching English is a bit of con.

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+1

I think without that teaching English is a bit of con.

In mitigation I was never near bilingual in Mandarin, but I could get by well enough. Being seen to make the effort is as important, IMHO, as succeeding.

Another one is remember that your students are investing a lot of their time and money in your lessons. The money on offer maybe peanuts in some places from your POV, but it isn't from theirs.

Oh, and another: get to know the standard method of teaching English in their schools. This is what they are familiar with, so at least be warned if you deviate from it radically they may get very uncomfortable. You may have to compromise between your beliefs on the learning mechanisms and theirs. Remember if they feel uncomfortable with what you are doing, they will learn nothing, get disenchanted then drop out.

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I once rather unkindly said the TEFL was".... the last resort of the terminally directionless." Reading this thread I have changed my opinion.

It can be. Often depends on the person - there are a lot of people on permanent holiday

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So, looking around, I'm facing a very difficult course along the lines of

- 4 weeks full time

- 6 weeks part time at weekends

- A few hours a week over the academic year.

- to do a decent qualification - CELTA/TESOL

- with a provider that I need to vet beforehand

- costing anything up to £1000 plus costs - travel, accomodation etc.

And the end result will be enough grounding to teach English in a proper classroom role as well as just private tutoring to aid and abet an existing curriculum.

Whilst not my first choice of work, I'm not put off by the idea of teaching having spent some time in my early 20s as a volunteer instructor in a youth organisation. If we were to make that step to emigrate I don't think I could look this gift horse in the mouth and ignore it. I'll continue with my Greek for the moment and see where that takes me. It's certainly preferable to other avenues I'm exploring that are inextricably tied to existing family enterprises nor is there a ex-pat community to feed off.

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So, looking around, I'm facing a very difficult course along the lines of

- 4 weeks full time

- 6 weeks part time at weekends

- A few hours a week over the academic year.

- to do a decent qualification - CELTA/TESOL

- with a provider that I need to vet beforehand

- costing anything up to £1000 plus costs - travel, accomodation etc.

And the end result will be enough grounding to teach English in a proper classroom role as well as just private tutoring to aid and abet an existing curriculum.

Whilst not my first choice of work, I'm not put off by the idea of teaching having spent some time in my early 20s as a volunteer instructor in a youth organisation. If we were to make that step to emigrate I don't think I could look this gift horse in the mouth and ignore it. I'll continue with my Greek for the moment and see where that takes me. It's certainly preferable to other avenues I'm exploring that are inextricably tied to existing family enterprises nor is there a ex-pat community to feed off.

Do you have a University degree?

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