If you are an analytical guy then you would relish the idea of 'figuring out' what course to take, and then later on, proudly presenting the reasoning and methodology behind your final choice with a seemingly interminable Powerpoint presentation.
Just get the rough draft on my desk on Monday please.
With graphs, please.
And a shiny cover. A4, 1.5" margins all around. No comic sans.
Last edited by Anna Key; 23rd October 2011 at 21:19.
"Take this, brother; may it serve you well."
TEFL is the one you need to know, which stands for 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language'. The 'foreign' part just means that English is not the first language of the country you'll be teaching in.
The CELTA is a TEFL course. It's externally moderated & validated by the University of Cambridge in the UK & is a tough course with a real possibility of failure but with obvious benefits; the mutt's nuts if you like.
Other TEFL courses, with the possible exception of SEE TEFL who have ISO:9001 accreditation, are not quality assured by any reputable external body. I can't name names on here but I work with some people who've taken these courses. They were told things like 'Don't worry about grammer, you'll be teaching conversation' & IMO some of these courses are nothing more than a rubber stamp exercise.
I really would advise that, for your own benefit & the benefit of your prospective students, you do take a TEFL course. BTW the only courses recognised by schools are ones with at least 120 hours of classroom theory & 6 hours of observed teaching practice.
Chock dee khrap.
[edit: looks like slamb got there first on some of the stuff I'm about to say, apologies for any repetition!]
TEFL usually refers to Teaching English as a Foreign Language, something we do in non-native English speaking countries. It's similar to ESOL, English for Speakers of Other Languages, which can refer to the non-native English speaking learner being resident in an English speaking environment. Both are generic.
The CELTA is aimed at teaching adults but there is a variant - subject to availability - that can cater to those focussing on children. The Trinity Cert TESOL is the other big one and features a component aimed at teaching the kids. TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, thus can refer to non-native speakers learning English either as a foreign language (like TEFL) or to those in an English speaking country (like ESOL).
EFL is just a short version of TEFL without the Teaching part being referred to but it's just the same.
ESL is English as a Second Language and can also be general and generic of the non-native speaker's location at time of learning English.
You'll probably come to learn all this on a course, but the point is CELTA and Trinity Cert TESOL are your best options if possible, particularly if you ever end up in Western Europe or certain other places.
Following on from that, and to repeat a point made earlier because it IS important, is that a TEFL qualification of some kind definately gives you options for later if you leave Thailand and stick with the industry elsewhere, an increasingly competitive one where TEFL certification is becoming more and more necessary either by law, to keep ahead of your peers or because employers are increasingly demanding it.
The student-centred methodology may not be easy to implement in Thailand but a proper course - that is to say, one with the minimum amount of practicum - will not only give you a little first time experience with the classroom and real bodies, it should also help you to be reflective and provide practical feedback from experts in the field, if only in an idealised way that doesn't always compute with the reality of the Thai education system.
Furthermore, it will build your confidence not only as someone standing in front of 10 to 40 students but also in terms of having the most basic grasp of the lingo and the issues. Sure you can get these from a book, but that doesn't come with the added benefit of the input and support of one's peers on the course, which also brings us to the other good point of TEFL courses which is contacts: I still get job opportunities coming through from my old tutors.
Personally I think you have the right attitude and I'm sure you're going to do just fine. You don't need a TEFL cert in Thailand but it's a sound investment for any non-teacher qualified newbie with an eye on future horizons.
Graph, or it didn't happen.
(Smashes bottle on table)
My analogy detects sarcasm Miss Anna
The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.
as long as you have a tefl i dont think it rly matters if the course was 40 hours or 120 or 2 weeks or 6, no one ever asked me. maybe it has for others though?
i found more opportunity by getting out and talking to people rather than searching online.
-photocopy everything several times. everything. (bring originals too)
-do an online tefl before you come, i did & several of my friends teaching in korea did too with np
-go to the local farang bars, be friendly and ask around for openings
-get a double or triple entry 60 day tourist visa, could be a while before they give you a work permit
-acclimatize to always being schweaty
Don't nut yourself up too much. Just make sure you got enough money to support yourself for few months and an exit plan for an emergency.
Rent is a small problem. The places I've rented always gave me my deposit back as long as i stayed at least 3 months. And even if they don't you are probably only talking about 1 months rent.
Not enuff to worry about.
TEFL if you think you need it do it. But its not gonna make you a teacher. But it will get your feet wet and might be a good place to connect with job ops.
The worst is visa and paperwork. Do your homework and make sure you bring the right paperwork.
good luck with it.
Bob Segar rocks
Last edited by fred flintstone; 6th November 2011 at 18:15.
Anna Key - You are very welcome, and we know the real thanks is to everyone that provided useful contributions to my thread.
Fred Flinstone - Bob Segar does rock. I took lessons from one of his first guitarists, Mike Bruce, he's on the Smokin' OPs album. Part of my job before I move to Thailand is to strip down all my belongings to one packed suitcase, so the other day I tossed out a bunch of old news clippings about Bruce that I had as memos. He was a genuine asshole and one hell of a guitar teacher and player. RIP old friend.
The only change in my plan is I might take the TEFL course in Pattaya now, instead of Bangkok. I think it will be a more laid back place and I like the beach. I'm still gunning to be there to start in mid Feb. Honestly, I think I could survive and get a job there without a TEFL, but my intuiton tells me that "I" will be better off with a TEFL, and I'm probably going to do it at Text and Talk.
Finally, somone asked what I'd sell my 06 Subaru Forester XT for. I'll take 11k, and I've babied it.
Oh yeah, thank goodness for a supportive family. My father's only cautions were to "never forget there is a high HIV rate there" and "never say anything bad about the king!". Gotta love my old man! and I do take his words of wisdom very seriously! Honestly, I probably would have searched for a teaching job in Thailand many several years ago, but I have a close bond with my son, and I never thought I could be so far away from him for so long. We have been talking about, and he's now excited that I'm getting to do this. Yes, we are going to miss hanging out together, and some days it will suck, but life is full of compromise and sacrifice. Anyways, he will be in good hands, and skype will help keep us close
Well take1risk, your postings answered a lot of question for me. Thanks. And it looks like we might be seeing each other soon. My plan is very much like yours ( same TEFL school, same place, same time). I am a physicist and would also like to teach either math, physics or chemistry. I am looking forward to meeting you and being classmates and newbies together. I feel a little easier (almost ) knowing somebody who is going to be there with me. Send me a private message (if you can, I am too much a a noowb and they won't let me) if you would like to communicate prior to landing.
Good Luck (to both of us),
I talked to Mr. James Parmalee at the Text & Talk TEFL school this morning. He encouraged me to take classes in Bangkok instead of Pattaya. He seemed to imply that teaching math/science in English was really only happening at bilingual schools which were primarily located in Bangkok, not the vacation cities. I get the impression that if we want to be able to teach math/science anywhere in Thailand, we will need to fluent in the language or be consigned to only teach in big cities where bilingual and international schools exist. Mr. Parmalee seemed pretty convinced that my experience would be better in Bangkok and my initial hiring oppertunities would be easier and pay more for staying there. It seems that might be a good idea to be in Bangkok for a year or so, make some good money, get the lay of the land and learn the language before heading out to the countryside and exploring some more possibly desirable locations. Having the experience and language under my belt will make things a lot easier, maybe.
Does anyone have any comments on this observation.
Levels of English are extremely low outside of the bigger towns and cities and more established schools, so the advice might be good.
No point in setting weak goals in life. If I plan on staying for a while, I might as well get to the good stuff as soon as possible.