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  1. #1
    Fjaysay is offline Registered User
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    Degree path for ESL teacher?

    Hello, this thread is for my sister who's trying to become an ESL teacher outside of the U.S. What is the degree path to become a ESL teacher ? What is the requirements and does RA or NA matter or any other related accreditation? There were a few suggestions on how to become an ESL teacher for example, major in English and get an TESOL certification and then you can teach ESL outside of the U.S, but I'm not entirely sure if that's correct.
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  2. #2
    raeofsunshine is offline Registered User
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    There are a lot of paths to become an ESL teacher . Just so you know, I would also advise you and your sister to look for TEFL programs, which is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Many degrees and certificates will prepare you for both ESL and EFL, but many are specifically geared toward teaching here in the U.S. The classes and subject matter are mostly the same, but there are some differences. A degree and a certificate will be just fine. There is no set requirement for teaching English outside the country. Actually, there really isn’t one for teaching ESL here. If your sister wants to advance in the field, then lots of experience and a graduate degree can help with that. The undergrad degree doesn’t even need to be in English. English is a good major but so are Communications , Psychology , adult education , liberal arts, sociology and applied linguistics. All of those majors are useful in teaching people from diverse backgrounds. There are even certificate programs that can be done as an undergraduate student.
    The RA/NA accreditation issue, I don’t think, is relevant outside the United States. Perhaps other forum members can elaborate more on that.

    Dave’s ESL Café and tesol .org are great sources of information.
    I’ve done lots of volunteer work as an ESL teacher and the program trainers & administrators are ESL professors or grad students in the field. So I’ve gotten to meet and become friends with many people in the field. It’s challenging and rewarding—and she definitely won’t be bored!

  3. #3
    Amber424 is offline Registered User
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    Your sister can take the Certificate Programs in Teaching English as a Second Language which can be found online. I think anyone who graduated with any bachelor's degree is eligible in becoming an ESL teacher .

  4. #4
    BrandeX is offline Registered User
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    Is you sister white?

    No - seriously.
    I've been an ESL teacher outside of the U.S. for over 6 years, and that's pretty much been the main requirement. If not, it is still possible to get jobs of course, but you will face more discrimination in regards to hiring. Generally, depending on country (most), you should also have a bachelors in "whatever" too.
    Last edited by BrandeX; 10-01-2013 at 09:29 PM.

  5. #5
    UAtraveler is offline Registered User
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    Take this from someone who learned the hard way. Get a Master's degree in TESOL or Bilingual Education , and major in English in college. I have an MA in Professional Writing, and it did me virtually zero good. In the end I had to go back to get an MA in English and Reading Education from Western New Mexico University (WNMU), so I could stay relevant in my field. If I could do things all over though, I would absolutely major in TESOL . WNMU has a bilingual education major though, which could work just as well, and it's affordable.

  6. #6
    edowave is offline Registered User
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    The requirements depend on where your sister is planning to teach. Most places, having a bachelor's degree in anything is the minimum (and is usually required to get a work visa from the government.) If the degree is not focused on TESL, usually a certification or post-graduate work in TESL is also required. Some places where there is an over-supply of native English teachers , they won't even look at you without a Master's degree.

    Whatever route you go, nothing beats getting actual teaching experience. Tutor ESL students and volunteer to teach or assist with classes. It will make life easier for her when she is actually standing in front of a live classroom on her own for the first time in a foreign country.

    As BrandeX pointed out though, sometimes how you look is what matters. Age/Race/Sex discrimination is frequent in the TESL industry overseas.
    Last edited by edowave; 10-02-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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  7. #7
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrandeX View Post
    Is you sister white?

    No - seriously.
    I've been an ESL teacher outside of the U.S. for over 6 years, and that's pretty much been the main requirement. If not, it is still possible to get jobs of course, but you will face more discrimination in regards to hiring. Generally, depending on country (most), you should also have a bachelors in "whatever" too.
    I'm late to this party and I'm not into TESL or whatever acronym might be used but this is just such a blatant racist statement that it needs to be challenged. It's equally possible that BrandX sucks as a teacher and so can't find work. So you're saying that if I'm Caucasian but from France I will be a preferred candidate to teach English to people from non English speaking countries? I'm a white person from South Africa but I'm preferred because of my skin color? C'mon!
    Prove it!
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  9. #8
    edowave is offline Registered User
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    It's not just about skin color, age and beauty matters too.

    As bad as BrandeX's comment sounds, if you speak to people with overseas TESL experience or ask around on some of the ESL forums, you will find discrimination to be common in the industry overseas. Mostly it is with the private, for-profit operations . You are as much a salesperson as you a teacher , so appearance matters. I did a short stint at a company in Japan that would refuse to hire Japanese-Americans as teachers , even if they were native born and raised in the US or UK and have every qualification under the sun. The company claimed that asian teachers would be perceived by clients as not as good as a white teacher , and would affect sales. Believe it or not, anti-discrimination laws that we are accustomed to in this country are not as prevalent in other countries.
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  10. #9
    BrandeX is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    I'm late to this party and I'm not into TESL or whatever acronym might be used but this is just such a blatant racist statement that it needs to be challenged. It's equally possible that BrandX sucks as a teacher and so can't find work. So you're saying that if I'm Caucasian but from France I will be a preferred candidate to teach English to people from non English speaking countries? I'm a white person from South Africa but I'm preferred because of my skin color? C'mon!
    Prove it!
    Quote Originally Posted by edowave View Post
    The requirements depend on where your sister is planning to teach. Most places, having a bachelor's degree in anything is the minimum (and is usually required to get a work visa from the government.) If the degree is not focused on TESL, usually a certification or post-graduate work in TESL is also required. Some places where there is an over-supply of native English teachers , they won't even look at you without a Master's degree.

    Whatever route you go, nothing beats getting actual teaching experience. Tutor ESL students and volunteer to teach or assist with classes. It will make life easier for her when she is actually standing in front of a live classroom on her own for the first time in a foreign country.

    As BrandeX pointed out though, sometimes how you look is what matters. Age/Race/Sex discrimination is frequent in the TESL industry overseas.
    I find it highly unlikely you couldn't find anything instantly with a basic web search, no real offense intended. A handful of related pages I found in under a minute:

    The Great Pretenders: China
    (Yonhap Feature) Racial preference for white English teachers prevalent in Korea | YONHAP NEWS
    Is it Possible to Be a Successful English (EFL) Teacher in Thailand If You're Black? - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com
    Teaching English as an Asian - TEFL | Ask MetaFilter
    Wanted: English teachers. Asians, don’t apply | TIME.com
    In China, English teaching is a whites-only club - Behind The Wall
    Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily | English teaching: Is white right?
    What's it like for an asian american to teach english abroad in korea? - Yahoo! Answers

  11. #10
    BiggestofA is offline Registered User
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    A very respected qualification for teaching overseas is the CELTA.
    Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

    I know some CELTA tutors/examiners, as well as several who have completed the training.

    The training is hands on and requires a lot of supervised teaching practice.

  12. #11
    Sanjiv Bathla is offline Registered User
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    Hi Fjaysay.......
    It's a very geart think, Your sister trying ESL teacher outside of the US.

    Graduated with any bachelor's degree is eligible in becoming an ESL teacher .
    Good Luck for your sister

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