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    #1

    Thinking about taking a TOEFL Course - have ?'s

    I am considering taking an Oxford Seminars course that will be at Clemson University in a couple of weeks. It is a six day, sixty hour class, and at the end it says I would receive a combined TESOL/TEFL/TESL certificate.

    I have an associates degree only and it is in Hospitality Management. I am also recently 55. I have lived overseas before, in Indonesia for two years in the mid 80's and loved it, but because I have elderly parents (in their late 80's) , as much as I would love to live overseas again, I don't know that it is a practical choice for me at this point.

    So these are the things I want to know:

    1) Are the Oxford Seminar courses worth the $1095.00 they cost? Some of the reviews I read say some of the teachers are not good, but I can't see a way to find out who the the instructor is and if they are any good.

    2) Would I have a hard time finding work at my age?

    3) How handicapped am I by not having a four year degree?

    4) How hard is it to find work within the US?

    5) Can I really learn what I would need to succeed in this profession in just six days? It doesn't seem possible. I mean, I realize that there would still be more to learn, but could I get a job upon completion?

  1. ICAL_Pete's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Thinking about taking a TOEFL Course - have ?'s

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzll View Post
    1) Are the Oxford Seminar courses worth the $1095.00 they cost? Some of the reviews I read say some of the teachers are not good, but I can't see a way to find out who the the instructor is and if they are any good.
    That depends on what kind of job you are after. Take a look at the independent tefl course review site and see what former students say about them which appears to be rather scathing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzll View Post
    2) Would I have a hard time finding work at my age?
    It will be slightly more difficult than if you were 25 but certainly not impossible. Some schools prefer older teachers for the gravitas they can bring. Entry level jobs are certainly available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzll View Post
    3) How handicapped am I by not having a four year degree?
    A lot. Most countries have a strict minimum of degree + tefl certificate. You can get away with the later (almost any decent course will do for a lot less than a thousand dollars!). Your best chance would be China where blind eyes are turned to underqualified teachers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzll View Post
    4) How hard is it to find work within the US?
    Difficult without a degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzll View Post
    5) Can I really learn what I would need to succeed in this profession in just six days? It doesn't seem possible. I mean, I realize that there would still be more to learn, but could I get a job upon completion?
    A good basic TEFL course should teach you the basics which will allow you to understand how the class should work and what to do. A lot depends on the effort you put in yourself.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Thinking about taking a TOEFL Course - have ?'s

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzll View Post
    5) Can I really learn what I would need to succeed in this profession in just six days? It doesn't seem possible. I mean, I realize that there would still be more to learn, but could I get a job upon completion?
    I think it's a great idea taking up a new challenge mid-life.
    You're obviously way ahead of some English teachers in that your English is perfect. Also you would have had some life experience that young teachers don't. How is your grammar though? That's something you won't learn in 6 days, and it's something that learners will usually expect you to know - unless you find yourself in a grammar-free school.

    I think the idea of having to have an undergraduate degree is silly, especially if it's in science, computers etc. If you want to teach ESL, and you have the personality for it, you should go for it.
    (Sorry there's not much information in this post)

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Thinking about taking a TOEFL Course - have ?'s

    I find TESOL and TESL etc. trained "teachers" haven't been helped much by such training courses. What you really need is a natural empathy for students, and a good command of a number of other languages other than your own, so that you can intuit which parts of English will seem obvious to foreigners, and which parts need explaining.


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    #5

    Re: Thinking about taking a TOEFL Course - have ?'s

    1) Are the Oxford Seminar courses worth the $1095.00 they cost? Some of the reviews I read say some of the teachers are not good, but I can't see a way to find out who the instructor is and if they are any good.

    It sounds like ICAL Pete knows what heís talking about, so I wonít go there. But you may want to consider an independent course, as they are easier to research and control. This is not to say that organizations like Trinity, CELTA or Oxford do not teach good methodology and classroom management, but they have a tendency to be cumbersomely bureaucratic and top-heavy.

    2) Would I have a hard time finding work at my age?


    Not in Mexico. Most schools love to have the world experience.

    3) How handicapped am I by not having a four year degree?

    Not much. The AA, combined with a TESOL course in Mexico, is more than enough to get you in the door of virtually any school in Mexico. Plus, you can do what I did and study online while you work.

    4) How hard is it to find work within the US?

    I have no idea, but I know that there are many junior colleges that offer ESL classes to foreigners and these are state-subsidized programs. You may want to check them out.

    5) Can I really learn what I would need to succeed in this profession in just six days? It doesn't seem possible. I mean, I realize that there would still be more to learn, but could I get a job upon completion?

    Iíll have to say that I doubt it. It doesnít sound like enough time to really get the teaching practice that you would need in order to successfully manage a classroom. Look for a course that has at least 100 hours of class and at least 6 teaching practice sessions.



    Hope this helps!

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