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  1. #1
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    Default Help!! Trying to choose TESOL course...

    Hi there

    I'm trying to choose between two different TESOL courses. One is being offered through Teach International, the other is being offered at my local Polytech.

    The main differences between them are:

    Teach International offers a 5 day in class course which is only available in Australia (I'm in NZ). The rest of the course consists of online reading and a short practicum (min 10 hrs). These sections can both be done from NZ. This course offers an insight into the ESL industry as well as culture shock, contracts, etc. It's designed for people for havn't had any previous experience and is taught in a fun, interactive way. It is accretated by Centrelink, an Australian govt organisation. They also offer a job guarantee for 6 mths afterwards and lifetime access to their recruitment centre and forums on their website. Specilisations make up part of the online options and you can choose what you want to do, e.g. business english, teaching children, teaching adults...

    The course available through the polytech is 12 wks fulltime (mon-thurs, 9am-4pm) and involves a much larger practicum section (1 day per week in a classroom, plus extra days in class teaching) as well as observation. The way this course is taught doesn't seem as fun as Teach International's. You have a chance to teach both elementary and intermediate speakers as well as children and adults. It is accretated by the NZ Qualifications Authority, which is moderated by the NZ Govt. This course doesn't really offer much job support or advice, although guest speakers do come in who have just been teaching in other countries who have done the course. You can also email past students who are now teaching overseas and you are informed of any jobs if they come up. At the tech, they also give you a testimonial from them if you want it and on the certificate they detail everything that you've studied and how long it was. Prospective employees can also view the qual on the NZQA website.

    At first I wanted to do the Teach International course because it sounded like so much fun and gave so much back-up. Then I went to the information evening for the course at the tech and that sounded much more in depth.

    At the tech, one of the tutors told me that overseas employers look at how much practicum you have done. I'm not sure how correct this is and whether 1 qual will make any difference over the other.

    The Teach International course is $1700 (minus any airfares, meals and accomodation I'd have to fork out for).

    The tech course is approx $1650 incl textbooks.

    What does everyone here think? I'm just worried I won't enjoy the tech course as much and will find it harder getting a job. The support with the Teach International course sounds really good (in regards to contracts, the forum, culture shock, etc..), but I spose there's somewhere else I can find that info.

    If anyone has got any useful advice to help me make a decision, it would be much appreciated!


    Thanks

    Caitlin

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Help!! Trying to choose TESOL course...

    They're both recognised courses, so they would both be good enough to get jobs in many countries. If I were looking at your CV and saw a course that had a lot of classroom practice, I would be more attracted than to one with a minimal amount, which inclines me towards the second.

    As an old fart, the fun element doesn't grab me greatly, and remember they are the ones who say it's fun. I've been through so many training courses that when people talk about fun, my hackles go up. Also, the purpose of training isn't to have fun, and how much fun will you have reading a manual alone at home? The job guarantee is good, though there are plenty of jobs out there- have a look at some of the job boards.

    You can get most of the culture shock stuff from a copy of the Lonely Traveller or similar. Anyway, it's just learning a few no-nos and being able to adapt to different lifestyles, which from my experience is something people either have the ability to do or not. It's not that difficult anyway, and I have lived in various countries. Besides which, the internet is swarming with forums full of teachers from all over the world who can help out there.

    I can't help but incline towards the NZ course as the certificate would impress me more if you sent it to me. However, I would still recomend looking into the CELTA simply because it so widely recognised- look at how many adverts use it as the standard qualificatioon of measure for a qualification, though the polytech course smacks of being very similar.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help!! Trying to choose TESOL course...

    Hi tdol

    Thanks heaps for your help! I thought as much (about the tech course being better), but just wanted to get another opinion from someone experienced.

    I should be able to get info about contracts, etc on TESOl forums.

    I've also been corresponding with a graduate of the course and she said they were told about culture shock and met with some Human Resources people also. There are also guest speakers such as past students who have been teaching overseas.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help!! Trying to choose TESOL course...

    Oh and in regards to CELTA..it's hugely expensive (about $3000), I know it's highly recognised, but it's also shorter (only 4 weeks) and a lot more intensive. I'm not even sure if this is an industry I'd enjoy working in, I'm doing it so I have another option when I'm overseas.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Help!! Trying to choose TESOL course...

    In that case, the NZ qualification should be fine. Enjoy overseas.

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