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  1. Newbie
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      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Feb 2015
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    #1

    Should I do an MA-TESOL or TESOL certificate as a complete beginner?

    Should I do an MA-TESOL or TESOL certificate as a complete beginner?
    First of all, I'm a complete beginner, with no experience. I want to get into TESOL though soon. I'm currently an anthropology major (so my experience with linguistics is primarily through linguistic anthropology), and will be graduating this May. I am confined to Champaign, IL for the next 2 years though because of personal and financial reasons.

    Anyways, I've been looking into a few programs and trying to see if a MA or certificate is better for me. An MA seems to give much greater opportunities, but also seems aimed towards people with experience (though they claim to accept people with no experience). For the MA, I've been looking at Mizzou and Arizona State's online programs, which both include a practicum. Mizzou is cheaper, but ASU seems more reputable For the certificate, I've been looking at Mizzou and University of Illinois' programs. Once again, Mizzou is the cheaper option and actually has a practicum with more hours. UIUC though is much more reputable, but is more expensive and has less practicum hours (which are included in individual classes rather than a separate practicum).

    Basically, I'm just wondering what is better for me out of the 4 options, or if there are other options I should consider. However, I will not be able to go beyond $16,000, and cannot go elsewhere at the moment. So it would have to be something online or local. Thanks.

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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

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    #2

    Re: Should I do an MA-TESOL or TESOL certificate as a complete beginner?

    An MA can be useful for teaching in universities and suchlike, but they will also be looking for experience. I would look into getting a decent basic training course like the CELTA first, which will cost a fraction of the price of an MA and will open most doors for getting going. Because many MAs are heavily theoretical, many places will also be looking for practical training as well. Online training is the method that opens the fewest doors because it doesn't involve teaching practice. I would recommend the CELTA first because of its international acceptance, followed by similar courses that have teaching practice. I would do the MA after teaching for a while.

  2. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
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    #3

    Re: Should I do an MA-TESOL or TESOL certificate as a complete beginner?

    Actually, all of the online options I listed require students to take a practicum. The range between them is from 20-45 hours, which is more than the CELTA. Also, if I did the UIUC certificate, I would be able to take half of the course at the college since I will be in Champaign, IL. It seems most people recommend the CELTA, but it seems odd to me that any instution would take the CELTA which is 120 contact hours + 6 hours of practice teaching over something like UIUC's certificate which is 300 contact hours and 20-25 hours of practice teaching. And its not as if University of Illinois isn't also a world renowned university.

    So I'm just wondering if this is actually the case. Would the CELTA be better than a certificate like UIUC's? Thanks.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #4

    Re: Should I do an MA-TESOL or TESOL certificate as a complete beginner?

    It depends on where you want to work, but it may be the case in some places. I think you might be in a bit of a quandary if you're looking to get higher qualifications as the job doors that they will open will generally require experience. However, many first teaching posts demand use CELTA like a mantra (100% of the adverts that I looked at a couple of years ago would have accepted it: https://www.usingenglish.com/profile...es/000465.html). If you do one of these online courses, I would play up the practical aspects when applying for jobs, as those are serious hours of teaching.

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