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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 2

    Exclamation Please help me to study the right thing!

    I'm an undergrad (junior according to credit hours) majoring in Spanish and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I'm having major issues when it comes to being decisive and figuring out what I really want to be doing and where. Here are my issues:

    1) I recently spoke with my advisor and he determined that Spanish Education isn't right for me since I'm more interested in Teaching ESL, but I am concerned that I won't be able to get a job teaching ESL in the US because I won't have a license to teach. The TESOL major is more for people who want to teach abroad (and I will teach abroad, but that doesn't mean I'll never come back to the States). Should I try and survive the boring/way too easy education classes in order to be more marketable?

    2) I have spoken Spanish for 6 years now and I am very, very good at it, but everyone speaks Spanish these days and I am very bored with it. I change my interests frequently (not on purpose, it just happens) and now I am studying Arabic and Turkish. I can't, however, learn very much if I'm busy with other subjects and have no formal classes, so I want to study them somewhere else. So far the only schools I know of (besides top ivy league schools) that have Arabic are GWU in DC, Drexel in Philadelphia, BYU (not my kind of place), and OSU. OSU seems to be the best because it also has Turkish. Does anyone recommend any of these schools or any others that I don't know about for Arabic/Turkish?

    3) If and when I find a school with the right language program for me, should I transfer as an undergrad or wait until I graduate to go there? My advisor told me that if I'm serious enough about studying those languages I should do so as soon as possible because in order to even get into the graduate program, you have to have taken a certain number of undergrad language courses. I only have 2 semesters left where I am, however, and most schools don't have TESOL for undergrads, so it might be better to wait. Opinions?

    4) My advisor gave me the phone number of a man who recruits students for a government-funded defensive language institute where I could study Arabic. The school pays its students, so this might be one of the most affordable ideas, but I'm sure that there are many obligations to the government after graduation. Does anyone happen to know what this school is called and if this is a horrible idea or not?

    p.s. I posted this in another forum and someone told me the following:

    "For what it's worth, you don't really need TESOL undergrad stuff to be an ESL teacher abroad. I've never seen an employer make a distinction between someone who did ESL training as an undergrad and someone who got accredited through a program. Also, seriously, seriously reconsider doing ESL as a career. It's basically the Foreign Legion of teaching: it my experience it was about equally split between people who were there because they didn't know what else to do with their lives and people who had lived outside the US for so long they didn't even know where to begin thinking about doing anything else."

    - This was quite discouraging. I'm hoping that you all disagree with him?

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 10

    Re: Please help me to study the right thing!

    my friend,
    just tranquilo..first finish ur school..then come to turkey..cause we need native speakers here.TESOL is necessary for us,cause its not our mother language,besides its not necessary for turkey..if you have a teachin licence no matter where u graduate from..they jump on you..i have many friends who graduated from English Literature&Culture or American Literature&Culture..they got the licence n now they can be dont worry about that!you can work at the best colleges with that english
    spanish..i really want to learn spanish..its not popular in turkey but i think it will be the lingua franca..cause everybody is interested in spanish nowadays.. n im very happy about that
    as i said before,just tranquilo n let it all hang out..everythin will be alright

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 3

    Re: Please help me to study the right thing!

    Hey there.
    I'm not sure about studying Arabic/Turkish in-depth, but I do know that the University of Washington (Seattle) offers many of the Middle-Eastern languages (including Turkish). And I know the ESL program is also really good. If you only have one year left, finish where you are now. You can always do a post-bacc somewhere if you decide you don't have the proper undergraduate education. But also consider a masters program somewhere as well. I would always recommend University of Washington; it is an amazing school. Not a single bad program there, you're in the U-district in Seattle (a cool city and coolest part of the city), and world-class education.

    I do have two friends that taught English overseas: one in Japan, the other in Korea. The one in Japan came home early because he hated it so much, and the other can't wait to come home. This is however a limited comparison, so I imagine your experience could be very different.

    Whatever you choose to do, do your research, and be 100% confident about your choice. Ask instructors/advisors in every program any questions you have, and inform them about what you intend to do. It's amazing with how knowledgeable some of these people really are. Hope I could help!


  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,732

    Re: Please help me to study the right thing!

    When you say that you will teach abroad but will go back to the States, do be careful with that line of thinking. Many people go abroad and find themselves staying out long enough for it to be very difficult to return. If you go abroad, then either set a time limit and stick to it, or go for the areas where ESL offers decent jobs, though that is often in universities and requires a Master's as an entry. If you come back home after, say, five years, you will often be at a disadavantage over other applicants.

    The Foreign Legion comment may seem bleak, but there's a lot of truth in what they say. The market is oversupplied in Europe, an area I wouldn't go near nowadays, and wages are tumbling; I have seen jobs advertised that are paying the same or less than I was making there a decade ago. There are still opportunities and it can be a rewarding job, but it is an area that has more than its fair share of dodgy outfits and rip-offs.

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