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Worth getting TESOL diploma and Acadia TESOL school

mPRin (821 posts) • 0

I just checked their site. $949 for a diploma. Is this American dollars? Pricey! What kind of price break are they giving? Can't see anything on the promotions area of the website.

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

Important note

My post of October 21, 2012 above. This was correct at that time, the regs have changed since then.
Some TEFL/TESOL cert is now required for English teachers.

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

Ref online certs.

For most English teaching work they are recognised. However, for some jobs you need fully accredited certificates, for example if you want to work for the British Council. I am not sure about the UK JV universities, but most Chinese universities don't care.

There would be no need for more expensive taught residential courses, that are fully accredited. Be aware that some online courses may require you to attend a weekend TP course, and you will not be able to do this.

I would assume the price is USD949, not HKD949. If you think this is pricey, look at the costs of CELTA and other fully accredited courses.

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

Regarding the work experience requirement. I don't think it specifies you must have two years experience as an English teacher, for English teachers.

This stipulation first appeared in the work visa/Foreign Expert Cert. changes back in 2008-2009, along with the need to be a graduate. It was during the days of the 'sweeping out the trash' dogma. I think the idea behind these regs is this, how can you be an 'expert' in anything if you have no work experience, and how can you work in a professional field if you have no degree.

But as has been pointed out, the experience on the ground is different. Perhaps those non-grads who are teaching have been here for a few years, and could show satisfactorily that they have other valid qualifications.

mPRin (821 posts) • 0

''I would assume the price is USD949, not HKD949. If you think this is pricey, look at the costs of CELTA and other fully accredited courses''

Yes, but isn't CELTA on a whole other level than a TEFL/TESOL?

On a side note, I paid £99 for a 120 hour online TEFL from Language Link TEFL Express. (on a price break, it's usually around £300)
If you are only concerned with teaching in China, I think this is enough. None of the jobs I have applied for have questioned it.

EDIT:Didn't notice the previous posts were from 2012!

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

Acadia? Not much good to say about the quality of the course and/or course material, which is a messy mash-up of documents full of English spelling and grammar mistakes, which the owner claims costs $100 to replace if lost. I hope the owner has actually hired a real teacher now, because earlier he was teaching the courses by himself - which resulted in arguably fun but useless chatting and almost no teaching or practice during the courses. Waste of time.

Secondly, the owner/teacher at the time is a native speaker of English, but entirely fails to grasp English grammar. After all, grammar is the key to understanding how a language works, and if you can't tell an adverb from an preposition, you cannot possibly teach others how to teach others.

Finally, the owner's a bit of a compulsive liar. He makes all kinds of promises he cannot keep. Two of my fellow course attendants were promised well-paying jobs in Shanghai and Beijing after the completion of the course. One was left hanging and the other just given the contact details to apply for the job in Shanghai.

He claims to have all kinds of connections at universities here and there where he can land you a job, but in the end nothing materialises. Even his own marketing manager was promised a lot of paid work, but in the end he only got to work a few hours. To be fair, he was paid for those.

When you point out that he promises but does not deliver, you get a nice ad-hominem attack in your e-mail box which further proves the lack of professionalism demonstrated by his company.

Staying away from Acadia is the only advice I can give you, unless you really need that piece of paper and you have no where else to go. Don't expect any useful skills or experiences.

mmkunmingteacher (561 posts) • 0

The problem with TESOL certification, is that there is really no worldwide, recognized governing body for such, except the British Council. Now, if you go through a program at a real university, it is worthy. Likewise, if the BC approves your program, then it is good. But, there are also many organizations offering TESOL certification. Some are pretty good, and others are crap.

Here in China, your employers will not know too much about this, or really care. If you are "TESOL certified", then the school and the parents will respect it. The most important thing is to be a good teacher who really likes his students and wants them to succeed.

Josh_UK (2 posts) • 0

Hi there,

Thanks for the information provided so far, a useful thread indeed!

I'm considering moving out to Kunming but I have no TESOL qualification and only limited teaching experience. I'm prepared to take a 120 hour TEFL course online and I have the opportunity to gain some classroom experience locally.

What I'd like to know is; how competitive is the job market in Kunming? How long would it realistically take before someone with limited qualifications finds a job, and what sort of employment contract should they expect?

Do English language teachers enjoy decent living standards in Kunming?

Many thanks in advance,

Josh, London

mPRin (821 posts) • 0

Hi Josh,

As long as you have a bachelors, finding a job here should be easy. The online TEFL will help.

English teacher salaries vary a lot.. from as little as 4000 RMB a month for teaching in university to more than 12000 for language school teaching. Bear in mind you will be working more hours and teaching on weekends in a language school.
Some people manage to save a lot of their salary here. I am not one of them, but then it depends what kind of life you want to lead. If you never go to bars, eat only Chinese food and take the bus then it's possible to save.
Good luck!

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

Hi Josh
Any tefl cert will do for the visa, and really all of the on-line seem to be not much more than a useful refresher on grammar and a little bit on teaching theory.

Just make sure that they can be done 100% online if that is what you want. Although some like i-to-i do a weekend TP (teaching practice course. In London you will be able to travel each day.

As @mPRin noted, most of the work in language schools will be late afternoon/early evening and weekends. Mostly for school kids. Even adult teaching is evenings and weekends. You do however get to lie in a lot. And during school hols you can really bump up your hours.

Teaching at a language school is often a good start. You are constrained as you generally teach from their books, but there is also a freedom in that. Teaching to the book requires less class prep, and you get to deliver and learn what a structured class looks like. As you get more experience you will have more ability to 'freestyle'.

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