Jump to content
BANGKOK
Sign in to follow this  
Tyfon

Which Qualification..?

Recommended Posts

Hi Folks, a quick intro., this being my first post, before the main question.

I am a (nearly)43-year-old scientist with a degree (biology and physics) and masters (physiology) who has spent the last 13 years as a researcher in major British medical schools (Birmingham, Imperial College London) studying the developing visual system in humans (especially eye disease in premature babies). I have extensive experience in working in both university (research) and hospital environments, always had a hankering to teach, but little opportunity other than occasional lab demonstrations. I have published my research extensively in major international journals (Lancet, Archives of Ophthalmology, British Journal of Ophthalmology)

I am truly heart-sick with my existence in London - miserable people, dreadful environment, crime, no police, and with the NHS attitude to those who try to 'help from the outside'. In January my entire research group moved to a non-medical university with a pretty poor environment. My health is suffering, my boss is retiring and I want out.

So I want to take a TEFL/TESOL or similar course, but which one? There are courses here in London for about GBP900 moderated by 'Trinity' (e.g. htp://www.tefleurope.com) - is this a good standard, internationally recognised? Would it give me any advantage over other schools that seem to issue their own certificates? I naturally shy away from the online courses, but should I?

Also, I see courses offered in Thailand (e.g. http://teflintl.com/thailand_banphe.htm) with lodging for similar prices (airfare extra), but again would these qualifications be more or less valued, not just in Thailand but other countries in Asia and Europe?

As I see it I could quit, sell up and take a course in Thailand (where I am familiar and comfortable with the culture) or do my part-time course here in London and then seek a job in Bangkok or nearby, then quit, sell up and move to get those vital first couple of years experience.

So, in summary what course or moderation should I take to give me the best qualification for a running start in the Thai market with a view to working elsewhere later on?

Many thanks, in advance, for your help and advice.

Edited by Tyfon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you speak English? If so just bring copies of your degrees with you and you can get a job teaching English....actually the degrees are optional...speaking English is all it really takes....if you get all those teaching credentials it will just help you to get a better job (better working conditions) and/or more pay. Of course you could take some courses to learn how to teach and I guess that's the idea behind getting the teaching credentials...but whenever you talk about the various options you have, you always seem to only be thinking about which one is most recognized...you never seem to be concerned about which one would actually help prepare you the best for teaching....sooooo if I'm correct about this and you are not worried about learning how to teach but only want credentials then you probably don't really need to do anything but to just show up here with a smile and a good attitude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the degrees you have will easily get you a job with work permit and legal status

but a good tefl course will show you how to teach. I would avoid the online courses. The only good thing about them is that they are cheap, but they will help you little in way of practice. I can only recommmend one, the Cambridge CELTA,

because that's the one I took. It is $US 1,400, very demanding and stressful, but you will learn it the right way and get a lot of monitored teaching practice out of it.

The instructors (Bangkok, Siam Square) in my opinion were excellent. There are other posters here who say that Text and Talk in Bangkok is good as well; cheaper, less stressful. Many of them are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to reply chownah and mbkudu.

It does seem I have been a little unclear. Of course I want a good course that will prepare me, as much as reasonably possible, for teaching in Thailand and elsewhere. In my limited mind a widely recognised qualification will be accepted because it is from a reputable institutution, is of good quality and produces well prepared teachers. If I were hiring my replacement I would take an Oxford graduate, because of their overall reputation, over a University of Middle-of-Nowhere graduate, all other things being equal.

What I want to avoid are pieces of paper which, as mbkudu puts it, "...are not worth the paper they are printed on."

I understand that I could in theory, just turn up in LOS and find something, but I do want it to be entirely legitimate and be equipped to do the job well. I have always exceeded my employers expectations of me in every stage of my science career, but this is a big change for me and it needs to be done right first time.

mbkudu: I will look at the CELTA, perhaps some here in the UK too. That's what I'm looking for, "the good TEFL course" that will maximise my chances of suceeding in this new career. Thanks again.

Edited by Tyfon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for taking the time to reply chownah and mbkudu.

It does seem I have been a little unclear. Of course I want a good course that will prepare me, as much as reasonably possible, for teaching in Thailand and elsewhere. In my limited mind a widely recognised qualification will be accepted because it is from a reputable institutution, is of good quality and produces well prepared teachers. If I were hiring my replacement I would take an Oxford graduate, because of their overall reputation, over a University of Middle-of-Nowhere graduate, all other things being equal.

What I want to avoid are pieces of paper which, as mbkudu puts it, "...are not worth the paper they are printed on."

I understand that I could in theory, just turn up in LOS and find something, but I do want it to be entirely legitimate and be equipped to do the job well. I have always exceeded my employers expectations of me in every stage of my science career, but this is a big change for me and it needs to be done right first time.

mbkudu: I will look at the CELTA, perhaps some here in the UK too. That's what I'm looking for, "the good TEFL course" that will maximise my chances of suceeding in this new career. Thanks again.

You will not be disappointed with it. If you have the money and the time, it can't be beat in my opinion. The cost and intensive nature of the course is what turns the meek and unprepared away, but if you are looking for the best and most recognised, it's the one to do. There are two CELTA courses in Thailand, ECC and one other (don't know the name). The ECC in Siam Square is easy to get to and the instuctors and staff top notch. I think they offer one in Phuket as well.

Good luck. Mbk

Edited by mbkudu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You will not be disappointed with it. If you have the money and the time, it can't be beat in my opinion. The cost and intensive nature of the course is what turns the meek and unprepared away, but if you are looking for the best and most recognised, it's the one to do. There are two CELTA courses in Thailand, ECC and one other (don't know the name). The ECC in Siam Square is easy to get to and the instuctors and staff top notch. I think they offer one in Phuket as well.

Good luck. Mbk

OK, you originaly called it the Cambridge CELTA - so is it moderated from the UK? Does that mean it is well recognised in other countries should I decide to travel later? I'm off to Google them now :o

Is that http://www.cactuslanguage.com ?

Many thanks, again.

Edited by Tyfon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you actually want to do?

Teach English or a science subject?

With your background, if you want to teach a science subject you can walk straight into a middle level bilingual program. maybe even a lower level international school, or even a proper international school. (most of the high levels want proper teachers with PGCEs ) There are not that many science degree holders here.

To teach your subject, you wont need a TEFL/TESOL course.

If you want to teach english then yes, a TEFL course will help you prepare for what you need to do. Its up to you whether you want to do the Trinity in the uk or the CELTA here. If you want to do the course here, there are 2 I would do, the CELTA or the TEFL Intl TESOL course in Ban Phe ( Which was originally a Trinity course if I remember right) which I did.

on a personal level, i would do the course here. it gives you a bit of an insite of what it is like to live here and lets you bed in so to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bluffer,

I have somehow got the idea that teaching science in LOS would not be so easy to get into for me as I have no specific teaching qualifications and such would be required, as they are in the UK. Of course, I know anything is possible in Thailand, but I really want to play by the rules as far as possible - at my age I can't really take chances.

The TESOL route, I hoped, would present a wider range of career options, not just in LOS but worldwide. I also have the impression that science teachers - unqualified teachers - were lower paid and not so in demand: Am I mistaken?

The plan I am beginning to formulate is to 1) Take a CELTA/TESOL course 2) Settle in to making a living and gaining experience. 3) Perhaps presenting myself to nearby and not-so-nearby Universities and Hospitals offering my experience in scientific research and publication to encourage and help their researchers in preparing papers for submission to international (English language) journals. That might, just might, give me the change and flexibility I need while making some use of my previous experience.

I'd looked at the Ban Phe course (http://teflintl.com/ right?), that was the one that originally had me thinking of dropping everything and training in LOS, but I'm not clear on how widely recognised their cert. is. It doesn't explicitly say it's Cambridge CELTA.

Anyway thanks again for your input :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have somehow got the idea that teaching science in LOS would not be so easy to get into for me as I have no specific teaching qualifications and such would be required, as they are in the UK.

With your credentials, you can get a science teaching easily. The benefit to you is that most 'tech' teachers get an extra 10KTHB per month, sometimes more. There are not that many well qualified teachers here in LOS as was said. You do not need a TEFL, but it would help to be aware of how teaching English here is much different than any teaching you have ever done or seen. This will make you a better science teacher too. I teach Math and it sure has helped me.

Another option you have is to land a job with an international school (they pay much better) BEFORE you come here. They pay much larger salaries to those they recruit overseas than they will pay to someone already here, in most cases. We are talking pay of 100KTHB to 150KTHB vs 40 - 60 KTHB here. Find a job fair and try to land a position that way if you can .... sounds like you do have the time to invest. Sometimes they require Education degrees, but not always. Taking the CELTA there in London would definitely help. This is the golden path into teaching in LOS, and the extra pay will make your life much more comfortable.

Good Luck

Edited by paulfr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This will make you a better science teacher too. I teach Math and it sure has helped me.

This is a key point. A CELTA/TEFL will get you started on how to teach. It is really irrelevant that the course is centered in English language teaching. You could apply what you learn to any subject, whether it is English, science, math, history, ect. Just pay for one that is worthwhile or you'll be wasting your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, you originaly called it the Cambridge CELTA - so is it moderated from the UK? Does that mean it is well recognised in other countries should I decide to travel later? I'm off to Google them now :o

It is very closely moderated by Cambridge in the UK. At the end of every course a representative from Cambridge is flown out to inspect and observe the learning and the teaching. When I took it last July a representative spent the whole day looking over everything: our assignments, portfolios, records, and observed our teaching practice. She also scutinizes the instuctors as well. From what I have heard and read the CELTA is more recognised worldwide than any other. Some of the other courses stress that they are more Thailand focused, but I'm not sure how important this is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, one doctorate I might almost have swallowed. But I'm filing this one in the "laugh bin." C'mon, folks, this is clearly an attempt to bait people into starting up the TEFL flame wars- "which is better/more recognized, CELTA, TEFL," blah, blah, blah. Nice try, Smeg.

Of course, I could be wrong. Here's a little question for you (since you're so interested in opthamalogy): What's the difference in the thin-lens equation applied to contact lenses and glasses for near-sighted people? What's the relationship of the diopter rating for the lens to this equation? Please answer in your own words- I'm sure you don't have to link to a website, considering you're so smart and all.

"Steven"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...since you're so interested in opthamalogy

Sufficiently interested to be able to spell it correctly - ophthalmology.

One weekend and already I have an entry in my ignore list :D

Anyone wishing to check my publication record may do so through any PubMed portal (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/) and search for "cocker kd" - those are just the ones in journals that PubMed list.

Thanks, once again, to all of you who have given me some useful ideas - I was getting a little lost in the matrix of schools/qualifications/opportunities. I feel I'm getting a better handle on that now.

The private schools idea is a bit of a curve-ball; I had abandoned hope there since they all seem to demand high-end teaching qualifications and experience of UK teaching. Perhaps this bluster? I've put a resume on www.isat.or.th as a first step. The idea that being recruited from London rather than on the ground, so to speak, could double my salary seems weird, but then again TIT :o

Once again, thanks to all (but one)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew when I posted that I hadn't spelled it correctly. That was part of your test- which you passed. The other part was answering my relatively simple question, which you have not. Anyone can "pretend" to be a published person- I just have to look up a name. If your qualifications were truly what you say they were, my question would have been a relatively simple matter.

Too bad, Smeg. Try again next time.

"Steven"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I knew when I posted that I hadn't spelled it correctly.  That was part of your test- which you passed.  The other part was answering my relatively simple question, which you have not.  Anyone can "pretend" to be a published person- I just have to look up a name.  If your qualifications were truly what you say they were, my question would have been a relatively simple matter.

Too bad, Smeg.  Try again next time.

"Steven"

"Steven" "Steven" Quote spelled[/b] it correctly]Endquote - try this spelt it correctly?.

Your stocks have hit rock bottom! What makes you think you have the right to level unsubstansiated allegations . A super member you may be (super purely by number of posts) get down off your high horse your not admin nor moderator you are a member with aspirations that are obvious. :o

OP I am sure that some of the answers to your post will benefit some members sometime somewhere.

Edited by mijan246

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...