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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Re: University teaching expernce; linguistics trai

Posted By: nomad soul
Date: Wednesday, 23 January 2013, at 3:42 p.m.

In Response To: University teaching expernce; linguistics training (Amy Wilhelm)

I am interested in teaching ESL not in a grade school or high school. Rather, I would like to teach either a combination of ages, or adults in a university or private company type of setting. Based on my background explained below, what types of positions could I obtain right now, without additional training? What training would I need to get to teach the ages I am interested in? (I am not limiting myself to a certain country right now, but probably would not consider Saudi Arabia or other conservative Middle East countries.)

My background: Thank you for reading through this. I apologize ahead of time if this is unnecessarily detailed.

I am a U.S. citizen, have a B.A. in International Relations (with Spanish). I spent a semester in Mexico during this. I later took classes in Education for 2 years at 4 year university; this gave me a nice pedagogical base and a State (Missouri) certificate to teach Spanish K-12. I took one applied linguistics class, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Methodologies, (its theories and practices were very helpful to my teaching effectively high school Spanish). After 3 years of teaching high school, I obtained an M.A. in Spanish, which included two (graduate level) classes in Applied Linguistics: one studying theory of language acquisition and methodologies of teaching L2 with attention to technology; and another studying phonology and teaching phonology of a second language. I taught Spanish at the University where I did masters as a T.A. and then adjunct, for total of 3 years. I then taught Spanish last year at another university as an adjunct full time. This included a couple classes that were "hybrid" (partly online classes). This totals 4 years of teaching college level. I have recently volunteered teaching ESL to small classes of adult native Spanish speakers for a total of about 40 hours.

I appreciate details on the nature of training you recommend so I can see how I would develop as a teacher. Thank you so very much for your thoughts.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The fact that you've taught Spanish will not interest employers seeking an English language teacher who can facilitate their students' specific, English language learning needs. For your CV/resume, I suggest keeping your non-English teaching experience to a minimum; otherwise, potential employers might get the impression you'd rather teach Spanish than English. (That was the sense I got while reading your post and seeing 'Spanish' mentioned in every other sentence.) Additionally, employers expect to see paid TESOL teaching experience and not volunteer teaching.

Since you didn't state which countries or regions you want to teach in, it's hard to say if a TEFL cert is required to teach at the university level. But if you're looking at TEFL as a career, then consider getting a CELTA or SIT cert, or at least an equivalent, 120-hour TEFL cert from an onsite program that includes supervised teaching with real students. This will open more opportunities for you and help you compete for the better positions.

Be aware that as a US citizen, teaching in much of Europe is not a possibility. You're not interested in TEFL jobs in the Mid East, which, you wouldn't qualify for anyway without a CELTA/valid TEFL cert and solid, relevant experience. That leaves a few European countries as well as Asia and Latin America. I suggest you check out the jobs discussion forums on this site to get an idea of where you want to go and what you'll need in order to get there.

Messages In This Thread

University teaching expernce; linguistics training
Amy Wilhelm -- Tuesday, 22 January 2013, at 5:45 p.m.
Re: University teaching expernce; linguistics trai
nomad soul -- Wednesday, 23 January 2013, at 3:42 p.m.
Re: University teaching expernce; linguistics trai
Tim -- Thursday, 24 January 2013, at 11:49 a.m.
Re: University teaching expernce; linguistics trai
amymidwest -- Thursday, 20 June 2013, at 9:57 a.m.
Re: University teaching expernce; linguistics trai
nomad soul -- Friday, 21 June 2013, at 11:01 a.m.
Re: University teaching expernce; linguistics trai
spiral78 -- Friday, 21 June 2013, at 9:51 a.m.

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