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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Should I teach English?

Posted By: Alex <voxnox8@yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, 7 January 2014, at 11:43 a.m.

Hello. This is more of a question regarding the actual activity of teaching abroad rather than specific certificates and methods and such.

About 10 years ago I started to self-learn Russian. I did that for about a year and stopped. Now about a year ago I spent a month in Eastern Europe bouncing around various cities in Poland and Ukraine. There only about 35% of people speak any English. Less in Ukraine. My slim 1 year of self study of Slavic languages greatly helped me navigate and operate in those countries.

I really want to go back for an indefinite period of time. While in Ukraine, I met an American guy who teaches English and he recommended this website. Although my main goal is to learn a Slavic language, I can't think of any better way to stay there and not drain my bank account than to have a job. A TEFL job seems suitable since I am a native American English speaker (with a very clear accent). While I was in Poland and Ukraine I had the opportunity to casually correct the speech of the people I met (they asked me to, I'm not that rude).

I have a university degree in mechanical engineering and am a few years out of school. I do not have a job at this time and currently live with my over-controlling parents. So of course I am desperate to eject from that situation.

I am confident in my ability to correct spoken and written sentences, along with pronunciation. But I am not very confident in the exacting rules and terminology of English. Of course in school I studied prepositions, adverbs, proper nouns, and other elementary grammar. I can correct people, and give a casual elementary explanation, but I can't point to a specific grammar rule.

I have researched various certificates and one that stands out the CELTA, which has a local teaching center in my city. There are also TEFL course at local colleges that are spread out over a semester instead of jam packed in 4 weeks. I don't know which one I should take. The local university courses are $1000 less and spread out. I hear the CELTA course is akin to the Navy SEALS 'Hell Week' in terms of intensiveness, which I think is extremely detrimental to retaining knowledge. But are local university courses widely accredited?

I ultimate goal is to learn a Slavic language and become familiar with the culture. In Poland, the kids I partied with considered me an honorary native Pole due to my heritage lol. Since that is my ultimate goal, I am not sure if teaching English is for me, especially plopping down $2500 on an intensive class with no refunds upon failure.

I know that there are less intense courses, but they may less accepted too. What should I do? The CELTA course in my city is 4 or 5 months away and the local university's TEFL courses are in less than a week! I do think I would enjoy teaching, but I am not super passionate about it. I don't know if a career in it is for me though. I overhear tons of people talking about how their brother or sister are doing it, not sure what qualifications they have, but they don't seem to have a problem.

Messages In This Thread

Should I teach English?
Alex -- Tuesday, 7 January 2014, at 11:43 a.m.
Re: Should I teach English?
Tim -- Wednesday, 8 January 2014, at 11:59 a.m.
Re: Should I teach English?
nomad soul -- Thursday, 9 January 2014, at 1:45 p.m.

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