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Which major for a TEFL job in south-east Asia?

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  • DAXEY
    Participant
    5 December, 2016 at 10:04
    • Total posts: 2

    Hello there,

    In the beginning, I’d like to introduce myself and briefly describe myself.
    I am a European (Polish) and I live in the UK. I attend the college over here (NVQ Lvl 3 in Mechanical Engineering) and also I am going to start the university (The Open University) to get a bachelor degree. I’ve chosen the English and Literature major.

    So much for the introduction. I have a couple of questions for the future. Firstly, have I chosen a right major in order to find a job overseas (particularly I mean in South-Eastern Asia, because I am really fascinated about this region).

    I’ve been hesitating between the Education major and the English language & literature. Finally, I’ve made the decision to pick up the second one. What are your thoughts about my choice?

    Secondly, will I even have any real, I am marking out a word real chances to find a job in countries like Korea, Taiwan, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand etc with the BA in English from a British University and let’s say a PGCE / TEFL / CELTA certification?

    Thirdly, what are your expectations of the job market in Asia in let’s say 3-5 years? In your opinion will there still be a demand for foreign English teachers (not necessarily native)?

    Fourthly, do the fact that I’ll possibly have a chance (maybe in few yeas) obtain the UK citizenship and passport enhance my value in any way (I guess that it does, but I’d like to know the opinion of an experienced people in the business).

    Fifthly thank you for reading this abundant and long post I hope that you will help me to direct my career and reach my dreams of Asia.

    Best regards,
    Dawid

    Keith
    Moderator
    7 December, 2016 at 14:08
    • Total posts: 258

    Having a degree is important – the choice of major is less important

    Hi Dawid

    Let me try and answer your questions.

    I’ve been hesitating between the Education major and the English language & literature. Finally, I’ve made the decision to pick up the second one. What are your thoughts about my choice?

    I don’t think it will make a huge difference whether you have one or the other – the most important thing is to have a degree. After that, all other things being equal, a degree in a relevant subject like English Language or Education may help a little.

    Secondly, will I even have any real, I am marking out a word real chances to find a job in countries like Korea, Taiwan, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand etc with the BA in English from a British University and let’s say a PGCE / TEFL / CELTA certification?

    With a degree and a CELTA (or equivalent TEFL qualification) you will have the qualifications needed to get a job in these countries. The constraint will be the fact that you are not a native speaker. Unfortunately, regardless of qualifications, the number of employers who will recruit you will be much more limited than if you were a native speaker. It shouldn’t be like this, but it is a fact. So you may have to make a compromise in terms of where you would like to teach, and seek out the jobs that don’t specify a native speaker requirement.

    Your nationality may also be an issue – I know that legislation in some countries prevents language schools from employing teachers unless they have British, American, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, Irish or South African nationality (or some combination of these) – in other words, countries where, traditionally, native English speakers are found. I’m not sure which countries have this restriction at the moment.

    Thirdly, what are your expectations of the job market in Asia in let’s say 3-5 years? In your opinion will there still be a demand for foreign English teachers (not necessarily native)?

    Absolutely. I’m not sure that the native / non-native issue will be any less of an obstacle, but I don’t see any reason why the demand will decrease.

    Fourthly, do the fact that I’ll possibly have a chance (maybe in few yeas) obtain the UK citizenship and passport enhance my value in any way (I guess that it does, but I’d like to know the opinion of an experienced people in the business).

    See my point above about nationality – this will definitely help in those countries where these restrictions apply.

    Hope that helps!

    Keith

    DAXEY
    Participant
    9 December, 2016 at 14:43
    • Total posts: 2

    Hi, yes that certainly has helped, thank you for a comprehensive answer.

    I’d like to ask about the nationality, technically as a British passport holder I’d become a citizen of the UK, does that mean I could be considered as a native person, of course from a technical point of view, because obviously I can not change the place I was born in.

    Best regards,
    Dawid

    Keith
    Moderator
    3 January, 2017 at 20:11
    • Total posts: 258

    Hi Dawid

    I think there would still be a distinction made between citizenship/nationality and native speaker status. Having citizenship of a country doesn’t automatically mean you are a native speaker of the language of that country unfortunately.

    Hope that helps.

    Keith

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