Home TEFL forum New to TEFL Which TEFL course for mid 40s? Help Please!

Which TEFL course for mid 40s? Help Please!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
Reply to this topic
  • EnglishMike
    Participant
    5 March, 2018 at 10:15
    • Total posts: 2

    Hi. I’m after some advice please to see if what I’m looking to achieve is realistic or not…

    BACKGROUND: I’m in my mid 40s and I’m totally new to the world of TEFL. I do have what I consider to be some transferable skills and experience; including 20+ years working as an English newspaper journalist / writer / editor, several hundred hours of classroom / teaching experience in further education, A grade English language, as well as a level 4 PTTLS qualification (a City & Guilds teaching qualification that enables me to work in FE).

    WHAT I WANT: I’m wanting to find a course / qualification that suits where I am in life at this moment in time – and this is where I am completely stuck. On the one hand, while I would love to study a Celta or CertTESOL course, financially I can’t afford the cost (think ex-wife, teenage children, mortgage, etc). On the other hand, I see there are dozens of online TEFL courses that I can afford and can fit around my existing lifestyle – but I’m not silly, I recognise that most of these result in a rather dubious certificate, which would probably be laughed at by any respectable language school! I need a course / qualification somewhere in between.

    THE FUTURE: Initially I would like to use my TEFL training to enable me to teach English in the UK on a freelance basis (to fit around my existing commitments and to get a feel for it), with a view to spending time overseas in the coming years teaching English (hopefully for several months at a time). Basically, I want to wind down my existing career / life, and slowly build a new career / life (the slowly bit is because of the kids and financial responsibilities for the next couple of years).

    QUESTIONS: Is there a TEFL course that will enable me to study at home (or perhaps an evening course once a week), and yet result in proper recognised qualification that will enable me to stand some chance of securing work in TEFL (ok, it might not be the greatest qualification – but a qualification nonetheless)? Would my existing career / life experience / qualifications be looked upon favourably by English schools, or am I being a little too optimistic? Am I right to think that there is a world of difference between a ‘qualification’ that results from an expensive course, and a ‘certificate’ that most online courses seem to offer?

    I am so sorry for the long message – but I wanted to paint a full picture of where I am in life at the moment and where I want to go!

    Yours confused, Mike.

    FrancaisDeutsch
    Participant
    12 March, 2018 at 4:23
    • Total posts: 57

    Try Japan, Korea or Taiwan

    It is always pleasant to see someone who is willing to step out his comfort zone to get a better taste out of life.

    You are already well qualified to teach in Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan. Certificates are still not that important, although they can be icing on the cake. Pay is decent in all these places. Great countries to live and teach in, compared to many other countries around the planet. So perhaps you should try a year-long gig in the Far East, or in another European country before you return to the UK to “wind down” into permanent freelance work in TESOL.

    I believe you can do a reputable online course in TEFL with a 6-hour practicum to be done near a university where you live (practicum = observed teaching practice [very recommended]). This should suffice for teaching in Europe. Shouldn’t cost more than 500-1000 US dollars (not sure, though). You can then obtain further diplomas on top of your basic certificates for specializations (business English, IELTS exam preparation, etc.)

    Do plan well and take off any rosy-colored glasses so you don’t get caught up in “high expectations.” In other words, know what you’re getting into in a very general sense (of course you can only know fully by experiencing). Don’t fall for scams and do your research.

    A lot of people have or have had very successful careers in teaching English to foreigners. You are still quite young, so visas wouldn’t be much of an issue.

    Teaching your native language to others in the “right setting” is most fulfilling.

    Take the plunge for a more adventurous life.

    Take care and best of luck!

    EnglishMike
    Participant
    24 March, 2018 at 21:10
    • Total posts: 2

    Focusing on Spain then Central America

    Hi FrancaisDeutsch. Thank you for your considered reply… it is much appreciated. Since writing my original post I have decided to focus on trying to gain TEFL work in Spain, and in the longer term in Central America. The problem I have is that I can not afford the time or money at the moment for a Celta or CertTesol course – but there don’t appear to be any recognised alternatives / cheaper / lesser qualifications that allow me to consolidate my life experience and existing teaching experience. In other words – the bare minimum qualification to allow me to teach. I’m not trying to short change potential future students – but I am trying to find a middle-ground course that works for me. I’m not new to the world of teaching and English – but I am new to TEFL. Sadly, it looks like there are no alternatives to the Celta or CertTesol. If anyone can suggest a course, that would be great. Thanks, Mike

    AaronNelson
    Participant
    17 April, 2018 at 6:13
    • Total posts: 8

    Start freelancing

    Hello EnglishMike,

    I’m late getting into this conversation, but I was very interested to see how things are working out for you?
    I too am in my mid 40’s – and have taught English AND run my own English consulting company in Mexico City for over 16 years.

    I would like to offer some ideas, if you are still in the searching/figuring out phase of things – or even if you already have your feet on the ground somewhere.

    You said:

    BACKGROUND: I’m in my mid 40s and I’m totally new to the world of TEFL. I do have what I consider to be some transferable skills and experience; including 20+ years working as an English newspaper journalist / writer / editor, several hundred hours of classroom / teaching experience in further education, A grade English language, as well as a level 4 PTTLS qualification (a City & Guilds teaching qualification that enables me to work in FE).

    You TOTALLY have transferable skills! And considering your end goal of freelancing, I would like to encourage you to launch out now with that plan! That’s how I got started…a long time ago!

    My background is in Social Work. Zero ESL teaching experience when I first got started – in fact, I didn’t even know you could earn a living teaching English. Found that out while I was living in Mexico.

    Currently, at least in Mexico, there is not a lot of regulations around being an English teacher. You will want to set yourself up to legally work in Mexico – you should be able to do that by detailing your experience (especially any teaching experience you may have) and what you want to do. (For example, you would very likely find great work using your skills as an editor – helping people proof resumes, powerpoint presentations that need to be in English, and well…teaching. You will likely need to provide a certificate or proof of your studies/skills if you decide to apply for a work visa.

    But you could also likely find a language school that would love to work with you, considering your transferrable skill set. While many schools will say they require some sort of teaching certification – it may simply be a ‘this would be nice to have’ sort of thing for them. Apply anyway! If they like you and believe your skills are useful for their classes, you could work with them to have them help you get your work visa. (I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have too many problems landing a teaching job with a language school in Mexico.)

    Back to freelancing – How’s your Spanish? If you are able to communicate in Spanish, I’m VERY sure you’d be able to start freelancing as soon as you arrive — hopefully you can legally do that by getting the work visa first. I’m not suggesting you try and work illegally….hope that doesn’t come across. But you totally can launch your own teaching business in Mexico, and you can do very well!

    So I’ll be quiet now…and see if you reply. I’d love to see where you end up, and how it’s going.


    Starting out as a freelance ESL teacher? How to build income you can count on – free e-book for you! https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/373936?ref=eslbase

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

Please log in to reply to this topic.