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TOEFL AND TESOL

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

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chixchix
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TOEFL AND TESOL

Postby chixchix » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 11:06 am

Hi can anyone tell me the difference between TESOL & TOEFL ? I am thinking of teaching English Language in private schools.However, is having a Diploma in TESOL enough ?

Thanks!!

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Postby taxico » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 11:41 am

toefl is the test a "non-english as first language" person takes to gauge their proficiency. normally for academic entry.

tesol is what prospective teachers take to teach those people english.

test of english as a foreign language = toefl

teaching english to speakers of other languages = tesol

i understand tesol is the barest of minimum qualification one needs to teach english in a foreign country.

i hope i'm not wrong!

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Postby chixchix » Sat, 28 Jun 2008 6:00 pm

yippeeee ..thanks sweety :P
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Postby ksl » Sun, 29 Jun 2008 1:55 am

chixchix wrote:yippeeee ..thanks sweety :P


Do not be conned by the educational institutions here, there are many selling the course, having hooked up with UK establishments, although these are unrecognised and unauthorised, the fees are quite high and the diploma is less than second rate. That's why I never did it, with a Singapore school.

If you want to do something worthwhile, I would suggest the course with the British council who work with approved UK establishments, like Cambridge university. the fee is around 3000$ for 10 weeks intensive, i believe. Although if you are not a native speaker, you will also be at a disadvantage, because many will only employ native speakers. So think carefully before jumping into the frying pan.

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Postby taxico » Sun, 29 Jun 2008 8:28 am

ksl wrote:many will only employ native speakers.


you'll need to hold a "western" passport from places like: australia, canada, new zealand, united kingdom, united states.

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Postby chixchix » Mon, 30 Jun 2008 8:25 pm

oh no.. :( does it mean that if I do the Diploma in TESOL...i will not be hired simply because I am a Singaporean :???:
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Postby jdroger1 » Mon, 30 Jun 2008 8:47 pm

Yeah that's pretty much exactly what it means. I am an English teacher myself and have worked in Europe as well as here in Singapore and I know that Singapore is not considered to be a native speaker of English. As bad as it is, a lot of places here in Singapore will even only hire you if you have a white face.

You will want to think hard on this one before you jump in for a career change...

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Postby ksl » Tue, 01 Jul 2008 1:24 am

chixchix wrote:oh no.. :( does it mean that if I do the Diploma in TESOL...i will not be hired simply because I am a Singaporean :???:
It wasn't on North bridge road by any chance?

When i went, I could see the class full of Singaporeans, doing these courses, and it was then that i suspected something wrong, so I checked out the affiliation they have in UK, also not recognised.

They tried to recruit me if i did the course, because a westerner sells it better, but for me, it was to low below the belt, cheating people out of their hard earned cash and promising dreams come true.

Of course it is very handy for a native speaker to have, if travelling a great deal. and for me, I had done classroom room work and planning as an instructor. and I have an interest in helping people out too, but not so much for money.

Although you still may have a chance of earning in the private sector, which is okay, because many Singaporean families don't really give it that much thought, because many teachers of English have been Singaporean.

But I believe the government changed the rules last year, when it was saying how bad the population spoke English, and that it would recruit native English speakers to improve the language. No idea if it happened or not.

So don't lose all hope, think of the private sector! But at least get a recognised diploma. I mean its true that many Singaporeans are more articulate in the language, than many native speakers, but rules are rules and Singapore is full of them, and the get broken every day :lol: So go for it.

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Postby paellafanatic » Wed, 09 Jul 2008 7:37 pm

Hi guys. I'm teaching ESL here in Singapore. Am a Singaporean (ethnically Chinese), though have lived many years in Australia. I got my Cambridge CELTA certificate last year in Perth.

There are schools here that do prefer to hire White, but seriously there are too many schools in Singapore and from what I know, a non-White will have opportunities available.

If you're looking for a very good TESOL certificate, there are really only two places to take it in Singapore. One is at British Council which charges like S$5,000 or so for its CELTA (the best brand around). In Australia, it's only around A$3,000 for a CELTA certificate. The other is at RELC (www.relc.org.sg). RELC stands for Regional English Language Centre. They specialized in English Language teaching so you know you're going to get a good education there. CELTA is the world's most recognized TESOL brand, but RELC would give you a good education and would probably be recognized in Southeast Asia. They are definitely good. It costs about S$3,000. However, they normally conduct the course once or so a year and they didn't do so this year and aren't going to I think.

There are of course other places and I wouldn't recommend them if you're seriously getting into this field. They may offer you a diploma for about S$3,000 or so. But it's exactly the same as any good TESOL certificate in terms of instructional hours, though less recognized. So it'll be nice to have a Diploma in your resume but any good school who knows the field will know that a good certificate like the CELTA is way better than a diploma that's from a questionable place. But, there are few good schools in Singapore who know what ESL teaching is about. The TESOL industry is still very backward in Singapore. Which means a lot of people can get a job without proper qualifications and you'll be working with people who don't know much about ESL but are just out for a quick buck and treat it as a business.

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Postby tamran » Mon, 14 Jul 2008 10:11 pm

Hi Guys,

I actually used to teach the Diploma in TESOL at many of these private schools. I'm Singaporean. They used my qualifications to register with MOE (MOE stipulates that the teacher of a course should hold qualifications higher than the course being taught ie.. a BA or MA to teach a Diploma etc) ... and then these schools would hire Caucasians on the side and pass them off as qualified 'degree holders' to students. Yeah! sure! They had degrees in business and computer science and they were now teaching english pedegogy!! Many of their tie-ups with the foreign universities are also dubious (some of these universities are mere internet unis. they don't exist in the brick and stone sense!!). At times, these schools would give Caucasian students a 50 % discount on their tuition fee if the student agreed to teach the next round of Diploma in TESOL for a reduced rate. (They didn't want to fork out $$ for qualified tutors plus they wanted to increase the brood of Caucasian trainers without having to pay too much!!) Imagine a student passing out of my class and having just a Diploma in TESOL but being qualified enough to teach the next batch. they would usemy notes and repeat whatever I said in class but when students press for explanations, they can't elaborate because of lack of expertise!


I got out of these assignments when I realised that my own qualifications were being questioned because of dubious practices by the schools. The only 2 institutions you should get a Diploma in TESOL in singapore are -- British Council and RELC. Don't fall for the numerous ads that appear in the papers from these schools!!

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Postby chixchix » Wed, 16 Jul 2008 5:07 pm

ok but reading from the above that these schools prefer to hire native speakers.... then what if I am a local and do a Diploma from British Council, is it easy to get a job then as a English teacher ?
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Postby singoz » Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:46 pm

I think there are some quite negative comments here. {moderated} I know personally, many of the HODs of English in many major private schools and they certainly do not practice racial profiling when employing. These guys have taught a long time themselves and know better. That a white face does not equet to better teaching. And they are mostly open minded individuals. Only the smaller language "schools" are close minded and you can smell those a mile away.

So dont be disheartened and trust me you will land a great job teaching ESL here regardles of creed. Singaporeans and white faces from abroad and Indian expats have all found jobs teaching and with littrle or no diaprity between wages.

Good Luck with your search. And no you dont need a diploma to teach here. A "mere" certificate would suffice. The rest you learn on the job which personally accounts for more from an employers POV than a piece of paper.

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British Council

Postby tesol2u » Thu, 17 Jul 2008 10:26 am

ELT diary

Max de Lotbinière
Friday June 20, 2008

Guardian Weekly

British Council told its teaching is too elite

The British Council's English language teaching and testing business,
carried out in over 100 countries, has a high cost base, charges premium
prices and has a limited reach outside main urban centres, auditors
announced last week.

The study, by the UK's National Audit Office, examined all the Council's
cultural relations activities and highlighted the strong reputation of its
ELT and testing business, which generated revenues of $362m in 2006-07, an increase of 27% over the past five years.

But it recommended that the Council step up efforts to reach more learners with more flexible models of delivery. "Although there has been an increase in the numbers of students taught, the network of teaching centres has contracted in recent years. To continue to grow the business the Council will need to put into actions its ideas about alternative, lower-cost ways to deliver good quality teaching."

The study, The British Council: Achieving Impact, was commissioned by MPs who scrutinise the Foreign Office, which is the Council's main source of grant funding, giving it up to $400m each year.

It recommends that the Council deliver additional teaching in partner
premises, to relieve demand on its existing teaching centres. However, any future expansion of its ELT services would need to follow the Council's
competition rules as a publicly funded institution with charitable status.

A Council spokeswoman said: "We are encouraged by the positive nature of the report and will use it as the basis for further advances."

Canada pulls back from one test for all.

Asking would-be migrants to be competent in one of Canada's two official
languages, English and French, is a long-standing request, but as
immigration officials have revealed, it is not a simple one.

A proposal to streamline the assessment process by asking all applicants to take the Ielts English language test, or an equivalent French language test, has been quickly dropped in the face of a wave of protest from immigration lawyers.

Existing rules offer migrants the choice of taking the Ielts test or
claiming proficiency and submitting documents to back up the claim. But
checking that those documents are valid is creating a backlog in
applications. The solution, proposed last month: make all English-language
applicants sit Ielts, no matter where they come from.

But the suggestion that migrants from English-speaking countries would have to sit the test provoked a heated response. The Canadian Bar Association called the time, money and academic rigour of the Ielts test a turn-off for people who were already fluent and a barrier for low-skilled workers. The proposal was quietly dropped last week.

Meanwhile, the Carleton University linguistics professor Janna Fox had a
helpful alternative to using the British and Australian-made Ielts. She told
the Toronto Star: "A team of Canadian experts could quickly come up with a practical, efficient, economical and Canadian solution. It isn't as if we
don't have a long history of excellent test development. "

How to put the kick back into lessons

English teachers in South Korea have hit on a novel way to energise their
notoriously overworked students: combine language lessons with martial arts training.

More than 40 private schools now teach what is known as "Taeglish",
where children are trained in Taekwondo by English-speaking instructors, who say the martial art gives students confidence in the language.

"After English is combined with Taekwondo practice, children can have fun
learning the language and do it in high spirits," Kim Sung-han, the
founder of Taeglish, told Reuters.

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Postby chixchix » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 4:42 pm

so which is better ? TESOL or CELTA ? Any difference between the 2 ?
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Let's Get Real.

Postby tesol2u » Sat, 19 Jul 2008 12:00 am

It gives me the goosebumps reading the various postings in this forum. This prompted me to offer my views.

Firstly, it's a real world out there. When you run a private school i.e. as a business, you want to maximize your revenue which is totally dependent on student enrollment, obviously. If your school specializes in teaching English, you would want to find teachers who are fluent and proficient in English, regardless if they are native or non-native speakers. However, if you are targeting at students who prefer teachers who are native-speakers for certain reasons, I absolutely don't see why it is an issue.

Remember, there is a place for all teachers or teacher-aspirants out there. There's no need to get upset about the situation. The only catch is: you would need to be formally trained on the various methodologies and best practices, and be passionate about your teaching, so that your students are not short-changed. We all can cite countless anecdotes of ineffective teachers, native or non-native, qualified and non-qualified.

Secondly, for your information, I'm an ethnic Chinese teaching English in some private language schools as a freelance teacher, and I teach in the morning, afternoon and evening. In fact I've more assignments than I can handle. Sure native speakers command a higher rate than us, so what's wrong? But the difference, surprisingly, is not by leaps and bounds. And if one is truly passionate about teaching and always wants the best for their students, over time, you will stand head and shoulders above other teachers, whether they are native or non-native English teacher.

Thirdly, as I'd mentioned, one needs a formal education in teaching English, there's where TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) comes in. Despite criticisms by certain quarters, the British Diploma in TESOL which I've earned locally exposed me to various L2 acquisition methodologies and approaches, the various theories expounded by leading pedagogical experts and the challenges faced by language learners, and the list goes on.

The fee and timing suit my budget and schedule well. Taking a course that can't guarantee me a job, exceeds $5000 and demands so many of my hours which I could well use it for income generation, and leading to a "Certificate" is discouraging to say the least.

In my view, regardless of the institute or school, since we are all in the private education market, a DIPLOMA does have a higher standing then a CERTIFICATE to any private school considering your application to be a teacher there. As CELTA stands for CERTIFICATE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING TO ADULTS, it is precisely that, it teaches you to teach ADULT learners! (Do correct me if I’m wrong.)

Please don't get me wrong - I'm NOT at all criticizing the CELTA, in fact, I've high regards for this program (except the fee!) and I had considered CELTA before I chose the British Diploma in TESOL, but the fee was too high and the timing was too inflexible. IF I had the time, the money and the intention to teach adult learners, I would have taken CELTA.

Anyway, coming back to the Diploma issue: we all know that many of the language schools in the market, locally and elsewhere, cater mainly to children, teenagers and youths who are planning to pursue local primary, secondary and tertiary education, respectively. And the Adult market, in my personal opinion, is rather small and thus limited for those intending to career-switch to teaching.

These were the reasons I took the Diploma in TESOL instead and it’s where I learnt to manage a broad spectrum of learners, and I’ve no regrets whatsoever.

Enjoy teaching & Do be Passionate about it.
(Then the money will come.)


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