Test subject A- a follow up TEFL: Finding Legitimate Companies.

No one want to apply for a job half way across the globe, only to be short changed and have no one to turn to.

So, I’ve spent the better part of the evening looking into different companies which claim to offer jobs all over the world.

Of course sometime you can tell from just looking at the site. However, that is not always the case, from there you need to do more searching.

As is common with most companies now a days, they have twitter and facebook account, and becoming more common, having a LinkedIn page. I consider these to be good places to check. The more likes or followers they may be more trust worthy. Of course if you click on the link and the page doesn’t exist then you get away from that site.

Another good thing to look into is partnership information. If the site has the icons and names of other companies that are backing them, go look them up and see how credible they are. Some times this can be really easy, other times you are might have to search for online Australian newspapers to get information about AustChem. Even after you have seen a photo of the Australian PM at a lunch set up by the AustChem, can’t be too careful.

It’s not just sites with jobs offers to worry about. How can you work out the trustworthiness of a site that is offering TEFL courses? In this area I didn’t really do much searching. I found i-to-i from a graduate job website, so I took it as okay and I ended up doing my course with them.

I did go looking at other courses when I decided I did want to go through the process of getting TEFL qualified. Some of them again I judged on the look of the website, while others it was based on how much they were offering the online courses for. If a 120 hour course is normally around the top end of £200s and they are offering it at £60 something not right there.

Always look into a company as far as you can before applying. With doing a TEFL course you can gauge if it’s too good to be true. Whereas with the jobs the more common benefits always seem a bit too good to be true when you first go in. To me if someone offering you free accommodation, to pay for your flights there and back AND offer to pay for one round trip home, something’s always going to feel off. However, these are some common features, so it can be hard to gauge at times.

Anyone else have any tips for doing research let me know! J

Ellie aka Test Subject A.

Guest post – TEFL adventure!

HI! I’m Ellie, or Test Subject A. Rachael asked me to do a bit of a blog about TEFL, which stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This is because I am on my way to getting TEFL qualified and hopefully getting a job from it soon. This is just a basic overview of what I have done and found out so far on my journey. I am now on a 120 hour course so I may write more as I go through the course and learn more.

TEFL came to my attention from a graduate job website. It was offering me a TEFL job in China, with some very nice additions to it, the main one to me being free provided accommodation, while also being a paid job. Both there’s areas were appealing. Owning to the fact I want to find a job in order to be able to pay my way thought a Master Course. However, I’m not one to just jump into something without looking round it.

I also looked around at the different ways to gain a TEFL qualification. You can one either online, in a class room or a combination of both. Some jobs offer to put you through a TELF course, which would be done online, and with the last 20 hours in a classroom in the country of the job.

The courses differ in length from 20 hours to 120 hours, and ranged in price from around £90 to around £300.  The cost of the courses meant I had to be sure about wanting to going into TEFL.

So I went about looking at the different locations that employ native English speakers and the range of payments and benefits you could gain. This was to make sure it wasn’t just the China job I had seen that offered accommodation. As it turned out most jobs did come with this benefit, or provided money to use in renting an apartment or flat and help in finding one.
The majority, if not all (if a long term contract), of them offer help with VISA applications. A small amount will also pay for flights or provide you with a flight allowance. As well as all many other benefits that I shall not list here.  Along with this the pay seemed to remain good for the different types of jobs.

However, it was not these benefits that made me choose this line of work. The possibility to travel and earn money while doing so where the defining factors. The ability to help others in learning the convoluted mess we call the English language also played a factor.

I came across a few websites that offered TEFL courses, job lists or both.  Here are the main ones I am using:

  1. http://www.onlinetefl.com/ i-to-i was the first company I found, and not really thinking about it I signed up to the sight, which included giving a phone number. I didn’t question giving them this until after I had done it. It is easy to search for jobs on this site, however, it has a habit of saying it is unable to load the pervious when you click back, and when you tell it to try again will load and early search result. This is annoying if you had been looking at jobs in Asia and have moved onto Europe. There is also a tester here: http://taster.onlinetefl.com/index/start
    ADVICE- DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS SITE UNLESS YOU ARE SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT GOING INTO TEFL. They will call you up, and ask you about it. However, if you are thinking about and are still unsure it is useful, and the guy I spoke to was very friendly and helpful.
  1. http://www.tefl.com/ This site I used to look into more jobs. So far I have just looked into Europe, but they offer a larger selection of jobs than the previous website. However, the majority of the jobs in Europe they have seem to be based in the UK, which is not something I personally want to do. At the same time they have more, paid, jobs available in Russia than i-to-i which I like.  They seem to also offer training as well, but as I am using i-to-i I’ve not looked into it. They also offer an overview of the cost of living in a country you are viewing a job in (you do need to be logged in to see this page) With an account you can save jobs you are interested in, making it easy to find again when you want to apply.

(More to come later as I find them)

Other sites I have come across:

http://www.teflengland.co.uk/about-the-course.asp :- This one claims to find you a job as soon as you have finished your course.

http://www.eslcertified.com/ :- Same as above and they also offer a free tester, however, you need to make an account to access it.

http://www.britishcouncil.org/teacherrecruitment-tefl-qualifications-tefl-or-tesol.htm :- Definition of different teaching qualifications.

Some books that might be useful:

Lessons from Nothing: Activities for Language Teaching with Limited Time and Resources Bruce Marsland

Learning Teaching: A guidebook for English language teachers. Jim Scrivener

A Training course for TEFL. Peter Hubbard.

Well that’s it for now. May do more later, with details on what the courses give you.

Test subject A