Tefl jobs and opportunities: live Q&A

A post on Twitter today from EFL star Marisa Constantinides @Marisa_C informed me that The Guardian newspaper was running a live Q&A on TEFL jobs and opportunities, as announced here http://careers.guardian.co.uk/tefl-jobs-and-opportunities. The Guardian had assembled a great team of experts – only it didn’t say where the conversation was to take place. It said that questions could be posted in the comments section and would be answered, but it didn’t say where. I read the post and re-read it, and on each re-read my anger grew. I had no idea where to go. As it had been announced on Twitter under the #ELTchat hashtag, was it to be an #ELTchat twitter chat? Or a twitter chat under some other hashtag? Or perhaps on an ELT forum somewhere? As the time approached I eventually realised that the “Live Q&A” was going to be the comments section of the web article itself. Hardly Live.  Live to me means Twitter-live: approaching real-time.  Having to refresh the comment page to follow updates, and having to follow the conversation onto page 2 and then page 3 of the comments doesn’t seem very Live. I must be particularly stupid.

Guardian: you need to cater for morons. I was on the point of giving up and, even when the light dawned, my frustration took some time to abate. To be honest, I nearly didn’t bother attending at all, out of sheer frustration.

Anyway, I did attend, and I’m glad I did.

This is my Q, and the experts’ As:

I am studying CELTA as a 6 mth evening class in the UK. If successful, I’ll follow with YL module. I plan to work as a volunteer teacher of computing in less developed countries in Asia or Africa (I recently spent 30mths volunteering as computer teacher in India & Sri Lanka). What are the chances of using CELTA to find paid part-time work (eg 1 day a week) to support volunteering?

Professor Simon Borg (@Simon_Borg):
Clive, the demand for English for young learners worldwide is enormous and I am sure you will have no problems finding some additional work – more than you want probably. As other panelists have advised, though, it is important to research your destinations before you set out.

Jenny Johnson:
I agree with Simon (hi, Simon!). You will get masses of part-time work teaching children. If you also want to teach adults – for a change, CELTA will help you do the job well, as it trains you to plan good lessons with appropriate aims, and to see those aims through.
That’s a great thing about TEFL – you can supplement any other part time work you may be doing with a few hours TEFL teaching!

James Jenkin (@_james_jenkin ):
Good luck with the course!
Regarding part-time work when you volunteer – it all depends where you are, and if there are people able to pay for English classes. In most cities in Asia there are private language schools where you should be able to find part-time work. You can also use networks to look for tutoring opportunities. It can be more difficult in Africa however.
Your plans sound very exciting – all the best.

Monica Poulter:
I can’t answer your question about the chances of using CELTA to find paid part-time work to support your volunteering. I would hope the answer would be very good but that depends where you are located and how well CELTA is known. However, most organsiations are familiar with Cambridge exams and training.
What I think you will find is that the skills you learn on CELTA will be of enormous benefit to you in teaching computing. We have had a lot of feedback over the years that CELTA helps teachers teaching other subjects (E.g. learning how to grade your language, giving and checking instuctions clearly, involving students in their learning and so on).
Good luck with the volunteering and the teaching. Sounds like you are putting a lot into helping people gain important skills.

Rachel Wicaksono
Hello Clive! In Indonesia some of our CELTA-qualified teachers combined volunteering with paid teaching, though they tended to be half time, rather than one day a week. There may be visa regulations around part-time work and volunteering, so it’s probably best to check these carefully when you are applying for jobs (the schools should know what the regulations are!). I also volunteered in India, though the school paid for my accommodation and food. VSO is another option which you might want to consider, if you haven’t already. I worked at a teacher training college in East Java with VSO and had a really great experience.

Joe Hallwood
If you’re out there on the ground, you’ll find opportunities. We recruit for universities and colleges in Sri Lanka and am sure they would welcome the flexibility of a part-time teacher who already has accommodation organised.The only thing would be is if you’re volunteering in rural areas where there are unlikely to be opportunities for paid employment.
Good luck,

Thank you for your advice, guys. It’s encouraging to have it confirmed I’m probably on the right track 🙂


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