Author Topic: Rip-off Academies! Beware  (Read 21284 times)

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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2009, 12:41:58 AM »
@Rob in Madrid:

TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) and CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults). CELTA is for people with little to no experience teaching English.

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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2009, 11:26:28 AM »
TEFL and CELTA are just marketing ploys used by many academies to attract potential students.  When I read the advertisements looking for teachers, they almost always say "TEFL or CELTA CERTFIED ONLY and YEARS OF EXPERIENCE NEEDED" and when you look at the pay, you just laugh and shake your head in disbelief.

I say that it's marketing because many academies love to say that all of their teachers are certified and it makes the students seem like they are getting a good teacher, but in the end, the student has no clue what either a TEFL or CELTA is.

Hey, is someone wants to do take these courses and if they feel that it'll help them in the English teaching field in Spain, so be it.



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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2009, 11:08:19 AM »
Hi Megan,

I agree mostly with what you're saying. I think you've got to have a certification of some kind.

RE: Personally, I'd be suspicous of any place that \"guarantees\" you a job after completing the course--how anyone can guarantee a job, especially to an illegal worker, is beyond me.
I have to laugh when they say something like that. Of course, they can guarantee that because there's no mention of a guaranteed "salary".

There's another thing I've seen them do too is to say they've got a "Certified" course. Certified by what institution?! Check out the certifying institution. In one case I've seen, it's only got a few members.

I really feel sorry for a lot of new teachers coming over here. They really take advantage of them, but that's the price they have to pay for a gap year in Madrid, Spain.

I don't think there's such a thing as "problem free." Take anything at all and put it up for evaluation and you won't ever get 100% approval: textbooks vs. no-textbooks, TEFL course vs. no TEFL course, a particular teacher, a particular academy, etc. etc.

My opinion is this regarding academies, I won't work for them myself if I can help it because of the money issue, but I think they have a place in the system and many a young teacher will be grateful for getting a job or training from them.



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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2011, 10:58:50 AM »
Can't you get experience being a teacher's assistant though. Like volunteer time.

I forgot to say one thing.  TEFL is good if you've never taught before and you want just a little teaching practice to get you started in the field of English language teaching.

So, in otherwords, it's worth something.  What that worth is, I don't have a clue.



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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2011, 08:48:56 AM »
Can't you get experience being a teacher's assistant though. Like volunteer time.


Yes, you can get experience this way as well, bu tmany academies here in Spain are still crying for a TEFL because it makes their academy look good when they say to their potential clients that all of their teachers are TEFL qualified.

I don't have a TEFL and I am doing just fine. I have been teaching and tutoring languages for more than 17 years now.




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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2012, 12:54:28 AM »
My question is a little off the beaten path for this thread.

I have recently seen an offer for a TESOL online course for $69 through Groupon. (hard to explain it, if you're not from the U.S. or midwest even maybe? i'm not sure how far Groupon stretches... Basically it's a coupon site that coordinates with businesses, restaurants, etc. that offer a deal through their sight in order to get exposure to new clients, often offering pretty good deals for their product. for a example, i paid $20 for a groupon to my salon for a haircut that would normally charge $35.  so it was a $15 discount.--don't judge me for my vain example, haha).  ANYways, I'd be saving about $530 through this offer.  My question is if it's worth it.  Not so much the money factor, because, welll, compared to any academy at all, $70 really is nothing. The academy in my town in the U.S. charges $2000 for it's TEFL cert.) But it is 150 hours.  Would it be worth it to have it to just add to my CV?  I've seen ads for jobs throughout Spain that ask for TEFL/TESOL/CELTA cert.  I have 3 years experience as an auxiliar de conversacion in Spain, 1 year experience in a language academy, and 3 years experience working in schools in the U.S.  So, experience I've got.  But, I do know that when I went for an interview at a private international school in Spain, the director said if I had had some kind of TESOL/TEFL she could've at least hired me part time. But since I had neither my degrees homologados or a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA, she couldn't offer me the job. 

I'm just wondering if putting in the 150 hours of work, with no actual in class requirements for student teaching as I can see, would have any grain of salt in any country.  I just don't want schools to just write me off because I don't have that little line on my CV that states TEFL/TESOL certified......

Shawn, I think I already know your response, but I still value your input as well....haha


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Re: Rip-off Academies! Beware
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 01:37:01 PM »
I feel like I´m just reiterating what has already been said, but I´m posting anyways because too many people are ignorant/naive about this topic and end up wasting their time and money.

In terms of an online course I would normally say NO NO NOOOO!!! You might save money, but a lot of schools wont value a course that didn´t include any actual teaching time. In the case of someone who already has several years of experience, it´s your judgement call....many academies would probably make an exception. If you know where you´d like to teach it might be worth it to get in touch with some schools in the area. Establish some contacts and ask for their advice. You can probably ask a lot of schools flat out "Would you hire me?" my experience they are usually really helpful and willing to offer advice.

As far as teaching courses here in Spain go, I´ve heard pretty terrible things. False expectations, overworked students, false promises of jobs. Once again, how the hell can you expect a job offer if you don´t have the right to work!?!? It blows my mind how many people seem to think "Hmmm, maybe I´ll move to Spain! I´ll just google ´teaching in Madrid´and choose the first thing that pops up!" without doing any research. I hope I don´t offend anyone, but that´s my rant.

That being said, I don´t want to discourage people. I decided I wanted to move to Seville, with no teaching experience or certification, and I made it happen and I make good money. It´s totally possible, you just have to be patient and do your research. I took my CELTA course in Boston before I left the U.S., as I was finishing up my degree, and it was fantastic. Caring instructors, I learned a lot, and I got a job my second day in Spain. The truth is, teaching isn´t something I want to do forever, but I think the CELTA course was worth it. I was able to not only get a job, but a well paying job (that I know I couldn´t get without the CELTA or Trinity)...the CELTA course will have paid for itself in about a month and a half.