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MA TESOL vs DELTA

 
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DoubleA79



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: MA TESOL vs DELTA Reply with quote

Hi all

I'm a CELTA qualified, English teacher (from England) with 4 years teaching experience. As I love my job and want to stay in this "game", I know that further qualifications are needed to advance my job prospects and professional development.

Having previously worked for schools (such as British Council and others) where the DELTA has been offered, or is considered in high regards, I've always thought that the DELTA would be my next step. However, having spent some time travelling the US/Canada, and with a wish/dream to work there one day (especially the US), I am now looking into the possibility of doing an MA TESOL (which seems to be preferable over there). I also want to increase my career prospects in all areas of this industry.

Firstly, I know that VISA rules are extremely stringent in North America, but do any foreign nationals have experience of gaining a job in TEFL/TESOL in the US? With so many American English teachers I realise it's almost impossible to justify employing a foreign national, but is it possible?

Secondly, would the MA TESOL be the best thing for me to do now anyway? I've heard a lot of people who have one claim it to be an almost worthless piece of paper, but surely there must be benefits to having one?

Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Regards, Alan
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The British Council pushes the DELTA because they are stakeholders in it. Unfortunately, there's really not that much in the DELTA when it comes down to content.

You'll be much better off if you are going to explore further credentials in getting an MA or higher.

Now, if you really do want to teach in the US/Canada it would be a good idea to get an MA from a US/Canada university as UK MA's tend to only be equivalent to a US/Canada BA+some extra coursework. I have seen many experienced teachers who had been teaching whatever their course was at university level in the UK go to the US/Canada only to be told they are unemployable until they undertake another masters degree program.

That said, a doctorate level degree is not much longer than an MA and will take you much farther professionally. These are accepted universally (so long as they are not one of those "taught PhD's". Oxford offers a combined MA + doctorate in TESOL. It's worth checking out.
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The first step to teaching is realizing that you don't know nearly enough yourself.

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DoubleA79



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information, appreciate it! I presume you work in TESOL (and are American?)

The reason for my last minute panic is that many of the masters in this country are closing, so really I only have a couple of days at most to decide.

I would love to study in the US, but the costs of courses are so expensive Sad

I had considered going down the academia road and possibly studying further after a masters. I guess that could be an option too?

One last question - the University of London's Institute of Education (very reputable by the looks of it) offers a distance learning route to the masters. From your experience, is this just as good as completing the course full time?

Thanks again
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distance ed is fairly normal for higher degrees these days. But what is important is whether it would be what is referred to as a taught MA or a research MA.

Stay away from anything that doesn't require a full thesis and research as these are generally frowned upon.

Keep in mind the purpose of the degree structure we have:

Bachelor (BA/BS) -- I know my subject
Master (MA/MS) -- I am an expert in my subject
Doctorate (PhD, D.lit, D.Ed) -- I can teach my subject to others.

Many MA's and especially many of the online ones are nothing more than add-on coursework in the field. You need a program that has an extensive research component.

Also, be sure to check acceptance rates for graduates. You want one that has a good grad-to-hire ratio -- especially to make sure graduates are getting jobs in that field. Also a solid acceptance rate to doctoral programs.
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My Blog: http://calleteach.wordpress.com
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