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value of a masters degree?
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Joined: 03 May 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: value of a ESL masters Reply with quote

As we seek to continually develop professionally, it makes sense to want to take the plunge and get a masters. I must admit to having nearly completed a ESL Masters in the States, but eventually throwing in the towel on the whole thing due to several factors, one being the fact that I felt I had received no 'practical' advice for how to teach and also that the politics of the university / department and what I perceived as 'academic arrogance', if I may be that bold, really started to get to me. I heard too many times 'you're not going to be a TEACHER are you, that would be such a waste', the direct implication being that teaching in the real world was somehow far beneath being a researcher at a university.

The point of my slightly bitter rant is this: My experience is that a Master's will most definitely give a very sound understanding of the theoretical side of SLA (second lang acquisition), but I doubt it will have any direct impact on your teaching ability. I too have seen some dreadfully boring lessons done by extremely 'qualified' individuals and some very good ones by freshly CELTA-qualfied teachers. On the other hand, as the director of studies at a school, the ability to do language research has been very helpful to me and my school, especially related to Needs Analyses, test development / reliability / etc, and some other such areas. But I think the knowledge that I gained in the masters programme could have been learnt in perhaps less formal, less 'stressful' if I may, conditions. There are many books and information online that a keen person could use to learn these things.

In a nutshell, it depends on what your reasons for wanting a master are: Do you need it to gain a higher position, ESPECIALLY at a university? If not, having a Diploma-TESOL / DELTA, and several years experience will be just as useful to you, or even more so, than doing a master. I agree with one of the contributors that if you really do want a masters (but mostly just for how it will look on your CV), an online degree might be enough.

I hope this gives some food for thought. All the best!
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Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: master's (what are you mastering?) Reply with quote

I don't mean to undermine the whole education industrial complex, but I do agree with most of the posts on this topic in this forum. Education is important but mostly to the universities and institutions charging you an arm and leg to pay for what they deem "higher education". Experience is still the greatest teacher until some Ph.D. comes up with a theory to undermine God's handiwork and universal spiritual laws. I've met and spoken to plenty of educated purposeless, directionless, feeble minded souls and it is sad. However, every man is the director and captain of his or her own ship and should always seek to do his or her best. But be aware that many in the education field will preach the wisdom of acquiring more pieces of paper and letters beside one's name. I think that, overall, that education is a tool to acquire wisdom and knowledge and to enrich the world, making it a better place for yourself and all of us, not to go acquire more tools.

I hope this helps your decision. I had and spent a wonderful life changing 6 months in South Korea and, yes, once your colleagues find out that you are “more qualified” than they, they’ll be at your throat. Best, always.

'I believe in karma and destiny, and that is all I need to know.'
'Be the change you want to see.' -- Gandhi
'Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.' -- Albert Einstein
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Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:46 pm    Post subject: degree Reply with quote

Well, I am working in the states-teaching ESL. I am off to work now. I think that an MA degree does help but that means more money and time. You could probably accomplish the same thing if you didn't get one. I am about 3 months out of my MA and am in a new city. I did find PT ESL work and have been promoted to FT. However, my MA is not in ESL. I do have a graduate certificate in TEFL (8 additional grad credits). I have found that older teachers have an advantage-or it seems that way to me. My undergrad is in art education and I am state certified-I'm not sure if that makes a difference? My MA is in Humanities. Best of luck! I know how depressing it can be to look for work! I do think that your resume is very important! Mine is about 4.5 pages long and lists all of my publications, conferences etc..
I am not spell checking this-running late-
Good luck!
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Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 185
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhhh, Cheryl, are you telling me this just to piddle me off???

Rolling Eyes
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Joined: 23 Jul 2014
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More and more employers are becoming more accepting of online degrees. However, if you attend an online program at a state university, your employer will never know you obtained the degree online unless you tell them. Usually, online degrees from state universities are no different than the degrees conferred to students who were on campus.
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