On-line TESOL courses...would I be wasting money?

I’m currently interested in Teaching English here in Taiwan…problem is, I have no certification what-so-ever…not even a Bachelor’s Degree in Paleobotony. So I was considering taking an online TESOL course, figuring that any certification (even from a no-name school) is better than no certification. Am I wrong in that assumption? Would I have an easier time getting a job with one of those certificates, or would it be the same as having nothing?

Having something is always better than having nothing!!!

I think it would be a total waste of money.

I think it would be a total waste of money.[/quote]

Any particular reason?

To become more knowledgeable about your chosen profession is certainly never a waste of time, and it could well take you on to better opportunities.

The biggest problem you may face is getting accepted on a good course. Most demand a first degree and/or evidence of several year’s teaching experience

I think it would be a total waste of money.[/quote]

Any particular reason?[/quote]
It is my understanding the certification complements a university degree unless you are in a trade therefore I think getting an online certification would be a waste of time. It is also my understanding that a TESOL requires quite a bit of work (and supervised practical experience) to be meaningful (and useful, as in really learning something) and my own prejudice is that this will not be the case with an online program. Now add to this the fact that a TESOL certificate will not make you anymore ‘legal’ or ‘qualified’ to teach in Taiwan or almost any country in the world without a BA, then I say it is a waste of money - as well as time.

Hear, hear.

Everyone wants to travel abroad and make money while doing so. It’s a romantic, exotic idea of going around the world and earning money to pay for the costs. Some people have caught on to the demand of many of these people who often are taking a break from university, unable to afford to go to university, or want to be sure to get a good job in their travels. Using this knowledge they figured out how to make a quick buck off these naive world-traveller wannabes without having to put up too much capital or effort…

“How?” you ask.

(see the title of this thread for answer)

Let me break it down for you.
Step 1: You set up a website domain.
Step 2: Include all kinds of positive testimonies like “This course has taught me more in four weeks than what I learned in three years of teacher’s college!”, “Dr. TESOL is the best teaching class I have ever taken!”, “I have learned so much on this course and I even got a promotion at my school in Saudi Arabia when I finished!”, “Dr. TESOL has given me a ticket to see the world through teaching abroad!” (I just made up those testimonies off the top of my head in less than one minute…see how easy it is to do it!).
Step 3: You slap names on them…often first names and a last initial. Some sites get ambitious enough to put first and last names on. Who’s gonna check?
Step 4: Do a little research on teaching methodology…mostly to get names of famous linguists like Stephen Krashen and John Rassias to put on the name of your courses and to get materials for the suckers…er, students to fill out and turn into you for a grade.
Step 5: Create a fancy certificate to give to your customers at the end of the course.
Step 6: Pay someone to create your website and hotlink it so that it comes up near the top of google.
Step 7: Set up a paypal account and watch the money just flow in.

Note that there is no step requiring actual qualifications to certify people. Hell, you could become the next Harry S. Cotton…er, excuse me…the next Dr. Harry S. Cotton, with two Bachelor’s degrees, an Advanced Dip.Ed., a Masters in TESOL and Applied Linguistics and a Doctoral degree in applied neuroscience and linguistics.

Congratulations…you now run your own online TESOL certification course.

sounds great
want to go into business?
split it 50 50!

sounds great
want to go into business?
split it 50 50!

I don’t care if it’s official or not…the question is, will it get me more jobs?

Alright, I think I found the loophole that makes these on-line courses completely useless, but allows them to attract business nonetheless.

Most places who would hire you as an English teacher want you to be TESL or TEFL certified. These online classes offer you a TESOL certification. The difference, TESL=Teaching English as a Second Language, whereas TESOL=Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. So I’m sure that the TESOL certification you will get is a perfectly authentic TESOL cerification…but the problem is, the certification is, in and of itself, completely useless. This might not mean much in attempting to get some work in some of the private schools here in Taiwan, where you could probably use a TESOL certification to easily fool a prospective employer (since the employer probably just wants a western-looking teacher because he looks western, has some kind of certification, and thus will attract business)…and it might bring you a decent paycheck. But, in attempting to get a real english-teaching job (high-school, college, etc) this certific would probably be laughed at.

  1. You need a minimum of a BA to teach English here legally.
  2. Online qualifications of any description are not recognized by the authorities here.

So yes, you’d be wasting your time and money if you do this course in order to secure more jobs.

[Masters in ESL courses

Not quite the same thing, but useful nonetheless.

Probably laughed at? :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Getting a TESOL, even one from Dr. Harry Cotton, (with two Bachelor’s degrees, an Advanced Dip.Ed., a Masters in TESOL and Applied Linguistics and a Doctoral degree in applied neuroscience and linguistics, blah, blah, blah…) will not land you a legal job without a degree. It’s the one prerequisite that is an absolute for teaching here. Even for Lithuanians with heavy accents and bad grammar with a Canadian passport (which apparently get passed out more freely than samples at a Baskin Robbins) can get an English-teaching job here…but only with a BA.