Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Will an online tefl certificate help me in any way here?  I have almost 3 years experience working in a hagwon and will try to find a Uni or public school job next spring.  

Will it make a difference on my resume that I have an online tefl certificate? I am not interested in doing one of the month-long TESOL classes and would just like to get an online cert so I can do it while working here.  

Would love to hear your opinions, especially from those who already have an aforementioned job.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

i wouldn't have got my university position this summer without my masters in tesol and applied linguistics (online, in progress) in my humble opinion. i enjoy studying and see teaching as a career but it's a hard work, intensive course so it's not something to take lightly...IMHO. 

i think the masters and a course greatly differ in the detail and what you get from them long term, but it can do no harm to improve your theoretical knowledge and turn it into beneficial practice in the classroom. that's what the uni/schools should be expecting from us long term teachers i think. 

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

just say you have one. they check your degree from uni but everything rarely if ever. i have never been asked to show any of my exta teaching documents-never, and we are talking about 7 years i have been here.

as for a uni gig, it is who you know almost 100%. my two uni gigs were brought to my doorstep. public school jobs i would just apply. with 3 years of experience you should be good.

as an aside, you should look into going to vietnam for a teaching accredited certificate or something like that. they offer 1 month courses in the summer and winter breaks here. might be worth it for you if you plan on being here for a while. of course the best thing to do is to marry a korean and get a f-visa but... anyway, good luck.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

An online TESOL certificate isn't worth the paper it's printed on, so why not fake it. I've had a proper TESOL cert. for ages and it hasn't helped me at all, mostly because my employers had no idea what it was. So faking it shouldn't be a problem. However, if you're going to be here for a while it might pay to get a real certificate, not just to get a job, but also so that you have some idea how to teach, which is something in short supply around here.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?


I've been here forever and I couldn't teach to save my life. We aren't teachers, we are edutainers. Any of you that think you aren't need to take a hard long look in the mirror. I have a TESOL certificate but I don't know if it really ever helped me in the classroom. It might be a resume padder but so is 15 years in country and less than a handful of jobs.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Speak for yourself LBS. Some of us are, that is why we do lesson plans. evaluations, exams and give grades.Your big headed attitude,and care a less attitude needs to be checked.You work in a Uni, act like it, stop being a chump on-line.You don't seem to take your responsibility to your Uni students seriously, and that's not worth advertising here.These are peoples' live you are supposed to be helping, not helping yourself.That kind of rhetoric pisses me off.If its so easy, then you are not doing it properly.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

LBS, Don't lump all of us into your sad little world. I know I'm a teacher and not an edutainer. How do I know? Because my qualifications tell me so. The teacher training I've done has helped me in the classroom, the fact that your TESOL certificate hasn't, probably says a lot about both the course you took and your attitude in general.

You always mention your experience, but all the experience in the world means nothing without a proper foundation. Many organisations in the real world won't count your experience prior to completing an appropriate teaching qualification. A BA and 10 years experience means nothing to them.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

You really don't think of your self as a teacher?

I mean honestly, the fundamentals of TESOL are pretty damn simple and it's not that difficult to teach a class that is both informative and moderately interesting.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

if you haeva F-visa, as far as i know as i have never been asked for it, you dont neeed transcripts but my last school did ask for my criminal check but then i guess forgot about it-knock on wood, because they never got it or asked for it again. but there is a government program where uni's are getting money back from teh gov if they have a certain number of foreign teachers and if tey do, i think they are asking for your criminal check. so hard to know here. one day is something and one day is something else.

as for having your f visa, i woudl jsut work pt jobs if you cant get a uni job. forget working 9-5 in a public school. no freedom. i jst picked work up as i went when i first got my f2 and ended up making around 6mil for a while. there are so many after schol public school jobs you could do, get a kindie gig in the morning and a hagwon in the evening. working at a public school does not really help you get a uni gig and it is a waste of a f2 in my mind. i came here to make cash, not work up some kind of prestige pole. getting the uni gig is great though because of the holidays and so on but i work where i do because it is easy.

and as for that, people who attend uni's, other than the few that are english majors, people dont care about english. doing lesson plans for students who barely know the alphalbet is a waste of time. you are not real professors and if you are, it still does not make the students good. i teach in my class but honestly, if you need a lesson plan to teach at that level-meaning a poor english level, you cant really be that good of a teacher. you should have all the experience and so on that you need upstairs and be able to walk into a class and cut them down with experience-not a lesson plan. some do at my uni and every day they are so dumbfounded that the kids couldnt do it. sigh. yes because this is GE-general english and they have to be here and dont want to be here and they speak no english. seriously, younger kids in hagwons speak better than most uni students. after 7 years of teaching both, this is just my opinion. for me it has nothing to do with pride in my work or anything, it just is that easy to do which is why i am here. if it were hard i would not be here making 2g a month. that is crazy. 

anyway, good luck cross.  with experience and a f2, korea can be yours!

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Not having a plan is a disgrace and illustrates a poor work ethic. I wonder how popular you are with your students, are you respected? Work is work, when you agree a contract -you do the best for your students, whether it's 2, 3, 4 m. These kinds of disrespectful attitudes to your work place, and Korean students, makes me sick.Without a lesson plan you're not teaching, no argument. Not all Unis are the same, and not all English levels are the same. Your claim that they are all low level is wrong, very wrong.This cocksure, easy come, easy go attitude, seems to be prevalent amongst some teachers on here. It's no wonder salaries are not going up.I don't think you can seriously complain about that any more, if you aren't willing to put in the hard yakka.Where's the pride, or respect for this opportunity?

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

i get great reviews angel and have worked at the same uni for some time now. your negativity towards people who dont feel a need to prep is honestly quite surprising. you are telling me you need a lesson plan to teach world link or expressways after teaching it for so long? really? come on! all those who do lesson plans i have nothing bad to say but i really wonder if you are willing to do real lessson plans on your own time, why are you not back home working real jobs and getting paid better than 2g a month? you came here to work hard and make no money? again, come on! anyway, all schools are different so before you get on someone for not doing lesson plans, walk a mile in someone else's school. haha!

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Jay, you think preparing classes for students who have a low skill level is a waste of time? They are the students you should be preparing most for. If they are not motivated then it's your job to teach in a way that motivates them to learn. The level of the learner has nothing to do with whether or not a lesson plan is needed. You state that if you think you need a plan for low levels you can't be a good teacher. What a load of crap. Anyone who states that lesson planning is not necessary due to the level of the students isn't a teacher, never mind being a good or poor one.

But then again you already stated your purpose for being in Korea: money. you stated how much money you were making which as usual is one of the problems here in Korea: people who don't have teaching qualifications claiming they're a teacher and getting overpaid by people who think just because your a native speaker you must be a teacher. In my opinion, anyone who isn't a teacher in their own country isn't a teacher here.

p.s. popularity doesn't always equate to being good.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Well said Trevor, you are qualified like me.Maybe Vader thinks I am loser, so be it. I am here because I like it , and I my wife wants to live here. I am prepared to sacrifice for her. Without trying to boastful, I make a lot more than the avg (2m). It less than most Uni jobs, though it's equivalent to my salary(after taxes, petrol,housing, etc) at a Uni,where I previously worked in the UK. Actually, I do plan to work elsewhere( China- not for the money , Australia- for the life style) after my house is paid off, in a few years.You bracket us all as losers, but we are not bothered. I am extremely satisfied in my pay, my life and the job I do for my employer. I try not to rip anyone off, I try my best to give value.I can look my students in the face, knowing I am prepared and have tried to put a good class together.(well most of the time but I have my bad days like others )

Darth Vander, I think what you mean to say is that the old lesson plan you have used,  is now ingrained into your memory.We actually change our books every semester, in order to prevent staleness.Out Professors have to be on a course at all times, in order to be continuously learning, in order to pass on the benefits to our students.This includes PHD and Masters programmes and studying Korean.We work in our Holidays or study at SNU, how about your place?

I think you fellas need to be more respectful of your present situation.Koreans do read these posts and probably resent your lack of dignity, or appreciation.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

 I'm probably the most qualified 'teacher' here and I think of myself as not one.

Loser? please, come to Masan, I'll drive you around in my new Audi A6 quattro. Paid for in cash I might add. I'll even tour you around to all the shit my wife owns(paid for no loans...I'm not credit rich like the rest of the losers here) if you want to have a pissing contest.


Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

i need to prep more for people who cant speak english well? really? so you prep for kindie? come on. that is crazy. bllllllllluuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeee.  if i have to prep that after being here for 7 years, i am the worst teacher here. enough said. argument illogical.

advanced TOEFL requires prep work yes but get a grip here people. maybe the first year you need to learn how to teach if you are not already a teacher and you can keep learning but after 7, i think prepping for class is a waste of time-where i teach anyway. same book, same crap.  i can teach with my eyes closed here. and if you use different books you need to write down some ideas but generally, i have found the books to be so easy tht is takes 5minutes to get ready for class. i have so many activities and group work assignments upstais that i do not need to prep. i understand what yo are saying but i disagree that prpe is needed all the time.

as for ebing appreciative, i am. i work hard. i am never alte. i do my job well and that is why i get resinged year after year. all i am saying is that my job is easy. why would i want to make it harder than it need to be? kind if crazy if i did!

honestly, most people are here to make money. if you want to really teach you should be in your own country. do you think teachers give us a bad name here? really? koreans and their prejudiced views and the mistreatment of teachers here makes some of us act in ways that may look bad but the reality is, no one comes here thinking, "how am i going to screw over my new boss i dont know?" but schools constantly do so get a grip. people get shabby housing, get paid late, not paid at all, fired for no reason...   how many of you teachers do you know have been screwed over? i know many. how many know of teachers who came here to make a problem? i know none. action and reaction. we react to crap-not make it. but anyway, go ahead and pep. knock yourself out. i dont care. but dont get on people because they dont and dont make foreigners the problem because they dont prep. every school is different.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

anyone ranting about this is probably not that good a teacher here. you need to more patient and friendly than anything so being uptight about what you think a teacher should be is probably not a good start. we are not in kansas anymore. bye bye dorthy.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Prep? for what? the average college or university whitey bangs out the same class 6-8 times a week. I've had the same book for years I could teach it in my sleep.  I only have about 10 good lessons a semester anyway.

If you have to prep. you are doing something wrong. Don't re-invent the wheel guys, this isn't rocket science. A middle school girl could do our jobs, I don't know why some of you people think you are all that. If the gov't removed the mandatory 1st and 2nd year English classes for college/uni 90% of us would be out of a job tomorrow. That's how important we are.


Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

LBS- who called you a loser??Your car is German, and not a Veyron ,or Koenigsegg, not a real man's car , so I can't go on that date with you. Sorry, I don't put out for over qaulified ,old & bald gingers.However, I will let you have a pissing contest with my wife, but no hands allowed.Vader, you are obviously talented. However,I still prefer lesson plans everytime, no matter the grade, age, or standard.May the force stay with you.We need to return to war, the nicee, nicee back slapping makes me uncomfortable.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

if it is war you want it is war you will get. i hate people who say nicee nicee. haha and keep prepping away. like i said i have no problem with anyone here. i hate poor paying jobs but that is about it. what people do is up to them. cheers!

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Vader- I concur! If you can not work out the benefits for yourself, we can't really help you.Talliho.You must know this by now.

The phrase tally-ho is a largely British phrase, used in foxhunting, shouted when a rider sees the fox

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Hey Trevor, you are right: popularity doesn't necessarily make you a good teacher, but it's the name of the game over here.  I've met a lot of people who want to be real, serious teachers, but they're the ones that end up pissing off their students but throwing too much work at them and being hard asses when grading time rolls around.

And what's your pompous claim?  "Anyone who is not a a teacher back at home is not a teacher here?"  Please.  Keep polishing the apple on your chest.  There is nothing more insufferable than the expat ESL teacher who fancies himself as some torch bearer, some guardian of standard that the rest of us must look up to.   I've found that those folks are usually the teachers who ARE unpopular in the classroom, so they instead view themselves as persecuted, as fighting the good fight in an unjust world.  

I have no time for such horsedung.

Rant over.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

agreed . i may not be the best teacher but i dont leave my class frustrated with my head hung low and with my students complaining and thinking he sucks. look nice, be pleasent, be patient and teach a little while keeping your students happy and you have done your job here. it is a balancing act. like life, too much of anything is not good.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

haha Tharp, completely agree. Love the apple polishing line, erudite, wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches and neatly groomed facial hair. 

Ive found that if you treat your teaching job the way you would any other job, people will be astonished at your professionalism. Its a good place to be...

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Tharpy, you are generalising mate. That is far from the truth. A well trained, skilful teacher doesn't throw shit at students. Good teachers, who have graduated from a top University, usually have what it takes.One of the key  things you learn, is not to do that.

Most people here are english conversation facilitators, at best.I've earned my right to say I am Lecturer/ Teacher. I think I have been pretty popular with my students over the years. I have just renewed at my Uni, so your nebulous statement doesn't hold water. Perhaps you see it that way, maybe you have conversation facilitations, I teach.

Pomposity, too right! I am proud of what I have achieved academically, it's not for you to be little , or take those achievements away.What qualifies you to judge , have you got expertise in teaching evaluation, or assessment of teachers, students don't.It is noticeable that good looking teachers with equals skills to others , get better evaluations on the whole.Far too often, people on here, belittle the valuable job we have, or we should be doing here.

I could say , that the unqualified here, are overqualified to make such impertinent suggestions.The same people, sometimes insinuate, that we couldn't make it in the real world.They suggest that we are losers back home,often saying," in the "real world, we couldn't cut it".!The real world, for me,is wherever you can earn a crust.

Personally, in the long term , we'll see if qualifications matter.When the school immersion programs end,let's see who will be kept on here.I have to say there are many chances here, many great basic conversation practitioners, many bluffers masquerading as educators, but very few real english teachers.

Rant over.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

The Audi?.it was a present from my wife for my 40th birthday. That's what people do when they love each other. You forgot to mention you'd be leaving on a bus.

When EPIK first became an entity back in the day there were a number of 'real' teachers from the west. I knew a group of them. They tried unsuccessfully to change the system here a real futile effert. I don't think one of them lasted a year.

All that matters here is your evaluation. I'm all ways near or at the top because my class is a joke. I teach nothing and students learn nothing, If they come out saying 'Al is funny and I'm not afraid of foreigners anymore' that to me is far more reaching than some whitey banging out a in-house textbook with mistakes yelling at a wall. My collegues go as far as to say that they don't want the students that have been taught by me because they are impossible. Yes they are to you who tries to apply the above.

Oh...and yes the people that actually so called 'teach' are near the bottom of the barrel and guess who gets canned?  I've heard this right from the top. Good evaluation= Good teacha.  

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

That is incorrect LBS, your facts are skewed and quite wrong. Many of the few real teachers have stayed and lasted the course. A lot of unqualified mercenaries left their contracts ealry, cos they had to do some work.They suddenly realised that they had to do real jobs,lesson plans, and this was not paid holiday. Not many hired were actually teachers,maybe 4 or 5.Teachers wise, some have only just left recently, after 4 or 5 years.Most teachers don't come here as a rule, and you know that.Home comforts keep them away.I am guessing you haven't seen any real teacher operating here.

I think we have all seen our fair share of transients.The fact you guys mention this prevalence of bad teachers , makes me wonder, whether they were real apple polishers at all. Perhaps they spent time polishing something else.In fairness, there a lot of good people here, many are professional in the attitude and work ethic, doesn't excuse not having a lesson plan. Aren't we earning money for these classes? 

I think we need to check ourselves, be thankful for this opportunity to make reasonable money.When I think of what is happening in Pakistan, China, and North Korea, having the basic of Maslow's hierarchy is a blessing.We were quick enuf to take these jobs, Pavlov's dogs like, in our response to the cash offered initially.I don't where where you came from, but I am better off here.I don't earn as much, but I am happier.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

I am happy. I'm blessed also but because of my own actions, I don't believe in luck nor am I lucky. Everything went according to plan, people need to make plans and stick to them. I don't make alot of money though. It is safe to say my wife wears the pants in the family. I'm cool with that. I probably make the least amount of money of anyone on this site but I certainly know how to save money and have chronically for years. It's not about how much money you make, it's about how much money you save. I'm absolutely shocked at some of the people I know here and how little they have for the amount of time they've been here.

The same 'I make 6million/month!' dudes are the same ones asking me for a loan until payday.




Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

"Oh...and yes the people that actually so called 'teach' are near the bottom of the barrel and guess who gets canned?  I've heard this right from the top. Good evaluation= Good teacha." 

It is a somewhat cynical point of view but yeah, you are right LBS.  I've seen people come here time and time again wanting to "really teach" and "make a difference" and they never last. 

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

so your 40.. and you argue with people in their mid twenties.. AND you brought the fact that you have an audi up in a discussion about pay.. only to then state that your wife bought it for you. You always act as if you have something to prove. Please go back on your sabbatical.. You remember that one day one you took? 

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

For the record:  I make no claims to be a good ESL teacher.  I'm sure that I have plenty of bad and lazy habits that I would be embarrassed to have shone back at me.  A good friend of mine has a CELTA certificate, which I may do myself.  In CELTA training they first have you give a sample class and then totally pick apart your obvious weaknesses.  I have no doubt that I would be taken to the woodshed the first day.  

I have a lot of respect for people who come to class prepared and dedicated; of course this is a laudable goal.  I too show up for class and give it my all - I'm always energetic, though admittedly often ill-prepared.

The only point I wish to make is that here in Korea, being "entertaining" is the name of the gig, for better or for worse.  It doesn't often translate into good teaching - but if you want to hold on to your job, you gotta give 'em what they want.  LBS is correct here: You are judged on your evals alone.  Until they introduce some kind of standardized testing (for all of its flaws), this will continue to be the standard.  So it behooves anyone who comes here to teach to understand this basic, if unfair, fact.

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

Tharp with that mindset you are probably one of the best wherever you teach.

Crusaders implode and when a teacher loses it on students the class is usually shot forever due to losing face issues. People say that I let the university students walk all over me and that I should be firmer. Why? So I can cause myself more stress, take it out on the exact people that hold my job in their hands. The last couple semesters they haven't really canned anyone but where is the first place they look when it's chop time? That's right, the hit list(evaluations).

Bird, you got me I'm a liar and a fraud. I don't have an Audi, I drive a 95 Stellar. Done, finished. 

Re: Is it worth getting an online TEFL certificate here?

My opinion is not. but it depends on why you want to get one.

If you want one for the credential, TESOL cert. are not really valued by most schools all that much here in Asia. And an online one will be valued the least. 

If someone wants one for the experience or knowledge then I think with a some research online  you could learn much more than at a TESOL course.

I have a TESOL and my general thoughts are that it's an overpriced piece of paper. That it's value is minimal. They're good at making you believe that you need it. You already have quite a bit of experience, which is way more valuable to an employer.

I have worked in public and private schools as well. I have taught in Korea, Taiwan and I am now on my way to China. 

I think someone with your credentials should be able to get into a public school no prob. Loads of people with no experience work in public schools. Depends a bit on your co-teacher, but for the most part your not the main teacher. Your an assistant. So you'll have less independence as a teacher, which is something I didn't care for.

Many people with a bad experience in a hogwan are quick to jump on the Pub. school train thinking it's better. But I think that is not necessarily so.