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Alternatives to a degree in applied linguistic for EFL teachers?

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  • simonsailsaway
    Hello- Wish you all a fruitful 2004-2005 academic year. I am interested in this issue in language teacher training as I am looking into postgraduate study
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 31, 2004
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      Hello-
      Wish you all a fruitful 2004-2005 academic year.

      I am interested in this issue in language teacher training
      as I am looking into postgraduate study opportunities. As an
      English language teacher, I hate to admit that applied linguistics
      does not turn me on. But I enjoy teaching the language and believe
      that the language can help enlighten my students.

      My concerns here are twofold: First, what kind of
      edge an applied linguistics master degree holder would have over
      other teachers with postgraduate training in other humanity areas
      such as history, sociology or literature? Second, what is the best
      choice for an EFL teacher who is interested in a higher degree? And
      we need to consider both job prospect and job performance.

      Thanks,

      Simon Wang
    • fshdt
      ... Why not do an MA(TEFL)? An Applied linguistics MA will cover a lot of the same ground but a TEFL MA is directly relevant to what you want to do. Nearly all
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 1, 2004
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        > As an
        > English language teacher, I hate to admit that applied linguistics
        > does not turn me on. But I enjoy teaching the language and believe
        > that the language can help enlighten my students.
        > Simon Wang

        Why not do an MA(TEFL)? An Applied linguistics MA will cover a lot of
        the same ground but a TEFL MA is directly relevant to what you want to
        do. Nearly all Applied Linguistics MAs are aimed at language teachers
        and I sometimes wonder if the Applied linguistics appellation is an
        attempt to academicise a course that needs a strong basis in
        practicalities.

        >
        > My concerns here are twofold: First, what kind of
        > edge an applied linguistics master degree holder would have over
        > other teachers with postgraduate training in other humanity areas
        > such as history, sociology or literature?

        Applied Linguistics is more useful to an EFL teacher than the other
        areas you mention. English language teaching covers a wide area and I
        find my maths, physics and programming background useful but pedagogy,
        linguistics and language related matters are far more important in my
        teaching.

        Dick Tibbetts
        University of Macau
      • snoopy doopy
        ... Masters degree in education w/TESOL MAed/ TESOL You will still have a few linguistic courses to take; I do feel they are worth taking. (Most are designed
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 1, 2004
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          simonsailsaway <tesolwang@...> wrote:
          > Wish you all a fruitful 2004-2005 academic year. I am interested in this issue in language teacher training as I am looking into postgraduate study opportunities.



          Masters degree in education w/TESOL MAed/ TESOL

          You will still have a few linguistic courses to take; I do feel they are worth taking. (Most are designed to help you become a better teacher)

          The degree is for professional teachers, and can apply into a Ph.D. program within the education track. This is a good option if you want to get into admin or research after a few more years of teaching.

          You can view more info at my university website.

          http://www.findlay.edu/

          http://www.findlay.edu/academics/cola/tesolgraduate/courses/index.html

          http://www.findlay.edu/academics/cola/tesolgraduate/index.html

          The index (above) is a list of courses you must take, do not be deceived into thinking it will be easy (as I did). I finished a CS masters program and my MBA before I started into the MA program. I thought it would be easy, especially compared with CS or EE.

          It was not! It was just as hard as the other two and I had to devote many hours to research projects and assignments. However, I feel it was worth it!

          In China, the benefits of having an advanced degree seems very low compared to the time and cost involved. However, the high paying Middle East positions... 5000 USD + a month and areas in Asia i.e. Hong Kong the differences usually are outstanding. Many will not even consider you for the top positions unless you have an advanced degree and a few years experience. HK positions are 50K HKD a month and higher. Not bad at all. The ones I have seen in China run usually 3000-5000 4-year degree or EFL certifications. 5000-8000 with a masters degree and higher for doctorate teachers.

          Therefore, it looks like only a few thousand RMB extra, and that is not much of a difference. Especially compared to those lucrative Saudi contracts that can get you around 100K a year USD.

          I have seen a few job openings for admin staff advertised at around 35K USD a year in a few Chinese institutions. These positions wanted the MA ed or higher. Of course $$ is not everything but it does help..

          Therefore, you never know that dream job might come around and require that extra amount of education. Having the advanced degree is a big plus!

          I am not sure about the other areas, History, Literature ect. if they can carry the same weight to an employer. Maybe someone else in the group might know this.

          Off to Beijing in 3 weeks!

          Anyone have any suggestions for me? First time to Beijing


          Richard Pryor

          MA Ed
        • Sheila Cornelius
          ... To add another dimension to this discussion, which may or may not be relevant, an MA in Linguistics (or an TEFL MA) will get you a job at a university in
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 1, 2004
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            > My concerns here are twofold: First, what kind of
            > edge an applied linguistics master degree holder would have over
            > other teachers with postgraduate training in other humanity areas
            > such as history, sociology or literature?



            To add another dimension to this discussion, which may or may not be relevant, an MA in Linguistics (or an TEFL MA) will get you a job at a university in your own country, which is what I am doing at present, having recently returned from China.

            Sheila
          • Linell Davis
            Simon In your request for information/advice about alternatives to applied linguistics for EFL teachers you did not say whether you are asking about MA options
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 3, 2004
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              Simon

              In your request for information/advice about alternatives to applied
              linguistics for EFL teachers you did not say whether you are asking about MA
              options in China or internationally. From the responses it seems to me that
              posters are advising you what is available internationally. As a Chinese
              teacher you may be looking for options closer to home.

              I teach in an MA program in China. The students major in various fields.
              Linguistics is certainly the most popular option. You should look for a
              program with a strong research focus because the stress on research and
              publication is increasing. This is a problem for some of my students because
              many of the older professors specialize in theory and have little experience
              in carrying out direct research. The second most popular option is
              literature. The problem with this is that once you go back to teaching, you
              will not have much opportunity to teach literature. In the program where I
              teach there are also students who major in English pedagogy and in
              translation. I think the English pedagogy program, though small, is good.
              The students in this program are carrying out research in the professional
              development of teachers, the problems rural teachers face, etc. Other
              programs that you can find at some universities in China are area studies
              (American studies, etc.) and cross-cultural communication. These programs
              are all available in foreign languages departments. You might find some
              interesting and suitable programs in education departments as well, although
              I am told that most EFL teachers look to foreign languages department rather
              than education departments for their MA programs.

              You should certainly plan to earn an MA as soon as possible. I know of one
              university that is only hiring PhDs to teach its undergraduate English
              majors. At my university you must have an MA. A fairly large number of
              teachers with MAs are being sent to earn PhDs. Younger teachers on the
              faculty who were hired before this policy went into effect are all working
              on MA degrees. It is required for them if they are to keep their jobs. Top
              middle schools are also sending teachers to earn MAs. Getting the highest
              possible credentials is becoming more important every year.

              Linell
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