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  Teaching in Italy
"My fiance and I are getting our TEFL certificates and both graduated from The University of Central Florida with degrees in English and want to teach in Europe, primarily Italy. I know there is a growing demand for teachers of English in Italy, however, how could both my fiance and I get teaching jobs in the same city? Any suggestions? "
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Age limit for China?
Q.
Can a 59 year old teach in China?

A.
Update 13/9/10 I have two co-workers over age 65 who continue to get work visa's every year. I know of others who work in this city over age 60 with work visas. China is not homogeneous; practices vary from province to province. You are correct about the rule, but not the practice. If the school wants you and has enough clout, you will get a work permit. I am 63 and staying in China. From 61 to 62 years of age, I taught English (with the required qualifications) in Zhongshan, China for 12 months. I was on a visitor's visa until my school applied for the relevant work visa.I had the required medical and all was well. However China currently will not give teachers work visas if they are over 60. I have now applied in person, (showing glowing references from my high school and private school re my professionalism, enthusiasm, energy etc))to 2 different schools and been accepted each time in different provinces - until my age was stated. English First as an example, state on their advertisments that only to 59 years need apply. So do many others. Teachers must be under 60 for visa reasons!! I saw a question on your Q & A from a 65 year old who was intending to do this. NOT POSSIBLE! S.C.


Age limit for job applications?
Q.
Before going ahead and filling in my resume and getting high hopes, I would like to know is there an age limit for job applications? I was born in 1948. I wonder if age is a factor which would preclude me for being selected for a job?

A.
It's impossible to give a clear cut answer. In some countries it is legal for employers to specify age limits, when employing staff. In other countries, there is strict legislation against age discrimination with regards to employment. Some countries also impose an age limit due to work visa requirements.


Teaching English abroad
Q.
On behalf of a current Year 11 student who is deciding on what A Levels to take etc. In your opinion, would the student stand a better chance of securing employment teaching abroad IF she had a teaching qualification or English degree OR would English A level suffice?

A.
In the current economic climate where many already qualified teachers are applying for jobs abroad, employers can and do demand a degree and, more often than not, a teaching qualification.


Re-entry to TEFL
Q.
I successfully completed the CELTA course about 10 years ago and immediately afterwards gained about 1 years experience teaching EFL. For the last 8 years however, I have been working in business in a totally unrelated field but I am now keen to regain employment in EFL. I have unsuccessfully tried searching for refresher courses but not sure how much value they hold in employers eyes. I would really appreciate some advice as to how to get back into TEFL and whether there is a course specifically geared up for people like me?

A.
It may be worthwhile contacting some of the better-known training organisations to see if they offer refresher courses. Alternatively, you may find attendance at conferences like IATEFL or TESOL provides an appropriate update to your knowledge base and stimulus for and information on further training opportunities. If you feel inclined towards teaching Business English, your past 8 years experience should be an outstanding plus when applying for posts.


MAsters degrees
Q.
I am currently employed as a teacher at a university in Saudi Arabia. I would like to get a Masters degree that would stand me in good stead for more senior teaching positions, or even more senior positions withing colleges & institutions. My course would have to be done online. Are there any courses and/or institutions you can recommend?

A.
It is outside our remit to recommend any one particular course. However, there are modular courses which can be done by distance with perhaps part-time on campus. It is important to research what is on offer in order to find the module content that best fits your career needs. For example, some include a 'management' module. A thorough internet search should provide you with plenty of options.


choosing a course
Q.
Hi. I would like to teach and travel in the future and I was planning on taking a TEFL weekend and distance course. However, I have read a lot of information online and heard that these courses are not properly respected like the TESOL or CELTA courses are. However, the organisations that offer the intensive weekend and distance/online courses say that it is suitable for casual work abroad (just not a serious career). I just wanted an objective and professional opinion on this as I don't want to take the cheaper and more casual course and then find out that it won't get me any jobs compared to the CELTA or TESOL.

A.
When choosing a course, you need to assess your own needs and look for the course which best meets these. You are doing the right thing by researching what is on offer and how it may or may not meet all your requirements. Then, the correct choice is yours.


Best way into TEFL management
Q.
I have been teaching EFL for 12 years post CELTA. I am now looking at the best route into TEFL management. I'm considering doing a DELTA, an MA in TEFL/Linguistics or even a Master's degree in HRD. What do you think is the best way to go forward?

A.
Some Applied TESOL/TEFL Masters courses include a module on management which could be just what you need to help you progress in your chosen career direction.


Is a CRB check necessary to teach overseas?
Q.
I recently applied to teach English in Korea. Despite the fact that I hold a TESOL qualification and am a qualified secondary school teacher I was told that I would not be accepted due to having a criminal record. I committed a public order offense which occurred nine years ago when I was 19 but have no other convictions. Please could you let me know whether all countries have a zero tolerance policy on criminal records as I can't seem to locate this information on the internet. If this is not the case, please could you let me know which countries I would be eligible to work in.

A.
It is becoming more common for overseas employers to request a CRB check, though this usually tends to be for posts where there is contact with minors. There does not appear to be any hard and fast rules at the moment. Some overseas employers request it, others do not.


Who can teach?
Q.
Is it only graduates who can undertake a tefl course and go on to teach, or are the courses open to those without a degree?

A.
There are training courses open to non-graduates. However, increasingly employers demand TEFL-trained graduates. Therefore, your job opportunities may be limited.


Employment
Q.
I met a man yesterday who told me he was to spend the next 8 years teaching in China.He gave me your e-mailaddress. The idea of teaching in foreign countries is appealing to me. I am 65 years of age with a degree in Business Administration and Minor in History from Erskine College, a highly respected liberal arts college in South Carolina. My career was in Sales and Management and also owned my own company.I have never taught but know I have the aptitude to quickly learn. Briefly, I want to know if I would be considered a candidate on these qualifications.. Thank you inadvance for your reply.

A.
China is one country where it is possible to obtain a teaching position by virtue of being a native speaker who has a degree in any field. However, increasingly schools and universities recruit candidates who are also TEFL trained and experienced.


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