Friday, February 11, 2011

1102111230 Teaching English as a Foreign Language is for young people.

1102111230 Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

I never honestly considered that an on-line course to be an English teacher would be highly regarded by the teaching profession. A four-year degree course which includes the psychology of learning, effective formative assessment and a one-year practice in the classroom does not favorably compare to mucking about for 120 hours on the internet. Even though I managed to do well and was awarded good marks for my lesson plans,
the teacher's comments never mentioned anything specific about my work: it was like they were cut-and-paste from a spam generator. The "print-it-yourself" on-line certificate does not carry any authority and there is something hollow and artificial about it. It lacks an essential ingredient. Like carob. Having said that, the only people who consider the qualifications from Bridge TEFL seriously are, oddly enough, the people at Bridge TEFL. The final part of the course is job placement with their agency. I received this reply:

Dear David,

Thank you for considering BridgeTEFLJobs for placement in South Korea. As a warning, placements are extremely difficult to secure in South Korea when the applicant is nearing the age of 50. We apologize for this difficulty. This is not a policy of BridgeTEFL, but of the employing agencies in South Korea. Each school has its own guideline for hiring teachers and currently most teachers being hired are from 22 to 40 years of age. If you are outside of this age group, it might take longer to find a school. Being that the retirement age in Asia is presently 50~55 yrs, it is highly unlikely that anyone nearing or past 50~55 yrs will obtain a decent job offer.

In light of this information, you may want to consider teaching in other areas, such as Latin America. If that sounds appealing, we strongly suggest enrolling in a TEFL Certification course in-country for numerous reasons:

* Allows time to acclimate to the culture
* Provides an opportunity to look for housing
* Usually includes free language lessons
* Encourages networking (with potential employers and classmates)
* Greatly improves your chances of being hired

Please visit for a map with locations where we are currently offering such courses.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to continue with your placement in South Korea in spite of the aforementioned difficulties.


Matt Clark

BridgeTEFL Jobs Advisor, BridgeTEFL
915 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80246
(303) 785-8861 (direct)
1-888-827-4757 (Toll-free USA & Canada)
0-800-028-8051 (Toll-free UK)


Dear Mark,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I understand that this is not a policy of Bridge TEFL or your personal feelings, because age discrimination is illegal in the USA, Canada, England, France, Australia, New Zealand, most of Europe, some of the more interesting parts of Asia, anywhere East of the Urals, the Baltic States and the Antarctic Territories.

I sincerely hope that you live long enough to experience this yourself.

David Nightingale.
TEFL Graduate