To add to @Firemin, it must also be a post graduate qualification that took an academic year (or more) to undertake. The HKCAAVQ doesn’t verify any qualification that takes less than that to acquire, they were not the least interested in the Trinity TESOL I have. Once you have a teaching qualification, a TESOL (or equivalant) may count as subject knowledge.
Can I not be a teaching assistant at a preschool or primary school?
Not necessarily an ESF school
You can be a teaching assistant in any school that wanta to have you. We were talking about the qualifications nessecary for a position as a teacher.
However, referring to your original post, that won’t open the way to a teaching position. Onle a PGCE/PGDE or equivalent will do that.
Just want to add my two cents.... I would advise against pursuing an English teaching "career" in Hong Kong, unless you're passionate and enjoy working with children and then, yes, pursuing the PGDE and that pathway is good and I think reliable. If you don't get a PGDE and only have a CertTESOL then it's not really a good pathway. If you think of working at language centers, the conditions are pretty harsh -- many employers will want you to work weekends or late evenings, and if you've come to Hong Kong with a partner who has an office job, those schedules clash pretty badly. The pay is not very good, either, and you're really working for pennies when you consider how much time and effort you need to do with planning.
I can say I'm pretty well qualified (without the PGDE), and yet I've found it very challenging to find a good, reliable job given I don't want to work evenings and weekends. The part time work I have had has really burnt me out, and I've gone through endless interviews and new job starts, only to be told "Oh we don't have any work for you this semester". The good jobs seem to be based on connections, and so in that sense, you may have some luck if you do a masters in Applied Linguistics or TESOL and then can get hired on.
After working insane hours in preparation to teach new courses I was unfamiliar with in the previous semester for what amounted to only around 20k/month, I now have no work because those jobs it turns out were one-offs!
Thanks. I plan on pursuing the next levels of French and becoming a teaching assistant in the day time at a school near my daughter's school. Would this be a suitable alternative? I would not be in HK for a long time.
@Elegiaque pretty much summed up my experimence of teaching English in a language centre. Horrible hours, dismal pay and a completely irrelevant curriculum. I loved the teaching aspect though. Doing a PGCE, you can choose a subject specific way (secondary schools), I chose Design & Technology due to my industry background. If you pursue a PGDE in HKU, be aware that they are completely oversubscribed, have a limited choice of subjects and most courses are comducted in Chinese. CUHK is even worse, the Teaching English as a Second language PGDE course is partly taught in Chinese, as are the course materials.
What are the qualifications required to become a teaching assistant? And what is the pay per hour?