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Da Woiks: Links, Library, News and Other Stuff More Useful Than You Are => Le Laowai Liberation League Labor & Lifestyle Lending Library (ON-TOPIC) => Topic started by: Pashley on June 18, 2007, 03:24:48 PM

Title: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on June 18, 2007, 03:24:48 PM
I thought I should write here about becoming an IELTS examiner. This might be a useful extra income stream for many teachers. It was for me, though I no longer do it.

The IELTS test (www.ielts.org) includes two components -- writing and conversation -- that require an expert to grade them. Grading is subjective, but there's a training process and considerable monitoring to ensure it is consistent.

Pay is good. As of mid-2004, when I was last involved, interviewers were getting 88 RMB per 11-14 minute interview and you'd do 25-30 in a weekend, so 2200-2600 plus travel expenses. Bus or train within province or plane outside, nice hotel, plus 250 a day allowance for food, taxis, etc. Grading writing also paid well. There was talk of a pay increase, but I do not know if that has happened. (it hasn't, as of Oct 2007) -- 2009 update, now 102/interview

Their basic requirements are native speaker or IELTS 9 (essentially prefect) English, degree, TEFL certificate and three year's post-certification ESL experience. That gets you on their training course. The course lasts four days and costs you 750 plus your travel expenses. It is given a few times a year, I think at all of their centers in China -- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu -- but I'm not certain.

The course introduces their grading criteria. There are sheets with multiple scales, one for grammar, another for vocabulary, etc. You go through those, some lecture and discussion on how they are designed and used. Then they show video interviews or give you samples of writing. Everyone rates them, compare and discuss your ratings, then hear the word from On High (Cambridge) on how and why they should be rated.

At the end of the course, you are tested. Here are 12 taped interviews; rate them. Here are some writing samples; rate those. If you pass, you are certified as an examiner. There are separate certifications for interviewing and for marking writing. These are good anywhere in the world, though you have to re-test every two years to remain certified.

Depending where you are, there may be a lot or a little work. I was in Fuzhou, where they give one or two tests a month, using 6 to 8 examiners each time, and at the time only four examiners lived there. They used us on every test and flew in others. Sometimes they flew us elsewhere too; I went to Haikou and Nanjing.

They had a lot of examiners in Guangzhou, though, so even though they did two or three exams a month there, not everyone got work. On the other hand, all the writing for Southern China -- tests in Guangzhou, Shenzhen,  Xiamen, Fuzhou, Nanning and Haikou -- was marked in Guangzhou, so people there got that work.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on June 18, 2007, 04:58:32 PM
Great info here. Definitely a Library entry. Nicely done.  agagagagag
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Con ate dog on October 26, 2007, 03:47:15 PM
So how exactly do I go about getting in on this?
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: cheekygal on October 26, 2007, 06:06:01 PM
Go to British Council. Not just everyone can become an examiner and you also have to prove 3 years of teaching experience by strong AND positive references that will be checked. A friend of mine became one. She has a CELTA but yet was kinda worried she won't pass the test after the course. Money is good and she is very happy with it. To pass IELTS in Beijing costs almost 2,000RMB. So, yes, they can afford paying examiners good money for test and the rest of the benefits when traveling.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on October 28, 2007, 06:59:35 AM
Contact info for the British Council is on this page:
http://www.britishcouncil.org/china-about-us-where-we-are-in-china.htm

IELTS is actually run by 3 groups: the Council, Cambridge's testing service, and an Australian organisation whose name I do not recall. In some places, like Japan, the Council and the Aussies run separate IELTS organisations and compete for customers. In China, they have a joint venture.

In Guangzhou, the IELTS office is at the British Council. Might be different for other cities, but at least the Council will know where.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: lolochan on March 08, 2008, 04:34:53 AM
Has anyone done invigilating for the IELTS exam in China? i am an IELTS invigilator but have never been trained as an examiner. Is there a need for invigilators in China?
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on March 08, 2008, 09:46:57 AM
i am an IELTS invigilator but have never been trained as an examiner. Is there a need for invigilators in China?
Not sure, but I think it is worth asking. See links in a previous post.

While I started examining, a few years back, they were using examiners to invigilate the written part of the tests. Then they switched to using Chinese staff from their office for that. I did not know there was such a thing as an IELTS invigilator. Maybe I jut missed it.

However I recently heard, third hand, that they are recruiting invigilators in Fuzhou.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Shroomy on March 08, 2008, 12:03:47 PM
Okay, so I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but what on earth is an invigilator?  It sounds like something an alien would do to you in the mother ship.

And I need moonlighting work.  There is a IELTS center here in Changchun, but I don't have a TEFL cert.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: AMonk on March 08, 2008, 12:50:29 PM
"Invigilator" is the fancy-shmancy English word for the person who sits inside the exam room and oversees the students, to make sure that there is NO CHEATING going on....and they are vigilant in their duties. ahahahahah
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: adamsmith on March 08, 2008, 12:59:42 PM
In some places invigilator is known as a 'proctor'. Still sounds like something done by the same alien in the mothership though.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: George on March 08, 2008, 01:49:43 PM
"Invigilator" is the fancy-shmancy English word for the person who sits inside the exam rppm and oversees the students, to make sure that there is NO CHEATING going on....and they are vigilant in their duties. ahahahahah
That's practically word for word wot I was gunna say!! Demazing!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Shroomy on March 08, 2008, 01:55:01 PM
Yeah, totally  offtopic but when I was doing physical exams for a living I did a lot of proctoring.  I've never seen invigilating before.  In the civilised world we only have proctors.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: AMonk on March 08, 2008, 02:34:05 PM
Also  offtopic  but is a "proctor" like a proctologist?!? aoaoaoaoao










...Just joking.  afafafafaf  I know that a proctor is a classroom monitor....
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Shroomy on March 08, 2008, 02:49:38 PM
Yes, but that's the kind of "proctoring" I used to do before I became an English teacher.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: AMonk on March 08, 2008, 02:54:07 PM
Yes, but that's the kind of "proctoring" I used to do before I became an English teacher.


Just so long as you don't practice on me aoaoaoaoao
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Con ate dog on March 18, 2008, 04:59:47 AM
Whereas I'm in the book...
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Foscolo on March 19, 2008, 04:34:17 PM
IELTS is really taking off around the world, and getting involved with it in one way or another will serve you well outside China as well if you carry on teaching English. A thorough way to get your head into the exam is to download the handbook from the website: http://www.ielts.org/ (http://www.ielts.org/).
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on April 15, 2008, 12:19:57 PM
A current ad to recruit examiners, from the Guangzhou IELTS office:
http://www.englishclub.com/tefl/viewtopic.php?f=10&p=7399
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: MK on April 15, 2008, 12:33:11 PM
I think a lot of the regular IELTS examiners are also the freelance-teaching-on-a-business-Visa types - so the current crackdown in that area might well lead to a shortage of examiners.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: lolochan on April 15, 2008, 01:02:34 PM
If you can't become an examiner, invigilating does pay well. You basically make sure there is no cheating happening during the exam. I worked the Cambridge exam in Canada and it is very strict. The exam is required from international students who want to enter a university and for people who are immigrating to Canada or the US (not sure if it is the case for Britain).

There are 3 parts to the exam (not two). Invigilators control check in, exam materials, entering the exam room and monitoring the written and listening portion of the exam. Examiners are used for the speaking portion of the exam. Markers are hired separately.

As an invigilator, you have to be very vigilant about checking people into the exam, explaining rules of the exam and making sure the exam room is not "contaminated". Friendliness is not recommended as people will try to pull a lot of crap in the exam in order to pass. Chinese students are the worst for cheating and I have kicked several students out of exams for this. It is a major risk as the cost in Canada is $250 each time. Students often take the exam at least 2 times but I have seen students take it up to 11 times. Even electronic watches and cell phones are not allowed into the testing area.

The training for invigilating is a few hours and many are needed during the day of the exam. Examiners generally come in only for the speaking portion or make a separate schedule for marking. 

Again, you can contact the British Council, if you are interested in applying for any of these positions.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Foscolo on April 15, 2008, 05:34:51 PM
While invigilating once, a candidate tried to bribe me to give him some answers. I don't know which was more insulting - that he thought I'd take a bribe, or that that he thought I was so poor I'd be interested in the trifling sum he was offering.

I understand that in IELTS administration there's concern about exam malpractice in a number of countries, one of which is China. One problem (in general, not specifically China) is that the institutions where the exam is sat may have agendas and attitudes which are not all that they might be. In particular, invigilators who disqualify a candidate may find themselves in a position of defending themselves against confrontational comebacks from the institution and/or the candidate. So much less bother just to turn a blind eye...
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on April 16, 2008, 05:10:03 AM
Chinese students are the worst for cheating and I have kicked several students out of exams for this.
Not sure that is true. A friend who taught in Korea tells me students there are even worse. They cheat more and are better at it, harder to catch.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: adamsmith on April 16, 2008, 06:16:24 AM
Having taught, and studied with, both Korean and Chinese students for many years, I would have to say they are on a par with each other although in my opinion I would give the Chinese students the dubious honour of being the most blatant about it - many times they don't even realize what they are doing is cheating. But I will grant the Koreans the honour of being the most creative.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Foscolo on April 16, 2008, 10:37:24 AM
I cheated in my state Math exam when I was 16. I scratched some key equations I just couldn't remember onto my watch strap. If I'd flunked that exam, it would have seriously limited my choices for higher education two years later. I don't think that was cheating. I think it was being smart. Not to excuse ESL exam candidates' cheating, but it can be a logical and understandable response to the life-chances determining effects of a state education system. Or it can be because the candidates are lazy morons who expect to get something for nothing, of course.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: lolochan on April 16, 2008, 01:25:18 PM
In Canada, they have actually asked people to keep their watches at home. But people will always find a way to cheat. Better mouse, better mousetrap..
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 13, 2009, 10:01:47 AM
Has anyone become certified as an IELTS examiner while in China?

It's just occurred to me today that I might like to think about being one of those.  I have no idea if any IELTS testing goes on in my small town but I doubt it, however I live near Changsha, and maybe getting flown around the place might be interesting once and a while.  Any thoughts?

I don't know if I can get three years of glowing post-CELTA certification references.  I am three years post certification, but the first of those years was in a training center from which I eventually got fired, and the two subsequent years have been here, a public uni in Hunan.

What's the certification course like?  It takes 4 days?  In Beijing at the British Council?  And costs money?  And you have to wear a tie?


I'll navigate the various websites at some point to find out in detail, but experiences would be great if anyone has any.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: becster79 on June 13, 2009, 12:14:54 PM
Wish I could help you out, but hoping to become one myself. I will have finished the MA in November and possibly hoping to get into the January training intake (I know this is when it happens). Only think is, I will have had 4 1/2 years experience and just got the MA, so no post experience as such. Don't know how picky they are on this though, but they're always advertising, so they must be able to bend some rules somewhere.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on June 14, 2009, 01:56:43 AM
They have four centers -- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu -- and training is at one of them. In Gz, as of four years ago it was offered about twice a year. I don't know if that has changed or might be different at other centers.

There are separate certifications for interviewing and marking the essays. When I did the training in 2004, it was a 4-day course covering both & cost 750 rmb. They now sometimes offer two day courses that cover interviewing only.

All writing is marked at their centers. e.g. for South China, tests are given in Nanning, Haikou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen & Fuzhou, but the writing marking is all in Guangzhou. To get that work you must either live in GZ or be willing to travel there at your own expense each time. I know someone who did that, travelling Zhuhai-Guangzhou. Suzhou-Shanghai would likely work.

You can live anywhere & work as an examiner. In province, they pay for (actually, reimburse about 6 weeks later) bus or train. If you go outside your province, air fare is reimbursed. In my year as an examiner, living in Fujian, I made two out-of-province trips, to Haikou and Nanjing. 

Their requirements are native speaker or IELTS 9 (effectively perfect) non-native, (any) degree, TEFL certification (they can be picky about which one), and 3 years teaching experience. There is some flexibility in this if you have some other relevant qualification, like B Ed or a Master's, but I do not know how much. They want three year's experience after the TEFL Cert; I'm not sure if there's flexibility there.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on June 14, 2009, 03:36:57 AM
Has anyone become certified as an IELTS examiner while in China?

Many, including me,

Quote
What's the certification course like?  It takes 4 days?  In Beijing at the British Council? And costs money? 

See previous posts, first in thread & one just before this.

Quote
And you have to wear a tie?

When I was doing it, a few years ago, ties were required for male examiners in the Guangzhou office's fief, but not in Shanghai office's area. When several Fuzhou examiners were sent to Nanjing, we all wore ties to the test center and were surprised the local lads did not.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 15, 2009, 03:05:49 AM
Here's the thing that's really bugging me...

See, it sounds like an IELTS weekend is pretty intense as far as being the examiner goes, 25-30 interviews where you're always "on", keeping the IELTS standards in your head and judging the practice of earnest, cheatin', dummy, great kid hopefuls.  So is there a personality or character skill set that makes this kind of thing easy, or hard, or enjoyable, or whatever?

Starting today I'm examining my own students.  They'll be in groups of 2-3 with 3-4 minutes per group.  They'll be talking to each other and not talking to me.  I score them in my own naive version of fluency, accuracy, and communication skills.  Theoretically one class will take one hour to complete.  In practice it takes two class periods if everyone more or less cooperates.

Last sememster I noticed a trend I hadn't seen before in my scoring.  The class that went first had markedly lower scores than the later classes.  I know this was examiner error and fixed it on the final score sheet.  (I was strict and followed my marking scheme closely in the first class, and relaxed into an easier listening method as exams wore on.  Something like that.)

Anyway... what kind of person loves IELTS examining and finds it fun?
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Mr Nobody on June 15, 2009, 03:25:07 AM
Being an IELTS examiner may or may not be good, but more importantly, you can charge shitloads for teaching a course for students on how to pass it. The truth is students generally don't want to KNOW anything, just pass the test.

So, I plan eventually do to one of these courses I can solely for the purpose of running classes in it.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 15, 2009, 05:15:41 AM
Conceivably a greater cash-making opportunity than being an examiner itself, but officially against the rules of certification, no?

And I kvote:

Important notes:

• To avoid potential conflicts of interest in mainland China, IELTS examiners are not permitted to be involved in any form of IELTS preparation course teaching or promotional activities
• As IELTS examining is a freelance opportunity, examiner applicants must ensure that they have a valid visa to work in mainland China.



I suppose if you got the cert and more or less immediately gave it up by going into prep course retailing...

Seems so obvious as a choice, I wonder what the IELTS people think.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: друг всего мира on July 05, 2009, 09:54:18 AM
In my days in another province, I knew a goodly number of IELTS examiners.  The ones that I knew were all British, 45 years of age or over; only one was truly a Cambridge University trained scholar; one was an ex-British Telephone lineman (believe it or not) who managed, somehow, someway, to crawl to the top of the heap in that city and become a DOS in a large private school (without a university degree).  In that province, it was an oh-so-clubby, so-chummy, so very British private club (the IELTS examiners).  It was very, very lucrative, lots of busy week-ends, etc.  Those few North Americans that I knew that worked as IELT's examiners in that province found the atmosphere stifling, overbearing and well, somewhat pompous (their words exactly not mine).  I was afforded the opportunity to be an IELTS examiner but politely declined. Personally, I don't do well in what-appear-to-me to be 19th century style English private clubs.  Lack of oxygen if you will.

Anyway, yes, it's lucrative, no, it's not for everyone, yes, it plays to politics a great deal and four, there are other opportunities far more socially amenable that are available to Americans.  To each his or her own, however.

Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: ccvortex on July 05, 2009, 10:49:42 PM
I have the IELTS Teachers Guide, the Student Workbook and training CD's 1 & 2 if anyone is interested. 68 MB download; I could probably host it on one of my web servers if there's enough demand for it.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: chinalin on July 06, 2009, 01:03:04 AM
I would be very interested in the teacher's books, if it is at all possible, I have some students looking to sitting the Ielts test.

Lin
Zhaoqing Guangdong.
 bxbxbxbxbx
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: ccvortex on July 06, 2009, 01:53:28 AM
http://www.demotheme.net/ielts.rar
You'll need Winrar to extract it which you can get just about anywhere.

Please don't report that link outside of Raoul's though. There is also an installer in there to add a plug-in for WMP to play .ogg files.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: AMonk on July 06, 2009, 05:23:46 AM
Please don't report that link outside of Raoul's though. There is also an installer in there to add a plug-in for WMP to play .ogg files.


Send her a PM, and remove it from here. agagagagag
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: ccvortex on July 06, 2009, 02:43:52 PM
I figured more than one person will want it and I am far too lazy to send multiple PM's  :D
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Mr Nobody on July 06, 2009, 02:55:31 PM
I want it, thanks. Already downloaded. Cheers.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: ccvortex on July 06, 2009, 04:26:42 PM
No prob.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on September 03, 2009, 01:13:04 PM
Conceivably a greater cash-making opportunity than being an examiner itself, but officially against the rules of certification, no?

And I kvote:

Important notes:

• To avoid potential conflicts of interest in mainland China, IELTS examiners are not permitted to be involved in any form of IELTS preparation course teaching or promotional activities
• As IELTS examining is a freelance opportunity, examiner applicants must ensure that they have a valid visa to work in mainland China.


There are other restrictions too.

One examiner slipped up and let a candidate leave with one of the handouts, a prompt for part two of the speaking test. He was immediately fired.

Interviews are recorded and some are re-marked for quality control. If your ratings are not accurate, or if they don't like something else (I was too informal and sometimes deviated from the script), they could fire you, but more often they just tell you that you need to re-train before you can examine again. Unlike the initial training, they do not charge for this, but you cover your own travel expenses.

You aren't allowed to tell anyone what score you think they might get. They state in training that this is a firing offense. This is actually a sensible restriction, since it is more-or-less impossible to be precise anyway. I've sort of skated by that one, telling a Chinese friend she definitely wouldn't get 5 or 8, but I wasn't sure where she'd be in between.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on October 06, 2009, 05:24:07 PM
I don't know if I can get three years of glowing post-CELTA certification references.

When I signed up, in 2003 I think, references were not asked for.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: becster79 on October 08, 2009, 06:06:08 AM
Pahley, I am also friends with an IELTS examiner (was also working as a teacher in China but now moved back home, but still doing IELTS)- 1 exam period she went to the toilet during her break (she was assessing speaking) and accidently left the examining materials in the exam room. The room was locked, but apparently this is a BIG no no and she was banned for 6 months, then had to be re-assessed to be readmitted to examining. I imagine they have a HUGE list of rules to follow!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: old34 on October 08, 2009, 07:03:37 AM
So add the "kidneys of a camel" to the long list of BC requirements for IELTS examiners.  ahahahahah
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: MK on October 08, 2009, 07:33:08 AM
Quote
So add the "kidneys of a camel" to the long list of BC requirements for IELTS examiners.

Nah, just take the stuff in with you - you need something to read on the pot, right? Or, better yet, ask the candidate to sit in the next stall - two birds with one stone.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on November 04, 2009, 12:26:53 AM
Current (October 2009) ad to recruit examiners:
http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=20677
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 03, 2010, 10:18:08 AM
Dress code?  There's a dress code for examiners in China?  The current info packet for South China examiners says:

General guidelines
Your clothing should be semi-formal, neat, clean and ironed. CN002 recommends:
Modest-length skirts and dresses
Full-length trousers
Shirts with sleeves and collars (In winter months, collar and tie should still be visible)
Ties (Compulsory)
Tailored jackets (Optional/unnecessary in hot conditions)
Jerseys/sweaters or cardigans
Soft-soled shoes.
Ladies shoes: heels and toes should be partially or fully covered


A TIE?!?!?

I may have to rethink my wardrobe.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on June 03, 2010, 10:36:43 AM
A TIE?!?!?

I may have to rethink my wardrobe.

Lots of nice ties available in China, silk or pseudo-silk. I've bought many, mostly
as gifts for people back home. Suzhou is one good place to buy. The underground
shopping center in Zhuhai, just by the Macau border is another.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: MK on June 03, 2010, 10:39:31 AM
Guangzhou / South China is the strictest testing region on dress code for some reason.  It's a bit more laid back elsewhere (no ties in Shanghai area!).
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 03, 2010, 10:45:00 AM
I'll be in Changsha.  Do they even sell ties in Changsha?

I'm much more of a polo kinda guy.  In a business shirt I have that rumpled sack of potatoes look.  So, I put on a nice polo and get the GQ vibe happening, or I can wear a tie and look like an intern.  

Actually the only time I ever wore ties in my life, aside from work experience in school, was in Thailand getting a CELTA.  Dress casual, be professional, is my preference, but there one had to wear a tie no mater what.

Anyone want to recommend a good business shirt?  How does one wear a business shirt anyway?  I find cotton shirts too heavy in summer and polyester too like sandpaper.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Dex on June 03, 2010, 01:01:16 PM
I think the desire to dress formally in the South must be part of the whole open-for-business attitude and international trade blah blah blah.

Wouldn't mind being an examiner in Changsha too!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: rollerboogie on June 04, 2010, 02:39:50 PM
I have been considering pursuing IELTS exam certification and missed this thread.  It's a goldmine of information. Thanks!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: El Macho on January 03, 2011, 01:29:30 PM
w/r/t IELTS and references from past employers, the current iteration of the application asks for a written evaluation from your current employer as well as contact information for your most recent employer. Do they dig up info from the others? If they do, good luck to them…finding some of these schools in China won't be much fun.

Also, they require original degree certificates to be sent along with transcripts of any ESOL-related work.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on March 07, 2011, 09:19:32 AM
The Shanghai office are currently recruiting examiners. For all I know, other offices may be as well.

Direct quote from email I got: "Minimum Professional Requirements: a university degree, recognised TESOL qualification, and three years of TESOL experience with age 16 and older."

Contact person is Sheryl Cooke. I have her permission to post contact info, but I do not like putting email addresses in publicly accessible posts, since spammers may harvest them. Hers is in the format firstname.lastname at organisation. The organisation is britishcouncil.org.cn
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: El Macho on March 07, 2011, 12:02:08 PM
Thanks for the heads-up, Pashley. I'll take a gander to see if the BJ office is also recruiting.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: tomhume89 on March 08, 2011, 04:30:40 AM
I tried applying, asking about the "A TEFL/TESOL qualification from a recognised institution" requirement.

They can't tell me however what is a 'recognised institution' as it would promote one institution over another!  llllllllll

It seems annoying as I'd be well up for heading down to GZ from Changsha on the train to make a few kuai. Online ones don't count, apparently, and by the sounds my contact was making, it seems some hardcore qualification like the CELTA would do.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: becster79 on March 08, 2011, 07:17:11 AM
I'm currently getting my application together, assuming that the Guangzhou office is also recruiting. I should be a shoe in with all the quals, but have to get through the rigid training!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on May 07, 2011, 11:50:17 PM
They are advertising again:

http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/index.cgi?read=22919
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: jpd01 on May 08, 2011, 03:38:17 AM
Just out of curiousity does the British council hire fulltime examiners in China? I was just curious if they only hired part time or free lance workers? Just seems interesting that a institute like the British Council would essentially ask people in China to work illegally (under the strictest letter of the law a residents permit is issued for one emplyer only) Doesn't seem to fit in with their so called ethical non for profit business ideals.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on May 08, 2011, 06:21:01 AM
Just out of curiousity does the British council hire fulltime examiners in China? I was just curious if they only hired part time or free lance workers? Just seems interesting that a institute like the British Council would essentially ask people in China to work illegally (under the strictest letter of the law a residents permit is issued for one emplyer only) Doesn't seem to fit in with their so called ethical non for profit business ideals.

As of 2004 when I last dealt with them, they did not hire full-time examiners. Nor would they provide a letter to help you get a business visa. They seemed to regard getting a visa, and if necessary permission from your school for the outside work, as entirely your problem. Contracts I have seen generally allow outside work with permission, though I'm not certain what the letter of the law is on this.

As of 2004, they also thought they'd likely soon have permission to open Council-run schools in China. I have yet to hear of any, though.

It may also be worth noting that it is non purely a British Council show here. There are three organisations involved -- the Council, an Aussie group called IDP Education, and the Cambridge testing group. In some places, IELTS is run by only one group -- the Council in most of Eastern Europe, the Aussies in various Pacific islands. In others, such as Japan, both are present and they compete. China was (as of 2004 again) the only place where they run it together as a joint venture.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: jpd01 on May 08, 2011, 09:58:50 AM
Well I was just curious really, this is always the contention: if you follow the letter of the law to the letter you cannot work outside the employer that is stated on your residents permit. However if you have a SAFEA contract that states you can with permission. As far as private schools go I don't know any that allow it or have the ability to allow it even if they wanted to.
It's been tested a few times with results on both sides of the coin ( ie its been ok to work outside if you have a SAFEA contract and sometimes not)
Strictly speaking the council or whoever is asking its part timers and free lancers to break the law in order to work for them.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: memnoch87 on May 20, 2011, 08:58:33 AM
2 more years then I can apply!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: MK on May 19, 2012, 07:49:42 AM
Just bumping this to say IELTS is growing fast in China, more test centres are opening, and that means more examiners are needed:

Quote
You will need:
• An undergraduate degree or a qualification which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to an undergraduate degree.
• A recognised qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or recognised equivalent as part of a recognised university award course.
• At least 3 years’ full time (or the equivalent part time) relevant TESOL teaching experience (minimum one year post certificate level qualification). The majority of this teaching experience must relate to adult students (16 years and over).
• The required professional attributes and interpersonal skills.

http://www.britishcouncil.org/china-aboutus-jobvacancy.htm#examiner
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on May 20, 2012, 03:23:20 AM
Can anyone tell what they are paying now?

I last did it about 6 years ago. At the time, it was 88 an interview. A two-hour block was split into six 20-minute slots, five interviews & a break. That works out to 220rmb/hour. At that time (at least in the places I was) written tests were on Saturday morning, interviews Saturday afternoon and all day
Sunday. You'd do 25-30 interviews a weekend, so 2200-2600 plus a good expense allowances.

Since then I know the rate has gone up, but I am not sure how much. Also, I hear there is enough demand that in many places they now do interviews on Fridays and/or Mondays.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 20, 2012, 01:53:27 PM
Can anyone tell what they are paying now?

I last did it about 6 years ago. At the time, it was 88 an interview. A two-hour block was split into six 20-minute slots, five interviews & a break. That works out to 220rmb/hour. At that time (at least in the places I was) written tests were on Saturday morning, interviews Saturday afternoon and all day
Sunday. You'd do 25-30 interviews a weekend, so 2200-2600 plus a good expense allowances.

Since then I know the rate has gone up, but I am not sure how much. Also, I hear there is enough demand that in many places they now do interviews on Fridays and/or Mondays.


I last examined over six months ago now. (I got tired and gave up.) As I recall (possibly foggily) these days it's 100+ per interview (106?). And actually, the last test I worked was a Saturday through Monday. I don't know how common three day tests are presently. They happened a few times a year where I was.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Fozzwaldus on May 20, 2012, 04:37:52 PM
the first rule of IELTS examining is NEVER TALK ABOUT IELTS EXAMINING!!!!!!!!

having said that, the Beijing office is desperate for examiners (they cover the entire north of China), so much so that they ship out all of their Beijing-based people every weekend, and ship in a fleet of crack testing commandos from Ningbo.  ababababab
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: El Macho on May 21, 2012, 11:29:18 AM
If they're going to send you up to BJ again, let me know – I can't promise you a great time, but could at least offer a not-too-boring drink.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: The Local Dialect on May 21, 2012, 11:39:46 AM
Fozz, are they still so desperate that they'll consider people with lots of experience but without a TEFL certificate? I remember a few years back hearing that they occasionally waived the requirement on a case by case basis. I don't have a TEFL but I've been teaching for almost a decade ...

/hijack We should all get up together in Beijing sometime in fact! I can even get a babysitter for the kids. ;) /end hijack
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Fozzwaldus on May 21, 2012, 12:03:12 PM
I think that would be worth a shot, TLD

they don't really bother screening us Ningbonese, cos they know we come pre-screened. I don't really know about the general process - maybe one of the other memebers could chime in?

I'd say worth a shot for sure.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: MK on May 22, 2012, 12:16:58 AM
Yeah it's worth a shot; "recognised...TESOL...or recognised equivalent".  Without a recognised TESOL cert' you'll have to prove to them you have a high level of language awareness (which of course you do, and a TESOL cert doesn't always provide that anyway), but give it a go.

They never send me anywhere cool...I've been to Zhengzhou and Hefei a lot though!
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Fozzwaldus on May 22, 2012, 01:24:20 AM
They never send me anywhere cool...I've been to Zhengzhou and Hefei a lot though!

Hefei - nice  ahahahahah ahahahahah
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Li Fu on October 03, 2013, 03:17:03 PM
I have been teaching IELTS since 2005 in China and have helped many students get their needed score or better.
Last year, I applied for an examiner's job in Thailand, but could not even get an interview. This peeved, me not only because of my experience, but also that I met an examiner once here in China, who was not a native speaker, and was a hopeless teacher as well as being a bit of a con man and a wanker. I don't know if he still is an examiner, but can some of you examiners on here tell me if there is any secret to scoring a post? I have all the qualifications and references, and have weekends free.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Pashley on October 03, 2013, 04:29:46 PM
I applied for an examiner's job in Thailand, but could not even get an interview. ... can some of you examiners on here tell me if there is any secret to scoring a post? I have all the qualifications and references, and have weekends free.

You might re-apply in a different place. There are a Brit & an Aussie organisation involved. In some places, one has a monopoly -- Brits in Prague, Aussies in Fiji, etc. In others, I think including Thailand, they run separate competing programs so if one turns you down, you can try the other. My understanding is that China is the only place where they have some sort of joint venture.

There is a restriction that you cannot simultaneously be an examiner and teach IELTS preparation courses. Could that be the problem?
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: MK on October 04, 2013, 12:27:32 AM
Quote
There is a restriction that you cannot simultaneously be an examiner and teach IELTS preparation courses.

They lifted that restriction a couple of years ago - now you (and more importantly your school) are just not allowed to advertise the fact that you are an examiner.

In terms of getting in, it's probably easier in China than Thailand (bigger programme, more demand) but they can also be a bit picky about what constitutes "recognized TESOL Cert or equivalent".
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Just Like Mr Benn on October 04, 2013, 03:38:21 AM
I wonder why Li Fu didn't get an interview. My guess is that Thailand simply didn't need new examiners. There is way, way more work in China than in any other country in the world. There's a lot of examiners as well, but my feeling is that regions like to have too many rather than too few.

So, if you have the quals and experience, I'd have thought they'd definitely give you the phone interview, unless there's something dreadful in your application. I expect it was just the not needing examiners thing. Didn't they give you a reason?

From then on though, maybe it can get tough. I don't think passing the phone interview is a formality. It lasts half an hour. They wouldn't spend that much time if they were just checking that you could speak English.

Then you have the 2 day training and accreditation. People's best guesses are that only half pass that first time, though it can vary widely. You can keep taking it till you pass though, not that that would necessarily be a good idea.

Then you're in, although you're regularly monitored to check you're giving the correct scores.

I'm not sure there are any secrets. I found that the people who asked lots of questions during training, were the ones who passed. You'd have to guard against the assumption that you know it all because of your experience IELTS training. Based on IELTS trainers I've met, and the methods that some candidates think will work, I think that a lot of IELTS training, at least for the speaking exam, might be rubbish.

The IELTS books that students show me are rubbish. Candidates need to be prepared for the format of the exam. Other than that I think it's down to how good you are at English.

So, that's my one piece of advice. Don't assume you already know it all, or indeed anything. If you start telling Examiner Trainers in the interview how to pass the IELTS, there's a pretty good chance that you'll come across as an idiot.

Some people think that they deliberately weed out wankers. Certainly the incidence of this condition is much lower amongst examiners than it is in the general china ESL population, though I doubt anyone would claim it was extinct. Whether you're a good teacher is probably completely irrelevant to whether you're a good examiner. I think they're 2 largely different sets of skills. As for the con man thing, again examiners tend to be much more in touch with reality than a lot of the teachers and IELTS tutors I meet, but maybe being a good conman would be helpful as an IELTS tutor. They're essentially selling snake oil. Not useful for examiners.

This is all just my personal take. Other people have a lot more experience and knowledge.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: Li Fu on October 04, 2013, 11:16:54 AM
Thanks all for your replies. I will re-apply now that I am back in China. I thought being a fair-dinkum Aussie might help, seeing that there is a partner country connection there kkkkkkkkkk
I remember the BC in Thailand writing that the reason  I was not given an interview was that my degree was old (1981) and because I only have a TEFL certificate and no other degree or Masters, so that I was underqualified compared to other applicants, though I have more than enough experience teaching adults.
Anyway, everything happens for a reason, so I will just try, try , try again and take note of your comments and advice.
Title: Re: IELTS examining
Post by: piglet on March 28, 2014, 02:39:14 AM
Hey Li Fu just curious if you did do the IELTS thing. I had a bit of a debacle with them in GZ (documented here on the Saloon).The BC has now agreed (with a bit of haggling) to pay for me to fly down to GZ to RETAKE THE WHOLE COURSE and do the exam,but I am not sure I want to do it as they were such wankers the previous time....would be happy for an update from anyone doing this now.