Deciding where to take your TEFL certificateWritten by Marni on January 10th, 2011
For those wishing to take a TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate, the options are seemingly countless. The internet is full of names of schools around the globe offering TEFL certificate courses for those who want to teach English overseas.
While the range of option may cause the decision-making process to appear daunting, a clear understanding of how TEFL is taught around the world, your individual needs, and exactly what each school offers its students will go a long way toward making the selection process work to your benefit.
Firstly, your course should be accredited – not simply “recognized” — by a third body. Such courses are valid world-wide, and stand you in good stead for being considered for hiring. The best courses offer 120 study hours, at least six observed practice teaching sessions, and contain a solid grammar component.
Once you’ve zeroed-in on accredited courses, decide on: your country of preference; what you can afford in tuition; whether you’d prefer to be studying full-time, part-time, or online; whether you’re required to have a university degree; and your preferred mode of learning. Each of these factors will contribute to narrowing your search.
Some students opt to take their TESL courses on location – in the country in which they intend to teach. This ensures proximity to the jobs they will be applying for, and may be useful in matching course material to the needs of the institutions in which they will be working.
It is acceptable to inquire of a school as to whether they’ll assist with accommodation, visas, and other paperwork. It’s a good idea to have your accommodation details settled at least one month before you begin to teach, and a school that can you support its student teachers in this way makes life a lot easier on them. Does the school offer employment assistance to their graduates? How are their graduates faring in the workforce?
While it can be work for the prospective TEFL student to clarify their goals and needs in a program, it will be time well spent. Ultimately, with a solid sense of what they are seeking and a commitment to asking questions, those who are committed to teaching English overseas will find the school best suited to make their dream a reality.