CHOOSING A COURSE
There are numerous types of TEFL/TESOL courses available, so choosing a course can be very confusing. In general, employers will accept most types of 4-week, 100 - 120 hour TEFL/TESOL certificates. However, some employers and schools are selective, the preference being for the UCLES CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL.
The CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) is awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). The CertTESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is awarded by Trinity College London.
Some international chain schools like Berlitz require teachers to train in their own particular teaching methods and will not recognize any TEFL qualifications. Other chains like EF English First do accept TESOL certificates from established Institutions
ASSESSING A LANGUAGE TEACHING COURSE
Choosing a good TEFL/TESOL, Distance / Online TEFL course is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself. With the advent of the internet and email, a host of organizations and individuals have set themselves up as trainers or training centres, some even offering a 1 day Teacher training course for a quick payment, in some cases the trainers are not qualified and are misleading prospective students.
There are a number of questions you should ask when evaluating a training course:
- Is the course offered by a reputable organisation with a good language teaching track record, i.e.
Is the TESOL training centre linked to a Language school or centre? Going with an established Institution, who has been in the training field for more than 10 years is highly recommended.
- Does the course include observed and assessed teaching practice? This is a vital component of any teaching/training course.
- Is the course content based on a modern, widely used teaching methodology?
The Course designer should have a Masters degree, possibly also in TESOL, CELTA, and a teaching degree such as P.G.C.E. or H.D.E. They should also have experience as a TESOL/CELTA teacher and trainer and taught in EFL classrooms here and internationally.
- Do the trainers on the course have recognised qualifications ( Degree, P.G.C.E. or HDE, plus a CELTA) and sufficient local and international language teaching and teacher training experience?
- The degrees and qualifications should be clearly listed on the website.
If the Institution offers further training courses such as Teaching Business English (TBE) the qualifications as above would apply plus a qualification such as a London Chamber of Commerce and Industry certificate or similar. For the Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYLT) course the above qualifications would apply once again plus a TEYLT certificate.