Getting a TEFL certification is the starting point to a fun and worthwhile experience teaching English in another country.
A lot of schools provide international TEFL certificate courses in many of the world's most popular teaching destinations.
There are many leading providers of TESOL/TESL/TEFL certification courses throughout the USA, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Deciding which one to use can be overwhelming.
Students who are trained will have completed and learned the necessary skills to manage and instruct a class successfully in virtually every country. Join the many people who become certified each year and get started on your amazing journey teaching English abroad.
What to look for?
Make sure it is part of a network of teacher training and language institutes dedicated to providing professional quality, highly practical Accredited TEFL/ TESL/ TESOL Certificate Courses where participants develop their teaching skills through a combination of morning input sessions and afternoon teaching practices.
With a certification in TEFL, you will be in high demand as a qualified instructor to Teach English as a Foreign Language to students in their native countries as well as the USA. Keep in mind the majority of these jobs are abroad.
How to Get Started Teaching?
Firstly, the course should provide you with your objectives. Many people select a course based on the course location. However, there are many other factors, which includes prior teaching experience, the country you want to teach in, and how much time you have before your trip if your ticket was already purchased.
At a minimum, you should enroll in a 4-week TEFL course which develops the crucial skills, self-confidence, and proficiency to teach an EFL/ESL class properly.
With 120 hours (no classroom training or teaching), 130 hours of training, and including 10 hours of assessed teaching practice, or 160 hour courses with 20 hours of actual classroom training. NOTE: Most reputable TEFL certification programs have a minimum of six hours of teaching practice
Which is the best TEFL course solution for you?
Some Important Factors to Keep in Mind
Course - is it 100% online learning, 100% in a classroom environment, or a combination ?
Online courses are usually taught using more theory and not as useful, while courses taught in a classroom setting often are more practical, engaging, and entail actual teaching practice with students on different levels. While online learning has worked for some, a majority feel the teaching practice option is best as you will have the greatest opportunity to acquire the skills you necessary to become a successful TEFL instructor.
Internationally Accredited - Is it a reputable organization that is recognized favorably by the ESL community?
Knowing that your TEFL Certification is accepted throughout the world is very important, otherwise you have a worthless document to show prospective employers. The two most respected and broadly accepted courses are the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity CertTesol. Many schools in the UK ask for CELTA/Trinity qualifications at a minimum.
Additional accreditations are:
ALTE - Association of Language Testers in Europe
British Council - international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations that assesses the standards of management, resources and premises, teaching, welfare and care of under 18s and accredits organizations which meet the overall standard in each area inspected.
INTESOL - attained the NCFE Investing in Quality Licence (IIQ) meaning that their courses are independently accredited by NCFE. INTESOL is also certified from TQUK. Training Qualifications UK (TQUK) is Ofqual approved.
NCFE stands for Northern Advisory Council for Further Education and is regarded as an awarding organization by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is regulated by Ofqual.
ACCET - Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Council),
ACTDEC - Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education Courses
SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority),
the College of Teachers - An assessing body and educated group of teachers, professors and associated professionals who work in education in the UK, Asia, Australia, South America and Europe
Ofqual - Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator
Course Length - The amount of time you have available to obtaining your certification?
There are various course lengths ranging from a two-three day weekend course, a 4-week course, an 8-week course, or one that spans an entire semester. The weekend course is normally a 20-hour deal where you learn some teaching basics but it is not recommended if you want to treat this as a career or be an effective teacher. Many schools will not even consider you trained with just 20 hours. Therefore, any TEFL course from 4-weeks or more are the better choice for teachers and students.
Some teaching jobs require at least 100 hours of TEFL training, if not more, in order to qualify and the 4-week course satisfies that requirement. The traditional length for a TEFL certificate course is 100-120 hours of instructional training along with six to ten hours of observed teaching practice and grading.
If you take shortcuts in the actual observed teaching practice area, you really are not someone who should be teaching English (unless you've successfully taught English before).
A certificate in TESOL training is typically 150 hours and a diploma requires 450 hours.
TEFL Courses You Should Avoid and Not Give a Second Thought
If a school asks for teachers with a TEFL certificate or “CELTA or equivalent”, that is what they are expecting
The cost should be the last consideration. Simply because the training course costs less than its competitors does not mean the quality is less and by the same token if it is on the high-end does not mean it's the best one available. Many of the most popular TEFL programs are very affordable ranging from $299-450 USD.
If you take a course at a 4-year college, the price is usually on the high-end up to $1000 and if at an overseas location it can run you $1200-$2000 (although that usually includes accommodations). Remember to focus on the course that fits into your career objectives which includes location, salary, offers specialty add-ons such as business English or early childhood language acquisition, and so on. If you are still unsure of which TEFL training program to use, simply ask for an information packet.