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Opinions on training school please

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  • ian1001
    30 April, 2009 at 20:03
    • Total posts: 2

    Hello to everyone. My name is Ian, i’m from England and hoping to start a 2nd career in Tefl. (I have friends who teach in Japan and Taipei). I have been searching the net for somewhere to train as a teacher and have come across the website http://www.willexcel.com. The complete training and employment package these guys are offering appeals to me greatly but can’t help wondering if it may be too good to be true. (on reading through your Forums I realise there are quite a few charlatans out there). I asked my mate in Taipei to check it out and he seems to think it’s okay. I was wondering if anyone on these forums has heard anything either good or bad. I’d really appreciate any opinions or comments you may have. Thanks a lot in anticipation.

    1 May, 2009 at 14:18
    • Total posts: 10

    Reply To: Hello to all. Opinions on Training School please.

    Hey Ian!
    Starting your second career as a TEFL teacher? Very cool! Welcome to the club!
    I personally have not heard anything about http://www.willexcell.com, but if you’re looking to get your TEFL certification it’s best to hold off before you sign any contracts.
    First and foremost, you DO NOT NEED ANY TEFL certification to be a successful TEFL teacher. I personally have been teaching for close to eight years in MANY countries with NO TEFL certification. The best thing a TEFL teacher can have is experience!
    Search the TEFL websites (e.g. davescafe.com, goabroad.com, etc…) and their international job boards, pick jobs that sound interesting to you, and just apply! There is a VERY good chance you’ll get the job with NO certification.
    If not there send your resume to one of these companies…
    Wall Street Institute
    These are the top three language companies in the world, with locations in countless countries, and higher teachers with no training or certificating. I know from personal experience that Berlitz in Germany give special training to new teachers who’ve had no experience before.
    If you’re really set on getting some certification, try http://www.teflonline.com/. They’re cheep, easy, quick, and just as good as any TEFL certification program.

    Hope this information helps and good luck!

    1 May, 2009 at 18:23
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Hello to all. Opinions on Training School please.

    Hi Lyndsay,
    thanks for the reply and the sound info. Basically the reason I want to do a Tefl course is because, although i’ve gained a lot of experience in life, I have never had to stand in front of a class and deliver a well planned lesson before and without practice this seems a bit daunting. Also I want to make sure my grammar and teaching ability is up to scratch. (Actually I did teach Driving for the British School of Motoring for a few years and achieved a high pass rate but I suspect this will be totally different).
    Another reason is that i’m afflicted with that deadly disease of not finishing my Degree so I guess the more qualifications I can get the better. How and where did you get into Teaching Lyndsay, did you have any experience or just go for it? Regards. Ian

    2 May, 2009 at 17:52
    • Total posts: 589

    Reply To: Hello to all. Opinions on Training School please.

    Hi Ian

    Lindsay makes a good point that certification is not everything when it comes to teaching – personality and experience count for an awful lot too. I have met many excellent teachers who do not have a qualification, and many not so good teachers with a qualification.


    Having said this, I would argue strongly in favour of getting certified, for several reasons, several of which you state in your second post:

    1. Your employment options will be much wider with a qualification. Many employers will only recruit teachers with a CELTA or Trinity cert TESOL. Some will accept other qualifictions. Basically, the shorter the course and the less observed teaching practice it contains, the shorter the list of employers who will recruit you.

    2. You are right – standing up in front of a class for the first time is a daunting, nerve-wracking experience. Doing this in the context of a training environment with tutors to guide you through it can give you the confidence you need. You will develop your own style of teaching as you go along, but I would argue that it is much better to be sure that you develop this style based on some sound pedagogical and methodological principles. You’ll then have the confidence of knowing that what you’re doing, you’re doing right.

    3. Put yourself in your students’ shoes – imagine you sign up for an evening course to learn German. You pay good, hard-earned money and devote an evening or two a week of your precious time to attend the classes. You’re given a choice – a teacher who has been trained in these pedagogical and methodological principles that I mentioned above, or a teacher who hasn’t. Which one would you choose? Now this is where my first point comes back in – as I said I’ve met many excellent unqualified teachers and vice versa, and so in your German learning situation you may get lucky and get one of these "naturally" excellent teachers. You may equally get someone who doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing because of their lack of training. If I was the teacher in the second case, I’d feel pretty bad for the students who had paid all that money…

    Hope that helps.


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