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Which TEFL course should I take?

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  • dreichelt
    6 July, 2014 at 1:24
    • Total posts: 1

    Hi my name is David and this is my first post here. I am interested in taking TEFL training but there are many options online to choose from and I really can’t discern the difference in quality. I was hoping someone could answer some questions I have.

    Just a quick bio, I have no formal teaching experience. However, while I served as a combat medic in the U.S. Army, I did teach classes to other soldiers having to do with CPR, IV’s, and combat related injuries. I also have three years public speaking experience from being in Toastmasters International. I also have performed as a close up magician for eight years, and I have my BA in Theatre. I mention all of that because these skills have made me very comfortable around all types of people and crowds which I think will be of great benefit to me in this area. Anyway, that’s enough of my background. Here are my questions:

    1. What accreditation should I be looking for in regards to training?
    2. It’s my understanding that most schools around the world require 6-20 hours of live practicum. How do online courses deal with this?
    3. Where in the world will I be able to teach with certain certificates gained from a given program?
    4. Is it true that one can get the best jobs if trained by TESL Canada, CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL or equivalent certification programs?

    Thanks a lot!

    7 July, 2014 at 14:56
    • Total posts: 57

    Reply To: Which TEFL course should I take?

    In the Far East, teaching without at least a Bachelor’s is more or less impossible, as having one is essential to obtaining your visa (Japan, South Korea). Even Thailand "seems" to be headed in that direction, from what I gather (China, too!) There are a few exceptions to the rule if you have a years of experience as TESOL instructor (visa still may not be granted). I believe that there are a few Southeast Asian countries not requiring much of anything for EFL instructors, other than being a native speaker with a high school education (China was like that).

    Remember that the Celta and Trinity certificates are not regarded in Far East Asian countries as superior to any other TESOL certificate. The only exception would be some British-run language school requiring them of their teachers. Know that you still don’t need a certificate to teach in most of Asia – just be a native speaker with at least a Bachelor’s. That said, more and more schools would prefer that you have some training in TESOL (at least online), but it’s usually never a requirement. It will, though, give you an edge for personal confidence as well as in the hiring process.

    If you want to teach in Western Europe (difficult for North Americans), you need to do an on-site Celta, or some equivalent. They prefer that you have a Bachelor’s degree, too, but it’s not always required (opposite of Asia).

    In your case, you should do at least a reputable certificate with practicum as you have no degree to boost your qualifications. On-site courses are not always superior as you can do an online course where a practicum can be arranged at a local university (most universities have TESOL classes). LinguaEdge is one such school. But do do at least a 150-hour course.

    I forgot: Taiwan, a fantastic TESOL country (modern, decent pay, safe), only requires – if I am not mistaken – an Associate’s degree + any EFL certificate for a visa if you have no Bachelor’s degree (those with BA’s or BS’s don’t even need a certificate, although it’s looked upon favorably). There is a huge demand there for TESOL instructors. Would you be close to having an Associate’s with those courses you took in the army?

    The course I did online was not easy (didn’t do the practicum, but still can if I should want to at some point). I already had a degree in linguistics, so some things were second nature to me. If you have normal intelligence and put forth a strong effort with decent time allotted for your studies (can’t rush it), you will manage it just fine.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors. :D

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