Are you thinking of teaching English in Central America but need to get that vital TEFL qualification to land a job? If so, know that some qualifications are better than others…
In the past, it was easy to pack your bags and go teach English abroad without needing any fancy certificates or qualifications. It was pretty chill, with the demand for English teachers being so high–but times have changed. Nowadays, a lot of countries and schools have raised the bar, and they want certified English teachers. It’s all about professionalism and making sure students get a quality education.
Getting a TEFL certificate is essential if you’re interested in teaching English in Central America. It’s the minimum requirement (many schools also want a professional teaching qualification). In this article, we’ll give you some pointers on finding the right TEFL course to start off.
What is a good length for a TEFL course?
The duration of the course may affect how ready you feel for your first teaching experience. The longer the course, the more you will learn in detail.
Most employers will look for a qualification of at least 120 hours. This meets the international standards and most job requirements. You may find shorter courses, but choosing 120 hours will make you more eligible for teaching positions in the future.
How can you tell if a TEFL course provider is reliable?
The TEFL industry is not officially regulated, so courses vary in quality and reputation. Some of the best online courses will give you a personal tutor to grade your work and answer your questions. These tutors are experienced TEFL teachers and trainers. If an online course doesn’t provide this personal touch, it might be better to avoid it and look for an in-person course instead. To help you decide if a TEFL course is reliable or not, there are some tips:
Look for the course provider online. Read both good and bad reviews. But remember that some people may leave negative reviews because they had unrealistic expectations, as not everyone can be satisfied. Look at their website. Does it look professional or does it look like it was made in a hurry, with poor English, false promises, and no proper accreditation? Compare the content of the course with other courses. Check out the trainers. Do they have higher qualifications? If not, do they have a lot of experience?
Finally, trust your intuition. If something seems (or feels) wrong, pick another provider.
Choosing an accredited course is very important when you want to get a TEFL certificate. Accreditation means that a third party has checked and approved the course based on international standards. An accredited TEFL course guarantees quality and reliability.
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One of the main benefits of taking an accredited TEFL course is that you get a quality education
Accreditation is a process where an external organization reviews and validates a course. They put the course through rigorous testing to ensure it meets their requirements. These requirements are for content, teaching methods, resources, and evaluation practices. By taking an accredited TEFL course, aspiring teachers can be sure they’re receiving high-quality training that matches the industry standards.
An accredited TEFL course also gives you professional recognition for your TEFL certification. When you finish an accredited TEFL course, you earn a credential that is widely accepted and respected in the teaching community. Potential employers prefer hiring candidates who have finished accredited courses. They see accreditation as a sign of quality and assurance that the teacher has the necessary skills and knowledge they require of them.
What are valid accreditations for a TEFL course?
The TEFL industry faces a big challenge because there is no single international accrediting or regulatory body. This means that anyone can make, sell, and market a TEFL course without strict supervision. They can even create their own accrediting body, such as ‘The World Federation of TEFL providers’, and claim that their TEFL course is accredited. Technically, it may be accredited, but this accreditation lacks credibility and substance.
However, there are several genuine and reputable organizations that accredit TEFL certification programs. Some organizations focus specifically on accrediting TEFL courses, while others accredit various types of online and distance learning programs, including TEFL. Some accrediting bodies even endorse both online and on-site learning.
Here are some example of reliable accreditation bodies:
- Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) regulates education standards, certifications, and exams in England and Wales.
- DEAC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission) accredits distance learning providers across the USA.
- ODLQC (Open & Distance Learning Quality Council) monitors quality in open and distance learning.
When looking at a TEFL course, look for signs of accreditation on the course provider’s website and then research that organization. Check if the course provider is on the accrediting body’s website as one of their accredited courses. Then check the credibility of the accrediting body itself. Does it look reputable? Has it accredited other trustworthy-looking TEFL courses? Does its website look professional? These factors can help you determine the legitimacy of the accreditation.
What’s the effect of an accredited TEFL course on the job market?
The job market for TEFL teachers is competitive. Having an accredited certification can improve your chances of getting hired. Many reputable language schools and educational institutions around the world require accredited qualifications. By investing in an accredited course, you increase your options for finding work. Accreditation gives you an advantage and shows your dedication to professionalism and excellence.
Accredited TEFL courses usually offer comprehensive support and guidance to their students. From the moment you sign up until you finish your course, you can expect help from experienced tutors who can answer your questions, give feedback on assignments, and offer guidance throughout your learning journey. Accredited course providers care about student success. They want you to become a confident and effective English language teacher. If you’re thinking about entering the TEFL world and want to teach English abroad, you can learn more here.