TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it’s a great way to get ahead in the English education game. For potential teachers looking for the right accreditation to add to their resume for an advantage in the hiring process, the options available can seem daunting. In the age of the internet, online TEFL providers have flourished. Some are extremely well-respected, established, and worth the investment. Others are not. Which is the best type of certification? How can I trust the institution?
In-Person vs. Online TEFL Certification
As with many education disciplines, there has been a marked shift in recent years to “distance learning” via the internet. While this has definite upsides including ease of access and convenience for those learners with time restrictions, there are drawbacks as well.
In-person education is generally regarded as superior because of the more personalized interaction and the increased sense of accountability between teacher and student that comes with personal contact.
However, for reason stated above, in-person TEFL courses might not be an option for some. In these cases, it is necessary to separate the “wheat from the chaff”, so to speak – to identify the legitimate TEFL providers and avoid any scams or sub-par institutions.
As a rule of thumb, before you shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to attend an online TEFL course, it is wise to look for proper accreditation from one of the following international TEFL accreditors:
- Training Qualifications UK (TQUK)
- British Council
- TESL Canada
This is not an exhaustive list of TEFL accreditation (there are literally hundreds), nor should you believe that lack of accreditation from one of these organizations means that the TEFL course you are considering enrolling in becomes useless without one. These are just the most common, well-known TEFL accreditations. There should be plenty of accredited courses near you, meaning you should be able to find a suitable course.
Time of TEFL Course
TEFL courses range widely in the amount of time required for completion from 6-120 hours. Most employers look favorably on the TEFL courses that require at least a 100-hour time commitment. This shows dedication on the part of the learners, as well as an indication (though not a complete one) of the quality of the TEFL instruction received.