Live Look into TEFL/TESOL online Course Platform


Hello and welcome, Linda here again. Thanks so much for tuning in to this week's live session. If you're listening to this as a podcast episode, thanks so much for the download. We always turn our live sessions into podcast episodes so if you're into podcasts check that out. You can find us on any podcast platform, you can just search for The TEFL and TESOL Podcast from ITTT. We are live on Facebook and on YouTube as always, so thanks so much for tuning in.

I see there are a lot of people joining. What we're going to do today is I am going to show you what it looks like when you take an online TEFL course with ITTT. I’m just making sure that everything works properly because I need to share my screen and show you how the online platform works. If you are already TEFL certified and you have already taken a course with us, that's okay too, you can keep watching because there will be a really great tip at the end about how you can add your credentials to Linkedin and also as always we have a 30% discount code right here. You can scan it at any time, I am also going to share the 30% off link in the comment box, let me just do that right now.

Hello Tiana, hello Farawanti, thanks so much for tuning in. Today what we're going to do is take a look at the ITTT online TEFL course platform. What it looks like when you sign up for an online course and how the platform works, because we get a lot of students who have never taken an online course before so I thought I would take this opportunity to show you guys. If you've already taken a course with us that's fine, but keep watching as there'll be some other great tips at the end and also as always a Q&A section.

Hello Carlos, thanks you guys for joining. Oh, that's so sweet Luciana, let's start the best life. I hope it's going to be the best one ever, let's see. Yeah, we go live every week, twice a week. I go live on Fridays or Thursdays depending on where you're tuning in from, so for me it is actually Friday morning. I live in South Korea so it's 10:00 a.m. where I am. My colleague Liza goes live on Tuesdays. She is from Russia and she offers a lot of great information for non-native English speakers who want to go into teaching. She's taught abroad in China and she's doing a lot of online teaching as well, so if that's something that interests you check her out. That's why I recommend you like and subscribe to our Facebook page and YouTube channel so that you never miss out on any of our live sessions.

There is a question about the 30% discount. So you can either scan this QR code here with your phone or you can simply click on the link that I just posted into the comment box. The link leads you straight to the application form, just fill it out with your name, which course you want to take etc, and then hit the submit button. The discounted price will be shown on the next page and you'll see all the payment information as well. You can just fill out a test application and then if you don't complete the payment there's no risk for you. Simply fill out an application to see how it works, that's no problem at all.

We have people from Morocco and Chile joining, that's so exciting, we're a good group today. I hope today's session is going to be helpful for you. If you don't have time to watch the whole session today, I think it's going to be about maybe 45 minutes, then you can always watch the replay as all of our live videos remain on our Facebook and YouTube pages. So I think we are ready to jump in and look into our online TEFL course platform.

First I would like to introduce myself real quick. My name is Linda and I am the marketing and affiliation manager at ITTT and a TEFL expert. I've been in the field for over six years and I have taught English in China and in South Korea. I've been living in South Korea since 2015. I also run a travel blog platform for teaching English in Asia or just traveling in Asia at I am also on Instagram as I love sharing pictures of my travels and of my life in Korea, so if that interests you give me a follow down here or go to the website. You can also contact me personally via Instagram or email from my blog website.

I'm going to share my screen with you right now so you can see the course platform. The first thing that you're going to see is the home page. So you get your course details, the login username and the password, and punch that in and then you will see this page, so that's where we're starting off. As an example, I have taken the 120-hour course right here, this is our most popular course option, and that's what that looks like. So let me walk you guys through this, maybe some of you are familiar with this page and the platform, that is great you can also leave your comments. So the first thing that we see is that it says here in the upper right hand corner that you have one day or so many days left, so when you log into your course for the first time it would say you have 180 days left, but because this is a trial version it says one day.

Basically, you have six months to complete this particular course once you log in for the first time, but most people complete the course much faster. It all depends on how much time you have. Are you working full time, are you working part-time, how many hours a day do you have, or how many hours a week? Typically most people complete the course within two or three months, but if you don't have as much time to put into it you still have up to six months to complete it. We recommend you take your time to really read through the units, but I'm going to talk more about that in just a minute. But obviously rushing through is not an approach that we recommend.

So looking at this homepage there is a lot of information. Whenever you are on a different page and you just want to return to the home page, just click on Home in the menu here. The next menu item is Units, so here you'll be able to access the course units and I'm going to show you that also in a minute so you can see how it works. Next we have Tests, so there is a test after every unit that you work through. After reading the unit material there will be a short test where we test your understanding of the course material. The test is automatically marked and then graded with a percentage score. At the end you will have a percentage score for every individual unit and then we take the average and that will be your overall passing grade for the entire course.

The next tab is the Results page. Here you can access a continuous progress chart. So if you've already finished a couple of units you can go back and just check how you did on the previous units. Successful completion of the whole course requires at least a 75% average grade. Like I said, we take the average of all of the individual unit assessments and that will be your final grade and that needs to be at least 75% to pass the course and receive your certificate.

Okay, the next tab we have to cover is Instructions, here you'll find details on how the course is structured and how best to complete it. So this would be the second page that you go to after you log in for the first time. We strongly recommend that you read these instructions carefully before you begin. Then we also have a tab that says Videos. This course includes some videos. For unit 10 there are two interesting videos that you can watch, I'm going to show you how that works later. There is also a Contact button, so if at any time during the course you have issues or course related questions you can contact us.

There is a question. Tiana asks, do you think I should start out just taking a 120-hour course or the 220-hour Master Package?

That's a great question. It all depends on what your goals are and also where you want to teach. The 120-hour course is basically the international standard as most schools and other employers require a minimum of 100-hours or 120-hours, so this is the minimum certificate that you want to get. The 220-hour Master Package includes the 120-hours course, plus two specialization courses, teaching business English and teaching English to young learners. That's actually what I did, I took the Master Package because I was already teaching in China and I was teaching children and I knew I wanted to go to Korea where you also predominantly teach children. So I took the young learners course and also the business English course.

Like I said, the 120-hour course is basically the standard nowadays, so most people who are TEFL certified have the 120-hour course. So if you have the 220-hour you kind of stand out from the crowd a little bit because you have more training and you have those two specializations. Because I know you want to go to Korea, I think the 220-hour Master Package is definitely a great choice for you. I would recommend that.

So back to the home page. Next we're going to go to the instructions page right here. The instructions page as you can see is basically a big FAQ section, so there are a lot of questions answered that you might have about your course. 29 different questions and it starts out with how do I get started on my course? Why are some of the units black and others gray, etc? So this would be the first page that you want to check out. Read through most of the questions so that you know how to make the most out of your course experience with ITTT. If you have a question during your course you can always come back to this section and there might be the answer that you're looking for. If not you can go to the contact page and you just contact us, no problem there. Once you've read through all of this stuff you will be ready to start your units, so very exciting.

So this is the 120-hour course that has 20 units. What you have to do is work through them in order. You can see the introductory unit here and then unit one, they are sort of dark gray and they are available at the start. It says read it online or download it, so you always have those two options. Then you can see that all of the other units are light gray so that means they are still locked and not available to you yet. You need to finish the introductory unit, unit one, and the unit one test which then unlocks unit two. So that means you cannot just do the units randomly, you need to do them in order because that's how the course is structured. Every unit builds on the previous unit.

You have the option of reading it online or downloading it as a PDF, so you can either study it completely online or download and print it out. I think it depends on your learning style. I find it really helpful if I have the paper in front of me and I can make notes and stuff like that or highlight something. Or you can just read it online and take notes on paper, so whatever you want to do, however you learn or study the best.

This is the introductory unit and there is no test after the introductory unit. The introductory unit basically just goes through the course aims and the content. This is what it looks like when you read it online, you can also go full screen, you can zoom in and zoom out. As I said, you can also download the PDF and go from there. So now we have finished the introductory unit, let's pretend we have read everything and then next up is unit one, teachers and learners. So again we click read it online and we work through all of this and then at the end of every unit you will see a task sheet. So the task sheet is basically an opportunity to check your knowledge before attempting the unit test.

You will answer these questions and if you're confident in answering the task sheet questions you can then move on to the actual unit test. I'm just going to click on whatever and answer randomly, if you close this page or refresh the page your answers will be gone if you don't submit them first. You have to do the test completely in one go or the answers cannot be saved, so I'm just going to go random here just to show you how it works. Then there's always a unit reflection at the end where you have to write a brief overview of the content of this unit and what you feel that you have learned and it needs to be a minimum of 100 words. We're just going to write that, in this unit I learned the roles of the teacher and the students. What I thought was most interesting was that blah, blah, blah. I think it's not going to be 100 words yet so I'm just going to hit copy and submit it like this.

It says please wait as it is now going to assess our answers. I think we probably didn't pass because I just punched in random answers. You can see your answers. That's the great thing I think because you can really reflect on your answers and see what you had wrong. Your answer is incorrect, your answer was number two but the correct answer is number four. So you can learn from that, you can learn from your mistakes and take that to the next unit. I want to show you the assignment score at the end here. You have scored 10%, so that would be really bad obviously as your average needs to be at least 75% overall to pass. Just consider that I just punched in random answers, so obviously we did really badly. But typically the questions are pretty straightforward and when you read through your unit material and you absorb it you will know what the correct answer is.

Tiana has a question. If you fail the whole course do you have to pay for it again?

No, you can redo the course but it's not going to be the full price, there is just a small fee that you have to pay. I'm not sure exactly how much it is, but it really doesn't happen that often. Typically, we have a really high pass rate so it's quite rare, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

This is the video section. So for unit 10 there are two videos to watch and you can even download those videos, which is super useful. We have the dropbox or you can watch it directly in here. Also Vimeo, so we have a lot of course takers in countries like China for example and in the past they had problems watching the videos because you cannot access YouTube in China. So we have a lot of different options so that people from every country in the world can access it, so don't worry about that.

Let's take a look one more time at the units and I'm going to show you what the units are all about. There are 20 units in this course and typically they are a mix between teaching related theoretical things like methodologies, classroom management, lesson planning etc. And grammar related topics, such as the parts of speech, the tense system, or even more complex things like conditionals and reported speech. The units are structured with one unit on teaching related skills followed by a unit on a grammar subject. Because as an English teacher you need to fully understand English grammar and those grammar units don't only cover the grammar but also the issues that most English learners have with these specific grammar topics. How you can teach them in an effective way, because a lot of times especially as native English speakers we don't really think about grammar too much because we just say it how we say it. We don't realize what kind of word this is or what kind of tense that is because we never learned English in the same way as non-native speakers.

I think that's my favorite part about the course because the grammar units really show you what English learners struggle with and how you as a teacher can deal with that. How you can teach them effectively. In the units there will be a lot of material included that you can download, like worksheets or lesson plans that you can then use in your future classes. At the end of the course you will have a huge folder of materials that you can then use in your future classes, so that's also really great. There's a lot you can take away from a course like this.

I guess now we can do a Q&A. Tiana already has a question that's not related to the course platform. So I'm just going to answer this. In Korea do you teach other subjects or just English?

This is going to depend on what kind of school you work for. If you go through the EPIK Program you will be teaching English only. Typically you are the only English teacher in that school and you're only there for English. In my case I taught at a private kindergarten and elementary school, it was like an American style curriculum. I had my fixed kindergarten class that I taught every day, so we had things like science, math, and art, but I taught all of them just like in kindergarten back home. Everything was in English because it was an English-speaking kindergarten. So it's going to depend on what kind of school you work for, but typically for the EPIK Program you're only doing English and if you work for a private school you might have some other responsibilities as well. But they would tell you that before hand, in the job description it would say that or during the interview.

Marcia asks, is there a limited time to enter the tests?

There's no timer or anything so you can take your time, but obviously you don't want to take too much time because if you get up and go do something else for two hours maybe the page would then have to reload and your answers would be gone. There's no time limit though, it's not like you need to do it in 10 minutes. You can take your time with it because we don't want people to rush through this, that's very important to us.

Another question from Tiana. For the 220-hour Master Package does it have more units than the 20 for this one?

So you would first take this course that I’ve just shown you, the 20 units and then you get another log in for the other two courses. So it's not one 220-hour platform, you actually will have three separate ones. First you complete the 120-hour course then when you're done with that you can choose which of the 50-hour courses you want to do next. They have 10 units each I believe. In total you would have 40 units to work through in 3 separate courses.

Maybe now I'll show you how the Linkedin thing works, it's super easy but just such a great way to add your certificate to your profile. If you've watched some of my previous sessions, in the one about teaching English in Europe I mentioned the different countries and the online job boards and forums you can use to find jobs. Well, Linkedin is one that is really great for anywhere in the world. A lot of teaching jobs get posted on Linkedin, so you want to have your certificates listed there. So let me show you that real quick. You need to be logged in to Linkedin to do this so if you want to follow me right now you can go ahead and log in. It's really simple and you can do this later as well.

I'm going to show you on my profile so you can follow along. If you click on this link that I just shared, on mine it's already sort of half pre-filled. So our organization is here and then you could add your 120-hour TEFL certificate here, you can kind of customize it depending on which course you took. We're just going to go with this and then you can add when you took it and that we graduated in April. You could also enter your id number because every certificate has a personalized number, you can add that in as well. And then you can just hit save and it would save it, so let's take a look. It is listed here on your profile, isn't that cool, and then people can click on this and they can see your details. If you are already certified I highly recommend you do that. It's super easy and I think it’s a great way to showcase your certificates on Linkedin so that people know you are an ITTT certified teacher.

Joey has a question. Do we need to upload assignments such as papers?

I forgot to mention that, thank you so much. So the final test, it used to be a lesson planning task, so maybe if you took a course when I did you had to do a lesson plan at the end. But that has changed now, so it's actually a summative task now. You can choose between 20 different teaching related topics and then you have to write an essay about that. It is done online so you don't have to upload any handwritten assignments or anything. That's the only longer essay paper that you have to do, that's the final summative task. If you pass that and you have 75% or more in your average score then you complete the course and you get your certificate.

Juliana says, I've already added my certificate on Linkedin.

Awesome, just make sure you have the ITTT logo on it. You can double check if you have that on your Linkedin profile. If you use the link that I just shared it will be pre-filled already so all you need to do is just add which kind of certificate it was and the date when you completed it, and that's it. The company would be already pre-filled.

Please don't forget the 30% discount off any TEFL or TESOL course, I'm just going to share that link again so you can either scan this QR code or just use this link. Please do that as it's a great deal and now is really a great time to get started with this so that you are ready. I did a live session about why now is a great time to take a TEFL course, so if you're hesitant go back and watch that. Now is really a great time to take a course because once all of this is over you will be ready to rock and roll.

Joey says, so the final requirement is a summative task which is essentially writing an essay on a chosen topic?

Exactly, there's a minimum amount of words required, I can't remember now but it's not too long, it's not like pages and pages. So don't worry about that, it's not too academic, it's definitely doable. Actually I remember now that it's between 500 and 1000 words.

I think it's almost time to sign off now, if you have another question now is your time to ask or you can just come back next week and I'll be here again to answer your questions.

Joey asks, is the essay written in an online portal or on our own in MS Word?

There is a field where you enter the text, but what we recommend is you write it on your own first and then when you're done you copy and paste it into the online portal. Because if there's any technical issue and you're writing it online and then suddenly there's no internet or power cut or god knows what, it'll all be gone. So we recommend writing it first and then copying it across.

Thanks so much for watching and sticking with me today, I know a lot of you have already taken the course but you're still here and watching. I really appreciate it, thank you so much. And anybody else who's watching and who hasn't taken a course yet, go for it especially with this 30% off. With our current situation now is a great time to get that certification under your belt so that you are ready for your adventure when we can all travel again.

Joey says, does the word count include our sources cited?

I think that probably doesn't include the sources. You do have to include sources and you can also refer back to some of the sources we use in our material, you can take some of that into your summative task as inspiration.

I think we're almost at the end now so thanks so much for sticking with me this whole time, I really appreciate it. I've done a lot of lives before so you can go back and check our playlists on YouTube or on Facebook. Also, check out my co-worker Liza who's live every Tuesday. Please check her out and please don't forget to like and subscribe so you don't miss any of our future live sessions.

Thanks so much again for watching and I hope to see you all again next time. Same time, same place, I'll be here. I hope you too, bye guys, have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend. Bye, bye.

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