Top Ten Questions to Ask Before Enrolling on a TEFL Course
Hi and welcome to another live session. My name is Linda from ITTT and I'm back again this week, who would have thought? No, we're actually pretty consistent with our live events. So we are going live twice a week. Me once and then my colleague Liza once. I’m so happy to be here today guys, let me know if you can see me and if you can hear me, and also where you're watching from. Just drop hi I’m watching from so and so into the comment section, that would be really great.
Watch the live session here
I'm super excited to be here again today. Normally I go live on Fridays, well Friday mornings in South Korea. But today I'm going live on Thursday because we are actually going into the Lunar New Year holidays over here. After this I have to head off to my in-laws and we have to do a whole bunch of Korean rituals for the ancestors and all that type of thing. We're welcoming in the year of the ox this year. I don't know if you celebrate this festival where you are? Let me know if you do, that would be really interesting. Leave a hi in the comment box so I know that you can see me and that everything is hooked up correctly. I'm using this new mic again and if you're listening to this as a podcast episode, thanks so much for the download we really appreciate it. We always turn our live events into audio only format as podcasts. You can find them on all major podcast platforms like iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify and all the others.
I see that a few people are already here, that's great, thanks so much for joining guys. Let me know that you can hear me and that everything is working well because so far I haven't had any response, so I'm not sure if it's working but I hope so.
Right, let me tell you guys what today's topic is. You have probably already seen it in the title, but today we're talking about 10 questions you need to ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course. So, basically what you need to look out for to make sure you get the best course that fits your personal needs.
I also prepared a visual presentation for you, I'm just gonna add that in a minute, but please don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any of our live sessions in the future. Also we share a lot of good stuff on our Facebook page, anything from job offers all over the world or online, or teaching materials, things like that. We also share our blog posts with really great information from our course grads. I highly recommend you check it out, give it a like and subscribe to our YouTube channel as well. We share new videos almost every day, so look out for that. Also on Instagram, we are also over there at International TEFL Training.
There's also something's different this session. If you watched before maybe you noticed something different. Here we go, so normally we share a 30% off link at the end of the session but some people are busy and they can't watch until the end. I get it, we all have lives and we can't just sit there and maybe watch a live session for an hour. That's okay, so anytime during this session you can just scan this QR code over here and you'll get a 30% discount off any TEFL or TESOL course from ITTT. So check that out any time during this live stream. I'm also going to drop a direct link to the discounted page in the comment section later on, but now you can just scan this code and get the discount. That's my special gift to you.
I think I need to check if the comments are working because I still haven't got any comments, maybe it's not connected or something. Okay, it seems to be connected but please somebody leave a comment just to make sure that it is working or let me just leave a comment from my phone just to make extra sure. Okay, so it seems to be working so at any time during this live stream you are free to just ask your questions about teaching English abroad or teaching online. Also anything to do with TEFL or TESOL. There will also be a Q&A session at the end.
All right, finally I got a hi. Thanks Shinta, I hope I pronounced that correctly. But thanks so much for throwing in a hi. So we are actually live on Facebook and on YouTube at the same time, so wherever you're watching from, thanks so much for tuning in. I know a lot of people especially now in Asia are on Lunar New Year holiday. Shinta where are you watching from? Let me know if you celebrate the New Year because I just mentioned a little bit earlier that I will be heading to the in-laws in the Korean countryside after this session and I have to do a couple of Korean traditions and rituals for the ancestors, that's always fun, it's something very different that we don't do back home where I'm from.
Hi Juliana, thanks so much for joining in. Juliana is always here every week, thanks so much for the support from Illinois. And yeah your family also celebrates the Lunar New Year, that’s awesome. Shinta is from Indonesia. Awesome, I love Indonesia. I've only been to Bali so far, but I really want to head back as there's so many amazing islands in Indonesia that I want to visit. Especially now because I've been in Korea for over a year, as none of us can really travel, so you just kind of feel stuck a little bit and yeah I'm dreaming about Indonesia a lot these days.
Hi Ednae, I hope I said that right, from Brazil. We also have Hassan who says I did a TEFL certificate with ITTT, can I get a job with it from Algeria?
Yes, so we do have lifetime job support so you can just hit us up at our email address [email protected] and then we can help you with finding a job.
Hema is in the UK. Awesome, what time is it over there, it's late isn't it like 2:00 a.m.? Thanks so much for staying up late and watching. Okay guys, today we're talking about 10 questions that you need to ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course. Just to make sure that you get the right course that you need for your teaching goals.
We have Gwendolyn back from Malaysia. She says she also celebrates the Lunar New Year. That’s great. Are you already off work? A lot of people are already off on their vacation in Korea. Today and tomorrow is a holiday, so we sort of have a long weekend, which is really exciting. But I'm still here so I don't get off. Well I'm happy to be here though, I always enjoy it.
So let me add my visual. And like I said, today's topic is ten questions you need to ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course. Also, I have a quick question. Who here has already completed a TEFL course, who's currently taking a TEFL course, and who's thinking about taking one but hasn't started yet? Let me know in the comments.
Moses says I am taking a TEFL course right now. That's really great, and he also says how have you been?
I've been pretty good, I'm ready for New Year. I always love it although it’s obviously very different this year, you can't really celebrate how you normally would, but we're all going through the same thing, so it’s still exciting.
Nadine says she has completed a TEFL course but is thinking of taking another specialized one for young learners.
Awesome, that's always a good idea. I also took the 120-hour TEFL course and then I took all of the specialization courses as well, because they're so great to add on to your professional portfolio.
All right then, we have Marin from Pakistan, I hope that’s right. Thanks for tuning in on YouTube. So a couple of people have already finished their course and are thinking about taking more courses. That's great.
Right, let's jump in and do an introduction about myself. I know for some people who've already been here a couple of times it probably gets kind of boring but we have a lot of new people every week, so I just want to include those people that don't know me. My name is Linda and I'm a travel writer and content creator under the name Linda Goes East. You can find my personal website at lindagoeseast.com and on social media at Linda Goes East. So if you're interested in living, working, and teaching in Asia, in China or Korea, feel free to reach out. You can always message me no problem at all.
I'm originally from Germany and the USA as I have dual citizenship. My mom is German and my dad is American, so I sort of grew up in both places. Now I'm based in South Korea for the past six years and I've really enjoyed it here. I'm also a TEFL and TESOL marketing professional at ITTT, International TEFL and TESOL Training. You can find us at teflcourse.net and on Instagram at International TEFL Training. Please check it out if you're on Instagram and give it a follow. You should also subscribe on our YouTube and Facebook platforms.
Moving on, I have a couple more responses to my questions. So Moses says I can't wait to complete my TEFL and start looking for opportunities abroad. Thanks for asking.
I've already seen you a couple of times on my live sessions and I really appreciate it so much, you know people coming in here regularly it just means so much to me. So thanks so much for being here and taking the time. All the best for your job search. Like I mentioned earlier, ITTT has lifetime job support so just reach out to us and we can help you find a position that fits your preferences and portfolio.
Shinta says I've taken TKT but not TEFL, anyway which one is better or what's the difference?
I’m not sure what you mean by TKT. It's early here and my brain's not working. In our industry we talk about TEFL or TESOL. There is also CELTA and DELTA. At ITTT we also offer the CTBE which is the Certificate in Teaching Business English, and the CTEYL which is the Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners. But I am not sure what TKT stands for. If you could elaborate that would be great.
Mujahid, I hope I said that right, has joined us from Pakistan. Thanks so much for tuning in. A lot of people from Pakistan today which is awesome.
Okay, so let's get started with question number one of 10 questions that you need to ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course. The first question you should ask is are the TEFL or TESOL courses accredited and do they meet international standards?
That's one of the most important things with any certification really. When you take a test or an exam you need it to be accredited right? So that's the same with any TEFL or TESOL course. And believe it or not, with so many different providers out there, some of them are actually doing their own internal accreditation and things like that. There's no one set standard in the TEFL industry so it can be a little bit difficult to figure out which one is the best, so you want to look out for accreditation bodies. For example, the ones that I've listed here. You have the teacher training council, and OTTSA which is the Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency. Also the College of Teachers, for example. So anytime you see any of those accreditations you can be sure that the courses meet international standards and are valid all over the world. Basically, ITTT has all of these accreditations so our TEFL and TESOL courses are internationally accredited and valid all over the world.
Okay, so it looks like TKT stands for the Teacher Knowledge Test from Cambridge. I haven't heard about that one before, let me write that down and then I'm going to look it up. So is that also for teaching English specifically or just teaching anything? I have learned something new, that's why I like these sessions and engaging with you guys because we learn from each other. I'm going to look that up and then I can help you figure out which one is best for you.
Hi Sonam, good to see you too. How are you doing? I hope you're fine. Okay, so back to the accreditations. So that is the first thing that you need to look out for with any TEFL course provider. Any accreditations they have should be visible on their website. On ITTTs website at teflcourse.net you will see one section at the top bar of the page where it says accreditations or affiliations. If you click on that you can see all the different accreditations and affiliations that we have.
Let me just mention the QR code that you can see in the upper right corner, feel free to just grab your phone and scan the code at any time and you will get a 30% discount off any TEFL or TESOL course. I'm also going to share a direct link to that discount in a minute, so at any time you can just scan that and then get a discount. Just wanted to throw that out there so we don't forget.
All right, so moving on to question number two that you should ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course. What services are included in the course price?
This is a very important question because I get asked a lot by people who have found a $20 TEFL course on groupon or whatever. They ask why are your courses over $100 and this one's just $20? Well, it is usually down to what services are included. The cheapest course is kind of like a budget airline, that's how I always like to compare them. When you take a really cheap airline ticket the price is super cheap but then you need to pay for literally any other extra service you need. You pay for your luggage, you pay for food, you pay for water, you pay for printing out your ticket, you need to pay for literally anything else you need. So in the end it actually turns out to be quite expensive and that's kind of similar with those really cheap groupon TEFL courses. They usually don't have anything included, so if you compare that with a high-quality TEFL course where they have high-quality materials that includes things that you can print out like lesson plans, lesson materials, games and activities and all that stuff and then after your course you have this huge folder of materials that you can use for your entire teaching career. So high-quality materials is one thing.
Then you need to think about support during the course. When you buy a $20 TEFL course there's not really any support you can ask for, nobody you can reach out to. A high-quality TEFL course will always have a support team that you can reach out to. Our courses always come with a tutor or non-tutored option. The tutored option offers even more support as there's a tutor that you can always reach out to that you can ask questions at any time directly. If you have technical difficulties you can always reach out to us at any time as well. You can call us, you can email us, you can reach out to us on social media, all of those options.
Another big difference is job assistance. With any good quality TEFL course you should get job assistance included. At ITTT we offer lifetime job support to all our course graduates. So that goes for the rest of your life, even if you take a TEFL course right now and then you're not really going to teach for the next year, five years, or 10 years, it doesn't matter. Even after 10 years you can still reach out to us and be like hey I'm an ITTT course grad, please help me find a job here or a job online or whatever. We also work with a lot of different schools around the world, TEFL recruitment companies, agencies, online providers, we have a lot of different partners who specifically hire our graduates because they know our courses and they value the quality and so they hand pick our grads for their jobs.
So those are the three main things that you need to make sure that your TEFL course has before buying a cheap course. High-quality materials, support during the course, and job assistance after you have finished.
Again, please feel free to keep your comments coming. Also if you have any additional ideas or anything else you want to add to that feel free to do so.
Now let's take a look at question number three. So another important question you need to ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course is who teaches your TEFL courses?
If you are doing an in-class course or a Zoom course where you have an actual teacher trainer that you're working with, you need to know who they are, what's their background, what are their qualifications, what's their teaching experience, basically do they know what they're doing? If they can't tell you then that's probably a bad sign. Also with online courses, as I mentioned ITTT has online courses with tutor support. You need to ask these questions. Any good quality TEFL or TESOL course provider should have a whole team of people who have been through the same exact thing that you want to go through. So the team should be people who have worked abroad, who have taught fellow teachers, who have lived abroad, so they can provide you with the best feedback because they've been through the same experiences. That's an important thing to look out for.
Question number four is actually three or more questions. Can I get a job and a work visa as a US citizen to teach English in Italy, where can I earn the highest salaries, do I need a degree to teach english in China, blah blah blah?
So all of those things, all of those specific questions any TEFL course provider needs to be able to answer. If they just say yes, yes, yes to all those questions, that's also a bad sign. They need to be honest with you because for example, can I get a work visa for this or that country? It usually depends on your nationality, your background and all of those things. So a good TEFL course provider shouldn't just make promises, they should also be honest and upfront with you and they should be able to answer all those questions because regulations change frequently. As a TEFL course provider we need to be up to date and we need to inform ourselves about all those changes. Especially in countries like China as they change their regulations all the time. When I was working in China a couple of years ago a TEFL course was not a requirement for getting a work visa, but now it is. So changes like that are huge in the TEFL industry and every TEFL or TESOL course provider needs to know those things.
So just keep that in mind and don't be afraid to ask questions. We have a big team at ITTT and maybe some of the questions that I don't know my colleagues will definitely know. The people who are in charge of student recruitment and things like that know a lot more than I know to be honest, so we all work together. So feel free to just call us up or send us a message on social media or email and ask your specific questions. There are no stupid questions because it's a big decision to start teaching and going abroad, like a career change, it's such a big step and we know that and we want to be there with you along the way.
Right, question number five. We already talked a little bit about this one. You need to know whether the course that you buy includes job assistance or not.
Some TEFL course providers will actually ask you to pay for job assistance. Some of them have job placement programs and you need to actually pay to get a job. And these jobs are often more like an internship, where they are limited for like six months and then that's it. And you pay for it. It's not a long-term career, basically they try to take advantage of that and always get new interns every six months or so. Other providers charge a ridiculous amount of money for their job assistance in general, but for ITTT we offer lifetime job support that is completely free. It’s included in the course fee and you don't have to pay for any job placement, nothing like that. We also help you in writing your resume and cover letter and we also provide help with interview preparation because some interviewers will ask you to do a mock lesson. They might ask you to teach a 20-minute class about a certain topic and that can be quite daunting. So we also have resources for that. If you tell us they want me to teach a mock lesson about this topic we can help you with that.
These are all things that you need to look out for before enrolling in a TEFL course to make sure you know exactly what you're getting into. Are you getting job assistance or not? Do you have to pay for it or is it free? How long does it last? As some TEFL companies have a limited time on their job support, so it might only be good for a year. At ITTT even if you don't teach for five years it doesn't matter you can still come back to us and we will help you out.
Moving on to question number six of things to ask before you enroll in a TEFL or TESOL course. Can I see alumni reviews?
This is a very good way to gauge the quality of a TEFL course company by looking at reviews on popular review sites. Basically, we send out review requests to our graduates and because we send them out directly to our graduates they are verified on sites such as Trustpilot and reviews.io. They will actually make sure that the people that are reviewing the TEFL course are actual graduates, so you can be sure that when you look at those sites the reviews are from real people who have taken our courses.
So those two are great sites to look at before enrolling in a TEFL course to check out what people are saying and also to see the responses from the company. Do they respond? If they don't respond I would say that's a bad sign as it seems like they don't really care. Google Reviews is another good one to check out for reviews and then also Facebook as that also has a review function that you can check out. Facebook is also a really good resource for gauging the quality of a TEFL course provider, as is social media in general. I always check out social profiles from companies before I purchase something, especially depending on how much it is but if you see they're active on social media that's always a good sign. What about you guys, do you check any of those sites? I'll be curious to know.
Okay, so Moses says; Yes I do, I just Google to find out what people think.
Yeah, I mean you can just Google right. For example, if you search for ITTT reviews you will get a lot of returns from different sites and then you can pick and choose. I think online reviews are definitely important nowadays. Okay, I'm just going to share this 30% off discount link in the comment section real quick and if you are watching on a mobile device or you can't scan the QR code you can just click on the link.
All right, Moses says ITTT has some really good reviews which is why I enrolled with them.
Well, that's good to know. Reviews really are so important. So you should see the discount link now in the comments, either on YouTube or Facebook and then if you click on that you can get a 30% discount off any of our TEFL courses. That's a really great deal so don't miss it. If you're thinking about taking a course, now's the time.
Okay, question number seven. Can they tell you which TEFL course is right for your particular circumstances?
TEFL course providers will usually have at least three different kinds of courses, online, in-class, and combined. So if you’re just starting out in the TEFL world and you're asking the TEFL course provider which course is right for me and you receive little response then that’s not so great. They should take the time to ask you about your goals, what do you want to do with a TEFL? What direction do you want to go in? What's your budget? Are you able to take four weeks off? Maybe the in-class course would be right for you in that case. Are you currently working? Then maybe the online course is right for you. If you're near a combined course center maybe you want to take advantage of that.
With all those options out there they should take the time and really explain them to you and then be able to recommend the right option for you. Obviously you are then free to make your own decision, but at least they should be able to offer you several reasons why this one is better than this one for you. I know that online is very popular and it's recommended to a lot of people, especially nowadays as a lot of in-class courses are actually cancelled right now. Online is just a great option, but there are many different online options. The standard one is the 120-hour TEFL course, but at ITTT we also offer packages up to 550 hours of training. Basically, any good TEFL course provider should be able to help you make the right decision to suit you.
Question number eight. Do you and your staff have personal experience of living, working, and teaching english abroad?
At ITTT all of our staff have lived and taught English abroad. All of us know exactly what you're going through and I think that's really what sets us apart, that our entire team is like that and also most of our team work in different countries. So I'm in South Korea so I'm especially familiar with the teaching situation here. In regards to the EPIK Program and teaching in Asia in general. I'm kind of an East Asia expert. Then we have people living and working in Thailand, one guy has been there I think for 20 years, so he knows all about teaching in Thailand and Southeast Asia. We also have people in Europe and America, so we're really all over the place and familiar with the different markets around the world. I think it is very important and something that you should consider when choosing a TEFL or TESOL course. Are you going with a company that has their headquarters in New York and all the staff are just in New York, or a company that has teaching experts living and working across the world.
Question number nine. What are my chances of landing a job with your TEFL certificate?
This is where you need the company to be honest with you as there are laws and regulations in many countries that don’t allow people from certain backgrounds to teach. A TEFL course provider just needs to be honest and upfront with that and not make any false promises. For example, if you're American and you really want to go and teach in Italy, well it can be a little bit difficult because in the EU many schools prefer to hire people with EU passports because the paperwork can be very expensive when hiring somebody from elsewhere. A good TEFL course provider should tell you all about that but then they should also tell you about your alternative options. For example, you can sign up for an Italian language class in Italy and then you get a student visa which also allows you to work. So that's what a lot of Americans do. There are also other options like working holiday visas or teaching programs that specifically target people from North America. So that’s what a TEFL course provider should be able to tell you. They shouldn't just say yeah you can teach anywhere with our certificate, when it's just not the truth.
Another great resource for this kind of stuff is other fellow teachers. Things like blogs or Facebook groups have a lot of groups like English teachers in Korea, English teachers in China and the like. You can join these groups and then ask them questions and then you can compare that with the answers that you get from the TEFL course provider. Who do you think better knows the truth, people who are actually there and doing it or the staff of a course provider?
Moving on to the final question that you should ask before enrolling in a TEFL or TESOL course. What makes your TEFL or TESOL certificate better than the others?
This is an interesting question to ask, but they should have an answer for that. If you ask a provider they should be able to say at least four or five different things why they are better than the others. At ITTT we actually have an entire page of reasons why we think we are the best TEFL course provider. I'm just going to drop that into the comments for you to take a look at. So definitely check that out as that's something you should ask and they should be able to answer. In our case, for example, we've been in the industry since 1998, so a very long time. All of our staff have lived and worked and taught English abroad, We're open to not only native English speakers but also fluent English speakers from any background. There are no hidden costs involved in our courses. We offer lifetime job support. All different payment methods are available. You don't need a degree to take the course. There is no age limit. So those are just a few of the reasons that make ITTT really stand out from the crowd.
Gwendoline has a comment. I recently got a tutoring job and I haven't even finished my ITTT certificate yet.
That's awesome. So you got a job, but you haven't even finished the certificate course yet, that is great. That's a great success and that's actually what a lot of people do. You can start applying for jobs even while you're taking the course and you can tell potential employers, hey I'm currently taking the course and I'll be done soon and then I can show you the certificate later.
Moses also says congratulations. I love how supportive we all are, that's so great. Juliana says my tutoring platform also accepts ITTT graduates. Cool, what's your tutoring platform Juliana? Could you share that with us that would be really great. Maybe we can work together, let me know as we would be open to a collaboration between your tutoring platform and ITTT. We can support each other, that would be awesome.
All right, now I'm open for a Q&A session. Any question that you have about TEFL or TESOL, teaching or Korea, or anything else that's on your mind. Also don't forget you can scan this QR code to get 30% off. If you can't scan the code I'm just going to share this link one more time. Even if you're watching the playback you can look into the comments and you'll see this link. Check it out and you get a great discount off any ITTT TEFL or TESOL course. That's a really good deal so don't miss it.
Juliana says I actually taught an ESL student from South korea. That’s cool. Christina says that these live streams are so helpful and informative and clear as you deliver them so well. It really makes sense and you have a lovely way about you. It really helps us on the path to choosing and learning and becoming certified and teaching, thank you Linda.
Thank you so much Christina, that's so sweet of you. That means a lot because you know before starting this I was kind of worried as I don't really like being on camera that much so in the beginning it was hard getting used to it. It really means a lot to me and it encourages me too. I really enjoy these live streams now, I really like coming on here especially because we have so many people that are tuning in week after week. Then we have new people coming in and it's just such a great community.
If there are no other questions I think I'm going to sign off now. Thanks so much for tuning in and thanks so much for all your support. Gwen also says you're doing a great live stream as it must be a nerve-wracking ordeal and no minor feat.
Yeah, I know right. I know I say this every time but I have two laptops here, one is my presentation and one is for streaming and then I need to look at the comments. I need to navigate everything, so sometimes it's overwhelming but I'm starting to get the hang of it. I just hope you enjoy them and it's useful for you, that's the main thing.
Thanks so much for tuning in today, I really enjoyed having you guys here and listening to what I have to say. Thanks so much for your support and I wish you all the best. And if you're celebrating the Lunar New Year have fun with it and eat a lot of rice cakes or whatever you're eating. We eat rice cake soup in Korea so I'm excited for that. I'm already a little bit hungry. I'll see you guys next week, I think it'll be Friday again because there's no holiday or anything. We'll also share a post on Facebook and on YouTube so you know exactly when we're going live and also what the topic is. Feel free to reach out to me personally at Linda Goes East on social media. Don't forget the 30% off link if you're thinking about taking a course, now is the perfect time.
See you next week guys, bye.
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