When it comes to the validity of an individual course it is not really the method of study that is the main issue, it is the overall quality of the course itself. Whether you complete your TEFL training online or via an in-class course is in many ways unimportant. What is really important is the quality of the training that leads to the TEFL qualification awarded. Essentially, the validity of a TEFL qualification is based on the standard of the course and not the method of study.
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A good quality TEFL course should include a number of essential topics relating to the theory of language teaching, teaching methodology, classroom management techniques, as well as a range of grammar subjects. However, as it is almost impossible to judge an individual course by its syllabus alone, how can you decide which courses are the best?
One important thing you can do to check the quality of an online TEFL course is to find out if it is accredited. This simply means that an independent body has evaluated the course and concluded that it is worthy of their accreditation. By visiting the website of a course provider you should easily be able to find any accreditation they have been awarded. Of course, unscrupulous providers can advertise accreditation that they don't actually possess or simply make up an accreditation body, so it is a good idea to do some research into any accreditation advertised if you are unsure of its authenticity.
Another simple yet effective thing you can do is to research the reputation of any course you are interested in. Online searches for the course and its provider should bring up reviews and opinions from individuals who have completed the course. If the majority is less than favorable then it is probably best avoided, while mainly positive feedback should indicate that the course is indeed valid. As an online TEFL course represents a considerable financial investment into your future, whether you plan to have a long career within the teaching profession or you simply want to earn some spending money during a gap year, it is clearly a good idea to do some research before you part with your hard-earned cash. A bit of time spent on research should ensure you pick a valid course that will get you the jobs that you want, when you want them.
At ITTT we are equally as proud of our online TEFL courses as we are of our in-class version. Crucially, our courses are fully accredited and we are also affiliated with a number of important bodies within the world of English language teaching. For further information please visit our accreditations and affiliations page. We are also proud of the positive feedback that we receive from the many thousands of graduates who have completed our courses. Why not visit our TEFL graduates testimonial page to see what they have to say about their course experience?