Regardless of your educational background, initial professional experience in TEFL is essential for a successful career as an online or overseas English teacher.
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Given the absence of an international regulatory body for TEFL training programs, certification standards for teaching can differ across providers. Courses can vary in terms of their content and required study hours. Consequently, it is vital for you to conduct thorough research to find the most reputable course providers.
Initially, you should focus on two significant aspects when searching for a TEFL course provider:
- The academic standards, accreditation, and credentials of the TEFL provider.
- Job placement guidance after certification: The provider's capacity to assist you in securing English teaching positions both overseas and online.
Furthermore, consider the course's study hours. Accreditation for a TEFL course mandates at least 100 hours of study. Any TEFL training course falling short of this will not provide an internationally recognized certificate.
First, it is important to understand that accreditation bodies and memberships are distinct. Accreditation involves a thorough review procedure executed by a reputable accrediting body - an independent third party that scrutinizes a school's academic and professional standards. Prominent TEFL accreditation organizations include TQUK, College of Teachers, and ACCET. Additionally, courses directly provided by an accredited university, like SIT, Cambridge University (CELTA), or Trinity University (Trinity certificate), are also considered accredited.
Membership in an academic association, on the other hand, does not necessitate any specific criteria and is not a valid substitute for accreditation. Most institutions can simply pay annual fees to become part of an organization, with no independent assessment of their educational and professional standards.
Professional training courses at the university-level should be facilitated by highly qualified instructors holding a master's degree in TEFL or a related field, or equivalent training (i.e., a DELTA or a degree in education with an EFL endorsement, etc.) and considerable experience teaching English to non-native speakers.
Before enrolling in a program, ensure to inquire about these qualifications from the TEFL course provider.