By now, you probably already know that you need TEFL certification to work as an English teacher abroad. Not all TEFL/TESOL classes are the same and while the cost of the certification may be important when choosing a class, there are other factors that should be at the top of your list of considerations. They include the following;
The actual learning process is perhaps the most important factors to consider and the main thing to look for when selecting a TEFL/TESOL certification course is the duration of the course. The course should be at least 120 hours. The minimum standard for accreditation is usually 100 hours of academics and at least 6-20 hours of practical teaching to actual ESL students. This means that the average TEFL/TESOL certification course will take a minimum of 4 weeks. Any shorter and you should be worried about the quality of the course. Any certification course that offers less than 100 hours of training doesn’t meet the international standards and will not be legitimate in the eyes of most employers.
The next factor to consider is whether the TEFL/TESOL certification is accredited and recognized. A school with accreditation has undergone a rigorous process of review by a recognized accreditation body, which examines the school’s professional and academic standards. An accredited institution is more likely to provide you with top quality courses that will be recognized by prospective employers.
You also want to make sure that the instructor tasked with teaching the course is highly trained and if possible a university-level instructor with the equivalent of a Master’s degree. The instructor must also have a lot of experience teaching English as a foreign language. It is the only way that he/she can pass along all the necessary knowledge that you need to be qualified enough to begin your own teaching career.
Practicum (Student Teaching)
We’ve mentioned it before, but it is too important not to mention again. The TEFL/TESOL certification course that you choose needs to include a practicum or hands-on-element. This will give you the necessary experience to be the most effective teacher you can be. It will also put you head and shoulders ahead of the competition when the time comes for you to find employment. This is because employers are far more likely to hire a teacher with this kind of practical experience.
Job Search Assistance
A good TEFL/TESOL certification program will also provide you with professional advisors whose main goal is to provide you with information and assistance with job placement. This kind of attention and assistance should be provided to you prior to registration. When the adviser assigned to you provide you with honest and accurate information about job placements and all the necessary steps to take to find employment, you success will be all-but guaranteed.
Free Lifetime Job Search Guidance
While career guidance is important, sometimes it is unlikely that you will find a job the minute you complete your certification course. This is why it is important to choose a TEFL/TESOL certification program that will provide you with free lifetime job search guidance with experienced career guidance counselors providing you with all the necessary knowledge you need to find a suitable job.
The final consideration when choosing a TEFL/TESOL certification program is the price. In this case, there are only two things to keep in mind; are you getting value for your money and is the price too good to be true. It is very unlikely that you will get quality training form qualified instructors for $200 or $400.