Firstly, it is important to note that TEFL International is the world's largest TESOL course provider. We have had thousands of graduates go on to work in over 50 countries worldwide. In terms of short teacher training courses, TEFL International is second to none. There are many good schools out there. Many are professionally managed and have qualified, competent teachers. Unfortunately, there is no law to prevent anyone from setting up as a teacher-training center and there is nothing to prevent you from being "ripped off" by a company offering so-called recognized certificates or diplomas. Moreover, there are many organizations offering one or two week introductory courses, perhaps with the offer of job placements afterwards. These certainly give you a "taster" of TESOL/TEFL and some of these are very professionally conducted courses but what have you got at the end? If you seriously want to become an ESOL/EFL teacher and look for different job opportunities, you are going to need an internationally-recognized Certificate from a reputable institution. As the largest course provider in the world, TEFL International certainly offers the international recognition and quality of training that institutions worldwide have come to expect for their hiring standards. TEFL International is overseen by a Board of Academic Advisors (BOAA), most of whom are well known throughout the world of teaching English. TEFL International also voluntarily complies with the standards of the British Association of TESOL Qualifying Institutions (BATQI).
For all intents and purposes the terms mean the same with TESOL being more common in America and with large state sector colleges in Britain (e.g. the Institute of Education in London) while TEFL is more common in U.K. Language Schools and in the U.K. press. There is a slight technical difference since TESOL refers to all learners whose first language is not English, including ethnic minorities living in this country whereas TEFL refers only to "foreign" students. Potentially, therefore, a TESOL course encompasses more than a more narrowly defined TEFL course. The CELTA (Certificate for English Language Teaching to Adults) is a TESOL certificate course. It was actually the first course of this type of teacher-training course and was originally an in-house training course for teachers at International House (a large chain of language schools based in London). Because it was the first, it is very widely recognized by name, much like TEFL International today.
There is no way around it. These courses all contain a great deal of content in only four weeks. Yet the educational philosophy of those providing the course can make a huge difference. We believe in a mentoring, nurturing environment. We do everything within our power to ensure that everyone passes our course, otherwise why accept them onto the course in the first place?. Similarly, TEFL International courses encourage all native English speakers (or those with near-native abilities) to attend. Our trainers would never discriminate against North Americans, Australians, or British because of different pronunciations or slightly different grammar. All are equally welcome.
TEFL International began as a Trinity course, and was one of the largest and most popular Trinity courses until December of 1999. As a result, the course content of the Trinity and TEFL International courses are quite similar. Most importantly, all three are monitored by external examiners that visit each course at least once during each course. These external moderators set these three certificate courses apart from all others. However, there are a few areas in which we feel the TEFL International certificate and the Trinity College London certificate course hold an advantage. The UCLES/RSA Certificate is specifically designed for teaching groups of adults (hence the "A" at the end of "CELTA"). On the other hand, the TEFL International and the Trinity College Certificate provide for the teaching of younger learners as well as adults; one-to-one students as well as groups/classes of students. In summary, the TEFL International course gives you the following benefits: one-to-one meetings with learners of English as well as with full classes; experience being a learner of an unfamiliar language in order to make you think about the problems of teaching beginners; the opportunity to create your own teaching material as a form of practical project which you can take away and use in your future teaching career; experience with younger learners as well as with adults (in some of the sessions).
There are several reasons why you should take the TEFL International TESOL certificate course. TEFL International trainers make every effort to get you through the TESOL certificate course whereas other cours providers can be prone to treat you as a number. The TEFL International certificate is an international certificate, accepted worldwide. TEFL International courses can conveniently include course fees and accommodations into one very affordable package. And by taking the course in exotic locations, you have a great advantage in finding jobs in those same exotic locations! TEFL International is much more involved in your job search than other centers are. Each center is an area expert, with extensive contacts within the country, who will provide excellent insight and assistance with the job market there.
A lot of questions but all interrelated. We find that courses tend to be taken up by a wide variety of people. For example, we get a lot of people in their early twenties who are recent graduates and want to travel overseas, but we also have people in their thirties and forties who either want a career switch, have been made redundant or are moving overseas with their spouse. In addition, we have people either approaching or in retirement and who are looking for something to do in their free time or who have got property on the continent to which they are going to move. Finally, we sometimes have people from other English speaking countries on our courses as well as good non-native speakers from other countries. We had one course where we had a twenty-year-old, a seventy-five year old and two course members from Hungary! As far as entrance requirements are concerned, if you are to be a teacher of English, a high standard of both spoken and written English is demanded. Here we mean your use of English, not necessarily your knowledge of grammatical terminology. You will be given an introduction to language awareness on the course itself. As the four week course is very intensive, you should be prepared to work very hard indeed, have no other distractions, and be mentally/emotionally completely fit and well, including having no current domestic worries. You should also be presentable in appearance. If you are a person of "more mature years" or a senior citizen, do not let this in itself put you off from applying. Providing you are receptive to training you should have no problems. If, however, you are rigid in your ways of thinking and are unwilling to shake off past ways of thinking and behavior, you may have a problem. For instance, we have reluctantly had to fail some experienced teachers and lecturers! On the other hand, our greatest "star" was a retired head teacher - an extremely broad-minded one. The last examples concern people who have taught before. If you have never taught before, you are "an empty vessel" as far as teaching is concerned and are not "carrying around any baggage" and thus, you may ironically be at an advantage.
Yes! If you are a current university student we would be happy to work with your university to arrange credit. If you want university credit for your participation, it is best to contact us in advance.
Certainly. Again TEFL International is the largest and fastest growing teacher training course in the world and has over one thousand graduates annually from its many course centers worldwide. The course meets or exceeds the basic British criteria of 100+ hours of classroom time and 6+ hours of Observed Teaching Practice.
Remember that most employers are looking for certificates that meet the general criteria listed in point number 1. And, lets face it, any course that does not allow you multiple opportunities to actually TEACH REAL STUDENTS will have limited benefit. Like learning to swim by reading a book or learning to drive by reading the drivers manual.
The chances of finding a job after the course are excellent. Most of our trainees have received a number of interviews and job offers before they graduate! TEFL International will assist at all stages of the job search from putting a CV/resume together to interview techniques to arranging interviews. TEFL International has many contacts worldwide who approach us with suitable job vacancies!
There is really no best or worst time. Jobs are available year round with academic terms varying from continent to continent.
Whilst there is no official upper age limit, you must be at least 19 years of age for your application to be considered. We have successfully trained (and found employment for) graduates of all ages.
No, you do not. TEFL International uses the international standard communicative approach to teaching, where English is the only language used in the classroom.