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St.George's avatar

What is the best place online to get my TESOL/TEFL?

Asked by St.George (5855points) July 6th, 2011

And by “best” I mean most reputable, reasonably-priced, academically-inclined.

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8 Answers

MuffinMonarch's avatar

This website if one i’ve been thinking about using. It seems reputable for sure and it is very well priced for the online versions.

http://www.i-to-i.com/tefl/

longtresses's avatar

If you’re planning to get your TESOL online, you’re going to miss out so much. From my experience completing my TESOL in a 1-month intensive course, there would be no way I would have learned how to teach English—as a second language—via online course or on my own. Just no way.

My trainer in particular was Steven Tait of Thailand TESOL. He made our course a life-changing experience. He genuinely loves teaching and training teachers. His dedication, professionalism, thoughtfulness, and kindness are unparalleled. He’s made us realize that teaching language is an art.

Not only that we learned what it meant to be teaching English to non-native speakers; we grew personally. We learned so much from teamwork and from our peers, observing their teaching styles, planning lessons together, receiving immediate feedbacks from each of them. We began teaching right away, as soon as the course commenced, with trainers and peers sitting in the back of the room, noting our tones, nuances, the reactions from students, and whether our lessons were successful. Our teaching got analyzed block by block. Every little pause or accidental facing the blackboard (talking to the board as opposed to the students) was noticed. We learned a lot, every single day.

In this way we spent a lot of time reflecting, and being able to reflect is an essential quality a teacher must have. Steve made sure we learned to do that.

Planning effective lessons also was not easy. We’d spent hours drafting lessons, way into the nights.

Most people who graduated TESOL with Steve said it was one of the most memorable things they have done in life, and they learned so much. I couldn’t agree more. It was intense, but so worth it.

Obviously I’ve never done an online TESOL or with other trainers, so I wouldn’t have known. But if you’re looking into 1-month intensive, and you don’t mind being away for a month to a foreign country, I can’t recommend Steve and his team highly enough. Good luck.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I-to-I can kiss my hairy, sweaty balls.

In my last job (Director of Studies / Academic Co-ordinator for a language school), online TEFL certs were just a way to guarantee that your CV would end up in my shredder.

Online TEFL is just a massive waste of time. You can learn the same from books such as The Practice of English Language Teaching and the How to Teach series. They#re a lot cheaper too.

If you are going to get a cert, consider one with a classroom practicum. At least that way you’l have a chance to practise teaching skills on real learners. The most widely-recognised are the Cambridge ESOL CELTA, The Trinity College Cert. TESOL and the SIT TESOL Cert. Cambridge ESOL offer a blended learning CELTA with the academic work done online and the practicum arranged locally to where you are (depending on availability of trainers, I guess).

Please avoid online certificates.

St.George's avatar

@the100thmonkey Thank you for your frankness! I have two MA degrees in Education (Leadership; Curriculum and Instruction) and a teaching credential with second language learner experience. I can’t afford ($ and time) to attend classes to get a TESOL certificate, but when I look at jobs abroad teaching English it looks like I have to have this certificate to even be in the running. As an employer, would you overlook my online TESOL, given my background in teaching and education?

Thanks!

St.George's avatar

@longtresses Your teacher sounds amazing. Unfortunately I cannot move to Thailand for a year (although I wish I could), though he seems worth the journey. Thanks!

longtresses's avatar

@Megan64 The training is one month long, not a year.

St.George's avatar

@longtresses Well now, that might be do-able!

the100thmonkey's avatar

You present in interesting case – the vast majority of employers asking for a cert do so because they want to guarantee some kind of competence in the classroom.

One of the problems you will face, at least in many places in Asia, is being perceived as overqualified. If you require visa sponsorship, you might find language schools wary to hire you as they might expect you to leg it to the first university job that comes your way.

Depending on which country you wish to teach in, you might not actually need a TESOL cert. – in Asian nations like Japan, it’s a desirable qualification rather than a required one.

Your other qualifications would keep the CV from the trash, but I would ask myself why on earth you had that i-to-i cert.

As @longtresses says, most intro certs with classroom practica are 4 week intensive courses. They’re hard work, even for experienced teachers, but worth it – you’ll probably recognise a great deal of the thinking behind the methodologies given your academis background. Indeed, you might find the challenge of the academic component of the courses is actually the brevity you need to stay under the word limits!

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