What TEFL courses are recommended and widely recognised?

There are loads of TEFL courses out there, but the first one that pops up in Google search results may not be the best option; likewise, the cheapest offering might not offer the best value.

Everyone’s needs are different, but there are a couple of things you should look for when choosing your TEFL course in order to ensure you spend your money wisely.

When you’re choosing the best TEFL courses for you, make sure that the course fulfills the minimum of the following points, in order to be sure that you’re getting the best quality training, and the support and assistance that you need:

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The must-haves:

  • Don’t rush into a TEFL course – there are loads of providers out there, all claiming to be brilliant. But the important thing is getting a job at the end – and some TEFLs carry more weight than others. One thing to look out for is an Ofqual-regulated certificate. This basically means the content, teaching and materials have been scrutinised and they are such high quality that a qualification regulated by the UK Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) can be awarded to our learners. You should also make sure you get at least 120 hours of training, which is the industry benchmark for employers worldwide. Plus, choose a provider with a global reputation, who’s been around for a long time – a name that employers will recognise.
  • The course should include a comprehensive grammar programme. Grammar is a very tough subject to learn, let alone teach – so this part of the course is likely to be difficult, but it’s essential you know what you’re talking about when you start teaching.
  • It should include live teaching observations. This could include hands-on teaching practise if you’re on a face-to-face course, or if you’re signed up to an online course it’s more likely to take the form of watching video content.
  • Realistic teaching preparation: the course should provide you with insight into the market you’re entering, and set realistic expectations for finding work abroad. This shows a genuine knowledge of the TEFL market.
  • Specialist modules (if required). Most courses focus on teaching adults, but if you know you’d like to take a different tack, it may be worth finding a TEFL course with additional modules dealing with teaching young learners and teenagers, or one-to-one lessons.

Do your research

That’s the practical stuff checked off; it’s also worth looking into the company that provides the course. In the internet age, it’s easier than ever to find out what other customers have to say about your chosen provider.

  • Read the website. Does the company seem knowledgeable and authoritative? What range of products do they provide? Are there any customer reviews provided?
  • Google the provider. Find comments in one of the many online TEFL forums and read reviews on customer review sites. If the company has lots of disgruntled or disappointed customers, perhaps it’s a good idea to select another provider.
  • Email the provider. When you’ve paid for the course, it’s important to know that you’ll have good support from the company during your studies. Are the staff at the company responsive and helpful? This says a lot about your likely future experience.
  • Check the support provided. What kind of support will the company offer before, during and after your studies? Many companies also offer teaching opportunities like Paid TEFL Internships and can help you secure that dream role.

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