TEFL Course: What critical mistakes should you be aware of?

TEFL course is one of the most popular choices of aspirants who want to join the academic world but not in the traditional way. Teaching English to native speakers as a second language is interesting and intriguing. But it is easy for you to get lost in the world of fake advertisements and strategic marketing and land in troubled water as you choose the wrong course with the wrong institution.

Being a TEFL teacher is not only about having a TEFL certificate. You need to choose a course that will give you support, training, and assistance in your job search. Here we have listed the top five points that you should be aware of before you make your choice final.

Is the TEFL course accredited and internationally recognized?

As you choose your teacher training institute make sure it meets a good number of criteria. The course offered must be at least 100 hours in duration. In addition, there must be live teaching sessions included also under the guidance of expert and experienced tutors. If you do not find these with a green tick, do give it a second thought and research more.

So, what are the basic criteria that you should be looking out for? Here, have a look at the following:

  • Duration of course at least 120 hours including training and course curriculum
  • Live practice teaching session of 6-20 hours
  • Practice teaching to ESL students and not mere role-playing
  • Accreditation to independent and recognized administrative body functional in the similar market
  • Instructors possess years of experience and high academic qualification in the relevant field

In-person or online what are you choosing?

It is a common belief, and most of it is myth, that online teacher training course cannot substitute an in-person course. Be it validity or be it quality, there is doubt among aspirants while choosing between the two and thus, they often choose in-person only assuming that online course will not meet the standard.

But this is wrong and it will be a critical mistake if you also think this way. It is all about the standards set and met. Many in-person courses may not meet international standards while the TESOL/TEFL certificate you grab from online course may provide you with the best that you can have.

Check the certification standard, affiliation and the extent of training that come with your chosen course. The course will help you get placed. No matter whether it is online or in-person, it is the quality of service offered to you that matters the most.

Does the course offer job placement?

TEFL certificate online can help you get a job placement but only if the course you choose has that connections and provisions. Do not make the mistake of signing up with a course that does not include assistance for employment opportunities. Only having a certificate will not be enough; you need contacts and guidance to identify hiring opportunities, recruitment process etc.

What do you need guidance for? Isn’t it only looking for vacancy and applying accordingly? Actually, no it isn’t. You will need guidance for:

  • When is the hiring season?
  • How to tackle the interview process?
  • What are the visa regulations?
  • How can you access the job listings?
  • How can you have the contact information of the recruiters or have referrals for them?

How costly is the course? Cheap or pricey?

Can you imagine buying an authentic and pure piece of silk from a website without any prior reviews or any proof of authenticity? No, right? Let’s have a look at what you are going to gain from completing a TEFL course. A degree that will enable you to land a teaching job in abroad like Japan, Chile, Germany etc.

Do you feel that all these can come at a really cheap price from a discounted website that shows no sign of international recognition or affiliation? Yes, again a ‘no’. If you jump at a cheap-priced course and enroll without giving it any further thought, know for sure that you are making a critical mistake.

How do you distinguish the reputable TEFL courses from the cheap and not trustworthy ones? Here’re a few pointers for you:

  • These courses do not match the international standards that global employers are looking for while recruiting
  • Tutors imparting lectures are not of university-level qualifications
  • You will not experience live teaching sessions with students and thus, no hands-on skills
  • The course organizers will not help you with job search or placement queries
  • Organizations of your placement will not be that trustworthy either and the pay package will also not be alluring
  • No instruction will be provided about how to manage classroom efficiently and as a result, you will be poor in it.

Does the course come with practicum sessions?

As you search for how to get a TEFL certificate, one thing you must know for sure that no course will be complete if it does not offer live practice teaching or practicum sessions. Why is it so important? Here are two reasons:

  • In live practice sessions, you get to interact with ESL students who are learning TEFL for real and not people who are only role playing. This will not only enhance your skill but also improve your comfort level. As a result, it will be easier for you to assess yourself as a teacher.
  • Secondly, and it is of more importance, as you submit applications representing you as a deserving candidate for a post of TEFL trainer in an institution, your involvement in practicum is one thing that will be assessed. Do not have practicum included in your CV? Chances are you will not be considered for recruitment.

These are the most important five points that you should keep in mind while signing up for any online teacher training TEFL course. Those institutes that offer a good placement and come with good records of affiliation and recognition, will be your first choices. Trust them and join them to have an excellent career in teaching ahead.

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