How to Compare TESOL Teacher Training Courses
admin - Oct 07 2018
When it comes to TESOL teacher training courses, there are many available in the market. But the trick is to choose the right one - both in terms of your target fit and in terms of authenticity. Teaching English to students as a second language has become such a popular career choice, that TESOL teacher training courses have become a full time business venture in themselves. We are here summarizing some key points which you must address before you decide to land yourself a particular course.
Academics & Practicum
The minimum requirement that stands up as eligibility for TEFL/TESOL courses is 100 hours of academics and 6 to 20 hours of live practice teaching ESL students which does not include your peers. Normally a standard in person course is 4 weeks long, 5 days per week or 2 weekenders per week. If you opt for a part time class or offline class then it mostly takes around 2 to 3 months for you to get done with your academics. This must also be accompanied by proper genuine minimum 6 hours live practicum. Be very careful as there are many institutes who offer academics but take a back seat when it comes to the practical part. Do not opt for places which ensure role play in the name of practicum with co-teachers.
Above is a typical example on how some company will try to twist the facts by projecting TESOL as a full time degree, although it is only a course and certification.
Job Search and Career Counselling
This is the one thing that is of prime importance to you. If you are looking to place yourself as a successful TESOL teacher, then where you start your career will always guide where you land 10 or 20 years down the line. If you get your first placement in an institute of repute, then offers of the kind shall follow, and if you land in a say mediocre institute, then future offers of the kind shall follow. Another facet worth considering is which country are you targeting? What are the hiring seasons for the country? What is the initial cash flow you shall need to support yourself over there? What will be your average beginning salary? Are there any other things you must look into before moving? What will be the visa requirements? All this must be a part of a good career counselling which you must get from your targeted institute even before you pay a penny.
When it comes to accreditation, there are two things you must look for. Is the institute visited by third party accrediting bodies, or is the institute having membership to such bodies? In cases where the institute is visited by such bodies, the accreditation is given to the institute, and you being a part of it, automatically qualifies your certification to be legitimate. TQUK, CELTA, TRINITY etc are some of the internationally recognized accrediting bodies. However, the trap here is that many local institutes have developed their own local accrediting bodies, which have no relation to the standardization, and have taken impressive and misguiding names to deceive prospective students. You could even find some false charts and figures on these fake websites to entrap students. When it comes to your institute having membership (like NAFSA, TESOL etc) to such authorising bodies, it still means only access to their newsletters, subscriptions etc, it still does not mean that your certification will be authorized.
It would not be wrong to say that some hiring organizations hire teachers even without any badges on their uniform, however, you won’t be obviously targeting such hiring organizations.
Previous Student and Placement Record
This factor is of prime importance because, an institute with a good placement record, or a student intake record who are now settled at well off positions, will speak of itself and not need any paperwork or affirmations to commend it. If you are able to get yourself one such place, you can consider yourself to be secure then.
Another area to look for is instructor competency. Who is the person who will be teaching you? Is your teaching having any certification in the first place? Is your teacher having the right communication skills and cultural background to suit your needs? Is he/she having a good experience to endorse her? Some institutes hire aspiring TESOL teachers based on the instructor who taught them in the first place. Well begun is half done! Look for a competent teacher even if it costs you a few higher bucks. Do not rush for very cheap courses as a university level teacher would obviously charge more than a teacher who has nothing but self promotion...or say a 1 or 2 year experience in some country!
Online V/s Offline
Although online is gaining much popularity now, but if you talk about job aspects, offline- full time is something which your hirers always prefer. They not only see that in you as making you more competent, but there is a general feeling and understanding that people who undertake some full time in person course, they are more serious and committed towards pursuing that as a career with a long term credibility.
There is a wide variation in the pricing structure of TESOL institutes and can range from 500USD to 2000 USD normally. But that is not one criterion you can use to decide. Even some highly priced courses can be fake and some mediocre priced ones can be good. Just ask yourself two questions: is it too good to be true? And: do you afford it as per cost-benefit analysis? If you feel you shall receive the value of your investment, then go for it.
Conclusively, it can be very rightly said that when you enrol yourself for some TESOL teacher training course, you invest both your time and money. So you should make sure you make a sound investment and not be gullible at the hands of many local wheeler-dealers. You can make a very good career for yourself if you research well and get an institute aligned to your needs. Always use multiple means to verify the data that you collect before you consider them as facts.