For many students outside of the United States, English is often taught as a foreign language. For this to be done there needs to be an English speaking teacher at the head of the class. Similarly to how a teacher becomes certified one who wishes to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) must go through the proper certification. One cannot simple say “I speak English, I can teach this.” For many who wish to gain TEFL certification they do not know the right channels to go through. There are many different programs out there but there are some things you have to look at when deciding which program is right.
Step One: Finding a Course. First you want to not only find a course but one that is accredited. Similarly to other fields, certification only counts for so much if it is a non-accredited course. Basically a non-accredited program will get you as far as getting a piece of paper. No job will look at the certification. This is one thing you need to watch if you are looking into online programs. I highly suggest looking at the list that ATCC-Accredited TEFL Certificate Courses has on their website.
Step Two: Location. While all of the accredited courses listed on ATCC are internationally accepted. You need to find a location that suits you. The best thing to do is click on the links offered next to the programs and see where the college offering certificates and diplomas are located at.
Step Three: International Acceptance. While ATCC makes everything easy, you might run into where you found a program closer to home. It is an accredited program and accepted at certain places nationally. What you want to do is find out whether that particular programs certification is internationally accepted. While you may get a job for a national company or military school, you are limiting your job choices by not getting international certification.
Step Four: Job Help. Finding jobs in any field is difficult. Finding international teaching jobs are ten times more difficult. Something important that you want to ask your school of choice is what kind of job help they offer. You want to see if they help you find jobs in other countries or if you are 100% on your own. If one school you find offers help and the other does not, find out how many alum get job placement and go from there. Sometimes job assistance is not always beneficial to all students.
Step Five: Accommodation Help. There is a high chance that for the span of your certification you will need to relocate. Many people suggest getting this done at least three to four weeks prior to your certification. That way you know for certain that you have a place to go. Find out from the schools that you are looking at or at least the one you are most likely going to attend what kind of accommodations they have or what kind they will help you obtain. The school you choose should be willing and able to help you.
Step Six: Cost. The last step, or maybe it should be the second step, is finding the cost. It might seem that accredited courses are a little more expensive but in reality you are paying for a quality accredited certification. Paying for the cheaper non-accredited courses might be a waste of money. Imagine paying $3,000 because you wanted to save a grand only to find out the course you took was not accredited and no employers will look at your degree. Sad truth, but it happens a lot. Sometimes you have to watch too, those non-accredited courses might be more expensive.
Well now that you have six steps to help you choose the right TEFL course, you can begin your search. Good luck in your studies!