An Online TEFL Course IS good enough!
I read a lot on the internet that online TEFL training is not perfect and not as good as the stereotypical CELTA or Trinity certifications.
Well . . . by definition an online course is uh . . . well . . . online. But even the famed CELTA these days is online too. They do an observed teaching practice face-to-face, but so do most online courses. It is offered as an option almost everywhere.
So what is the fuss about?
To some degree most people are promoting the specific course they took. If you took a CELTA, you would be likely to say that only a CELTA is “good enough”. It is nice that you had the US$1800-2800+ the course can cost and had a month off without pay to take it, but not everyone has that option.
Why Online Courses are Just Fine
Because most countries don’t even require any TEFL training at all. And most that do, are just fine with online training. Of the four largest EFL job markets: China, Korea, Thailand and Japan; Japan does not require a certificate. China does and will accept online certificates. Korea will accept online certificates [in 2013 some government programs may require teaching practice as part of the TEFL training and most online courses offer that as well]. Thailand will accept online also if it includes teaching practices. Most online courses offer some sort of teaching practice, just ask if you are not sure.
So then . . . what’s the problem?
Some of the issue is with Americans (I am one, so shuss!). In the States most any kind of “distance” learning is looked down upon. Partly because we just aren’t so familiar with it.
The United Kingdom (UK – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for those who aren’t sure) pioneered distance training during the days of their empire. They had officers, armies and companies all over the world and needed to provide quality training to them. Families of their employees/representatives needed education too. So – distance education was born.
What’s GOOD about Distance or Online Education?
What’s good is that you can get the basics about how to teach English without spending a fortune, without taking four to six weeks off work with no pay, and you can still get a good decent idea about how to give your students the knowledge that they paid good money for.
That’s right. Your Students Pay Money to be in your Classroom.
Don’t you want to be able to deliver what they have paid for? No one wants to pay their money to sit in your class if you have no idea about how to effectively teach them English. No one! So – if you can’t afford the Full Monty from CELTA, SIT or others . . . get a good online training course so you have some idea about how to start and how to deliver what your students want.
TEFL is not Rocket Science
Do you need Cambridge, Oxford or Harvard or . . . other training? No, not really. But you do need the basics of how to go about doing what you are getting paid for. You don’t want to feel like you are cheating your students.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Online TEFL Training is fine for about 90% of the world’s EFL jobs. Will it meet the requirements everywhere? No. But then again I have a masters degree in education, PGCE in TEFL and about 20 years experience overseas and even I don’t qualify for 100% of the jobs out here.
TED’s Tips™ #2: Do the right thing – get some training so you can deliver what you students have paid for.
TED’s Tips™ #3: Last, but certainly not least, online and distance education is the future of all education. As a result of the skyrocketing costs of most traditional education settings (brick and mortar classrooms), many experts predict a steady movement to online distance education.