Choosing a TEFL Training School

Bottom Line on a Four Week TEFL Course

A reader already working in Korea and intending to change countries wrote this question:

I would like advice on what type of 4 wk TEFL course you might suggest. So many programs to choose from.

If you intend to continue in Asia, take your TEFL training in Asia, so you are doing your observed teaching practice with students who will have similar problems as the students that will be in your future classroom.

The biggest problem in the industry is that so few teacher trainers have either very much good formal training in teaching and education AND/OR have so little experience actually teaching before they became a trainer AND/OR have taught in only one country. Thus, they have limited knowledge of the larger world out there to share with their trainees (you).

I know at least TWO teacher-trainers who started training teachers fresh out of their TEFL training with NO previous teaching experience at all! I know of at least one with a fake degree and I won’t go into the other things I’ve seen. (It’s not all bad, there are some great trainers out there!)

Because of all that, I tend to recommend TEFL Phuket in Thailand (on Phuket Island) as the teacher trainer there has a masters degree in education, a post graduate certificate in TEFL and he has been teaching overseas since 1992. And he has a couple countries under his belt as well as teaching experience with everything from 5 star resorts, to university to kindergarten, to bored housewives. In other words, there is a lot to learn from this guy. And . . . well, there is nothing wrong with studying on a tropical island with beautiful beaches. Just my opinion though. Go over and take a look at for a bit more information about the area, the school, jobs and more.

Why do I recommend that school?

My bias as a semi-retired former teacher trainer is that you should buy the best teacher trainer you can get. Forget the fancy websites and the marketing BS, puffed up curriculums and syllabi, get a teacher-trainer who has been out in the trenches, had some ups and had some downs and still loves teaching.

Inexperienced trainers, while perhaps able to follow a good curriculum, really have very little to share with you and at least half what goes on in TEFL training is the trainer’s experiences and opinions about different situations and problems you will encounter in and out of the classroom.

TED’s Tips™ #1: How to choose a school? Buy the best teacher-trainer you can find.

TED’s Tips™ #2: TEFL is a good place to read about TEFL Schools and what you need to learn about a school before you sign up.