Factors to consider when choosing a TEFL program
With so many Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Programs available it can be very challenging to find the right program to fit your goals. In this blog, I'll look at some factors that everyone should consider before enrolling in a TEFL program and some advice on choosing the right program.
Before I start, I should mention that this blog will not be addressing bachelor or graduate level programs in TEFL. Perhaps in a future blog, I'll look at these types of programs and whether you should invest the time and money in getting an advanced degree in TEFL or TESOL.
Here is a list of things I suggest looking at before choosing a TEFL program:
Is it an Online or On-Site Course. If you go back a couple blogs I wrote extensively on the differences between the programs...I'm a big fan of face-to-face classes, but maybe you aren't.
Accreditation. One way to determine if a program is reputable is by checking its accreditation.
Qualified Instructors. Before registering for a TEFL program ask for information about the instructors education/training and teaching experience.
Assistance Finding a Job. Does the program provide assistance? What kind of assistance do they provide?
Reviews. Do yourself a favor and search for program reviews on the internet before choosing a program. Also don't just go by reviews posted on the school's website as they may not give you the whole picture.
Content. It's very important that you know what you're going to be studying in your program. Some topics/activities you should find in a quality TEFL program are: Lesson Plan Development, Study of Grammar and Phonology, Classroom Management, Needs Assessment and Evaluation of Learners, Cultural Understanding, and Opportunities to Practice Teaching to name a few
Hours. I think you'll find it difficult to find employers who will recognize a program that is less than 100 hours. At the same time programs over 250 hours may be more than you really need.
Is it too good to be true? The internet is full of TEFL and TESOL programs that are only 10 - 20 hours long or cost as low as $100, and while they sound great, you will inevitably regret taking these courses. Good quality programs should be at least 100 hours long and they will cost more than $100. To develop and teach a high quality TEFL program it also costs a school or university a lot to run it.