IATQuO for future TESOL/TEFL TeachersBecoming a TEFL Teacher
How can a future teacher of English benefit?
By enrolling on a course that has been accredited/validated by IATQuO you can be sure that you
- will be making an informed choice of training course,
- will be trained to internationally acceptable standards,
- will be capable of preparing and conducting English classes on successful completion of the course,
- will have a greater chance of getting a job than someone whose qualification is not externally accredited,
- will be paid in accordance with rates prevalent in the country of employment,
- will be in a position to develop professionally if you so desire.
Obtaining a qualification to teach English.
If you wish to
- teach English as a foreign language either in your home country or in a foreign country,
- work for a reliable employer in a reputable language school,
- work in primary or secondary schools in a state education system,
- receive adequate remuneration,
you should obtain an internationally valid qualification.
There are at least two ways of obtaining a qualification to teach English to speakers of other languages, or as a foreign language:
- through a first degree in Education or a Masters with a substantial English Teaching component. University courses are normally subject to scrutiny by external examiners,
- through a special course leading to a TESOL/TEFL certificate.
Method 1 is advisable for undergraduates who already know what they want to do and for those more mature students who have the time and means to obtain a university education for the first or second time.
But not everybody knows before they begin their university course that they wish later to teach English. Only once they have graduated may they look for a course leading to a TESOL/TEFL qualification. Method 2 is the answer for them.
Then there are also those who have pursued their chosen profession for a few, or even many, years and who decide to switch career. They don’t have the time or the money to embark on a degree course. Method 2 is also for them.
Choosing a Course
The right kind of course and the right qualification
We suggest that you look for a course which is based on these five pillars:
- There are a minimum of 100 hours of contact between each trainee and tutors. (Most accredited courses have between 120 and 150 hours scheduled, including study time.)
- There is adequate coverage of and a satisfactory balance between information and theory – English grammar and phonology, learning styles and teaching techniques – and practical work.
- Each trainee teaches a minimum of 6 hours with classes of real learners that are observed and commented on by a tutor.
- Tutors are suitably qualified and experienced, and there is a good standard of management.
- Premises and resources are of an acceptable standard and sufficient.
Courses conforming to the above criteria and which can give evidence of external scrutiny on a regular basis are the only courses in which you should put your trust.
You can be confident in courses which have been accredited/validated by IATQuO and which are moderated, or monitored, on a regular basis.
For courses accredited by IATQuO see our list of accredited centres.
An intending teacher should make the following three checks before registering for any TESOL training course:
- Check the exact address and location of a specific course, with the local telephone number
– Note that an international or national “toll free call” number is almost certainly NOT the day-to-day number of the course site.
- Contact the Director of Studies, preferably by phone, ask for his name, (his credentials or experience), and ask some simple questions about the course and the location.
- Contact the quoted accrediting/validating body direct to ascertain their credentials and to discover whether they have in fact validated the centre that interests you. (The quoted accrediting/validating body should have at least a website link, a valid email address, a telephone number and a postal address.)
If any of this information is not available, dubious or inaccurate, warning bells should sound!
It may take a little time, the cost of an international phone call or two, and that should be it. But a few dollars/pounds/euros spent in this way may well prevent a subsequent loss of 2000 or more! There should be absolutely no need to pay any deposit until the above checks have been made.
A further check you can make if you live in the country, or if you have a friend living in the country, is to ask to visit the centre: no trustworthy teacher training centre should refuse access.
Finally, an intending teacher should be aware that some quoted accrediting/validating bodies are not validating bodies but simply associations. It is very simple to become a member by paying a small fee.
What do trainees say about IATQuO accredited courses?
During moderation the IATQuO moderator asks trainees in their final week two questions. Here they are with some of the replies:
- What have been the main benefits of the course for you?
- It taught me how to construct my own language.
- Teaching practices were 60% the value of the course
- I experienced how it would feel to be one of my students.
- Opportunity to teach in front of real learners
- The more exposure (to teaching) the better
- Has given me tools for the classroom
- We now have the tools for the teaching process
- We have a structure around which to plan our lessons
- Methodology – you can see it working!
- Learned to be more creative and to think outside the box
- Valued the opportunity to teach in front of real learners
- acquisition of an invaluable structure for planning lessons and teaching
- boosted belief in being able to and wanting to teach
- it has given me purpose
- value of TP enabling us to teach small classes and one to one
- being able to witness teaching techniques and then practise them
- value of tutors using techniques with us that we are to use in class
- grammar – the way it was presented and having to put your own head around it
- Would you recommend this course?
- I already have!
- It’s the course to do, you can trust them, there’s no blah, blah.
- Absolutely, this is the best choice you can make for your future.
What are Accreditation, Validation and Moderation?
Accreditation, or validation, is an initial process whereby a TESOL training course is scrutinised by an external body such as IATQuO employing highly qualified and experienced professionals to ascertain that it conforms to certain minimal internationally acceptable standards.
Subsequent, periodic scrutiny to ensure that those standards are being maintained is known as moderation.