Finding the Right Course: How to Choose the Best TEFL CertificationBy Krzl Light Nuñes
April 1, 2021
When you kickstart your English teaching career, choosing a TEFL certification course is a crucial step toward getting top-notch training and securing jobs later on. However, with the myriad of courses on the market nowadays, you may ask yourself, “What is the best TEFL certification for me?” Don’t worry! We’re here to help you pick a teacher training course that not only guarantees quality standards but also fits your background and teaching goals.
What qualities make a good TEFL course?
A lot of aspiring English teachers are puzzled over selecting the right TEFL/TESOL online certificate because many courses seem to have the same characteristics. On the face of it, most of them offer flexibility, the essential teaching know-how, and the assurance that you’ll find a teaching job right after you complete the course.
Nevertheless, the difference in quality between the available TEFL/TESOL courses out there can be vast. You can choose a good, reputable certification provider by looking for the following criteria in the course you’re interested in.
The TEFL course is accredited.
Earning a TEFL certification with accreditation from a professional, external institution is important because it shows that you’ve taken an internationally recognized training course of excellent quality. Although there is no exclusive accrediting body for TEFL/TESOL certifications, course providers get accreditation from various bodies who set their own standards for quality education and training.
For example, Bridge courses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and the Association for Quality Education and Training Online (AQUEDUTO).
The course provider is well-established.
One way to tell that a TEFL certification provides quality training is by finding out if the course provider is legitimate, and this can be traced back to the company’s track record and experience in the industry.
The TEFL course has at least 120 hours of teacher training.
A major difference among TEFL courses is the number of hours they offer, which usually ranges from 40 to 150. But, you may wonder, “How many hours of TEFL/TESOL certification do I really need?”
A TEFL certificate is a requirement of most schools, and the majority of employers require one that has at least 120 hours of study because it generally provides the most comprehensive teacher training.
Your course tutors are qualified.
The best TEFL certification programs include a personal tutor who assesses your assignments and guides you as you progress in your study. Therefore, the tutor needs to possess the qualifications and expertise needed for this role.
The course provider offers job placement assistance.
The best TEFL/TESOL certification course providers will always offer help with finding a job after you receive your certification. For example, the Bridge Job Board gives teachers access to the latest available TEFL/TESOL positions online and worldwide. Teachers can also use it to create a portfolio that they can share with employers.
Finally, all Bridge grads have access to job advisors who will help by providing advice specific to the location where you want to teach, reviewing your resume, facilitating introductions to schools and recruiters, and more.
Making sure you have access to job placement assistance is essential, as you don’t want to be stuck with a TEFL/TESOL certification and nowhere to use it!
What makes a TEFL course the best for you personally?
From international courses to specialized ones, TEFL/TESOL certifications vary, as they are designed to match prospective teachers’ different backgrounds, goals, and interests. Let’s look at the most important factors to consider in order to find out which is the best TEFL certification for you:
Your English teaching experience
Find out more by reading this next: I’m Already a Teacher? Do I Need TEFL/TESOL Certification?
Where you want to teach
Your long-term teaching goals
Picking the right TEFL/TESOL course for you also depends on the career path you want to take and the types of TEFL jobs you’d like to land someday.
Finally, you should take into account the TEFL certification cost. Top-notch programs like the IDELTOnline generally cost more, but if it’s out of your budget range, you can opt for the 120-Hour Master TEFL/TESOL Certificate, which is a lower-priced yet practical training course.
However, if you’re still not ready to shell out much money yet, you can first take a shorter course, like a foundational certification course, and then take more courses to upgrade your certification later on.
What are some red flags for TEFL courses?
It’s not uncommon to find TEFL certificate providers that are either not legitimate or that offer poor-quality courses, and you will definitely not want to earn a certification that will be of little or no value to employers! So, before you sign up for a TEFL course, look out for the following signs that may indicate that a course isn’t credible:
Super low price
If you see a TEFL course being offered at a great discount or at an extremely cheap cost, it may not be as good as it seems. Chances are, it is not as comprehensive as a fully accredited TEFL certification course.
No tutor interaction
As mentioned earlier, a personal tutor is beneficial to a teacher trainee’s development while taking a TEFL course. If the course only requires you to read or watch lectures online — without a tutor to help you or grade assignments — it may mean that the course only adheres to mediocre standards.
Besides helping you make a purchase decision, reading students’ or graduates’ feedback on a TEFL course is one way to tell if it’s legit or not. You can do this by checking reviews on the provider’s website or popular sites like Trustpilot or Glassdoor. However, if you cannot find any customer reviews for a TEFL certification, you may want to question its credibility or whether it even exists at all.
Information about the certification can’t be verified
More than just handing (or emailing) you a document that shows you’ve completed a TEFL course, a course provider should share the details of the certification on their website so that employers can verify them if needed. If you cannot find further information about the course, you’ll likely have issues with having it recognized once you start applying to jobs.
When deciding which TEFL certification is best, you may need to take a closer look at a course’s features, check its legitimacy, and see whether it suits your teaching background and objectives. Always go for a high-quality teacher training course, and you’ll reap the benefits once you start teaching!