"Even though I went to Teachers College at Columbia University, and I have experience teaching, I like to keep up-to-date on the latest teaching trends, methods and debates. Therefore, I decided to take an online course to become TEFL certified. TEFL stands for Teaching English to Foreign Learners. If you want to teach English to foreign students, this type of certification will help you greatly. I recently went on a trip to China and it became apparent to me that virtually every English center there requires TEFL certification.
If you want to go overseas and teach, I would highly recommend this course offered by https://learntefl.com/ They even have a job placement specialist who can help you a bit and answer any questions you might have. If you are a fluent English speaker, a good person, and you care about helping others through the field of education while experiencing other cultures, by all means become TEFL certified and get out there! You can have amazing experiences while helping folks.
Now, lots of folks who speak English believe that they can teach English to others without any special training, and if you look through classified ads at folks who offer English tutoring, many of them have not studied education and have not had teaching experience. It is a huge fallacy to assert that just because you can speak English you can teach English. A sound knowledge of English grammar is necessary as well as a knowledge of various teaching methods and materials that are effective. Frankly, a good teacher much also have certain character traits. I think a good teacher has to be patient but a bit assertive while always remaining positive and supportive.
So I recently completed a TEFL certification course through learnTEFL.com and I was quite satisfied. The course was actually more challenging than I thought it was going be, but anyone who is dedicated and serious about putting enough time into studying the lessons should be able to pass this course. It is a 150 hour course packed with thought-provoking lessons.
There are 12 modules with quizzes after each (except for the 12th), 3 assignments and 1 final exam. If you take this course, I would recommend that you keep a notebook and take notes of new terms or interesting concepts for each module, because the final exam is comprehensive and it really does a good job of testing the important points throughout the course. There is a lot to learn that can be applied to your teaching of English.
The course follows the Communicative Approach or the CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) approach. According to this approach grammar is important but it is in the service of communication or fluency. In fact, I liked many of the issues that they brought up while introducing this approach. For example, I have always wondered what the best approach would be if a student were speaking while making multiple grammar mistakes. According to this approach the teacher should allow the student to finish before going over the mistakes. Honestly, I am not sure I totally agree with that, but I did some research and it seems that if you allow a little time to pass before correcting an error, students are more predisposed to learn. So these folks are probably right after all.
Also I enjoyed reading about the difference between "prescriptive" and "descriptive" English instruction. "Descriptive" English instruction focuses on how people tend to speak English in the general population. "Prescriptive" English is the type of English that follows established grammar rules. For example, most English speakers use "if" incorrectly. They will say, "I don't know if I should wear a sweater today." This is "descriptive" English. But "if" really shouldn't be used this way. "If" should be used in conditional statements - "If it rains I will wear a hat." The word "whether" should be used when you are indicating a choice: "I don't know whether I should wear a sweater today." These folks do not force you to choose one approach over the other, but I sensed that they lean more toward "descriptive" English. I lean more toward "prescriptive" English since most of the foreign students I teach or tutor are professionals or students, and I feel they want to speak a high level, grammatically accurate type of English.
There are numerous fascinating issues addressed throughout the course - another would be motivation. There is a section where future English teachers are offered tips to help them motivate students who seem apathetic or unengaged. I created a formula long ago which goes: desire + confidence + focus = achievement. Unless a student is motivated he/she is simply not going to learn.
Essentially, this course touches on numerous issues that are essential for a conscientious English teacher. Based on my experience, and I am not being compensated in any way for saying this, I would recommend that you check learnTEFL.com out. You'll even have your own experienced tutor/mentor to help you. Mine was such a sweet and kind person - I am really grateful for her concern and support and assistance.
Good luck!!!! Get TEFL certified and get out there and help people learn this amazing world language!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"What can I say. As a first timer it was very difficult at first, lots of reading and things to remember. I didn't expect so many rules to remember when teaching.
I must commend those that set up the course as it has helped me quite a lot in understanding what it is to teach. I would like to thank my personal tutor for the very informative feedback too.
This has been an amazing learning and discovering experience for me. I would most definitely recommend LearnTEFL to those that want to teach abroad.
Thank you so much."
"The course is great. It's a lot of reading, but the videos and games are a nice touch and break up the long prose. The only reason I'm rating it "good" and not "very good" is because access to the job tips and modules doesn't last forever. It'd be nice to use these as a reference at any point in our teaching careers. Other than that, really great course!"
"It was nice to complete this course at my own pace. I wish it would have incorporated the very teaching principles that are included in the course content. It got quite boring and repetitious to read page after page after page of information. Having someone convert these pages into a video lecture would have made a wonderful pairing for those with different learning styles.
The videos which were used near the very end of a lesson seemed dated and came from a variety of sources. Some included different module numbers which made it seem as if learnTEFL had merely pulled videos from another institution.
The use of negative "twists" within questions on every quiz made it difficult to decipher what was being asked, even for a native English speaker. This was surprising as it went against the very principles taught in this course.
Sadly, I did not realize there were tutor notes on each of my assignments until after the course was over, but I was quite pleased by their content and it was apparent that Pat was really putting time into crafting a personal response.
I did have to make two separate inquiries as it took 6 days (4 business days) to have my final assignment completed at the verge of expiration. Thankfully a course extension was granted.
Overall, the course felt like a mish-mash of resources pinned together from various authors and organizations, at times riddled with spelling errors. I am thankful to have purchased this at a Groupon price point (which was very much worth it) but I would have been sorely disappointed if I had paid the full retail amount."
"It's really a great opportunity to learn and know the English language and the teaching technique as well. This course not only teach about the language but also the ways to interact with the students."
"I recently completed the TEFL Course successfully I found that my over all experienced with the course was good it was very in-depth, and informative. The assignments that were given I thought were a challenge simply because the instructions given were somewhat vague not precise."
"I think the course material was very good! I ran into a few problems navigating the system. There were parts of the course that did not appear to have a corresponding assignment, and I continued the course skipping over required assignments, and did not see them until the end, when I thought I was ready to take the final. There were some others I missed, and did not even recognize this, until I looked at the grade report after I had supposedly completed the course and exam. Consequently, my final grade was lower because of missing assignments. Other than than I thought the course was good, and contained many valuable materials. Is it possible to access those now? I would like to have a manual to use as a resource for teaching so as to access some of the activities and ideas."
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with you and the course. My tutor Pat was extremely kind and helpful to me, willing to answer any question I may have had or may have come across. I would definitely recommend both this company and the course to people in the future.
"I found this program to be really excellent. I have been teaching for several years but wanted TEFL training for my volunteering in retirement. I thought the course would be a slam dunk since I'd been an educator. I also thought it would be brief given the fantastic cost (I'd been pricing different programs) and figured I'd just need a cursory course given my background. Boy, was I wrong...and extremely pleased, to say the least. I learned a tremendous amount...it was truly a challenging and fully complete course. The one "missing" element, of course, was that there was no observation as part of the training, which is a given since it's an online course. Other than that, I would highly recommend it for individuals wanting TEFL training. The one other thought is that you're on your own...meaning no one's going to tell you to do your homework. This, and any online course, requires self-motivation and self-discipline, so that needs to be taken into consideration for anyone signing up for an extended online program like this."
"Overall I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. I liked the on-line component of it. But found that once I completed it, I didn't feel qualified to really teach without doing a practicum which you won't get with this online course. Also, when I received my transcript, it had my "practice" scores, which I didn't know were going to be included on my transcript - they are "practice" - so do I really want a potential employer seeing those? In one assignment the teacher couldn't see my highlighted answer and had me re-do the assignment and write "correct" next to the correct answers for self-developed multiple-choice questions. So there were a few quirks along the way.
The other issue was there was not enough "grammar" included - which is what we will be teaching to K-12 or adults. For that I'm signing up for another course.
Overall, it was a good beginning TEFL course, but you will need more."
"It was a good learning experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Suitable for all types of learners irrespective of level, experience and even career path. Took the course as an optional extra hobby and found it very insightful, enriching and empowering. My tutor was efficient, professional and prompt with responses, results and advise and guidance. I would recommend this course even to those not intending in pursing a teaching career. Thank you to the team behind the scenes who made this achievement possible and successful!"
"I enjoyed the course, which emphasized certain priorities needed to help in teaching. It also confirmed what I have learnt as a trainer in courses I have given in the past. My tutor, Pat, also helped in the comments she gave to iron out any confusion I might have had.
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