Non-equivalent TEFL Qualifications
Language Link receives many enquiries as to which TEFL certificates and qualifications are acceptable to Language Link. Put differently, which TEFL qualifications is needed in order to apply online as a qualified EFL teacher?
Language Link accepts many different TEFL qualifications. These include:
1) Cambridge CELTA/ DELTA,
2) Trinity College London TESOL/ TESOL Licentiate Diploma
3) PGCE with TEFLA/ university English language teaching programmes
4) Four week classroom-based TEFL courses with practical teaching components
These qualifications are all considered to be acceptable for application as a ‘qualified’ EFL teacher. Though there are other TEFL ‘certification’ programmes being offered, for various reasons they are not considered as being equivalent those qualifications listed above.
Most people looking for a TEFL course underestimate the importance of selecting a good course. People are human and so naturally look for courses that offer qualifications that can be obtained through the lines of least resistance. In other words, they look for either easy courses or cheap courses. A good course is not necessarily expensive nor is a good course necessarily long e.g. 240 hours. In order for a TEFL course to be considered as ‘equivalent’, it should have 100 – 120 hours of classroom-based instruction and incorporate at least 6 – 8 hours of trainer-assessed teaching practice.
First, given that a suitable course should be at least 100 – 120 hours in length, it is safe to say that this requirement eliminates short ‘taster courses’ (see below) from the running:
Short TEFL Taster courses: TEFL taster courses are simply that, short courses that give participants the opportunity to see what teaching English as a foreign language is like. They last from one weekend to one week and are not intended to ‘turn out’ qualified TEFL teachers. Many good schools run taster courses not as an end in themselves but as an inexpensive way for potential teachers to find out if teaching is really what they want to do. If the answer is yes, then these courses usually suggest that the person does a full length TEFL course which they then offer at a discounted rate.
Second, in that the course should be classroom-based, it is also safe to say that online courses are also eliminated from the following with certain caveats:
Online TEFL Courses: First, most reputable schools do not accept first time teachers with online ‘only’ courses. Schools that do either do not know what it takes to become a performance-oriented teacher or are desperate for teachers. Regardless of the course, if you can neither put into practice what you have learned online nor integrate the various and different skills that you have similarly learned, then you will most assuredly fail.
That said, and for the reasons listed, some online courses have now started offering a blended learning format. One example is the Cambridge CELTA Course Online. This course is 10 weeks long and incorporates 6 hours of practice teaching with groups that are qualitatively (levels taught and range of lessons types) and quantitatively (number of teaching practice students, number of times you teach and length of lessons) the same as their classroom-based course.
Therefore, and this is the caveat that I mentioned, if your online course has a practical teaching component along the lines of what I have just described, then we invite you to apply online as a qualified EFL Teacher.
FastTrack to EFL Teacher status
If you do not qualify for consideration as a fully qualifed EFL Teacher, you may still qualify for entry to Language Link under its FastTrack to EFL Teacher Programme.
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