Where is the best TEFL Certification program for you?
People frequently ask me where they should take their TEFL Training. They also ask if it is best to take their EFL teacher training in their home country or in the country in which they intend to teach.
First issue: I usually recommend a TEFL Certification school that I know well and I know the teacher-trainer(s) well. I know the primary trainer is very well educated and has extensive experience in two countries, teaching EFL abroad since 1992 to a wide variety of students.
When I was a teacher trainer I was awakened to just how little experience, training and education many trainers have. One teacher trainer was hired directly from my class to set up and teach a TEFL Cert course for another company.
He had ZERO experience teaching. Wow. I won’t go into any further details, but it wasn’t a pretty picture and that was not a purely unique situation.
Second issue: It is almost always better to take your TEFL Training in or near the country in which you wish to teach. There are many good reasons why.
First, taking your training in your new country gives you some time on the ground to adapt to the culture and get to know your way around, instead of just arriving cold and heading out to look for work.
Also helpful is that TEFL Certification schools usually know the best and biggest employers, who to try first and who to avoid (just as important!).
One of the most helpful aspects of taking your TEFL Training in your new setting is that your observed teaching practice will likely be with students that have similar grammar and pronunciation problems as those you will face on the job. This is important for several reasons.
Every country’s students have different issues with grammar and pronunciation and while this is not a big problem, even well-experienced teachers take some time to get a good grasp of exactly how to solve these problems when they arrive in a new country.
A new EFL teacher, of course, will take much longer. Getting that experience during your training, with an instructor who knows exactly what to do, will make you a much more effective teacher, right out of the box.
It is common in some countries to request a “demonstration lesson” as part of the interviewing process. Don’t you think that lesson will go much better if you already know what kinds of issues are common in the classrooms of that country? Of course!
In countries where demonstration lessons are common, you should have the opportunity to build that lesson and practice it as part of your TEFL Certification training course. You will have plenty of opportunity to build, practice and polish that lesson under the guidance of an experienced teacher-trainer.
How do you think that lesson might go if you are just off the plane and have no idea what the common issues are with local students?
Last but not least, you can job hunt while you are taking your TEFL Certification course and hopefully have something lined up about the time you complete your training.
If you are taking your training in the developing world, TEFL Certification courses are often much cheaper than in developed Western countries are as your accommodation and food costs.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Take your TEFL Certification course in the country where you first intend to teach.
TED’s Tips™ #2: Practice and polish your demonstration lesson during your training.