How to Tell if Your TEFL Training Center is all Hype or the Real Deal

This post will start a series on how to assess an in-classroom Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) training course.

When would-be TEFL teachers look up training centers on the Internet, it’s challenging to sort through all the schools’ claims to find what is truly necessary for a great TEFL learning experience, and what is just so much marketing fluff. It’s important to also think about your individual needs and try to match yourself with a school that can offer the best course for you.

 Some tips. . .

Although at first glance the Internet offers an overload of information on in-classroom TEFL training centers, in this series we’ll look at what key questions you can use to evaluate a school.

Remember, though, that the best answers are as unique as the people asking them, and that (unfortunately) the answers to these questions won’t always help everyone.

And some even more important tips:

Don’t believe everything you read in online forums. Internet forums are useful, but DON’T take the opinions there as gospel.  There are a few training centers which hire people to post favorable comments about them on popular forums (and hire them to bash competing schools, too).

It’s also likely that in online forums you’ll find CELTA graduates who belittle any other kind of training as substandard, TEFL Cert grads who think the CELTAers are snobs who did too much unnecessary busywork… in, essence, there’s office politics even on the Web.

But, don’t worry too much about that yet. What’s important is that you wade through it to find a teacher training program that suits you. In this series I’ll offer some checklists so that you can compare school features and be happy that when you choose a school, you choose the right school.

My following post in this series will handle schools and accreditation. How much does accreditation matter? Tune in next week.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Do your research on the school’s features, not on how well its website is designed or other superficial aspects that won’t translate into the experience you’ll get there.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Don’t just follow the herd. Even if your best friend loved his TEFL school, it doesn’t mean that you will. Choosing a training center can be a highly personal decision.

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