A TEFL Certificate is the basic qualification to teach English to non-native speakers. Good ones are usually 120hrs and cover teaching methodology, classroom management, lesson preparation and so on.
For more, see TEFL Certificates.
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Simply put, this is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who live in a non-English speaking country and who want to learn English for business or to take an exam, etc.
It is pretty much equivalent to TESOL and TESL.
For more, see TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Despite what some providers claim, there is NO independent international accrediting body for TEFL Certificates.
Likewise, there is NO independent international accrediting body for schools which offer courses online.
This means that, on paper at least, every school or certificate is the same. And if a school claims its course is internationally accredited by an independent body then this isn't true because there is no international accreditation body for online courses.
True, there are some excellent schools and some excellent certificates. But there are also some crooked schools and worthless certificates. It doesn't matter if it is a traditional school or an online school. There are saints and sinners everywhere.
How to Choose a Good Course
We are getting an increasing number of students registering with us after being badly burned studying at several other online schools so we do urge you to be careful when you choose which school you study with.
Here are a few ways of making sure the school and certificate you take are worthwhile:
- Check out the tutors. Some schools have one or maybe two tutors. At ICAL we have over 35 highly qualified tutors with their profiles online for all to see.
- Be careful of schools which don't allow you to easily contact them. They may be working out of someone's bedroom!
- Is there a 100% refund policy? Is the site transparent? Click here to read ICAL's policy on Refunds and Privacy and our money-back guarantee of service. We are proud of our reputation and we intend to continue to be the best.
- Is the Certificate worth anything? Ask your local school or employer if they are willing to accept a certificate offered by a particular school. ICAL Certificates have been accepted all over the world.
- Is the school website full of adverts for agents or other products? If it is, be careful!
- Is the school fly-by-night? ICAL has been training teachers since 1998 and is now the largest online provider in the world with more tutors than any other online school.
More about Accreditation
Some online and traditional TEFL certificate providers claim accreditation with various bodies. Always check these claims! A number of these so-called accrediting bodies have been set up by the providers themselves and many charge an annual fee; this means that the accrediting body is paid by the provider, which is not always a good thing.
And some for-profit accrediting bodies even charge the provider per student!
If a provider say they're accredited, write to them and ask:
- is the accrediting body a government organization or ‘private'
- how much do they pay to be accredited
- do they pay per student or is it a one-off fee
If you decide to take a course with another online or traditional school, we urge you to check out their credentials first and make sure they offer what they say.
Regardless of which Certificate course you take (whether it is online or traditional) to be 100% certain it is worthwhile, you should contact your future employer or relevant government department and check they will accept your qualifications when you've finished the course.
You should do this even if you take a course from an organization other than ICAL as the criteria required by different educational systems around the world are so varied it is virtually impossible for any organization to keep an up to date list of acceptable qualifications for every scenario and situation.