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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

What Should I look for in a TESOL Certificate Course?

What Should I look for in a TESOL Certificate Course?

In the last post, we looked at the macro differences in TESOL Certificate courses.  There are also a lot of micro differences.  Here are some specific points to consider when comparing TESOL Certificate Courses and deciding which one is the one for you.

  1. Is the institution and TESOL certificate accredited?
  2. What is the content of the TESOL/TEFL course?
  3. What role does practice teaching play in the training?
  4. What is the education and experience of the trainers?
  5. What's the driving approach to teaching the course?

Before taking the plunge and getting TESOL Certified, doing a little digging around for answers to those questions are crucial.

Let's take a look at these factors...

Key Aspects of a Quality TESOL Certificate Course

Is the institution and the TESOL/TEFL certificate accredited?  

You want to know if your certificate comes from an accredited institution in order to receive a more widely accepted certificate.  

This seems to be getting trickier these days as institutions that offer some certificates seem to have created their own accrediting agencies.  

What's the sense of earning a TESOL/TEFL certificate from an institution that is not recognized by schools and English language institutions?

TESOL Trainers offers the SIT TESOL Certificate which is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.  Make sure that the course is not only accredited, but it's accredited through a well recognized institution.

Remember, your TESOL/TEFL certificate is only worth as much as the reputation of the institution that awards it.

What is the content of the TESOL course?  

This is quite important as some courses that you will find are quite short (one or two weekends) while the most respected offer 130+ hours of TESOL Training.  As a future teacher, you want to make sure that the most important components of teaching and learning English are covered in depth.  While some courses may focus on just a few aspects of teaching English to speakers of other languages, the quality courses cover more than just grammar and using dialogues in the classroom.

The SIT TESOL Certificate course explores how to teach speaking, reading, writing, listening, grammar, pronunciation, culture, and much more.  In addition to these, our TESOL course helps participants how to give clear instructions, engage students in meaningful ways, manage a classroom, and adapt a lesson to meet the needs of their students.

It's important to make sure the content of the TESOL certificate course will set you up for success.

What role does practice teaching play in the TESOL course?  

In our last post, we talked about the benefits of making sure practice teaching is a component of the TESOL Certificate Course.  Teaching real classes with real people who really don't speak English is a vital theme in any effective training program.

The industry standard for practice teaching hours is six.  That's six hours during which you are practicing the principles of language learning and language teaching.  Many TESOL/TEFL preparation programs don't offer that many hours of practice teaching.  The SIT TESOL Certificate course does.

Practice Teaching is critical to help you develop confidence and competence in TESOL.

What is the education and experience of the TESOL trainers?  

This is another important piece of information to uncover about the TESOL Certificate course you are considering.  In many ways, the deliverer is just as important than what is being delivered.  Making sure the trainers practice what they are preaching is worth your while.

Some teacher trainers have limited education and experience in both TESOL and teacher training.  All of the trainers who work on the SIT TESOL Certificate Course have advanced degrees in TESOL and years of experience teaching and training teachers.  You can check out SIT TESOL Certificate trainers here.

Here are real words of wisdom:  to get the best you need to train with the best.

What is the driving approach to teaching the TESOL course?  

In addition to all of the aforesaid information, you also might want to find out what the philosophy of learning the educational institution adheres to is.  No one wants to sit through a lecture on how to engage students;  wouldn't it be better to have the trainer model how to engage students in a practical, real, and relevant way?

There are a ton of 'sit and get' courses out there.  This type of course offers lots of lectures and information about TESOL but shy away from a more experiential approach.  TESOL Trainers offers the most experiential and most interactive TESOL Certificate course from World Learning's SIT Graduate Institute.  We model positive teaching practices at every stage of the course.

Remember the Chinese Proverb:  Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.  

Our TESOL Certificate course makes you an active participant in your own learning.

There are plenty of things to consider when you are looking for the TESOL Certificate course that is right for you.  I hope this list helps you make an educated decision.  If you're looking for a course that is both informative and transformative, you've arrived at the right place.

Did I leave anything out?  Just let me know!!

John Kongsvik

Director - TESOL Trainers


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