How do you find a TEFL Course you can trust?

Finding a TEFL course you can trust can be challenging but here we give you some tips on what to look for.

What is TEFL - TEFL Certificates

Your TEFL Course should be externally accredited

A good course should be accredited by an independent and academically rigorous organization.

TEFL Accreditation essentially means that an organization higher than the school you attend approves, regulates, inspects and ensures that a high standard of training is maintained. It is your quality assurance guarantee. Many TEFL schools say they are accredited but if you check the fine print you’ll often find that they monitor their own standards.

Our course is accredited by IATQuO, and our visa programs are run in collaboration with  University Europea del Atlantico. We are happy to facilitate any information you should need on either of these two institutions.

Membership does not equal Accreditation

There are a lot of academies that say they are accredited. However, when you do the research you’ll sometimes discover that they are just members of international organizations. To get into these organizations all they have to do is pay a yearly membership fee, which is sometimes as little as $20 a year. As you can imagine – $20 doesn’t go far if you want someone to independently and thoroughly monitor the quality of your course.

Please ensure that the accreditation is valid where you would like to teach. If your TEFL certificate is not accredited then you will struggle to find work.

Other points to consider when choosing your TEFL Course

Observed Teaching Feedback

A very important part of a TEFL course, and something that differentiates the quality of online TEFL courses from more established, in-person courses, are observed teaching practices.

You should be observed teaching real students and then given feedback at the end of your class. This is fundamental to get over your initial nerves and get a feel for being in front of a class of real students. You can learn from mistakes and get tips on how to improve your technique, as well as see the reaction of students and learn to think of your feet.

Many TEFL courses don’t include this and students finish their courses feeling underprepared and lacking in confidence. It may also be that your teaching practices are with paid students. We at TtMadrid feel that this puts too much pressure on teachers in training and the main focus should be on you and your progress and not your students’ needs. We have a huge database of students that attend our classes for free in order to help our TEFL students to learn.

See more about our observed teaching practices here.

Try and Visit the TEFL School

If you can, visit the TEFL school to check that everything is as described on their website. It’s a great way to get an idea of what you can expect and how you will be treated. If you’re going to spend an intensive month somewhere you should feel comfortable being there and have access to staff and the facilities beforehand. At TtMadrid, we invite you to come in for a chat and you are welcome to sit in on one of our lessons. We encourage you to talk to the graduates and trainees who are in the school at the time of your visit.

If you can’t visit in person, then it is essential you talk to someone from the TEFL school before you start so they can answer all your questions and you can get a real feel for who they are. With technology these days, you can do a virtual visit. Ask the TEFL manager to show you around the school with their laptop so at least you can see the school a little bit and see what is going on.

If your chosen TEFL school is cagey about you visiting or showing you around, doesn’t have time to see you in person, or generally isn’t forthcoming with information then you should take more time to decide and weigh up your options before you pay your deposit.

Research, read, repeat

There is enough information out there on the internet nowadays for you to do all the research you need and find a TEFL course that is of the highest quality. You might find a long list of TEFL course online, but how can you choose between them? Start by looking at the website, is it updated and are there pictures of real students with someone on hand to speak to and ask questions?

Check out their Facebook and Instagram page, is it active and ongoing? Do they have lots of followers but only one or two likes on their posts? Do they show pictures of students that change month to month? Can you see pictures of their team in action? All these points are important to identify TEFL schools that may offer courses of poor quality or even schools that might not exist at all.

The key to finding a school you can trust is to be able to clearly see their facilities, team, and students. You should be able to ask questions and, if possible, speak directly to past students and the team that will be training you. Your point of contact at the TEFL school should be available to chat and answer questions, as well as get back to you quickly.

There are plenty of external websites to check the quality of your course. Check out TEFL review sites such as www.teflcoursereview.com and GoAbroad. You should also go through Google Reviews very carefully, the more positive reviews the better, especially if they are reviewers who have given other reviews in a variety of different places.

You can see TtMadrid’s Google Reviews here.

Ask the right questions

It is important to speak on the phone/Skype to someone that can answer your questions. TtMadrid speaks individually to every interested student at a prearranged time so we can explain everything about the course, as well as living and working in Spain. This is crucial so that we can answer any questions you might have and feel more comfortable about making the leap to move to Spain or just to take the course.

Below is a list of questions we recommend asking any TEFL schools you’re interested in:

  • Does an independent body come to the school to moderate every course?
  • Would you be able to put me in touch with some of your graduates in order to get their feedback on your course?
  • What is the maximum number of students you will allow on a course?
  • How many trainers and support staff do you employ?
  • Are they English teachers at an adjoining English academy and not dedicated teacher trainers?
  • Do you provide ongoing support and advice after the course finishes?
  • Do you help me find work and support me until I have a teaching schedule I’m happy with?
  • Do you do specialist courses in Young Learners and Business?
  • What relationship do you have with English academies?

If your chosen TEFL school is cagey about you visiting or showing you around, doesn’t have time to see you in person, or generally isn’t forthcoming with information then you should take more time to decide and weigh up your options before you pay your deposit.

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