Could use some advice.
I'm just starting the process of getting a TEFL certification.
At the moment, I don't plan to use it to move to another country. I'd like to use it for short-term mission trips and possibly online teaching or local teaching.
I've narrowed it down to two companies, but I'm so new to this I'm not sure I'm able to see any important distinctions between the two, and I don't know anyone who has experience with either one.
I would likely do the 120 option.
Can anyone provide any input? Reviews of both seem good.
CELTA, CELTA, CELTA, CELTA!
It's recognized everywhere and you'll come out knowing how to teach.
Also, if you find you like teaching ESL and want to move on / move up, CELTA is recognized as a good quality, pre-service qualification. For example, in Canada, the CELTA is recognized by accrediation bodies and you can teach at school boards, in government-funded programs for immigrants, etc. Also, if you want to get into a master's program (instructional design, adult education, distance learning, etc) the CELTA will be an asset to you in the application.
I don't know enough about the other programs but I have worked with many teachers over the years -- there is so much competition for good jobs in ESL that if you're going to invest time and money in a qualification, you might as well choose one that pays off again and again and again.
I did the DipTEFLA (the former version of the DELTA) and it's paid off again and again. If you do the CELTA, you can get into Examining and testing, which is very interesting, pays well, it's a boost to your CV, you learn a lot about teaching from being an Examiner and it gives you credibility in a crowded field of "certifications".
Just my two cents. All the best to you.
PM if you want to carry this further. I helped a few people get into ESL and they are all glad they went the Cambridge / International House / British Council route.
I just wanted to come back and clarify my intent -- I can't give any comments on the quality of online courses since I haven't taken them...
What I do know is that I did a more mainstream, recognized diploma and I was very pleased with the practicuum, the tutors, the learning and also, (importantly) how it held value as a credential over time and it was recognized in Canada when it came time for me to get accredited to teach here. Money and time is precious so that's why I wanted to suggest that you at least consider the CELTA, too :)
The keyword is "accredited". I was warned off i-to-i (and a couple of other online courses) by members on other forums, as apparently their certification is not recognised and your first teaching job would be through their own contacts... plus you pay a "placement fee" for this. Basically, it works more like an agency than a TEFL training organisation.
I opted for TEFLOnline (accredited) but the fact is that it offers no classroom teaching experience - obviously - and in any case you may have to re-teach yourself some grammar if you can't fully recall your English lessons from school. I made up for the gap by tutoring freelance in my city.
Honestly, this is now many a year ago so I can't say if these situations have changed. I was in contact with TEFLOnline last year for a certificate reissue and they were still helpful and super-nice.
I'm actually going to side with Mondaytuesday and suggest doing a CELTA course, even though I don't have one and getting one at this time would be personally counterproductive. Still, having one gives you the freedom to teach in your home country, for a start.
In any case, whatever course you take (online or not), make sure that you can walk away with a certificate that you can use, and not need to rely on the same organisation for your teaching work.
I would not recommend online certifications not because there is anything inherently lacking in them, it is just that many organizations are prejudiced. Many organizations want you to have had at least 100 hours of training with some sort of observed practicum.
Thanks for all the comments. I truly appreciate it. You've given me a lot to consider, which is great since I'm just starting down this road.
I've got a number of things to weigh. I'm leaning more online-only simply because I don't intend for this to be a full-time career. It's a skill-set I want to add to some skills I already have in the teaching arena.
Having said that, there's a lot to be said for considering that what I think is going to be my path right now may change and a little more upfront investment of time and training may pay off in ways I can't picture right now.
But for now I have more info than I did when the day started and for that I thank you!