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Unread Sep 22nd, 2007, 01:50 pm
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Default Re: Online TEFL Courses???

The huge expansion of online courses marks a significant shift in education. Of course, millions of students around the world will benefit from new opportunities. The connection between geography and destiny continues to weaken. Further, it's worth noting that many of America's elite universities are running to catch up with the University of Phoenix in creating online programs for both noble and financial reasons. For instance, my university now offers 32 separate online degrees in various engineering fields. Will students with a Masters in Civil Engineering, gained through online instruction, receive an equal education? Certainly not, but many international students will gain a far better education in civil engineering than previously available to them in their home countries.

Yet online degrees seem far more appropriate for some fields than other disciplines. I personally can't understand how a TEFL degree, gained online, will be of much practical assistance. You gain no teaching experience, you meet no real live students, and you have no personal interactions. Perhaps I'm holding onto a rather romantic notion of teaching as conveying information and building personal relationships , but an online course seems like a terrrible mismatch between form and function. Besides, what is the goal? Students should aspire to become caring teachers, and not just collect pieces of paper that pretend to confer some alleged expertise in a field. A real TEFL program must provide actual opportunities for conversation, reflection, and group discussions. Right?


"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity."
Aristotle, 4th Century BCE, Greek philosopher
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