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i2i Jan 16th, 2005 12:17 am

Online TEFL Courses???
 
It seems like there are many online TEFL courses out there. My TEFL course was a very hands-on experience with 5 real, in-class experiences. I can't imagine not having those experiences before actually stepping into a real classroom.

Has anyone taken one of these online courses, and if so what did you think? Did it prepare you for the teaching world?

Don't forget to answer the poll!

just curious,
i2i

Happy Camper Jan 16th, 2005 12:45 am

I got mine in San Francisco with a school that has up and vanished. I wonder if that's the nature of the beast...

little sage Jan 16th, 2005 06:14 am

TEFL course
 
The TEFL course I took was 120 hours over 4 weeks. Since it was in Thailand, I really wish it had been longer. I took it after I had been teaching in Korea for 3 years because I wanted to know how to teach grammar and I wanted to feel more confident in the classroom. I did wonder if it would be worth it or if it was mainly meant for brand new teachers.

Overall, it was a great experience because of the observed teaching practice. I had never had professionals analyse my lessons before and the help was immeasurable. I really don't know what benefit there would be to an online course. I mean, you can read books on teaching anytime, but the most helpful part of the TEFL course, in my opinion, is the feedback about how you deliver your lessons.

If anyone has had a good experience with one of the online courses, I'd like to hear about it so that maybe I can broaden my opinion. Thanks!

Happy Camper Jan 16th, 2005 06:52 am

I agree with you, little sage. Teaching English is so much about interaction. You can't really learn how to effectively interact with a class of 15 students by submitting your weekly homework lesson online. You can learn a lot of theory based stuff online but teaching is not all theory. I read this quote somewhere... "In theory, practice and theory are the same but in practice, they are not". Same applies here. You just can't read enough to really know what goes on in the classroom.

Anyway, just my 2 pesos

sighisoara Jan 28th, 2005 03:59 pm

Quote:

Quote Happy Camper
I got mine in San Francisco with a school that has up and vanished. I wonder if that's the nature of the beast...


Gosh, that sounds awfully familiar. My San Fran school vanished, too. And the "house" where I lived with 13 other people has been turned into a hostel. I wonder if that homeless drug addict is still haunting the alley? :rolleyes:

TEFL certificates are offered all over the world and most of them teach you just enough to get by - barely. AND most of them are not accepted as legitimate certificates if you plan on getting your MA in the States.

Eric Feb 14th, 2005 10:38 am

Quote:

Quote sighisoara
AND most of them are not accepted as legitimate certificates if you plan on getting your MA in the States.

Which ones are considered legitimate?

chocopie Feb 16th, 2005 09:37 am

Quote:

Quote Oreamnos
Which ones are considered legitimate?

I think this is still a grey area. I've read some things about an effort being made to standardize TEFL certification in N.America, but I think this is still a long way off. Certain schools may have a list of TEFL certifiers that THEY consider legitimate, but I have a feeling this varies.

songsengnim Mar 16th, 2005 08:49 am

I completed 3 courses in TEFL through distance study, from a place called English Language Centre in London. You had to complete Modules and write assignments on each, they varied slightly.Each course took between 8-12 weeks and that depended on you-you could finish earlier.I enjoyed the courses and the professors were very helpful.If you do need more classroom observation, I wouldn't recommend this course.For me, it was perfect. ;)

Eric Mar 17th, 2005 07:55 am

Why did you take 3 courses in TEFL? What did this course get you, a degree or a certificate?

songsengnim Mar 17th, 2005 11:04 am

Hi Oreamus

Well,at first I just did the TEFL/TESL Certificate course, which was 4 modules.Then, to got the Diploma in TEFL/TESL, I completed 2 more modules.I was having so much fun receiving diplomas that I went ahead and did the Advanced Diploma(ESP) in TEFL/TESL. ESP means English for Specific Purposes,ie..tourism,business,secretarial.
I learned so much and paid so much..but it was worth every cent(pound). :rolleyes:

asiaexpat Mar 20th, 2005 07:00 am

What did that cost you??

songsengnim Mar 22nd, 2005 08:57 am

Quote:

Quote asiaexpat
What did that cost you??

I cost around 340 UK Pounds..can't remember the exact amount.Each course I took was a different amount.This was a few years ago. Why not have a look at their website to find the current prices.
www.englishlanguagecentre.com
:D

Eric Mar 23rd, 2005 06:31 pm

Quote:

Quote songsengnim
Well,at first I just did the TEFL/TESL Certificate course, which was 4 modules.Then, to got the Diploma in TEFL/TESL, I completed 2 more modules.I was having so much fun receiving diplomas that I went ahead and did the Advanced Diploma(ESP) in TEFL/TESL. ESP means English for Specific Purposes,ie..tourism,business,secretarial.
I learned so much and paid so much..but it was worth every cent(pound). :rolleyes:

Any tips for the tourism part of it? I am teaching tourism students now.

livinginkorea Apr 20th, 2006 07:05 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I did one from i-to-i (www.i-to-i.com) which was both online and in the classroom. I am nearly finished their TEFL diploma and it has made me realise that I should be doing more study in my field of work. I am lazy these days 'cas I teach children and don't prepare as much as I used to when I was teaching adults. Having said that I will end up back teaching adults again eventually :)

Also I get a pay rise if I do a Tefl course :) But the money is not the main reason for doing it.

livinginkorea Jul 9th, 2006 07:24 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
A mate of mine is going over to Vietam to do a CELTA course. It will take a month. Has anybody done this? I am just wondering that is the main difference between the CELTA and TEFL or are they basically the same?

-livinginkorea

simplyesl Jul 14th, 2006 05:53 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I did a 5 day course. Wed, Thurs, Fri 6-10pm and 9-5 on the weekend.
We had to do a lesson in a language other than English (I did Russian). It was good.

JeremyinFrance Jul 20th, 2006 12:55 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I really don't think online learning can be effective for TEFL Training. Teaching is like riding a bicycle - not something you can learn by reading about it. You need to get on, wobble around a bit, fall off a few times. Online courses can't give you this.
Jeremy

marthajack Sep 10th, 2006 05:17 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I'm taking an online TEFL course right now and I most definitely DO NOT recommend it. I decided to get a certificate this way because I didn't think I could find the time to go to a course that required classroom hours. WHAT A MISTAKE. The online course consists of very simple articles to read and then an "exam" to fill out and send in. Supposedly the person who reads our exams is our special online tutor and will give lots of feedback and advice, but I haven't found that to be particularly true. I've asked him a couple of questions and gotten very short, unhelpful answers back.
I am half way through the course and so far have gotten practically nothing of value from it.
Actual real-live classroom experience, observation of an actual teacher teaching and / or videos of real teaching are essential.
This course does provide one CD-Rom of an example of a teacher, which is better than nothing but not by much.

I am really disappointed in the online course, and a bit embarrassed that I was gullible enough to sign up for it.
:frown:

michèle 2 Sep 11th, 2006 07:43 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
[quote=JeremyinFrance Teaching is like riding a bicycle - not something you can learn by reading about it. You need to get on, wobble around a bit, fall off a few times. Online courses can't give you this.
Jeremy[/QUOTE]

You're right, Jeremy. Experience makes you learn. And you learn by yourself!

clivehawkins Sep 12th, 2006 09:23 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I did the CELTA course - Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults and yes, it's simply a tefl course. It was 160 hours (if I remember correctly) over 4 weeks and was both the most terrifying and exhilerating course I've ever done. I guess we can all remember the first day, thinking how in the hell you could prepare enough material to last an hour and how it could be possible to teach 30 hours a week if a twenty minute lesson takes half the night to prepare!

The course was with 3 tutors and 8 trainee teachers. The tutors were fantastic, giving us enough help to point us in the right direction but also enough freedom not to stifle our creativity :-) The feedback was thorough and they were skilled in getting the most out of each individual's strengths. The classroom experience was invaluable - seeing the whites of the eyes and smelling the fear - mine that is, not theirs! You need to get a feel for when you're losing their interest, pacing the lesson, changing the activities, getting them to interact with each other, sharing a joke, acting, miming and yes, even losing your patience sometimes.

The first lessons were tough and not pretty but thankfully the tutors and peers were there to put Humpty together again after the fall. This input \ feedback was what really helped to improve.

I don't see how an online course can give you any of that. Any further training I take will be face to face.

TLR Oct 8th, 2006 10:50 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I've never taken any TEFL course though I was considering it recently cos my work started saying certification was necessary - though they've changed their mind again luckily. The only one I was willing to consider was the CELTA because it is the most recognised TESL qualification worldwide. You can't take the CELTA on-line. BUT it still isn't enough to qualify me to work in a lot of places in Ontario. Only a TESLOntario certified course will allow me to teach here in the public system (I'm currently at a private training centre) and those courses are long and expensive!! Bloody annoying as I have 8 years of experience, including managerial work in ESL. It's a shame that there isn't an international standard where you can have your qualifications and experienced assessed and accepted. ontario is a terrible place for non-Canadians having their education/experienced accepted. That's why there are so many foreign trained doctors working as taxi drivers!!!............Sorry, went a bit off topic there!

Denis DNT Feb 12th, 2007 11:15 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I think even after taking the 4weeks, 160hours etc of TEFL training the real training still takes place while you are teaching.
To me the TEFL training just gives you "car keys" which doesn't mean that you will drive the car.
When I had my training it was rich and exciting with all the coaching and guidance, but on the field it's been something else for these 9 years. No two lessons are ever the same. To me those lessons taught during the TEFL training with all the coaching, are just a dramatization of the theory which is however a good beginning step. But what saddens me is the fact that the simple possesssion of TEFL certificates lures employers into believing that they've got the best teachers. That's what has led to the birth of online TEFL. I really buy TLR's idea that "It's a shame that there isn't an international standard where you can have your qualifications and experienced assessed and accepted."
My recommendation to newcomers: If you really want to appreciate and make good use of what is taught during the TEFL training, spare a year or two first on the field and then find time for a TEFL course. You will make a difference.
Cheers!

g-cogle Feb 22nd, 2007 03:19 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I did an online preliminary TEFL course, which wasn´t up to much. It was reading, doing "exams" and sending them off to get marked. It got me a job in teaching though, and I was obviously really scared on my first day, as I´d had nooooo experience. But after a few classes I felt a lot better! I think I´d definetely recommend a course with practical experience, not just reading!

jellybeanenglisch Mar 25th, 2007 02:00 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
hi. I just read your post on TEFL online courses. Your distance course sounded a bit like the one I took. Where did you take yours, was it by any chance the International TEFL Corporation www.teflcorp.com?

marthajack Mar 25th, 2007 07:19 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Quotefrom jellybeanenglisch hi. I just read your post on TEFL online courses. Your distance course sounded a bit like the one I took. Where did you take yours, was it by any chance the International TEFL Corporation www.teflcorp.com?

Hi jellybean,
The one I'm taking is called
International TEFL Teacher Training ITTT
It's actually gotten a little better than last time I posted. I've been assigned a new tutor and she writes back long answers to my questions which is nice. Also the material has gotten a little more "in-depth" and interesting.
But I still don't think it's a good idea to take an online course. Much better to learn in real life!!

Martha

kimyushin Apr 12th, 2007 06:19 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Thank you so much for this post. I have been dithering on whether I will take an online course or not. Your responses helped me make up my mind: I won't.

Also, there are four CELTA Training centers I know of in Asia:
Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. Unfortunately, we don't have it here in the Philippines. Which do you think is the best place to take this course?

I teach Koreans and my principal is Korean too, but I am Filipino. Our school might send me to take up this course, and echo back to our teachers what I will learn. The natural choice should be Korea, but I hope to hear what you can say about this.

Thanks

sarahlouise May 5th, 2007 05:40 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Hi i already have a primary teaching degree so the online tefl course i am currently doing is great for me. I don't know if i would be confident enough to go into a class without already having the training, i think it would be a bit scary:eek:

Eric18 Sep 22nd, 2007 01:50 pm

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?

Eric18 Sep 22nd, 2007 01:53 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Besides why pass up the opportunity to meet new people and study in beautiful surroundings? I just don't understand the alleged advantages or appeal of an online TEFL program.

daviddean Sep 22nd, 2007 02:23 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I am looking into signing up for an online course as the school I am working for wants me to have the certificate. I have been teaching now for 3 years and have a hand full of private students who are doing so much better with 1 to 1 ( no distractions that go with school mates or girls ;) ) The problem is there are so many I don't know where to begin. The main opinion seems to be that they are not really very helpfull but for me to be able to continue teaching in the school I need to have the TEFL certificate then I can be officially monitored for a year in the school under the governments lab assistant scheme after which I can teach in any school here. Can anyone recommend a course that's not excessively priced for what you receive? Thanks.

FionaVB Mar 21st, 2008 03:09 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I did an on-line TEFL certificate course and I found it fantastic. Of course you don't get the classroom experience, but you go into it knowing that that is the case, and that one day you will have to face that first class somehow somewhere. But the theory and grammar were taught pretty thoroughly. I have always had an interest in language and languages, so I found the grammar modules easy, but my husband is currently doing the same course, and is finding it fascinating, useful, and not too easy. The course I did provided a DVD/download of a good teacher/bad teacher class (same teacher in both.) This was my first and admittedly only view of classroom technique until I applied for my first teaching job. [Actually no, come to think of it: I was allowed to sit in on an ESL class before I left my country to come here - which I asked to do in order to see how a class works.] But it was pretty good anyway. Knowing that no matter how bad you are you can't be that bad is good for one's confidence. The first school I applied for took me on knowing I had had no classroom experience. They also provided a DVD of how they expect, or suggest, their classes be taught. And everyone gains in confidence and skills as they go on, anyway. Don't tell me the rest of you weren't nervous in front of your first real class.
An on-line course is a great opportunity for people who want to study while already working. As I say, we know their limitations, but there are ways to compensate for that. Provided schools are prepared to take us on with only a TEFL certificate (as plenty are!), then after 3 or 4 lessons you've had that classroom experience anyway. Yes, it may be a bit unfair on the kids who sit through your first lesson, but the first day on any job is like that, training or no.

jasonklass May 7th, 2008 02:26 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
I think the answer depends on what you plan to do with your certificate. If you're planning to be a career teacher, then an onsite course is definitely the way to go; however, if you just want to go abroad to teach for 6 months to one year and don't plan to make a career out of teaching, then maybe it's not worth the investment for a 4-week course and an online course is a better option. Many employers will give you additional training to supplement what you learned in an online course.

You'll definitely be better prepared with an onsite course that has practice teaching but not everyone can take 4 weeks out of their lives and if you just want to teach short term in a country that accepts them, online courses are a good option. :)

daviddean May 8th, 2008 04:13 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Thanks for the advice, I guess I have found one that appears to be what I am after.
I am in the process of checking if it will be accepted here before laying out any money.

Thanks again.

jasonklass May 8th, 2008 04:39 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Good luck David! Let us know how it works out for you!

CassieG Oct 11th, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Hi Fiona, I am interested in your post as you are (or were at the time) in Vietnam, I have no formal teaching experience and was wondering where you did yours? I am 61 and looking to teach in my retirement, I love languages and thought teaching would be a good thing. Can you give me any advice. Thanks

FionaVB Oct 11th, 2011 10:37 pm

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
To CassieG, I am still in Vietnam, still teaching at the same school four years after arriving. Re-reading this thread, I still believe that an on-line TEFL course is fine if you want to study while you are still working at another job. There are CELTA and other courses available over here too, if you are prepared to put all your eggs in one basket and come only with the hope of getting a job afterwards. Although, that is not difficult. There are plenty of good respectable schools here, and there are always teachers coming and going. One thing about Vietnam, though, is that they are now cracking down on work permits. In order to get a work permit, it is HUGELY useful to have a degree - of any kind. (It was possible to obtain a work permit without one in the past, but I believe that is more difficult now.) And then you need to make sure that all your paperwork is in order. USA paperwork in particular seems a real pain to get notarised etc.
Back to your situation, lack of experience is not necessarily a barrier (depending on the school), and I believe age isn't either. I know of several teachers in their 60's, and I'm pretty sure one is in his 70's already too.
Good luck with everything!

CassieG Oct 12th, 2011 05:59 am

Re: Online TEFL Courses???
 
Thanks Fiona for your quick response, I'll keep researching the situation as I feel this move would be a good fit for me. thanks again CassieG


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