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are online tefl/tesl certificates legit?
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ljs9



Joined: 03 Feb 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject: are online tefl/tesl certificates legit? Reply with quote

I've been looking into online TEFL/TESL certificates and accreditation, and was pointed in the direction of ICAL. I was just wondering, how well-known or legit is this online school? And if there's anyone out there who has an ICAL certificate, or any online certificate, how helpful has it been when applying for teaching jobs?

Many thanks,
ljs9
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HenryTeach



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is most certainly legit and accepted in a lot of places. Take a look at their forums where you'll see their current students talk about all kinds of things from the course to getting work.

Where are you wanting to go? Depending on the kind of job and school you're after will depend on the kind of qualifications you need.
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EFLtrainer



Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't, were I an employer, accept an on-line cert. I am a believer in alternative forms of education, but teaching is something that needs to be done to learn best. It's not like, say, the sciences where most of the info simply needs to be memorized. Teaching is something that is active, interactive, dynamic...

Having seen the design of on-line certs, or partially on-line/self-study certs up close and personally as an TEFL/TESOL certificate trainer, I am not impressed. There is simply too much that's not in the books that an experienced teacher and trainer will add to your training.

Best...
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crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having an online TEFL certificate will get your foot in the door and maybe even a slightly better salary than those without one in China. However, it is not equivalent to an on-site course. Why? If you do an onsite course, you have lectures given to you by experienced teachers who have lots of tricks up their sleeve that can come in useful later on when you are teaching. You also will be observed by your classmates and your trainer, which is quite useful. The most useful part of the CELTA course that I did was observing the trainers (and the other teachers). It was great to see a wide-range of teaching styles, and to see how teachers dealt with different situations. These are the reasons to take an on-site course. Oh, and also because many reputable schools will not accept an online certificate!

Good luck!
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bentleybanton



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't gotten the cert yet (might not), cus I have experience and other docs to back me up and it's never been an issue. Lately I've considered getting an online cert from i-to-i, thinking it never hurts to have the paper anyway....anyone know about i-to-i or any other other onliners? I haven't decided yet whether to go straight Celta or just online style...I have decided to go for the cert though and obliviously online is more amendable to my scedule, but do employer simply look at them with dissmay?
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crueckert



Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you'll find that some employers will accept an online TEFL certificate and others won't. Reputable schools usually look for a TEFL certificate that required teaching observation and teaching practice.

CELTA courses run around $2,000, give or take a few hundred depending on which city you are in. Some online TEFL courses are only $200.

Before you choose though, think about where you want to teach, how long you are planning on staying in the TEFL field, and how much time and money you are willing to put into it.
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Carol Rueckert
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"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb
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beerbarron
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took an online course to get my certificate because I had to keep my full time job for financial reasons. I am volunteering where I live teaching ESL to adults three hours a week to get teaching practice. I was overseas in Asia checking out some jobs and most places I interviewed at preferred onsite TEFL to online TEFL, one place did not hire even hire people with only an online degree. After telling them about my teaching experience though they were more than fine with my online degree. I will tell you from my experience the online program by itself will not prepare you nearly enough to teach. You really do need to get some on-hands training to get a feel for it. Good luck.
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sigmoid



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 81
Location: Southeast Asia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
After telling them about my teaching experience though they were more than fine with my online degree.


While any sort of training is generally beneficial, in my mind a qualified teacher is an experienced teacher and no amount of training, online or onsite, will replace actual classroom experience. At some point you've got to take the training wheels off kiddies. Good schools will recognise this.

Some schools though seem to prefer hiring the kind of newbie who spends $2000 to get a job in a field that suffers from constant turnover and shortages.

Think for yourself. Don't believe the hype.
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ICAL_Pete



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which are best: online or on-site courses? The eternal question!

Before even attempting to answer this question I think one word should be spent on the 2 main scenarios a potential ESL/EFL teacher faces. Do you want to become a professional teacher and make a career out of teaching or do you simply want to try out your hand at teaching with a view of using this as a means to support yourself during your travels abroad, perhaps?

If your answer to the first scenario is YES then by all means look at CELTA and Trinity in-house certification or diplomas. If the answer however is NO and you only want to be involved in teaching to make the most of your gap year, for example, or even just to see what teaching is all about then why not consider an online course that will give you a good introduction to ELT, covering the basics and providing you with a general understanding of the principles behind teaching English as a second or foreign language.

Not all online courses are bad, just as not all on site courses are good. There are online courses that do offer alongside the theory practical ideas on how to make any lesson a fruitful and enjoyable experience for both the teacher and their students.

There are also many schools that accept online Certification from reputable online teacher training providers, as there are many schools which accept Certification from reputable on site teacher training providers.

Basically ask yourself this. Do you really need to know the finer points of Haute Cuisine to serve up a meal for your guests tonight or will a general cooking knowledge, a few good tips and knowing where to get your ingredients from, be sufficient for the task?
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Basically ask yourself this. Do you really need to know the finer points of Haute Cuisine to serve up a meal for your guests tonight or will a general cooking knowledge, a few good tips and knowing where to get your ingredients from, be sufficient for the task?


I guess that would depend on if the guests were close friends, willing to tolerate a little novice experimentation on my part, or if they were paying customers, expecting to get their money's worth.
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ICAL_Pete



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Guy Courchesne"]
Quote:
I guess that would depend on if the guests were close friends, willing to tolerate a little novice experimentation on my part, or if they were paying customers, expecting to get their money's worth.


Ha, ha!! Laughing

Perhaps then you should ask yourself firstly where you are working. Is it a top London restaurant or a café on the beach? Secondly ask yourself how much you are being paid to cook that meal.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 263
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True. McDonald's recipe play book doesn't go much beyond:

1. Grease fry machine
2. Put on smile
3. Ask to supersize

But, looking at it from the students' point of view, many in developing countries pay a lot of money relative to what they earn in order to get as much English practice or instruction as possible. The students are the only losers when a) the teacher cops out on training, b) the school cops out on providing well-trained staff (which includes the idea of good pay, or c) there is high teacher turnover due to A or B.

I'm not 100% against online training. It has it's place when combined with in-class experience and guided training.

I think it comes down to the student-teacher's choice and why. Like you say, are you going to teach on the beach? Then you can put in what you expect to get out, which is very little on either side. Looking at something with a longer view or more value? Put in more, get more out.
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LeslieW



Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some online certificate courses may be legit but more than not it''s money out the window. You don't get any practical experience; a lot of good employers are weary of them because so many go under. The students can cheat their way through. There is no person to give a legit evaluation that you actually did the work, participated in the course, etc.

I highly recommend an inperson course to my clients, may cost more but the benefit in the end is worth it. There are many good courses to take over a week/ 3 weekends/ a month.

I wouldn't hire any teacher with a Tesol on line cert. I have no idea if they did the work or someone else did. I dont have the benefit of the course teacher as to the competence of the teacher. Was he/she participating or sluffing off in the back, just taking up space. Personality: does the teacher have the personality for the classroom or the most miserable person to be around?
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ICAL_Pete



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is safe to say that in-house courses and online courses are two different things. Comparisons between the two have value only if we actually bother to compare equal with equal and take into account both the advantages and the disadvantages that each form of training include. Sadly I often come across postings on this issue that compare top quality in-house training courses to extremely poor online courses. Why? For some reason, in person attendance seems to have become a seal of approval in itself, conferring legitimacy to any course carried out in a school. If it is in-house it must be good. Not necessarily.

Having been actively involved in online training for almost 10 years now, I have seen the eternal question of whether or not one should consider taking an online course cropping up over and over. Unfortunately the replies never take into account some of the advantages that online training offers to those who are considering approaching a new subject and possibly a new career. I'd like to readdress the balance here. Please note that with this I am not trying to give a clean bill of health to all online courses. Some are very useful indeed, others are a waste of time. So let’s not lump them all in one basket for once and let’s take look at some of the advantages that online training has to offer.

• Online courses offer a great training opportunity at entry level. They can provide a thorough grounding in a new career and the right tools to approach a new profession within a manageable amount of time and finances.

• Online courses offer a convenient way to test the water and allow you to see if teaching is indeed for you. People’s motivations to become a teacher are manifolds. What often happens is that of those who trained, some will find after a couple of years’ teaching that they don't like it at all and will move into an entirely new direction, whilst others will stay with the profession and go on to a Diploma course and further professional development.

• Online courses allow you to study while holding onto your daytime job or taking care of your family, or fulfilling prior study commitments. An online student can usually take the course any time during the day or week, so essay writing and researching assignments for example can be carried out whenever it suits you.

• Online courses allow you to correspond with qualified teacher trainers from wherever you are in the world. Even if you are in a remote area of the planet, as long as you have an Internet connection you can have access to top teacher trainers and benefit from their knowledge and experience.

• Online courses allow you to choose your personal tutor. How many traditional courses have more than one or two teacher trainers available at any one time? And how many will allow you to switch onto another tutor if you are not happy with your current one?

• Online courses give flexibility. Many students work on their course during the middle of the night or early in the morning. The flexibility of the course makes it possible for them to complete their course, while attending in house courses might be impossible due to their work schedules.

• Online courses are very affordable and can be undertaken without breaking the bank. Working online allows online course providers to cut down considerably on overheads. This saving can then be passed on to their students resulting in low course fees.

• Online courses allow one-on-one interaction with your personal tutor 24/7. The Internet makes it possible for you to ask questions and receive the answer back almost immediately.

And finally I'd like to bust a myth here. Schools do not reject job applications on the grounds that the training has been done through an online course. Of course, employers will have their preferences and might favor a Degree or Diploma from one college (or country) but not another (regardless of the content of these courses). Some employers will insist on a traditional on-campus course whilst others will recognize the value of online certificates issued by a professional organization. You can rest assured: “online” is not a bad word when it comes to employment opportunities!

http://icalweb.com
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Nead



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 34
Location: Dublin Ireland

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Online certs Reply with quote

I have said it before and I will say it again. Nothing matches certifications that provide for actual teaching experience. I have told the story before...I took the maximum hours at i-to-i and did very well. I have a BA in English from a prestigious University in the USA. I have a couple of years teaching English Literature at High School level. None of it impressed anyone at the language schools in Dublin. When I proudly produced my certificate from i-to-i, I actually received a snicker from one school.

I went forward and took the CELTA. I have easily have work now.

The differences in CELTA and i-toi are a Grand Canyon apart. I am not unhappy I did the i-to-i as it enhanced my grammar but ...AND I MEAN BUT !! the training I received in CELTA was worlds....a galaxy...away from any possible online course. For one thing, if you have any preconceived notion about what it is like to be a TEFL teacher, like I did by virtue of having taught....they will set you straight. Teaching EFL/ESL/TEFL etc...is nothing like teaching experiences in a regular school system. The pace, shape, practices are totally different than my understanding of education which I received at University level.

The CELTA is four weeks of HARD WORK that will exhaust and challenge you...and that is why it is well respected. It is not a walk in the park. You can do nothing but CELTA at the time you are doing it. There is a reason why govenments and schools hold it in high regard. There is no guarantee you can pass it as the standards are high. But because you will be competing with so many other teachers who have it for jobs, you need to level the playing field for yourself.

I am not saying there are not other routes you could take. Experience by way of volunteering or observations combined with an online course could very well make up the differences, certainly. However, given my experience, I would advise you, that having the option....take the CELTA and save the stress of trying to figure out what those other options are!! Don't take a crooked path if you are able to take a straight one. Getting the CELTA will NOT be a waste of time. Other 'online' courses, MIGHT BE.

Hope that helps
Nead
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