TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

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TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Skorpan » 29 Sep 2008, 12:04

I am considering taking an on-line TEFL course with i-to-i, the course is 80 hours and is described as offering the following;

Our most in depth Online TEFL course combines theoretical training with Grammar and Specialist Certifications.
40 hour Online TEFL course, plus:
20 hour Online Grammar Awareness Module
20 hour of Specialist Training
Lifetime access to our Teaching Abroad Helpdesk


After reading various posts here I understand that on-line courses are not as widely accepted as classroom based courses of 120 hours or more, so my questions are these:

1) Are on-line courses a good way to 'get up to speed' before embarking on a 4 week, 120 hour, intensive TEFL course.

2) Can anyone offer any information about, i-to-i, was your experience good, bad etc.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 30 Sep 2008, 17:47

I've been in the business of online training for over 10 years now and have seen a dramatic change in attitude towards online Certification. More and more schools around the world recognize the value of online certificates issued by professional organizations and employers no longer discriminate between Certificates obtained through traditional institutes and those online.

Just be careful who you choose as your course provider (and this applies whether they are online or not) and make sure what they offer is of good standard. You can find quality online courses that will give you not only a widely accepted Certificate but also, and perhaps more importantly, prepare you for the job.

You may want to compare a few online courses, so check also the ICAL 100hrs TESL/TEFL Certificate course (USD265).
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Alex Case » 01 Oct 2008, 14:47

"employers no longer discriminate between Certificates obtained through traditional institutes and those online."

This is an exagerration. Almost all employers prefer courses with observed lessons and more input session time such as the CELTA or Trinity Cert TESOL, but many of them will accept other forms of cert such as weekend courses and online courses.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 02 Oct 2008, 14:21

Exactly what I meant. Good online courses are as accepted as good onsite courses.

Cheers
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Alex Case » 02 Oct 2008, 14:28

Pete, that in no way matches what I said. If some centres prefer or, as is also true, only accept face to face courses, then that is not "as accepted" then, is it? It could even out as "as accepted" if there were schools that prefer you to have done an online course to a face to face one, but there are none. As I have no financial involvement with teacher training, I am willing to admit that many employers, especially in Asia, will take people with any qualification or even none. That does not equal "as accepted", even here.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 10 Oct 2008, 09:50

In our experience placing ICAL graduates, we’ve found that the distinction between online and onsite has become less relevant over the years and is not really an issue any more in a great many situations. The provider is what matters. We all know that some courses are rubbish (and I’m talking about both online and onsite here) and employers know this too. They look at the candidate, the certificate provider and when both are decent, they offer the job. It’s as simple as that.

Personally I think the distinction between online and onsite will disappear when we talk about a basic TEFL Certificate. What we will have left are a few major providers and schools who offer something worthwhile and one by one the cowboys will go out of business which can’t be a bad thing.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Alex Case » 10 Oct 2008, 11:51

I'm sure nobody needs showing the gaping hole in your argument, but here goes anyway. As there are some providers who will always prefer a CELTA to anything online, for even the best online course to be considered equal ("the distinction... will disappear" in your words) to a CELTA some employers would have to prefer an online qualification to a CELTA. Never going to happen, and there is no way you can argue with that and retain any credibility as someone who has a point of view independent of a desire to make money.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 13 Oct 2008, 13:06

Hi Alex,

Note I said: the distinction between online and onsite for a basic TEFL Certificate. That was intentional. No one could argue that a basic course and a CELTA are the same.

You might like to refer back to the original question posted which asked if on-line courses are a good way to 'get up to speed' before embarking on a more intensive course.

My answer was and remains YES they are.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Alex Case » 13 Oct 2008, 13:32

I'd assumed a 4 week course was as basic as you can get (and certainly more basic than you'd get away with in almost any other profession). Could you give your definition of a basic course and some specific examples of when employers told you or one of your "graduates" that your online qualification was as good as someone else's onsite? Or perhaps a link to a forum where an employer said something backing up your claims?
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby ICAL_Pete » 14 Oct 2008, 14:29

Alex, I can see you have embarked on a personal crusade. You are determined to denigrate online courses tout court.

Our courses speak for themselves. We have been providing them for 10 years and have literally thousands of graduates working right around the world. Whether you wish to accept online courses or not is of course up to you, but at the end of the day thousands of schools employ graduates of online courses so it really doesn’t matter.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Alex Case » 14 Oct 2008, 23:24

Pete

Nothing in any of my posts denigrates online courses. To start with, my last one only had questions in it and no statements. I am completely open minded about this, and if you could answer those questions I would be able to be pleasantly surprised about the quality of at least one online course. The number of years you have been going and people being able to get jobs with your qualification do not in any way prove quality of the education they provide, nor do they prove how well they are accepted as every day thousands of schools also accept native speakers with no TEFL qualifications at all and every day at least hundreds of schools reject people who only have online qualifications. Also, your point was that your qualification in particular was well respected by employers. Of those thousands of schools, can you estimate how many accept your online qualification but reject others?
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby travelgirl9 » 16 Oct 2008, 22:27

Hiya,

I did the online TEFL course with i-to-i. For me it was a case of time - I wanted to do a bit of travelling then start teaching and I'd found a really cheap flight that left in four weeks. At first I was worried it wouldn't be accepted but I spoke to some other graduates and they were all happily teaching, so I decided to give it a go. I spoke to a girl called Laura at i-to-i and i can't even begin to tell you how helpful she was. She managed to get me onto one of the practical weekend courses before I left the country. I'd definitely recommend it.

The course itself was really thorough and I've just started my first teaching job in Vietnam. So I'd say don't worry about all the blurb, go for it - you'll soon find a job.
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Re: TEFL On-line, a good starting point?

Unread postby Skorpan » 20 Oct 2008, 11:19

Hi travelgirl9,

Thanks for the info! I decided to take the i-to-i course, and I plan to do a 4 week class based course next year.
I will be (hopefully) working in Stockholm and to clarify some of the points made by others on this thread, and which may be of assistance to others, almost all schools in Europe require a minimum 4 week class based TEFL (additional classroom teaching, is a definite benefit) and will not accept just the online course alone. I accept this is not the case in some countries outside Europe.

Thanks to all who took the time to contribute to this thread.

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