Fed Up...TEFL Online

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Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby yoshi » 07 Mar 2010, 15:50

After going through post after post it appears most students can't get a straight answer on TEFL online certificates. Most recommendations come from recruiters or employees of these online organizations. How can a student make a well informed decision on choosing the best online certificate? I am not interested in reading non-biased reviews of these online schools b/c in my opinion there are not enough reviews to make a decision anyway. So, how does a potential student know what the accreditations mean? Almost every online course has different accreditations. This alone is overwhelming! So, if someone on this forum can't recommend an online certificate then can someone tell me what online certificate to avoid? I would be happy to hear anyone's recommendations!

Thank you!
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby pokedmund » 08 Mar 2010, 11:28

yoshi wrote:How can a student make a well informed decision on choosing the best online certificate?

yoshi wrote: Almost every online course has different accreditations.


If I were you, contact potential schools where you would like to teach English at and ask them what qualifications they accept. That way, the schools can tell you what it is they are looking for.

yoshi wrote: I would be happy to hear anyone's recommendations!


If it was me, I wouldn't do an Online Course, but you've mentioned in one of your previous posts that this is not an option, so not much I can help you there buddy.

The country I want to teach English in is Hong Kong this summer, and most (3-4) of the schools I contacted there informed me that I needed a TEFL accreditted certifciate with 100+ hours of face-to-face teaching and some experience of teaching a real class.

So I decided to do a CELTA rather than an Online Course.

Research my friend, don't whinge.
Former Native English Teacher in Hong Kong for 3 years.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Lucas » 09 Mar 2010, 11:51

Ontesol's 250-hour online course is better than CELTA and then you can take the 20-hour practicum... CELTA's is only 6 hours. And YES I'm a representative of ONTESOL but I know what's in both courses and you will get more training in both lesson planing and teaching practice, which are the most important sections of a TESOL/TEFL course.
Ontesol - Online TESOL/TEFL courses. http://www.ontesol.com
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby pokedmund » 10 Mar 2010, 13:39

Lucas wrote:Ontesol's 250-hour online course ... take the 20-hour practicum... CELTA's is only 6 hours.

Actually, CELTA's is 12 hours as CELTA has 6 hours teaching, 6 hours observation. From the ONTESOL website, it's 10 hours teaching, 10 hours observation...

Which brings me to a question now...

ONTESOL website wrote:You can complete this module at any TESL Canada course provider which provides the Stand-Alone Practicum, or at any ESL school -public or private- in the world which can offer you the Practicum. Ontesol's Director of Studies must confirm that the Practicum you complete at another school meets TESL Canada’s requirements (even if it is completed at a recognized TESL Canada course provider), as it is Ontesol which will accord you with the Practicum certificate and transcript. Please do not arrange the Practicum without the approval of Ontesol's Director of Studies, as TESL Canada may require you to re-do the module if they deem that not all required administrative procedures were followed correctly.

For a list of TESL Canada course providers in different provinces, please check TESL Canada's website at www.tesl.ca


... Does this mean that students have to find their own EFL centre that would take them on to teach and observe students?
Are there additional costs involved?
Are there any recommended TESL institutions to attend?

Sorry, I'm not asking for myself (already on a course), but just asking in General.
Former Native English Teacher in Hong Kong for 3 years.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Lucas » 10 Mar 2010, 18:38

If people take the practicum at a TESL Canada center, they have to pay a $300-$500 fee depending on the center. In Canada, most people obtain a job with the 250-hour certificate alone and the DOS or an experienced teacher at the ESL school helps them with the practicum for free so they can receive TESL Canada's certificate. People from abroad take this course to upgrade their credentials so they take the practicum at the ESL school where they work for free with the help of the DOS or an experienced teacher. We help both the supervisor and the graduate to set up the practicum according to TESL Canada's standards for free and then our DOS must check that all the requirements were met before issuing the certificate.
This year, Coventry House International is working to expand the Trinity course into a few countries so we will facilitate the practicum even more, especially in the US, where there aren't many ESL schools or practicum centers.
And I understand that this thread was started because Yoshi is fed up of schools and recruiters answering...I didn't intend to answer regarding teacher training courses for a while, but Ontesol won't be put in the same bag with the other online schools ( Your comment was valid because there are many bad online schools, but there are also online alternatives to CELTA). If you check TESL Canada centers at http://www.tesl.ca, you'll find many universities offering this course both on-site and online or by distance.
Ontesol - Online TESOL/TEFL courses. http://www.ontesol.com
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Percy » 13 Mar 2010, 07:07

Actually, CELTA has 6 hours Teaching Practice, 6 hours obserevation of qualified teachers, and 30 hours observation of peers. In addition to this there is group feedback and lesson planning making up a further 30+ hours of very practical input.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby systematic » 13 Mar 2010, 15:20

I seem to remember that the OP's requirement was for getting some information from non-commercially involved parties, but here we have Lucas letting go with both barrels in fairly quick succession ;)
FWIW, Ontesol's certificates are only worth all the eulogizing if the job seeker is going to look for employment in Canada. Anywhere else in the world, recruiters are going to take the certificates at face value based on familiarity, along with all the dozens of others others. Let's be honest about this: there is now such a plethora of course providers, online or otherwise, that few recruiters can be bothered to check up on them all to see what they are worth.

However, all is not lost - just do a quick search on this discussion board to realise that these are some of the most hotly discussed subjects and there is already a wealth of opinionsand personal experience of others to draw from. You'll then easily be able to draw you own conclusions on who to avoid, and what the accreditations are worth.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Lucas » 15 Mar 2010, 17:18

Canada has one of the biggest ESL industries in the world, where thousands of international students come every year, and teachers must be well-qualified to teach here. Anybody who can teach here can do so in the best paying schools in Europe, Australia, Dubai, and Hong Kong as many of our graduates from Canada, the UK, and the USA are currently doing so. We work with recrutiers from North America and get contacted on a weekly basis by Asian recrutiers although we prefer not to use them for our job placement service, but you can tell these lazy recruiters you mention to do more research so they can provide their schools with better teachers.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Jo » 15 Mar 2010, 18:43

yoshi wrote:After going through post after post it appears most students can't get a straight answer on TEFL online certificates. Most recommendations come from recruiters or employees of these online organizations. How can a student make a well informed decision on choosing the best online certificate? I am not interested in reading non-biased reviews of these online schools b/c in my opinion there are not enough reviews to make a decision anyway. So, how does a potential student know what the accreditations mean? Almost every online course has different accreditations. This alone is overwhelming! So, if someone on this forum can't recommend an online certificate then can someone tell me what online certificate to avoid? I would be happy to hear anyone's recommendations!

http://www.tefl.net/teacher-training/faq.htm
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby systematic » 16 Mar 2010, 02:46

Lucas wrote:Canada has one of the biggest ESL industries in the world, where thousands of international students come every year, and teachers must be well-qualified to teach here. Anybody who can teach here can do so in the best paying schools in Europe, Australia, Dubai, and Hong Kong as many of our graduates from Canada, the UK, and the USA are currently doing so. We work with recrutiers from North America and get contacted on a weekly basis by Asian recrutiers although we prefer not to use them for our job placement service, but you can tell these lazy recruiters you mention to do more research so they can provide their schools with better teachers.

I, for one, seriously doubt the accuracy of the above statement, but I'm not going to waste my time researching just to prove or disprove it. Certainly outside the country, Canada is one one of the least mentioned names, and the number of teachers from that country are certainly not more than those from the USA, UK, Australia or any other native English speaking country.
It's interesting to note however, that out of the nearly 10,000 job applications I have vetted over the last 6 years, not one was accompanied by a certificate from your organisation in one of the "biggest TEFL industries in the world".

My recruiting criteria (of which the TESOL cert is but one) assures a quality of teachers in my schools that admittedly other employers might not insist upon; but those other job providers are not my concern. If you would like to reach out to them yourself, maybe you would like to consider some paid-for ads on high traffic TEFL Job websites, it would relieve you of the burden of having to contrive postings for free exposure in forums, and possible counter attacks from people like me ;)
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Lucas » 17 Mar 2010, 02:31

Many of our Canadian teachers stay here because the pay is good and there are a lot of jobs here. The US has a very small ESL industry and there are many schools in the UK but the employment conditions are very bad there so it's natural that you receive more teachers from these countries. You're also working in one of the lowest paying countries in the world and our British and American graduates are well-qualified to teach in the best paying schools so they choose better conditions in other places.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby systematic » 17 Mar 2010, 05:50

Lucas wrote:You're also working in one of the lowest paying countries in the world...
If by that you mean me, in Thailand, irrtum. A genuine, well qualified TEFLer (probably not a backpacker seeking a short paid vacation), can expect a salary of up to £20,000 p.a. that's more than a lot of people earn in the UK. Taking into account that the cost of living here is also only one-third of the UK, a serious teacher can live like a king, buy a car, and have a nice house built. All for cash.
How many of you Canadians and Americans are mortgaged up to the hilt or even in sub-prime or negative equity? How many of you did NOT buy your brand new car on the tick?
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby yoshi » 17 Mar 2010, 08:53

systematic wrote:It's interesting to note however, that out of the nearly 10,000 job applications I have vetted over the last 6 years, not one was accompanied by a certificate from your organisation in one of the "biggest TEFL industries in the world".


Since you have seen lots of job applications, then where have most of the students earned their online certificate?
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby systematic » 17 Mar 2010, 13:34

yoshi wrote: So, how does a potential student know what the accreditations mean?
You read all the reports on this board about the different courses, and you read all about the accreditations.You weigh it all up very carefully, then you draw your own conclusions. In doing so , check out the quality of their webs sites. If they are full of sales hype or are obviously trying too hard to attract punters, consider delving deeper or avoiding them completely. Take a good squint at the websites that look too clean, uncluttered, and professional. Avoid the ones that won't disclose the course fee until you have 'signed on' for more free information. Check out the ones that appear to be the largest worldwide with dozens of branches, and see if all their toll free numbers all reroute to the same call centre. Take a careful look at the ones whose prices are considerably above or considerably below those of the majority of the competition. QAnd then add a pinch of common sense :)
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby DavidB » 18 Mar 2010, 03:43

I run a school in Canada, and I really don't have the time to worry about all the TESL schools and their advantages/disadvantages. Especially when an interview and a mock lesson will tell me most everything I need to know about a teacher anyways.

One thing I will say is that the time spent in the classroom is the most important aspect when considering a new teacher. I can't hire someone who has 10 hours practicum or something like that. I need to see that the teacher has spent a significant amount of time in the class teaching a variety of levels. Whether this is done through practicum or volunteer work doesn't matter too much.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby systematic » 18 Mar 2010, 04:43

yoshi wrote:Since you have seen lots of job applications, then where have most of the students earned their online certificate?
I haven't written that computer programme yet, but one thing you can be sure of: it wasn't Canada. The other thing you can be sure of is that we get sufficient applications from teachers with previous experience, that we rarely, if ever, have to employ anyone direct from TESOL school whether online or otherwise. Thus as one recruiter (or school owner) remarked, what their TSOL certificates are and where they were obtained is not one of the major criteria.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby Lucas » 20 Mar 2010, 08:48

Systematic, $3,000 a month in Thailand is over the average in the ESL industry and an exageration for the money earned there. Maybe a DOS or someone working for more than 3 years can earn that much much money there as teachers earn a starting salary of $700-$1,000/month. I even wrote in a thread about visiting Samoi and a link about touring over there and you replied that a teacher in Thailand doesn't make that much money to enjoy such life over there...how can a teacher then buy a car straight forward in cash? I think you have double standards in replying as you change your opinion according to your need. This has happened in different threads already.
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Re: Fed Up...TEFL Online

Unread postby systematic » 21 Mar 2010, 09:14

Why do I have to repeat myself? That also double the efort at trying to put right all the nonsense broadcast by the beach based TEFL course providers who throw in 'free' all-night beach partiers (beer at $5 a bottle), and courses in local cooking. No, no double standards I'm afraid - just double teaching standards. Read more closely what I write, without trying it on by taking things out of context, and you'll see that the average backpacker just looking for a few months fun paid by teaching, in an extremely expensive luxury tropical paradise such as Samui, isn't going to have much change from his 25,000 - 35,000 baht per month. So your 'starting' salary is of course correct for some people. On the other hand, a teacher with a good degree, a good TEFL and some experience can start at 60,000 baht in a quality independent schooland pick up up to another 20,000 in private 1-2-1 classes at evenings and weekends.As you correctly state, beginners fresh out of TEFL school, do not exactly walk straight into jobs as DOS.

Remember, I live here, I work here, and I'd rather be here than in Canada!
I also notice that however hard you try, you usually can't make a single post without reference to your own organisation - the above posting was a refreshing change.
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