Is my TEFL course enough

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Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby sdusher » 29 Apr 2011, 19:28

I started my TEFL course this week, it is a 120 hr combined online and classroom course and I am already getting negative feedback from schools in Vietnam which is my desired destination. Should I cut my losses or continue the course and try and volunteer at a language school in London to gain more experience? I am very confused.
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Re: Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby Briona » 29 Apr 2011, 22:27

It really depends on which schools you intend to work at. I can't speak for all schools but the big names (International House, ILA and Language Link) won't consider candidates with online certificates, even if you have experience. To work at one of those schools you will need a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL. Note that to work legally in Vietnam you also need a degree - you won't get a work permit without one.

I wouldn't necessarily quit the online course though. I did one as a 'taster' to see whether TEFL was for me. Satisfied that it was, I then took the CELTA and found that the knowledge I had gained from the online course gave me a distinct advantage over my fellow CELTA trainees. I came out with a Pass A and found work with IH Hanoi (Apollo Education & Training) immediately.
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Re: Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby pokedmund » 30 Apr 2011, 01:56

Just out of curiosity, which tefl course did you apply for and what exactly was the "negative feedback" you received from the school in Vietnam?
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Re: Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby sdusher » 30 Apr 2011, 09:37

I am taking a 120 hr combined online and classroom course which will give me 20hrs in the classroom experience. I have a Bachelors and Masters Degree and I am a freelance writer for the Guardian and for an educational company, I just lack, at the moment, class room experience. It was the ILA who gave me negative feedback.
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Re: Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby Briona » 01 May 2011, 09:37

The lack of real classroom experience is the reason why certificates from online courses aren't accepted. Having done one myself, I can assure you that their 'in classroom' element can't be equated with the 6hrs of observed teaching practice that you get on the CELTA/Trinity CertTESOL.

As I said in my earlier post, the big names simply won't accept online certificates, and that includes those with a classroom element. If you are serious about working (for a reputable school) in Vietnam, you will need to shell out for a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL.
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Re: Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby launched » 17 May 2011, 17:47

I'm just about to make a decision and register for a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA course, in Hanoi, and could use a bit of an assist, pleeeaaase! This decision, whether to do CELTA or TEFL, shall be the demise of my stomach lining! A friend of mine is suggesting to do a combined course, but intuitively I feel like, while this might be the less stressful way to go, it might not be very impressive on a CV. Any thoughts from seasoned teachers, preferably ones that have been teaching in, or are familiar with, Hanoi? CELTA or TEFL? Does doing a full-time in-class course truly make a difference? Cheers!
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Re: Is my TEFL course enough

Unread postby Briona » 18 May 2011, 09:11

TEFL means 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language' and TESOL means 'Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages'. They are acronymns, not courses. What courses were you considering, and from what providers? Do you intend to work in Hanoi after the course? If so, for whom?

As I said in my earlier posts, certificates from online/combined TEFL courses are not widely accepted because they don't have the necessary 6hrs of observed teaching practice. If you have the money, I would advise you to shell out for a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL (although IIRC the latter is not offered in Vietnam). They are pricey, but a CELTA/Trinity CertTESOL will open more doors than an online/combined TEFL certificate ever will.
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