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Has anyone done an on-line TOFL qualification?

(17 Posts)
RuthChan Sat 08-Oct-11 20:26:46

I have been an EFL teacher for 12 years now.
However, in the very beginning I was trained by a private company and have never taken a formal qualification.

I am now quite interested in taking a course and getting a qualification just to have one in addition to my teaching experience.

I see that there are many on-line courses that are cheaper and more flexible than other types of courses.
These would suit me very well, but are they worth doing and are they accepted by anyone?

Has anyone ever done one? What were you experiences?

RuthChan Sat 08-Oct-11 20:38:14

Sorry, I meant to ask about TEFL qualifications!!!

thepanamacanal Mon 10-Oct-11 23:35:45

The CELTA / Trinity certificates are a good starting point and are widely recognised in the UK and overseas. Whatever you do, look for at least 100 hours' input time, 6 hours of observed teaching practice and a course which is externally validated ie supported by a college, university or exam board (such as Cambridge / Trinity). There are many courses which don't have these elements or are not externally validated, so employers may not recognise them and you'd be wasting your money.

However, if you've been teaching for 12 years you might be able to go straight to the DELTA / Trinity Dip. The DELTA can be done as a distance option if you can find a local tutor. It is expensive and hard work but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. As a former DoS, I also used to see a lot of job applications from people with CELTA or similar, but not the DELTA, so it would probably make you more employable.

Where do you work and what do you normally teach, or what are you aiming to get into?

fraktious Tue 11-Oct-11 09:02:53

I would go for the DELTA. I'm looking at doing it next year (eek) and it looks scary but really worth it.

I have the advantage of having done a course but less experience (coming up to 4 years) so with 12 you should be fine and might even find a CELTA (or equivalent) boring.

RuthChan Tue 11-Oct-11 10:01:34

That's the thing, I don't really have any specific aims about where I want to work.
I taught for 9 years in Japan. Teaching everyone from 2-70 years of age, conversational English, business english, preparation for TOEIC etc.
Since my DCs were born I have only worked part time and recently it has been patchy to say the least.
While in Japan such qualifications were pretty irrelevant, but now that we're in Europe, it seems that it might be useful to have something on paper.
A DELTA looks really interesting, but I'm not sure that I'm prepared to commit so much when I don't really have any concrete plans to use it.
I'm really very undecided as to what to do.

thepanamacanal Tue 11-Oct-11 23:20:01

It is a big commitment so you might want to see what jobs advertised locally are looking for or even speak to the DoS at a local school to see if it's worth the financial / time investment. I found the DELTA really motivating and made a me see teaching as a career, rather than "just a job" (I taught in Japan too).

If you're not sure, maybe do a short course or attend some workshops eg on language or methodology and see how you enjoy it?



mercibucket Tue 11-Oct-11 23:22:35

don't waste your money on an online course - they are worth no more than the paper they are printed on, stick with cambridge or trinity. tbh though if you don't need one, why bother? you could always go to one of the conferences if you want some teaching ideas

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Tue 11-Oct-11 23:40:36

Agree, online courses are not worth the money. Stick with Cambridge or trinity, or look at postgraduate courses.

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Tue 11-Oct-11 23:43:38

Merci, if OP is now looking for work in Europe, she'll almost certainly need some sort of qualification on paper. Being a "gaijin" doesn't quite cut the ice over here as it would have done in japan!

RuthChan Wed 12-Oct-11 18:50:26

Thank you everyone.
That's really interesting.

When you say that on-line courses are not worth the paper they're written on, is that because employers are unimpressed by them and won't give you a job on the strength of one?

gallicgirl Wed 12-Oct-11 19:10:53

They don't know what's involved and any decent school will want to be certain you've been independently moderated and have a suitable amount of teaching experience.

However, given that you have 12 years of TEFL experience, this may not be such a hurdle as it would be for a newbie. I would recommend speaking to a good school locally to see what they would require.

gallicgirl Wed 12-Oct-11 19:13:16

Forgot to mention, this forum is pretty good and there are plenty of teachers from all over the world who might be better placed to answer your query.

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Wed 12-Oct-11 19:58:44

Yes, ruthchan, I think the online courses would add very little to your chances of getting a job (and I have recruited in this field previously).

RuthChan Wed 12-Oct-11 20:06:42


That forum looks excellent.
Thank you.

RuthChan Wed 12-Oct-11 20:07:33


I understand. Thank you.

mercibucket Sat 15-Oct-11 19:47:54

have you thought about setting up your own private business? tutoring/exam prep/one-to-ones? might be more flexible and probably better paid (although not as secure, but then the world of tefl is neither well-paid nor secure in the main)

RuthChan Sat 15-Oct-11 21:30:52

Hi Mercibucket

Thank you for your suggestion.
Yes, I used to work for myself.
While in Japan, I worked for a couple of EFL companies for a total of about 4 years and then went private.
I taught private students and company students and absolutely loved it.
Since we moved back to Europe I have had a few private students, but haven't been working full time.

I haven't got as far as setting up my own company here, but it is very tempting...

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