I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.
English, the international language of education, business, science, and media, is also an indicator of how successful you’d be in any job. Whether it be knowing the grammar or the pronunciation, you can’t make mistakes – a reason TEFL instructors and teachers are in great demand However, how do you become one with ICAL TEFL?
Is TEFL Training Course For You?
TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language), which comes under the broad category of English Language Education, deals with teaching English to non-native speakers. That is people whose mother tongue is not English and who do not use English for everyday communication. If someone knows English in and out, they probably wouldn’t need it. Those qualified to be TEFL instructors usually teach the kind of English their students would need for work or education.
Will An Online Course Be Effective?
The 120 Hour Online ICAL TEFL Certification Course aims to teach you all the basics right from your home. When I heard of this online certification course for teacher training, my first thought was, “wouldn’t you need practice teaching in an actual classroom to learn how to be a teacher?”. You expect some things from an online course – like detailed coursework, an in-depth syllabus and answers, as well as guided assistance. And you may not expect all of that if it’s a teacher training course.
So, how does the 120 Hour course fare?
Here is a look at the different aspects of the course, and what works (and doesn’t) for it:
1. The Syllabus
Most of the things that ICAL TEFL has mentioned in its syllabus includes all that a future TEFL instructor will need to know, including the following—
Language learning strategies,
Testing, and error correction.
Pros and Cons
We loved the fact that you have a personal tutor. The practical ideas will help you in the long run while the online resources are a treasure trove you would want to keep. We liked that the course had up-to-date information and downloadable modules. It’s something we found to be a huge plus point, especially for an online course we can take while holding other jobs. Do remember that TEFL is a fairly new and an upcoming field, and finding reliable teaching material and research papers can be quite difficult for new instructors. To be honest, the syllabus covers all that you would want from an online TEFL teaching course.
2. Time Period of the Course
To be honest, 120 hours is too little time to become a certified TEFL instructor. If this were a regular full-time degree, this time would amount to a little over two months. ICAL TEFL claims that some of their students have completed the course in just a few weeks (with a lot of hard work). This makes me wonder if ICAL really cares about the quality of an instructor.
Pros and Cons
Despite the above-mentioned drawback, ICAL does say that we can take as long as we like to finish the course and this can be a huge advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is that we can go at a pace that’s suitable for us (weeks, months or years), the disadvantage is that with this kind of time flexibility, it will be easy to get distracted by our personal lives or lose focus and quit in the middle.
The price of the course is $265. This isn’t exactly cheap. However, it is a one-time payment, and you have the option of taking years to complete the course without additional payments.
Pros and Cons
A drawback is that you cannot take this course as simply a back-up when it costs so much. However, whether you are new to the teaching profession or have experience in language training, a TEFL certification (which is valid all over the globe) will provide opportunities to travel abroad as well as find jobs with a higher income. In that way, the price of the course is not too high. That is if ICAL is reliable. That brings us to the most important topic, ICAL’s credibility.
4. ICAL TEFL’s Credibility
This is where things get a little tricky. There is no international regulating body that provides accreditation for TEFL. So, we’ll have to blindly trust ICAL when they say that their certificate is recognized all over the world. However, ICAL has been providing teacher training since 1998 and has been going strong since, that itself is a good indicator that they must have former students working all over the globe using their certification.
Pros and Cons
While TEFL certificates are recognized worldwide, one must be careful while investing money in this course. Some schools, colleges, and companies may require you to have a language degree (in English Literature, for example) or a Ph.D. in addition to your TEFL certification. Some employers may not recognize online certificates. These things will also vary across nations. Before joining this course, it would be a good idea to specifically inquire with employers whether the ICAL certification is accepted by their institution. You would love the large network of former students who understand the field and can help you get your career going. ICAL can also provide help with finding vacancies.
Opportunities after Completing the ICAL TEFL Course
TEFL, and all its companion courses like TESOL(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), ESL(English as a Second Language), and ESP (English for Specific Purposes), are a fast-growing, highly in-demand branches of education. Certification for teaching in these courses can guarantee jobs in many areas such as private language schools, private businesses, nurseries and kindergartens, teaching assistant roles, and so on.
Truth be told, anyone with a good grasp of the English language can become a TEFL instructor with sufficient training – and the 120 Hours course is great if you’re confident about yourself. However, if you are new to the teaching field, we would suggest you opt for a full-time course with a university than doing an online course.