- How much you can afford to pay
- Whether the course is recognized by the Thai Ministry of Education
- The background of the TEFL course provider
- Worldwide recognition - how widely accepted is it?
- Whether to enroll in a classroom based course or take an online qualification
- Whether part-time study is an option, should you prefer to earn and study at the same time
The cost of TEFL Courses
A word or warning! Don’t let finances be your sole criteria for making a decision. You may find it turns out to be false economy in the long run. Local TEFL courses are undoubtedly cheaper than the CELTA , and some are excellent, but do your research wisely.
Some local course providers are very established in the market and have a good reputation, others have the backing of an international organization to which the provider is affiliated. However, in recent years there has been a mushrooming of teacher training schools and not all of Thailand’s TEFL certifications are as widely recognized or as easily accepted worldwide.
Local Thai course providers offer cheaper TEFL training but if you are planning to work in another country, check that the certificate will be accepted. See Teacher Training Opportunities in Bangkok.
Course Recognition and Acceptance
If the course is recognized by the Thai Ministry of Education then you will have no problem with its acceptance by Thai employers. However some TEFL introductory courses fall below the minimum standard for international recognition, as they do not provide sufficient classroom training (120 hours) or teaching practice (6 hours +).
If supported by a degree, this may not be such of an issue. Many education ministries, particularly in Asia, make their first prerequisite a bachelor’s degree, with a TEFL certificate coming a close second. There is a huge debate on this issue within the EFL fraternity, as many argue that an unrelated degree does not give you the practical tools to successfully teach a foreign language in the classroom. However the debate will continue to rage on various EFL forums worldwide.
Classroom Based vs. Online Courses
Many employers and education ministries do not favor online courses as the only evidence of teacher training experience. They are fine for someone who already has a background in teaching but many of Thailand’s TEFL employers may not look as favorably on a distance learning certification if a candidate has no practical experience of teaching foreign language learners.
A few of Thailand’s TEFL course providers offer 120 hour courses on a part-time basis (evenings or weekends). This gives teachers the chance to earn whilst studying. It is an attractive alternative if you can handle the pressure of studying and working at the same time.
Whichever one of Thailand’s TEFL courses you choose, make sure you have done your homework before enrolling.
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