You should only ever consider doing an accredited TEFL course, whether you decide on an on-site (in person), online, or combined course. Why? Read on to learn the reasons your course needs to be accredited and what accreditation of a TEFL course means in detail.
We want to empower you to make the best possible choices when it comes to everything TEFL related, so let’s dive in with today’s topic.
What Does “Accredited TEFL Courses” Mean?
Some courses state that they are “accredited”, while others use the term “regulated”, and some use both. In general, they mean the same thing, but to be specific, “regulated” applies to qualifications (or courses), while “accredited” applies to the providers of the course. As such, a course is better if it is accredited AND regulated.
But you should also check out by whom – which accrediting organization – they are accredited and regulated (more on this a little later).
Why Is An Accredited TEFL Course Important?
Accreditation of a TEFL course is a quality assurance:
- You can be assured of the quality of training you’ll receive if your TEFL provider is externally accredited by a recognized educational institution. This means that your course met the standards in the quality of the curriculum offered, the level of instruction, the extent of the training, as well as the inclusion of a practicum (or teaching practice, some of which is usually observed).
- Your TEFL certification is independently reviewed and recognized experts in the EFL field monitored the program so that quality is maintained.
- If your course is regulated, then you’ll know that all your hard work in earning a TEFL certificate is recognized by employers around the globe, as reputable schools and employers will not even consider hiring an EFL teacher who does not have an accredited TEFL certification.
Who Are The Accrediting And Regulatory Institutions?
Here is a list of the most common TEFL accrediting institutions:
- Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education Courses (ACTDEC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE)
- British Council
- Cambridge University
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL)
- International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying Organisations (IATQuO)
- Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations (OFQUAL)
- Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC)
- Test Canada
- Training Qualifications UK (TQUK)
- Trinity College
- World TEFL Accrediting Commission (WTEFLAC)
What Are The Basic Standards Of An Accredited TEFL Course?
A TEFL course that is accredited should meet certain standards:
- 100+ hours of training and coursework
- Externally validated by an examination body that is reputable; this can be a university, recognized examinations board, the Department/Ministry of Education in a country, or an institution like OFQUAL.
- At least 6 hours of practicum – real live teaching and observation
- Course instructors that hold an MA, Dip TEFL/TESOL, or a DELTA – their background should be based in Education with an EFL emphasis, Linguistics, TESOL, or an equivalent, or at least 8 years of teaching EFL in an international context
Related Article: Best TEFL Certification: 3 Things You Need to Know
What To Watch Out For In TEFL Accreditations
If your TEFL course cites it is a member of and/or associated with certain educational bodies, for example, TESOL.org, they may not be accredited, as these bodies don’t accredit TEFL courses.
How Can You Tell Your Course Is Actually Accredited?
Any real accredited TEFL course’s website will have a link to their accrediting institution’s website. Follow the link and see how long the organization has been in existence as well as how many certifications they have accredited. There are some unscrupulous characters out there who creates fake TEFL accrediting organizations.
Other elements to take into consideration to tell if it is a real accrediting organization:
- Who are the members of the organization?
- Does the organization have a real, verifiable address?
- Is the website professional?
- Do they list their standards, review process, and procedures to accrediting TEFL courses?
- Plug the URL into Google and see how many sites are linked to it; a reputable organization will have many, many links.
There you have it. An accredited TEFL course needs to meet certain standard requirements and you need to be on the lookout for any courses that don’t meet these criteria. Furthermore, it is also important to investigate if an accrediting body is, in fact, reputable, especially if it is one you haven’t heard of before or it isn’t one listed above (though this isn’t an exhaustive list, it is a good starting point.)