Accredited TEFL Courses:
Does "Accreditation" Matter?

Are you looking for an accredited TEFL or TESL course to help you start your English language teaching career? How important is accreditation to you and what does it even mean?

Unfortunately, the answers can be a little tricky when it comes to certification in TESOL as there are many different types of schools and different types of accreditation.

The following should help you understand why and what you really should look for to find the right certification course for you.

Are "Accreditation" and "Quality" Synonymous?

Accreditation of an independent TEFL/TESL program does not always guarantee quality. This is particularly true of online TEFL or TESL courses.

In fact, many ESL/EFL teacher training programs call themselves accredited; and they are.

However, the accreditation may come from self-proclaimed accrediting  organizations without any real legitimacy, and some are even created for the sole purpose of "accrediting" a particular teacher training program. That is to say, the school itself created the accrediting body.

TEFL and TESL are Interchangeable in the ESOL Field

TEFL courses and TESL courses both come under the general heading of  TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). These terms are often used interchangeably in the ESOL field. The use often depends upon where the course is offered, rather than who the target English language learners are.

The distinction between EFL and ESL has very little difference when considering accreditation of a teacher training program.

On-Site TESOL Courses

On site courses, as opposed to online courses, are more likely to be accredited by state or other government agencies, or at least quasi-governmental agencies, or otherwise more "legitimate" organizations. The organizations or agencies vary depending upon where in the world the courses are offered.

Oftentimes, this type of accreditation does not address the issue of the quality of teacher preparation as much as it does the rights of the student to a refund or other recourse if the program does not deliver what it promised.

Such agency TEFL accreditation is probably a more important consideration for onsite courses as they cost significantly more than distance learning courses.

Online TEFL Courses

Online courses may also be "accredited." However, there is no single official accrediting organization for online courses. Nor are there any agencies with standards similar to those of accrediting agencies for on-site learning programs.

Research the Accrediting Agency

If an accredited TEFL certificate is important to you, not only must you find such a program, but more importantly, you must take a look at the accrediting organization behind the program or school to see what accreditation of the teacher training course truly means.

A review of the accrediting body and the requirements that teacher training programs have to meet to become accredited by them will provide you valuable information about the program.

In fact, it is entirely possible that an on-site or online certificate program without accreditation could deliver a better educational program than an accredited TEFL certificate course. It will just depend upon your specific needs and goals.

Of course, the best thing would be to find a highly reputable ESOL training program accredited by a reputable agency in the country of your choice for an inexpensive price. Unfortunately, these types of TESOL certificate programs take a lot more time to find!

Article Related to Accredited TEFL Courses

TESOL Certificate Courses Additional factors to consider when choosing a course to meet your needs.

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