1. Accredited by an external and independent governing organization.
2.The accrediting organization:
a) Is thorough and methodical in its evaluation of the academics of the course.
b) Sets high standards and has a high benchmark to reach.
c) Regulates and inspects at least once a year by visiting the premises and sitting in on the classes and evaluating installations, instructors and trainees.
Membership and accreditation are not the same!
Unfortunately there are some schools that say they are accredited, but much to your dismay, when you scratch the surface, you find out that they are not. They may be members of international societies, but a membership is not the same as being externally accredited and moderated, as it costs about a thousand time less, with no inconvenience (and no challenges!). Work is guaranteed with an accredited course, but with a non-accredited course, it’s difficult to say.
As you can see the process is very exhaustive and that’s why only a few TEFL programs decide to be externally accredited and moderated. It’s easier and less expensive for them to just to run their own programs without the inconvenience of accreditation and moderation. However, that’s like getting on an aeroplane that hasn’t had a mechanical checkup in a few years. It’s for the really adventurous!
When you are shopping for a TEFL, as you must do, you might want to these questions:
1.Who comes to your school to arbitrate the course from an external source?
Your certificate is your passport to a new life, so your passport has to be validated!
2.Can I get in contact with some of your graduates so I can get some real first hand information on the course?
Of course, we would love you to contact our grads as they are very dear to us as we’ve been seeing each other a few times a month, and some for many years.
3. How many students are the classes limited to?
Our classes have a maximum of 12 students, but we prefer between 6 and 10 to give each person the attention they deserve. In our opinion, anything over twelve is cramming people into the course and diluting their experience. It’s like a beverage with too much ice and water and none of the good stuff! Some courses allow over 16 students in a class and we think this is highly excessive. It’s like a High School French class, where nobody gets to practice French, because the class is jam packed with people. At Canterbury English you will find small, intimate groups that allow for intensive hands on practice. How can you practice if you have to listen to 16+ other people. This is a key factor that most people overlook while looking for a TEFL course. So ask what is the maximum cut off number in class and remember, that will determine the real quality of the course.
4. How many trainers and staff work in your school?
We have a variety of trainers, but try to keep it intimate and don’t want to run a circus with a new face every few days. And this happens with the Corporate America TEFL programs which you are probably trying to run away from. With many instructors and 16+ people in a course, in our opinion that’s more like a free for all than a small intimate TEFL course. Ivy League schools don’t cram in the numbers like the State Schools do.
5. Do you provide me with a job or do I get farmed out?
Everybody except for Canterbury English sends you out into the wide world and you have to sink or swim. That’s ok if you don’t mind the uncertainty of a crop failure.
6. Are you able to give me future help?
At Canterbury English, we are here for you day in day out, year after year. We stand alone. There are TEFL programs that are graduating two hundred plus TEFL students a year and farm them all out. How can they possibly provide the quality post sales service that Canterbury English does.
7. Do you provide ongoing assistance and counsel after the program finishes?
Richard , the founder, is onsite every day to help and council you for as many months and years that you want to remain in Madrid. He really cares and considers all his teachers as an integral part of his organization and also likes to chat and enjoy a Canterbury English Club adventure with you.
8. Do you do specialist courses in children English and Business English?
Yes, 20 hours of Young Learners English and 20 hours of Business English.
9. What relationship do you have with the teaching academies that will employ me?
Excellent. After twenty years of receiving Canterbury English Graduates for the extra ten hours to acquire a full schedule, it’s no wonder we have excellent relations with them.
10. Do you have a money back guarantee that you will help me until I have enough classes to support myself with in Madrid?
We know the answer to that one! Only Cantebury English!
11. Is Canterbury a no-brainer?
Yes, it’s for sure a no-brainer!
A few more ideas so you don’t dive into an empty swimming pool!
1. Feedback from observed Training
Make sure the course has observed teacher training as many courses don’t and you can get into a tizzy in class if you haven’t practiced, practiced, practiced before you make a dive.
2. Do all the internet research and investigation that you can before you make a final decision.
Is there Facebook and Instagram group dynamic and is it updated on a regular basis? Is it the real thing? You’ll know when you when you compare it to Canterbury English.
3. A great idea is a personal visit to the school if you can.
When you are on sight, you will see really what’s going on. We recently went to a school that had great banners on important websites, but at first nobody knew about the TEFL course, until a secretary of the language school said, “Oh right, they rent out some classrooms for the course when there’s enough people.” Don’t get stuck in that kind of a course. It’s like a toy shop that opens for a month right before Christmas, but when you show up with your unhappy son’s broken toy, surprise, surprise, surprise, here today and gone tomorrow! Bad luck, its called a fly-by-night organization. With Canterbury English we will even let you sit in on the classes and experiment them for yourself. You will be very welcome and care for here in your home away from home.