Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

TEFL PLUS LEGITIMATE?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Thailand
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
im_not_a_violentdrunk



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: TEFL PLUS LEGITIMATE? Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I'm 23 years old and have a B.A and MA in politics. I have recently joined the forums and am slightly more active in the Japan forums as that is where I would like to end up teaching.
My question relates to a Tefl course offered in Phuket in Patong bay, their website is http://www.teflplus.com/. I am interested because there are many positive reviews on the website http://www.teflcoursereview.com/tefl-plus/.
I like the fact that they give you experience in teaching children whilst you are working towards your qualification. However, I'm aware of the large amount of "dodgy" sites run by agents and not agencies directly etc..
I was hoping that someone with experience of this company could allay my fears, or if someone who knows a lot about the Thai ESL arena in general could tell me whether they have heard of this company at all.
Kionon in the Japan forum pointed out that TEFLPLUS claims to be accredited by the Thai Government and the Ministry of Education. Does this sit well with your knowledge of the industry? Thanks in advance for reading my post and taking the time to give me an answer.
P.S (please forgive my sign in name-A childish choice that has grown on me with time Razz)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:19 am    Post subject: Re: TEFL PLUS LEGITIMATE? Reply with quote

im_not_a_violentdrunk wrote:
Hi everyone, I'm 23 years old and have a B.A and MA in politics. I have recently joined the forums and am slightly more active in the Japan forums as that is where I would like to end up teaching.
My question relates to a Tefl course offered in Phuket in Patong bay, their website is http://www.teflplus.com/. I am interested because there are many positive reviews on the website http://www.teflcoursereview.com/tefl-plus/.
I like the fact that they give you experience in teaching children whilst you are working towards your qualification. However, I'm aware of the large amount of "dodgy" sites run by agents and not agencies directly etc..
I was hoping that someone with experience of this company could allay my fears, or if someone who knows a lot about the Thai ESL arena in general could tell me whether they have heard of this company at all.
Kionon in the Japan forum pointed out that TEFLPLUS claims to be accredited by the Thai Government and the Ministry of Education. Does this sit well with your knowledge of the industry? Thanks in advance for reading my post and taking the time to give me an answer.
P.S (please forgive my sign in name-A childish choice that has grown on me with time Razz)


Your course provider is not accredited by "the Thai Government and the Ministry of Education". They do not accredit anybody, anyone or anything. They are simply the licensing body for the country and all course providers (of anything) need the license (like a business license).

There are NO globally recognized accreditation bodies for TEFL certifications.

If you want name recognition and quality then go with CELTA, Trinity or SIT.

IF you just want to learn something before you get dropped into a classroom then it really doesn't matter.

The draw to Patong is the nightlife (one big red-light district) and not the schools.

There are some decent course providers in Thailand and I am not saying that teflplus isn't one of them but at 42000 thb you can get a CELTA for just about the same price (53000 thb at IH in BKK) and the CELTA is globally recognised (in case you want to go somewhere else outside of Japan).

If you look at the course based on location, in a 30-day intensive TESOL course, you won't have time for the beach or nightlife anyway.

Just my humble opinion.

.
.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If by legitimate you mean are they real (do they physically exist), then yes I'm pretty sure they are.

BUT...

A TEFL course will be only be of any use to you if it is 120 hours with at least some teaching practice (min. 6 hours is norm). If it doesnt have these components then your cert will only be worth the paper its printed on.

Quote:
a Tefl course offered in Phuket in Patong bay


Patong is well known as the seedy/tourist trap area of Phuket. It is extremely touristy and it can get dangerous (lots of drinking). Quite a few recent Thai news clippings of foreigners winding up dead and many road accidents (usually transport vans/buses). To be fair, if you drink responsibly, you will more than likely be fine. You will probably be paying an arm and a leg for any type of transport and be aware of many scams (jet-ski rentals for 1). If you are here to party it will probably be fun and expensive. If you are there to learn, there may be a lot of distractions.

Quote:
Kionon in the Japan forum pointed out that TEFLPLUS claims to be accredited by the Thai Government and the Ministry of Education
.

This means squat. A TEFL certificate is not a legal requirement to work in Thailand as a EFL teacher. In fact if you choose to teach in Thailand and you provide the powers that be with copies of your certificate, they will often simply hand it back to you and tell you it is not required. That doesn't mean that a TEFL certificate may not be helpful to you in your teaching career, but it means nothing as far as the Thai gov is concerned.

Even if it is true, it would simply mean that they are registered as a school, meaning they have submitted craploads of paperwork and have all the right signatures from the right top dogs (usually involves $$$$). I believe this would give them the ability to hire some foreigners legally as teachers/trainers. OR, they could just be registered as a Thai company which wouldn't be as hard, just annoying paperwork. This would make it very hard to legally hire foreign teachers (as they are not reg as a school) to be the trainers. Either way it makes little difference to the validity of your certificate.

In fact, there is no official accrediting body for TEFL certificates worldwide. Many TEFL companies will be affiliated with a University or College from the West. This can be pretty easy especially if they have a contact at said Uni, but its better than nothing as it usually means that someone has looked at and approved the curriculum. It also usually means that the Uni will honor your cert as credits towards specific degrees (usually very minimal). Some countries have there own accrediting bodies (TESLCanada has recognized certificates and in some cases honors CELTA cert as equivalent).

If you think you may want to teach EFL for a while then I would suggest going for the CELTA. It is one of the only cert recognized (at least known) by most countries in the world and it is generally considered the best. It is more expensive and probably more difficult than other courses (Ive done it, not that tough). Hit the beach for a holiday as a reward for completing your course.

If you are looking to work in Thailand for a year or so then this course will probably be fine and you will probably learn a thing or 2.

As you goal is Japan: I dont know the Japan EFL scene, but I would imagine they will have no idea who TEFLPlus is. Also, I dont know if TEFL certs are required to work legally and/or required by many employers.

With any course, you should ask to speak with trainers. Find out about their experience and background and ask lots of questions. I cant think of any reason that a GOOD course would not allow this, in fact courses like CELTA sometimes have the trainers interview you and allow for a quick Q&A session. At the very least, ask the center for info on the trainers (basically their C.V.). IMHO, the trainers are what makes the course good or not.

Overall, a CELTA will be tougher (Many nights spent lesson planning/prepping or working on assignments) BUT much more valuable to you long term and worldwide (you will still have time for fun on a CELTA course). A TEFL course on Patong will be lots of fun (if you are into that type of nightlife; lots of drinking, tourists, go-go and girl bars, etc.) BUT only minimally valuable (although you may learn a couple things).

Good Luck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
im_not_a_violentdrunk



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaiPenRai The website advertises the course 'The Phuket TEFLPlus advanced TEFL is Thailandís premier international-standard 4-week 125-hour TESOL course leading to the TEFL/TESL certificate in English teaching. The timetable of their course says that you have 9 hours of teaching practice with a one hour teaching practice exam at the end.
I have been to Thailand a few years ago for a month, but avoided Phuket on my understanding of it being the Magaluf/Falaraki of Thailand! My interest would not be in the many distractions however, if they are so distracting I could border-hop and renew my visa and stay for another week. Again though, fellow expat disgracing themselves isn't really my idea of a good time and I would be wary of the "booze britain" culture that you speak of. Don't get me wrong, I like to have a drink and enjoy myself, but not at the cost of rinsing another country. Thanks for attempting to clarify the certification scenario, it's really complicated! I have e-mailed the course tutors(as it was the weekend at point of contact) and intend to speak to them over the phone to discuss their course in depth. The only reason I haven't jumped on one of the celta course over here in England is because ideally I would like to be out in far east asia to gain my certificate if at all possible/viable. This website makes many bold claims to be the most famous/successful/recognised bla bla bla in Thailand, With that in mind I would have hoped that experienced members such as yourself had heard of them. That you have not, makes me feel slightly apprehensive about choosing them. If I could find one in Japan, I probably wouldn't consider it, as it is I am struggling to find any in Japan. Many thanks for reading my question and providing such a detailed answer Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
im_not_a_violentdrunk



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tttompatz, Again thanks for also clearing up the accreditation situation. I hadn't chosen Patong for the nightlife as I did not know much about Phuket (apart from its reputation) and was perhaps holding out a naive hope that being a teaching school, it wouldn't be in the vicinity of such madness Arrow Shocked I take it from yours and MaiPenRai's answers that , that particular assumption was wildly inaccurate! I think then If I was to study towards a TEFL qualification in Thailand I will explore the Celta at IH that you recommend (what does IH stand for please?). A global qualification is definately something I would be after, although I have no plans thus far to make a career out of being an EFL teacher, I am approaching the situation with an open mind, and If I'm good at it and I can cope with it, it's definitely an option I would consider. I just googled it http://www.ihbangkok.com/index.php and in your opinion is the course at chang mai of a similar standard? I would love to do it somewhere as beautiful as there?
And you were spot on with your price analysis, for roughly £50 more, you get full board in what appears to be a lovely hotel in Chiang Mai for the course
Thanks for your time and advice so far Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

im_not_a_violentdrunk wrote:
I just googled it http://www.ihbangkok.com/index.php and in your opinion is the course at chang mai of a similar standard?


CELTA is CELTA is CELTA.

It really matters not where...

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 700

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TEFL and CELTA course providers get approved by the MOE (Ministry of Education), I don't know if they are accredited. As far as TEFL vs. CELTA, TEFL is American in origin and CELTA is British. I've never taken a CELTA course so I don't know much about it. They tend to like it more in countries that prefer British speakers.

Last edited by plumpy nut on Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CELTA is a brand name and TEFL is nothing more than an acronym (1 of many in ESL/EFL).

CELTA = Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. It is a recognized (globally) certificate (unlike many others that no-one has ever heard of). It is backed up and overseen by the University of Cambridge ESOL program.

Other well recognized "brands" of TEFL include "Trinity cert. TESOL" and "SIT TESOL" (formerly the Peace Corps training center).

Other acronyms that are commonly found:
TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language

Then the tests:
TOEFL
TOEIC
IELTS
among a host of others.

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
TEFL is American in origin and CELTA is British.


TEFL is an acronym meaning Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

CELTA is an acronym meaning Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.

CELTA is just a brand name or company name for one particular TEFL certificate.

TEFL certificates can be from anywhere. CELTA happens to be based and accredited by Cambridge in UK. There are schools/companies offering TEFL certificates in Canada, America, UK, South Africa, Thailand, India, etc,etc,etc.

TESOL/TESL is an acronym meaning Teaching English as a Second Language / Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. These 2 options refer to teaching English when based in an English speaking country.

Although the pedagogy and methodology should differ somewhat between teaching TEFL and TESOL, most beginner certificates will not really differentiate between the two. Most schools/companies seem to use TEFL these days.

I have taught both and they should be approached differently to teach effectively.
Quote:

I've never taken a CELTA course so I don't know much about it. They tend to like it more in countries that prefer British speakers


I have taken a CELTA. It is the most recognized TEFL certificate worldwide. Easy as that. It is the only TEFL certificate besides Trinity that I have seen employers (from all different countries of the world) request/require specifically.

Quote:
Chiang Mai University does this as well as UECThai in Bangkok.


Has CMU TEFL started again? I though they shut that program down a couple years ago. Website seems to be updated for new courses, so I guess its on again.

I didnt do a TEFL cert with UECThai, but I did my 20 hour Thai Culture Course with them and found them to be a little unprofessional. Not just the course, but the entire operation there.

Quote:
TEFL to me seems to have a broader focus on educational aspects of English teaching and CELTA is more focused on what they feel is a good teaching method and what they feel is the correct method for teaching Engish as a Second Language in foriegn countries.


Once again, CELTA is just 1 particular TEFL certificate. I have taking a CELTA and 2 other TEFL courses. Any course is going to/should push methods that they have found to be successful based on experience and research. CELTA is respected and recognized worldwide because they have standards for the methods they teach that are/should be similar regardless of which country you study for your CELTA and which trainers you get for your course. CELTA has a very broad focus on educational aspects of English teaching. In fact they teach about 5-6 different types of lessons (lesson planning approaches) which can be used for a very broad range of classroom situations. In other words, employers, in the know, like CELTA because they know what they are getting (should be getting) from a CELTA grad. As Tom said:
Quote:

CELTA is CELTA is CELTA.

It really matters not where...


However, many other TEFL cert. providers will vary from one to the other and even within their own system from trainer to trainer. Luckily for employers, the common low end TEFL cart. schools have consistently low standards so employers, in the know, usually stay away from these grads. There are 3 or 4 courses that I will bin almost right away when I see them on a C.V. Yes, I have been and am now an employer.

Quote:
TEFL and CELTA course providers get approved by the MOE (Ministry of Education),


It means almost nothing. I have been part of the process of getting a TEFL school licensed/approved here in Thailand. Its a joke. It's about money and lots of paperwork and then more money. As TEFL certificates are not a legal requirement to teach in Thailand, what the Thai MOE says and does is worthless in this matter. You think an employer in any other country (except maybe Laos, Myanmar, etc.) is going to care that the Thai MOE approved anything. If one day Thailand decided that all teachers in Thailand need a TEFL certificate, then what the Thai MOE has to say may mean something on this matter (for those wanting to teach in Thailand anyways).

Quote:
many TEFL providers have courses accredited by American Universities like SUNY or some others.


Some may be good, but as I said before, you have to be careful with these claims. Having to pay again to actually use your course for credits seems a bit dodgy though. Do your homework.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, Tom beat me to it again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
im_not_a_violentdrunk



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plumpynut, MaiPenRai & Tttompatz, Thanks for all of your answers, I thought I'd reply to all of you in one post as you are covering the same point for me.
Thanks for your thoughts and advice. I think that I will be taking a celta course, I'm undecided over which, but possibly the IH one in bangkok or Chiang Mai, purely because the dates suit me (I have a holiday planned for 26th of august-4sept) and so the courses that start early july work out best. I will be sure to do due diligence before I commit to any course, and I've been overwhelmed by the help, support and advice I've recieved from you guys and others on the Japan forums.
MaiRenPai Having to pay again to actually use your course for credits seems a bit dodgy though. Do your homework. I'm not sure what you are referring to here, could you explain again, sorry if it's just me being stupid!
Thanks again for all you help guys(or girls if any of you are!) Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP:

Quote:
Having to pay again to actually use your course for credits seems a bit dodgy though.
Quote:

'
This was said in reference to the suggestion of taking the UECTHai TEFL course that is accredited by SUNY Uni the US. The course that UECTHai offer is accredited by SUNY Uni in US and can be used as credit towards an Masters, BUT you have to pay to have the credits count. Thats after you have already paid to take the course. I just think that is odd/dodgy.

As Japan is your country of choice, have you thought of looking into the JET program for Japan? It pays really well for Japan and offers a great cultural experience from what Ive heard from people that have done it. Its competitive and you have to apply months before you may get accepted, but its worth looking into IMO.

If you do choose the CELTA, do things the CELTA way and you will be fine. Most of what they teach you does work. Be very detailed in your lesson plans. You can always experiment once you have your own classroom.

Good Luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
im_not_a_violentdrunk



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah ok, thanks for clearing that up. I had looked into doing the JET programme, but the applications are closed for the year and the next stage of applications are in september for the following summer. I'm hoping to get started a bit sooner than that, I have been posting on the Japan forum as well, I think I'll do the Celta in Thailand because it's cheaper and also the Celta programmes in Japan itself seem to be based over a much longer period and on saturday and sundays only! Thanks for your advice, I'm looking forward to getting started on my CELTA, having spent the past ten months doing nothing (except for desperately writing cv's and cover letters,over 500!), it will be nice to be taxed mentally and make sure that my Brain is still working Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last thing to note: You are aware that a CELTA or other TEFL certification is NOT required to teach in Asia. The requirement (by most immigration services in most countries) is a bachelors degree, a passport, a clean criminal background check and a pulse.

Be in the country of your choice 30 days before the start of the school term and you will find a job. You already know about the downsides of finding work in Japan.

Korea and China are both options that can, unless you are dead set on experiencing Japanese culture as a teacher, approach or exceed Japan in terms of net savings at the end of the year.

You are young enough that you could probably enjoy a term or 2 working in the buxibans in Taiwan (again, similar money).

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
im_not_a_violentdrunk



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tttompatz, Yes I am aware that it's not required, but having spoken to members on this and the Japan forum, I feel that taking a Celta course will be the best way to ensure I can contribute fully in any opportunity that I am given Smile Thanks for pointing Korea and China out to me, but like countless young (and frustrating to the older,wiser and more regular posters Razz) I do really have a strong desire to teach in Japan. Money isn't the main motivation for me at this point in time, it is more the country,culture and opportunity to gain some work experience! The course I'm hoping to get on in Chiang Mai starts on the 2nd of July, so I would be touching down in Japan around the start of August.Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Thailand All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC