One More Reason To Get A TEFL Certificate
In Is A TEFL certificate “enough”? I explained my thoughts on this, specifically that a one-month intensive course, no matter how good it is, is not going to make or break a teacher. But here’s the thing: language school-type teaching is usually quite different from the teaching most of us experienced in our foreign language classes at home. If you try and duplicate that, in most contexts it won’t go over well.
A TEFL course will at least get you started on recognizing and putting together the components of a good lesson. Not surprisingly…it takes time to do this, especially as a new teacher.
But when “no certificate Jack” steps into the classroom without preparing, opens his mouth and calls it a lesson, this affects expectations for everyone. Your boss will say “Jack teaches thirty contact hours in different locations around the city in split shifts between 8am and 8pm five days a week…why can’t you?”
As many EFL teachers are paid by the contact hour…preparing for classes is “unpaid” and some may actually see preparation as limiting their income. It’s a little bit hard to argue with this, because the main argument is just that paying students deserve good lessons…and someone who thinks preparation is unnecessary, or can be sacrificed in order to teach more hours, probably doesn’t really care.
I don’t mean to imply that a certificate is a surefire way to guarantee that a teacher will be committed to delivering quality lessons, but if EFL teachers were routinely qualified, at least they would be similarly educated on what a good lesson should include and teachers who do prepare would not be at a such a great disadvantage.