Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Lifestyle – TEFL Courses: the good, the bad and the cowboys

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Phuket has no shortage of expats who want to live and work here. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a popular way to achieve this goal, which means that the competition for these jobs are fierce and wages are somewhat lower than those in other urban areas of Thailand.

One way to improve the odds of finding quality employers is through earning a TEFL certificate. Phuket is home to no fewer than five certification courses, but not all centers are reputable.

One way to identify Phuket’s quality courses from those known by industry insiders as “cowboy courses”, is to ask the right questions before making any monetary commitments. Such questions are not limited to, but should include the following:

Is the course accredited?

Each training course should be accredited by an independent institution. These will typically be institutions of higher learning. Accreditation should provide information relating to regular moderation reports and customer satisfaction. Anyone wishing to stay in Thailand should also ask if the course is recognized by the Ministry of Education.

How long has the center been operating?

It takes time to perfect a training course and you don’t want to get stuck with a provider that is going through a learning process of its own. Additionally, the longevity of an operation speaks to the levels of recognition the certificate carries. There’s no point in holding a certificate from a course employers aren’t familiar with.

What are the trainers’ qualifications?

Experience is paramount here, but also look for a variety of teaching locations and disciplines—business vs academic English, young learners vs adults, and so on. Qualifications such as advanced diplomas and degrees are also important, but nothing can substitute for real-world experience.

Will I be teaching real English foreign language (EFL) students with real materials?

Believe it or not, some centers will have you teaching fellow trainees or creating your own materials. These are gimmicks and should serve as warning signs. Courses should supply trainees with real EFL students who possess a variety of English language abilities. Teaching materials should be plentiful, modern and mirror those found in real settings.

What is the pass rate of your course?

Specific figures cannot indicate a good course, but one answer indicates a bad one: Everyone passes. Enrollment in a TEFL certification course should not automatically bring with it a certificate, because not everyone is capable of passing course requirements. Despite their best efforts, trainers are not miracle workers and cannot turn water into wine. Some trainees are not fit to teach and sometimes it takes a training course to prove that.

Ask to speak with former trainees. Any course worth its salt is going to have a lengthy list of past trainees who are satisfied with their course and willing to share their experiences. It’s best if these comments are published on an independent website or provided via email. However, be wary of internet forums where anonymous individuals can make overly positive or critical comments. These people may be shills or have an ax to grind.

Finally, beware of course providers that guarantee employment; it’s simply impossible to do that in an honest fashion. If a job market is saturated with teachers, or if local qualification requirements exceed a TEFL certificate, how can a course guarantee employment? And in regions where demand for teachers is high, guarantees of employment are redundant.

The fact of the matter is that most courses which “guarantee” jobs have systems that place graduates with employers who are typically unfit to keep their own teachers for any amount of time. This may be due to poor pay, poor working conditions, unreasonable management or a combination of all three factors. In addition to this, the course will often shave wages off the top in the same way a recruiter does – they just don’t tell you that.

While the list of Phuket’s TEFL certification courses is lengthy, a few good questions and a savvy approach will easily separate the island’s cowboy operations from its quality courses.

— Eric Haeg

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand29 mins ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand1 hour ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Thailand2 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Sponsored1 day ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Phuket2 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World3 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of3 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of3 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand4 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 adventure tours in Chiang Mai

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 affordable hotels in Chiang Mai

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 17,345 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand5 hours ago

Prayut offers his sympathies, teases restrictions

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending