Chalkboard is i-to-i's TEFL community.
It is currently still in testing phase which could mean you find the odd bug!
Q: What is i-to-i Chalkboard? A: It's the online community of TEFL specialists
If you’re thinking about getting TEFL certified, there are a bewildering number of TEFL course providers out there, all trying to get their hands on your hard-earned cash. To help you make sure your TEFL certificate is worth the paper it’s printed on, here’s what your course provider should be:
1. Independently accredited
It sounds incredible, but because there’s no international governing body for TEFL course providers, any man and his dog can start giving out TEFL certificates. Protect yourself from being exploited by shady outfits by checking that your chosen provider is accredited by an independent body, such as the ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Council).
Make sure you don't go with a course provider that doles out certificates like candy (Photo: Rutlo)
The best TEFL course providers will have contacts with schools all over the world, meaning they can help you find a TEFL job once you’ve finished your course. For example, i-to-i’s free job placement service has opportunities in over seven countries, including Japan, Ecuador and South Korea. Plus, every i-to-i graduate gets a list of 8,000 TEFL job contacts for finding work independently. For those who want a little extra support, paid internships in China and Thailand are also available.
3. Internationally recognised
Doing the cheapest or quickest TEFL course in the world is all well and good, but if the school you’re applying to doesn’t recognise it, they’re very unlikely to give you a job! That’s why going with one of the bigger course providers, such as i-to-i, is a good bet – as the world’s oldest online TEFL course provider and arguably the biggest TEFL trainer in the world, you can be sure that schools worldwide know what you’re talking about when you say you got TEFL certified with i-to-i.
If your chosen course provider is any good, they’ll have no problem with you digging around and asking past TEFL course graduates how they rate their courses. If you’d like to speak to i-to-i graduates, our TEFL community Chalkboard (http://www.tefl-chalkboard.com/), which is home to thousands of them, is the place to start, or you can always leave a message on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/itoiTEFL.
How much help will you get throughout your TEFL course? While most TEFL theory is relatively straight-forward, for the trickier parts you don’t want it to just be you and your computer. With i-to-i courses, expert tutors from around the world mark and give feedback on your assignments, and the TEFL Helpdesk or in-house tutor Emma (http://www.tefl-chalkboard.com/emmafoers) are always there if you get stuck.
Once you’re TEFL certified and have your first TEFL job, is your course provider still there to help you? Do your course with i-to-i and you’re entitled to a lifetime’s worth of TEFL advice, as well as access to our brilliant resources, such as the free eBook, Kick-Start Your TEFL Career: 20 Classroom Activities for Elementary Learners.
Want to find a TEFL course that ticks all those boxes? Just click here to check out TEFL courses with i-to-i.
Tell us what you think! What should a TEFL course provider give you and what could i-to-i do better?