Why is course accreditation, course licensing, course endorsement and course recognition so important when picking a proper TEFL or TESOL teacher training course?
1) Is the TEFL / TESOL provider a legally registered business?
As strange as that sounds, most TEFL / TESOL providers in Thailand are not legally registered businesses. They operate purely as a website and rent out conference rooms at a hotel or resort to provide the training. If they are not a legally registered business, there will be zero legitimacy or consumer protection.
Holding a company registration should be the first basic element to look for as it sets a foundation of trust for the rest of the business. Rest assured, Entrust TEFL is a fully registered and bonded company with two permanent locations in Thailand. Being a legally registered business, does not only mean that we pay taxes and subject to its laws, but it also means that as a consumer you have the peace of mind that we are fully bonded, insured and all our employees are working legally.
2) Does the TEFL / TESOL provider hold a license from the Thai Ministry of Education to conduct TEFL / TESOL teacher training courses in Thailand?
Unbelievably, most TEFL / TESOL providers in Thailand do not hold a license to conduct TEFL / TESOL training and merely operate as unregistered training centers. As most TEFL / TESOL training companies are not registered businesses they are unable to gain licensing or some may simply lack the funds or experience to do so. Laughably, most TEFL / TESOL companies do claim to be licensed, endorsed, certified, approved, or best buddies of the Ministry of Education to conduct TEFL training, however this is simply not true with some companies even posting licensing documents as evidence on their website which are not in their name. I don’t know about you, but if you tell me you have a license for something shouldn’t that license be in your name?
I think you would agree, if you are providing training of any kind that may result in a certification you should be licensed to do so otherwise the completion certificate will hold no real value. Holding a physical license ensures that the training curriculum being used has been reviewed and approved by a relevant educational body, that the training location has been inspected for health, safety, and provides a spacious and professional environment to conduct the training on an on going basis.
Entrust TEFL is one of the few TEFL training providers that is licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education and monitored by the Teachers Council of Thailand to train and certify TEFL / TESOL teachers. Entrust TEFL being both a legally registered company and fully licensed to conduct TEFL teacher training insures that the Entrust TEFL Certificate given upon completion of the course fully satisfies the legal requirements of a 140-hour TEFL course on both a governmental and Educational level. The Entrust TEFL certificate is recognized by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a legitimate TEFL / TESOL training program in Thailand and guaranteed worldwide.
3) Is the TEFL / TESOL training provider internationally Accredited?
Most TEFL / TESOL companies are not Internationally accredited. However, some do hold a lesser accreditation for an online course ($49/year) as it is cheaper with little to no questions asked to obtain rather than a full comprehensive onsite accreditation. Most simply accredit themselves, create their own accreditation websites to accredit themselves or seek accreditation from other TEFL providers rather than just improve their training. After completion of your course you may be lucky enough to secure a job in Thailand, however if you have your sights set on other countries you may be disappointed to find your training certificate won’t be accepted by the schools or recruiters in those countries.
Think of accreditation as quality control with ongoing evaluation and constant improvement that is being continually reviewed by external bodies. The proper accreditation plays a vital role for recruiters looking to ensure that the training you received meets satisfactory levels of quality that are recognized worldwide. Simply put, if the TEFL / TESOL training course does not hold international accreditation nor any licensing nor supervision from an educational body like the Ministry of Education nor Teachers Council of Thailand, the training certificate you receive is pretty useless outside Thailand. However, even some TEFL / TESOL certificates obtained within Thailand are also not accepted by the Thai Labor department as a legitimate training certificate as they can not verify the training. You’ll be happy to know that Entrust TEFL is internationally accredited by one of the best independent TEFL / TESOL accrediting bodies available today. World TEFL Accrediting Commission is based in New York, USA which only function is ensuring proper accreditation of TEFL providers worldwide, which provides another layer of assurance that your Entrust TEFL certificate will be accepted by schools and recruiters worldwide.
4) Is the TEFL / TESOL training provider able to provide visa and work permit assistance so that you will be working legally in Thailand?
Most TEFL / TESOL providers advertising “Teach in Thailand” are not physically located in Thailand so understandably have little to no knowledge of Thai labor law or the immigration process. The majority of these companies create miss-information and confusion around visas and work permits often having to tell their participants they must hold a degree in education or must be Native English Speaking or other such falsehoods to even attend a TEFL course. Since they only operate as a website or via a re-seller in your country they don’t have the experience or knowledge to truly guide you through this process.
Visas and work permits are pretty straight forward and easy to follow. As adventurous or resourceful as you might be; having your visa sorted and obtaining the correct guidance prior to you entering the country will make the process smooth and hassle free. The best possible place to find the most current and up to date information on this process would be with the best in the industry, physically located in Thailand and providing this very same process on an ongoing basis every day to its other participants just like you. The Visa process has been hyped up to the point everyone seems to be freaked out about visas. However not to worry, Entrust TEFL not only provides expert advice, but non-immigrants visas free as part of the course regardless if you are holding a degree or not, and even if you a holding a passport from a native or non-native speaking country its all the same simple process. This allows you arrive completely legal and peace of mind ready to start your new adventure in Thailand. We even provide up to six months of the non-Immigrant visa as part of the course so you can focus on your teaching before switching of to your employees visa and work permit. If after six months, your employers have not picked up your non-immigrant visa or provided you with a work permit, our in-house legal department will assist you with your visa and work permit needs during your entire stay in Thailand.
5) Is the TEFL / TESOL Training Course open to both degree holders and non-degree holders as well as native and non-native speakers of English?
Unfortunately, most TEFL / TESOL providers in Thailand require their TEFL participants to both hold a degree and a passport from a native English-speaking country (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) before they can be admitted into the training course.
However, Entrust TEFL not only accepts both degree holders and non-degree holders, but also native and non-native speakers of English, which also extends to our job placement upon completion of the course. This allows you to meet and already have an instant group of friends from many different countries and backgrounds to explore Thailand with.
6) How many people will be in your TEFL / TESOL Training class and what is the participant-to-instructor ratio?
Many companies advertise low participant-to-instructor ratios as a marketing ploy, however other motivations come in to play here. The reasoning behind the participant-to-instructor ratio motivations is not just about small class sizes and individual attention, but also the legal status of the TEFL / TESOL training provider and its trainer. If the business is unregistered, then the business obviously cannot provide a work permit for its trainer, so they tend to operate under the radar not to alert immigration. There are basically two types of companies to look out for and easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. The first type is; TEFL providers that cap their classes at 9 or below from a static training location. The reason for this is that the Thai law states that if you are training / teaching more than 9 people you must register your business as a “tutor shop”, obtain work permit to work legally and start paying taxes on your income. The second type is; TEFL providers that take as many people as they possibly can get and continually rotate their training locations each month to different hotels / resorts or rented training locations. These types of companies are very easy to spot as they will not have a physical address on their website anywhere as they tend to get raided by immigration and their students held for questioning.
The participant-to-Instructor ratio is important to receive individual attention and make sure you get all the guidance and instruction you possibly need. At Entrust TEFL, our participant-to-instructor ratio is 15-to-1 and have three full time trainers on staff that help break up the classes to smaller groups when doing peer-2-peer teaching, curriculum design and other group activities.
7) Does the TEFL / TESOL training provider include sufficient teaching practice and observation in real schools to actual students of ESL?
Most TEFL / TESOL providers do not incorporate this vital element as part of their training courses and instead rely on the peer-2-peer practice among the other native English-speaking trainees in the class, which does not provide the needed insight or experience needed. Other companies that do advertise practice teaching in real school’s actually pile 15-20 TEFL trainees in a single classroom during a single 50-minute class to introduce themselves and take photos, but do not actually conduct any teaching practice or lessons.
I am sure you would agree that practice teaching to your fellow TEFL course classmates that speak English just as well as you do does not offer much of a situation to practice with real learners of ESL and does not give you the valuable insight needed to teach in a real classroom. At Entrust TEFL we incorporate this extremely vital element during the last week of our training so that our students can enjoy three full days of teaching practice and observation at real schools to real learners of English as a second language. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable these three days to our trainees as they gain valuable experience teaching full schedules in real schools under the close supervision of our professional trainers.
8) Does your TEFL / TESOL training provider guarantee or assist with Job placement upon completion of the course?
You are spending quite a bit of money traveling to Thailand, your TEFL teacher training course, and budgeting enough money to push you through until your first pay check. Living in-doors and eating food is not overrated so you need to confident that you will obtain a paid teaching position based on your educational level, gender, age, and citizenship as it is a critical factor of any TEFL / TESOL training program if you are planning on earning an income as a teacher directly after your graduation and you need to know this before you leave the safety net of your home country. Job guarantee has become a familiar slogan for most training providers, but only for degree holders holding passports from native English-speaking countries and even then, you will be required send out your own CV’s / resumes, sit for interviews, and to jump through hoops for them to find you possible placement. Companies use slick wording such as “Job guarantee, and most find work within a few weeks” “Most” does not seem too guaranteed and who finds the work, the TEFL provider or you?
At Entrust TEFL, we have placed over 5,700 both degreed and non-degreed graduates in paying teaching jobs across Thailand directly upon completion of your training course. Typically, what happens at Entrust TEFL is that you graduate on a Friday evening and start working at your new school earning an income as a teacher that next Monday morning. If you would like to be placed a bit later as you want a small holiday after the class or want to return home before you start working first, then simply let our placement department know so that we can have an awesome job lined up and waiting for you when you are ready.
9) What type of accommodation does your TEFL / TESOL training provider assist you with while on the course?
Most TEFL / TESOL provides don’t include accommodation simply to keep the pricing down by letting you find your own accommodation during the course or simply split up the “training course fee” and the “Program fee” to appear more pricing attractive as two separate costs. Finding your own accommodation maybe a bit problematic for first time travelers as you are blindly going online to find something in another country that is safe with a good location at a price you can afford that hopefully has easy access to food and transportation.
As easy going, and open minded as you may be where you will be sleeping, eating and studying during your TEFL course is important, which is why we have included Resort accommodation (Chiang Mai) and Hotel accommodation (Krabi) to our Premium Program as one low price so that you have a safe place to sleep, hot running water, air conditioning, locking door, and included daily western breakfast not far from the training area or the city center. If you would like to find your own accommodation we have done the footwork for you on our site to recommend a few places our students have loved. Also it is better to know exactly what all your anticipated costs may be so that you can better manage your funds to avoid any unexpected surprises during your first couple months in Thailand.
10) Does the TEFL / TESOL provider include Thai cultural immersion trips and Thai language training as part of the course?
Some TEFL / TESOL providers do include an element of Thai culture during their TEFL course, however the Thai culture element seems to completely out shine the actual TEFL training you signed up for in hopes of becoming a professional teacher with the skills and guidance you will need to follow you dreams of working abroad. These types of companies are branded “Party TEFL’s” that seem to print your TEFL certificates and hand you a beer the moment you step off the airplane. These Party TEFLs (TESOLs) involve you in a week or two of bar hopping, Muay Thai fighting, petting tigers or dogs and touring various venues side stepping the actual teacher training education portion you may need later on. Don’t get me wrong, this is totally fine if you are just looking for stay in Thailand for a few months on holiday and not serious about actually knowing how to conduct classes teaching English for money or the simply legitimacy of your TEFL / TESOL training certificate. However, if you are planning on becoming a professional teacher able to follow your dreams working abroad you may want to pick a quality TEFL / TESOL provider to give you the earned skills first, then tour Thailand after you start earning an income in your amazing job.
Entrust TEFL provides an extensive Thai culture orientation on the first day of class so that you will understand the basics of Thai culture, greetings, numbers, and how to order food. This is followed up by a physical Thai language lesson during the second week which coincides with your 40-hour Thai language online course you received upon your enrollment to the course. We have two weekend trips; Thai Culture immersion tours and the Jungle (Chiang Mai) or Island hoping (Krabi) Excursions take place on the first and second Saturday of the course.