I frequently get emails from people who want to find respectable TESOL training programs. Because TESOL certificates vary widely in quality, it can be difficult for employers to gauge their quality. If you’re looking to get TESOL certification, you’ll first want to decide which type of program you’re interested in. While there’s a variety of training programs available, the following are what I would deem ‘most reputable’ (in order – the first being most reputable.)
1. University-based program for credit. Getting a TESOL certificate from an accredited university will be the most broadly accepted and respected program. You would find the programs by searching universities near you – look in the linguistics, education, or English department for TESOL programs.
- Advantages: Name recognition, qualified instructors, classroom experience
- Disadvantages: More expensive, longer
2. Regional training programs from reputable institutions. Oxford and Cambridge are BY FAR the most respected names in TESOL, so anything sponsored by these organizations will be seen more favorably than some of the no-name programs. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better in quality, just that they do have name recognition.
- Advantages: Quick, local, inexpensive
- Disadvantages: Training not as in depth, may not provide classroom experience
3. Online training programs. Until you enroll in this type of course, it’s hard to know the quality. In addition, online education is still developing and establishing itself. There may come a day when it is highly regarded, but for the time being, it’s still viewed by many as a ‘lesser’ quality degree. In a practical sense, teacher training is more effective when modeled in person, something that simply can’t happen online. You can find these types programs by googling “TESOL Certificate Programs”. I can’t recommend any specific programs as I don’t have personal experience with any.
- Advantages: time flexibility, often less expensive
- Disadvantages: quality, reputation unknown, lack of face-to-face interaction for teacher training