When you look for a TEFL course, you owe it to yourself to chose wisely. After all, it will be the foundation of teaching English in Thailand. Taking a course that trains you well will give you confidence as a teacher and position you well in the job market.
Two TEFL Courses I Really Like
Since I have spent a number of years recruiting teachers for schools in Thailand, I thought I’d share with you what I consider two of the best TEFL courses in Thailand.
As one of the oldest TEFL Certification Courses in Thailand, Text & Talk Academy has a solid training program. It prepares its students extremely well to teach English in Thailand. With training centers in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Pattaya you also get to choose a location to suit your needs.
The duration of Text & Talk Academy’s TEFL course is 120 hours over six weeks. You will get at least six opportunities to practice what you have learned in front of real students at a school. You will be evaluated by an experienced English teacher who will give you honest feedback and recommendations about how you can improve. There is no better way to get prepared than to practice in the real world with real students.
Class sizes are typically below 10 students, to ensure lots of individual attention for each participant. The study material includes seven course books that teach lesson planning and room preparation, effective classroom techniques, and lots of activities to make your lessons fun. You will also get deep insight into Thai culture and language and learn ways to teach grammar in a way your students won’t find boring and dull.
Getting a job after the training doesn’t seem to be an issue for any of their graduates. I took the 6 week TEFL course with Text & Talk Academy in 2008 and was delighted with the instructor and course content. During later job interviews, I realized that hiring managers also highly valued this particular organization.
The cost for this 6 week TEFL course is currently US$ 1,495.00 (about 48,000 baht). This course doesn’t promise guaranteed job placement. They do, however, have many contacts with schools and recruitment agencies, typically offering starting salaries of about 30,000 to 35,000 baht.
Although I have not attended the course at TEFL Heaven, I have recruited and worked with a number of teachers that graduated from this certification training.
The duration of this TEFL course is also 120 hours, but spread over only 3 weeks. This is a bit more stressful, considering you’ll also need to do assignments and homework. Since the courses are usually held on an exotic island, you naturally get more immersed and spend more time with your classmates. So I don’t find the shorter duration for 120 training hours much of a disadvantage.
This course is marketed as an internship and includes the three week course as well as a guaranteed placement for at least one semester. It attracts many people who want to spend just a limited time teaching in Thailand, often in between graduating from university and starting a career in one’s home country.
Class sizes are about 20 people per class. This course teaches sound lesson planning and classroom techniques, with a strong emphasis on teaching in a playful manner, as well as a basic understanding of Thai culture and language. All of the TEFL Heaven graduates I have worked with had a true knack for creating rapport with their students. They know how to get attention with ease while teaching effective, playful lessons.
The cost for this 3-week TEFL course is currently US$ 1,575 (about 51,000 baht) and includes accommodation. Salaries for the guaranteed job placement are listed as at least 25,000 baht, which is at the low end for foreign English teachers in Thailand.
Which of these two TEFL courses is better?
It depends on what you want to get out of the course. The two providers target totally different segments of the market and therefore attract people with different goals. Text & Talk Academy graduates often plan to live in Thailand and seek a new career path. Participants of TEFL Heaven‘s course are younger people, looking to explore a new culture for a short period of time.
Visit both websites and get in touch with each organization to find out which one suits you better. Also, read my article Which TEFL Course is Right for You? for further information about TEFL courses in general.