If you plan to make teaching English as a second or foreign language your major career decision, then you should be looking at studying for a Master’s Degree in TEFL / TESL or TESOL. The first thing to do when choosing a Master’s program that’s right for you is to ask questions:
What kinds of courses are offered in the program?
Are they more practical or theoretical in scope? If you are interested in going directly into teaching after getting your master’s degree, you should stick to a practical curriculum. If, on the other hand, if you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D., then look for a more theoretically based curriculum.
What do the faculty members specialize in?
Ask the programme director for details on what the faculty is researching, what courses they teach, and even about possible internships or assistantships. This will give you an indication of what the focus of your studies will be. If your interests are similar to theirs, you have a good match.
If you are interested in teaching in the public school system, find out if the courses lead to or satisfy state certification, and if they satisfy the requirements in any other state where you are considering certification.
TESOL Course guidelines:
Ask for a reference or two from the program director.
Ask recent graduates if they are satisfied with the education they received and whether their courses have actually met the needs of their current jobs.
Examine the job placement record.
What percentage of graduates get jobs after they receive their degrees? Does the school offer placement assistance or career counselling?
Distance Learning guidelines:
Make sure that you understand both the benefits and the drawbacks of distance learning compared to campus-based learning. Distance or online learning is flexible, so you can study whilst holding down a regular job, and lets you build the course around your life and location. However, you’ll miss out on student and teacher interaction and the ‘buzz’ of a classroom environment that comes from campus-based learning.
Take a look at our listings of accredited online course providers and search for colleges near you – then ask for an information pack.
Alternatively, there’s a great resource over at http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/teacher-resources/resources-for-distance-education/ that gives you a really good background to the pros and cons and, whilst it’s aimed at teachers preparing a distance curriculum, you’ll find it useful.Last updated: December 30, 2015 at 16:30 pm