'I have a TEFL Certificate!' More often than not these days the term TEFL Certificate is associated with basic, entry level training that isn't really well received by Thai schools anymore. A shift from credible class-room based courses to independent study online courses with no personal contact or guidance from qualified professionals what so ever has diluted the credibility of EFL training somewhat, particularly in Thailand.
But is completely disregarding a native or non-native speaker's ability to demonstrate sound TEFL teaching knowledge and application in favor of the heavily weighted and highly regarded Bachelor Degree a wise decision? After all, skills in using a language doesn't necessarily transcend to automatically having the skills for teaching it to others. Especially if they are learning English as a second language or more importantly in the case of Thailand and ASEAN, as a lingua franca. Of course, credentials stipulated from a foreign worker point of view must be in place to ensure quality nationwide but should the need for a valid EFL certification earned from learning industry relevant skills be completely overlooked?
On the flip side are considerations for where to source affordable yet quality EFL courses whilst already teaching full-time in Thailand. More simple put, is the average TEFL practitioner employed by a Thai school earning a medium scale salary prepared to pay a substantial amount out of their own pocket to better professional development in light that officially its not required one way or another, probably not.
When building partnerships with new International Schools in Thailand we try to take all this into account, understanding the needs of the School's stakeholders, administration, teachers and of course students. Due to the methodologies and techniques we promote through Frisby Schools and materials it would mean almost eminent failure if we didn't recognize the need for providing fundamental training to staff faculty as a prerequisite of successful integration.
That's why as part of a Frisby College International School's initial license and planning we provide full training for the Diploma in Teaching TEFL with the school's core English faculty staff members. We use this time to cover basics that may or may not be known by some personnel before moving onto training specifically geared towards educating about the 'Frisby Method'. This ensures a school's faculty has a solid base in understanding theory crucial to EFL teaching and coherency in delivering techniques as English teachers across all classes and schedules.
Our in-country team and Chief Instructors from the College in the UK have been working closely with YES2 School's English faculty since being licensed in June. We have reinforced the importance of having TEFL Certifications for successful English teaching in Thailand with the school's board, delivering the Diploma over a total of 16 weeks. Training has been integrated into the faculty's weekly schedule ensuring each individual is comfortable with the workload in addition to their own class timetable. A combination of one live video/tutorial or pre-recorded lecture and one internal faculty seminar/workshop per week has been the right balance for this schools needs.
This case by case approach of assessing each school's needs and flexibility to incorporate Frisby College International standards and practices is key to the College success worldwide.