In terms of validity, it is not the method of delivery that is most important about an individual course but rather the overall quality of the content. Whether the course is taken online or in-class does not typically tell you how good or bad that particular course might be.
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There are several fundamental areas of ESL teaching theory that should be included in a good quality TESOL training course such as teaching methodologies, classroom management techniques, and a range of grammar subjects. However, it is virtually impossible to judge an individual course by its stated syllabus, so how do you decide which course is the best?
One thing you can do to gauge the quality of an online TESOL course is to check if it is accredited. This simply means that an independent body has evaluated the course and concluded that it is worthy of their accreditation. If you go to the course providers website it should be easy to find any accreditation they have been awarded as it is likely to be clearly displayed. Unfortunately, there is little to stop unscrupulous providers from advertising accreditation that they have not actually been awarded or from simply making up a fictitious accreditation body, so it is recommended that you do a bit of research into any accreditation if it seems suspicious in anyway.
Another effective plan of action is to research the reputation of any course you are interested in. A quick online search for the course and its provider should reveal a range of reviews and opinions from people who have already taken the course. If there are a lot of negative reviews then you might want to reconsider, while mainly positive feedback would probably suggest that the course is valid. Any form of TESOL certification requires a significant financial investment so it is clearly a good idea to do as much research into a course as possible before you hand over your money.
At ITTT we take as much care with our online TESOL courses as we do with our in-class course options. Our online courses are fully accredited and we are also proud to be affiliated with several important bodies within the ESL world. For full details take a look at our accreditations and affiliations page. We also take note and act on all the feedback we receive from the thousands of graduates who have already completed one of our courses. Check out our TESOL graduates testimonial page to see what they say about our training courses.