ESL/EFL Teaching Courses & Programs

To improve your credentials in teaching English, ESL Certification and Masters-level study are your ticket to your next job. Below you will find courses and reviews by JETs.

If you have any suggestions, please send them to the Director of Professional and Education Development.

Websites for English Teaching Certifications

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)
ITTT (International TESOL Teacher Training)
i-to-i (UK Volunteer Company)
NCLRC (National Capital Language Resource Center)
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
CELTYL (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners)

Teaching Credentials Gained by JET Participants while on JET

If you’re looking into earning some teaching credentials, please consider the following JET-reviewed courses (organized by teaching credential) to jump-start your search.

CELTA

School Name
Language Resources (Kobe)

Contact
http://www.languageresources.org/

Reviewer
Jeff Asai, ALT (ES, JHS, Adult), No Prior Teaching Qualification

Date Enrolled
2009

Length of Course/Time Commitment
Four months (once a week, from 9-5 with a couple extra classes). 20 sessions overall.

Any CO support?
I did not ask my CO for any support, but language resources gave a discount to JETs when I was taking the course.

Review
I would highly recommend this course. The teachers were professional, and provided useful feedback. The course structure was also very well done, with a mix of input sessions, teaching sessions, and teacher observation. The mantra (if there is one) is to increase student talking time (STT) and follows the student-centered theory of teaching.I did not have any previous knowledge about teaching, other than having been an ALT for two years. My grammar was also pretty bad, and I didn’t really know how to analyze sentences grammatically. The input sessions were valuable for pointing out the gaps in my knowledge. Simply being a native speaker wasn’t going to get you anywhere in this class. They pointed me to resources (as well as having a well-stocked library of their own) which allowed me to do self-study as well.But the most valuable things of the course were actually teaching and getting critiqued, and observing other teachers. We had to plan and implement lessons with a real adult class that came in. Then we would get pointers and goals for the next lesson. We also got to observe our fellow classmates teach lessons, from which I had learned many interesting and useful games and activities.The course improved my lessons to the point where the teachers at my junior high school and elementary school allow me to teach my own class.The course was very difficult, but I can’t say enough good things about the teachers and fellow students who took the course. I guess the only bad thing was that it was expensive (I think it was around 200,000 yen?), and time-consuming. But all good things have a price, and it was definitely well worth it for me.If you do not have any teaching experience, this course will completely open up your eyes. If you are already experienced, the course may help because you have to do live teaching sessions, and you get to observe other teachers. Although it is mostly aimed at teaching adults, a lot of the ideas carry over to junior high (but less so with elementary).One thing I don’t know is how a CELTA will affect my future. I don’t know how it looks on a resume, or if future employers in Japan even know about the course. (Since I’ve been on JET the whole time and not looking for employment). That being said, having something from Cambridge saying you learned to teach can’t possibly look bad.Overall, I would highly recommend the course. It honestly changed the way I looked at education.

TEFL

School Name
i-to-i

Contact
http://tefl-training.com

Reviewer
Caroline Ideus, ALT (SHS), No Prior Teaching Qualifications

Date Enrolled
2011 (Spring) 90 day course.

Length of Course/Time Commitment
I am taking a 140 combined course. 120 hours are on-line and 20 hours were a classroom session that I took in Tokyo.

Any CO support?
My CO doesn’t really know about it. If they would, I don’t think they would care that much.

Review
I am currently enrolled in the class right now, I think it’s been very beneficial to my job and has helped me change some of my teaching methods as well as taught me different ways to teach grammar and reading. As for my job prospects post-JET, I am not sure how much this will help. However, it will be nice to have the certificate as something to show to my future employer.

Masters Programs

School Name
University of Leicester

Field of Study
Linguistics/TESOL

Contact
www2.le.ac.uk

Reviewer
Sam Crofts, ALT (SHS), No Prior Teaching Qualifications

Date Enrolled
2009–2011

Length of Course/Time Commitment
2.5 years

Any CO support?
No support, but not really needed.

Review
Good support from institution via web but basically everything is completed under the students own steam. Not too taxing intellectually but a lot of research to get done. For uni jobs in Japan it is essential (so I am told).


School Name
Shenandoah University

Field of Study
TEFL/TESOL

Contact
http://www.su.edu/

Reviewer
ALT (ES, JHS), No Prior Teaching Qualifications

Date Enrolled
2011–present

Length of Course/Time Commitment
33 credit hours. About 3 hours for each credit hour. So with a normal class load of 3 classes, about 28 hours a week. It takes a year and half to two years to complete.

Any CO support?
They are in theory very supportive.

Review
Very good overall. Some areas more difficult than others. The teachers are very good about replying to emails. Much better than for profit online schools.


School Name
Seattle Pacific

Field of Study
Just working on Masters’ work to keep my teaching license

Contact
http://www.spu.edu/depts/soe/spiral/

Reviewer
ALT (ES, JHS, SHS, Adult), has a teaching license in home state

Date Enrolled in Course
2010–2011

Length of Course/Time Commitment
1 year total. The course I did had 5 large assignments that had to be completed and returned within the year.

Any CO support?
No support. I didn’t even think they’d offer, so I didn’t ask.

Review
I needed a master’s course to fulfill the license requirements of my home teaching license. Overall a good course. The staff was friendly and the course wasn’t too challenging for life in Japan.