Get to Know the People at i-to-i TEFL: Meet Catherine Greenwood

Interview with i to i TEFL
i-to-i TEFL is one of the pioneers in TEFL certification courses, and an early adopter of online TEFL certification course delivery. In this post, we meet up with i-to-i TEFL's Catherine Greenwood, who takes us inside for a deeper look at how the academy has - and continues to - stand amongst the few offering a UK Ofqual accredited and regulated Level 5 TEFL qualifications.

We Dig into the Most Important Questions about Earning a TEFL Certification with i-to-i TEFL

i-to-i TEFL is among a small group of TEFL certification providers we recommend, because their TEFL courses and certifications are regulated by the UK government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Many TEFL certification course providers have (or claim to have) accreditations, but what does an accreditation mean if it is not regulated according to a national educational framework? Wouldn’t not have more peace of mind knowing that you can look up i-to-i TEFL in the Ofqual register and see the academy’s courses there? The UK has long been a leader in regulating teaching qualifications, and i-to-i TEFL, itself based in England, has been a leader the TEFL training and certification industry.

Interview with i-to-i TEFL's Catherine Greenwood

What separates i-to-i TEFL from other providers which also offer online and blended TEFL courses?

Here at i-to-i, we’ve been providing top TEFL training since 1994 – so, when it comes training new TEFL teachers, we’ve got considerably more experience than most of our competitors. Over this time, we’ve also built a strong reputation for ourselves with employers all around the world, making it easier for our graduates to find work once qualified. 

Plus, our courses are all regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Open & Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC), so our students can be assured that the training they receive has been meticulously checked by officials and it adheres to their rigorous standards.

What kinds of services do you offer after a person completes a course in the way of job placement or resources?

Our sister company, LoveTEFL, deals exclusively with helping qualified teachers find work all over the world. Once teachers receive their qualification, they can register (free) with LoveTEFL and gain access to a whole library of useful resources, including skill-building courses, assistance with CV writing, sample lesson plans and job-hunting advice – as well as being able to view and apply for TEFL positions around the globe. We also offer free guides and eBooks on specific TEFL destinations, finding work abroad and even teaching online. In short, our support continues long after our teachers get qualified.

What do you believe makes i-to-i TEFL unique in terms of course content and training that would benefit someone in the long run?

We’re the only TEFL provider to offer a Level 5 Diploma – in fact, we offer two! These are made up of an introduction to TEFL, followed by a whole host of Level 5 Specialist Courses, including teaching young learners, understanding grammar, teaching one-to-one, online tutoring and teaching Business English. Level 5 essentially means that, on the UK framework, our Diplomas are ranked as the equivalent Level to a CELTA or a foundation degree.

None of our competitors offer a Level 5 Diploma or any Level 5 Specialist Courses, so there’s no question that our students are getting the best of the best when it comes to preparation for teaching abroad.

What is the completion rate for people who enroll in your courses both online as well as blended learning?

Our online courses have a 94% pass rate and our blended learning courses are higher, with a 96% pass rate. With both types of courses, students get a ton of support from our team of tutors from start to finish – we believe this is why our pass rates are so high! 

How will a certification from i-to-i TEFL help teachers to increase their salaries and find better work in the industry?

In our experience, TEFL employers tend to prefer candidates who’ve completed blended learning, a higher number of training hours (than the minimum 120) and who hold an accredited qualification from a reputable TEFL course provider. We tick all of those boxes. Plus, our range of Level 5 TEFL Courses are specifically aimed at those who want to give themselves the best chance of bagging the most competitive teaching jobs with the best perks and highest salaries.  

Do you have any stories that stand out to you of teachers who have gone on to have successful careers?

Yes! We ran a TEFL story competition in January of this year and the stand-out winner was a graduate of i-to-i named Nicholas. He graduated four years ago and since then, he’s been teaching English in Thailand. Nicholas has managed to progress his career to the stage where he’s now teaching at one of Bangkok’s top private schools, earning a high salary and even opening his own business with the funds he’s earned through teaching.

Are your courses only for teachers who wish to teach abroad or can online teachers also benefit from an i-to-i certification?

Our courses are ideal for both online teaching and teaching abroad. In fact, most of our longer courses include an entire module on online tutoring which covers everything from getting yourself set up and ready to teach to developing a curriculum for your students. That’s the beauty of our courses – they cover all of the key areas of TEFL, so whichever path you choose to take, you’ll be prepared!

What added value does a blended learning course have over an online-only course and who do you recommend going through the blended learning program?

We always recommend taking a blended learning course (to anyone who can attend the dates and locations available) because it can hugely benefit budding teachers. Not only will students get invaluable face-to-face learning with one of our highly qualified, highly experienced tutors – they’ll also have the opportunity to put all of that teaching theory into practice and deliver a mini-lesson of their own!

We always get great feedback from our classroom courses and students tend to find that it boosts their confidence in the classroom, and it helps them feel ready to start teaching real classes. Plus, some TEFL employment programs and employers prefer candidates who’ve taken a blended learning course – for example, the EPIK program (for teaching in South Korea) only accepts applicants who’ve taken a blended learning course.

Preparing to Earn Your TEFL Certification? i-to-i TEFL is Hard to Beat

We hope our interview with Catherine helped you get a clearer picture about i-to-i TEFL, and why we have selected them among the few academies we partner with. It is important to choose a TEFL certification that doesn’t just give you a printed certificate for scrolling through pages of text and quizzes, but equips you with the foundations for becoming an outstanding ESL teacher through the acquisition of effective teaching methodologies, cultural awareness, and mentorship from qualified and experienced TEFL course instructors.

Having a UK Ofqual Level 5 TEFL certification on your résumé, especially if you have completed a blended learning course, will give you a leg up on other candidates, whose qualifications are unregulated. What’s more, i-to-i TEFL will price match, so if you see a competing TEFL course offered at a lower price that meets i-to-i TEFL’s price-matching conditions, you will pay that price.

Adil Vellani

Adil Vellani

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Adil Vellani is the co-founder of ESL Job Exchange. With more than 20 years of international experience in both the education and corporate sectors, Adil is devoted to sharing his knowledge and experience to help individuals and organizations connect and make a massive impact in the lives of ESL learners across the globe. Adil also lectures at the Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering, where he teaches aviation engineering students in an international degree program.
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