Frequently Asked Questions

Is this school or course legitimate? / Does this school exist?
If it is one of the schools/courses in the list on this website, it will be bona fide.

No two teacher training courses are identical, even if they are inspired by the same model or content.

The fact that the “parent” course has been externally accredited/validated does not mean that all derivative courses benefit from that validation. Each course has to undergo its own accreditation/validation process.

A good example of this are certain courses offered by the Language House schools. Each of the courses is accredited by IATQuO, and each has had to undergo its own accreditation and assessment processes.

We have been made aware that there are a number of Teacher Training Centres claiming to be IATQuO validated. Only those on this list are.

To check up if your choice of teaching centre is a fraud or not click here.

An intending teacher should make the following three checks before 
registering for any TESOL training course:

  1. Check the exact address and location of a specific course, with the local 
telephone number – note that an international or national “toll free call” 
number is almost certainly NOT the day to day number of the course site.
  2. Contact the Director of Studies, preferably by phone, ask for their name, (and credentials or experience), and ask some simple questions about the course and the location.
  3. Contact the quoted accrediting/validating body direct to ascertain the school’s
credentials and to discover whether they have in fact validated the centre that interests you. 
The quoted accrediting/validating body should have at least a web site link, a valid email address, a telephone number and a postal address.

If any of this information is not available, dubious or inaccurate, warning bells should sound! It may take a little time, the cost of an international phone call or two, and that should be it. But a few dollars/pounds/euros spent in this way may well prevent a subsequent loss of 2000 or more!

There should be absolutely no need to pay any deposit until the above checks have been made.

A further check you can make if you live in the country, or if you have a friend living in the country, is to ask to visit the centre: no trustworthy teacher training centre should refuse access.

Finally, an intending teacher should be aware that some quoted accrediting/validating bodies are not validating bodies but simply associations. It is very simple to become a member by paying a small fee.

What do trainees say about IATQuO accredited courses?

During moderation the IATQuO moderator asks trainees in their final week two questions. Here they are with some of the replies:

  1. What have been the main benefits of the course for you?IATQuO-what-students-say
  • It taught me how to construct my own language.
  • Teaching practices were 60% the value of the course
  • I experienced how it would feel to be one of my students.
  • Opportunity to teach in front of real learners
  • The more exposure (to teaching) the better
  • Has given me tools for the classroom
  • We now have the tools for the teaching process
  • We have a structure around which to plan our lessons
  • Methodology – you can see it working!
  • Learned to be more creative and to think outside the box
  • Valued the opportunity to teach in front of real learners
  • acquisition of an invaluable structure for planning lessons and teaching
  • boosted belief in being able to and wanting to teach
  • it has given me purpose
  • value of TP enabling us to teach small classes and one to one
  • being able to witness teaching techniques and then practise them
  • value of tutors using techniques with us that we are to use in class
  • grammar – the way it was presented and having to put your own head around it


  1. Would you recommend this course?
  • I already have!
  • It’s the course to do, you can trust them, there’s no blah, blah.
  • Absolutely, this is the best choice you can make for your future.
Why doesn’t IATQuO provide feed back on the schools visited and moderated?
Because the reports are owned by the schools that ask to be moderated, and it is up to them if they want to publish them.

The reports are working documents that address the plus and the minus points found during the moderation.

If you wish to consult a report, you should contact the training centre concerned.

What does IATQuo provide?
  • We provide initial and ongoing external accreditation/validation services.
  • We provide information on accredited/validated training courses to prospective trainees.
  • We provide information on accredited/validated training courses to employers looking for suitably qualified teachers.
  • We plan to disseminate information on best practice in TESOL and support research and development in the field, resources permitting.
Who is accountable for the impartiality of IATQuO moderation?
Dr Alan Moller, the Academic Director.

He is  assisted by an academic advisory panel.

What are other validating bodies?
There are two other bodies operating internationally:

Details of their activities appear on their respective websites.

Is it possible to gain a validated certificate by following an online course?
While a purely online course cannot receive accreditation by IATQuO, a course which requires some subsequent teaching practice or practicum activities as outlined below may be accredited by us.

To be accredited by us an online course must acheive the following standards:


  • Tuition in the Grammar and Phonology of English should account for up to 40% (or 40 hours equivalent) of the course input.
  • Tuition in the approaches to language learning, language teaching techniques and classroom management should account for up to another 40% (or 40 hours equivalent).
  • Practical projects and practical experience in an English Language Teaching classroom should account for up to another 20% (or 20 hours equivalent).

The coverage of the tuition components should be comprehensive and relevant to the classroom.

Worksheets and tests should be provided for each of the major topics covered in the online material and should be submitted to the course tutors for assessment and feedback.

The practical projects, such as lesson plans, a learner profile, and observation of class teaching on video can be carried out during or immediately after completion of the online components.


The material studied online should amount to the equivalent of 100 hours of work. At 5 hours a day this should take someone a minimum of four intensive weeks of 25 hours’ work to complete.

Practical Experience/Practicum:

Practical Classroom Experience should include the writing of reports of live lessons trainees are able to observe, evaluations of class textbooks or other materials, working with real learners either as a teaching assistant or temporary teacher. A minimum of 10 hours should be spent on the practicum and a teacher in the institution visited must monitor and report on the trainee’s work.

Tutorial Staff:

Online tutors should possess a post-Certificate qualification, several years of experience teaching English, and experience of teacher training. There should be a coordinating tutor.

They should be available at set times, which should be communicated to the trainees, and should provide feedback on the assignments and worksheets that have been submitted. Ideally one tutor should be allocated to each trainee.

Premises and resources:

Premises will only be necessary for the administrators of the programme. Tutors can ideally work from home but should have conference coordination meetings periodically.

The online provider should possess email and internet facilities that make it possible to store and send course units and trainee work and grades that have been submitted.

Acronyms Explained
TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language
This applies to situations where English is learned and taught in an environment where English is not used on a daily basis in either an official or unofficial capacity. Examples – Italy, Indonesia, Thailand

TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language
This applies to situations where English is learned and taught in an environment where English is used on a daily basis in either an official or unofficial capacity but where the mother tongue of the learners is normally a language other than English. Examples – India, Singapore, U.K. immigrants.

TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
This term is used for both the TEFL and TESL situations, where the mother tongue of the learners is NOT English.
TESOL is also the name of the largest organisation of teachers of English world wide, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. There are many autonomous national affiliates in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

TEAL – Teaching English as an Acquired/Additional Language
This term, in either of its forms, is now widely used in situations where English is taught to non native speakers in a native English speaking country. Examples – U.K., Australia.

TESNL – Teaching English to Speakers of the National Language.
This is a a term created by IATQuO. It is a more local form of TESOL, where teachers of English in a specific country teach students of that same country.

ELT – English Language Teaching
A general term for the teaching of English in any of the above situations.

ESP – English for Special Purposes
The term is used for the particular English required for special situations. Examples – English required in business situations, for academic purposes, or in the tourism industry. Some TESOL training courses contain sub-components on teaching ESP.

EYL – English for Young Learners
Some TESOL training courses contain sub-components relating specifically to teaching English to learners of ten or under.