While there is a common belief, contrary, there is no unified system for accreditation of courses for teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). No single organization or body regulates or gives accreditation to these courses, which causes a lot of confusion among students wishing to attend accredited TEFL courses. The truth is that the vast majority of TEFL courses are accredited by a variety of different accreditation bodies, none of which adheres to a unified system to do so.
TEFL students understandably want to make sure that their TEFL qualifications are internationally recognized so that their teaching opportunities are not limited. The best way to do this is to take courses accredited by an organization generally recognized internationally. This organization exists in the World Teaching English as a Commission for accreditation of foreign languages or wteflac. This organization, based in New York City, currently accredits hundreds of courses developed by a myriad of course providers around the world. The accredited courses come from over 20 countries around the world.
Various nations have certification bodies that serve to accredit TEFL courses in their individual countries. Unfortunately, these accreditation organizations are often not recognized outside their constituent countries. This gives the students of these courses limited credibility on an international scale. Since wteflac accredits courses on an international basis rather than on a national basis, the skills of students who have taken the courses they accredit are generally recognized when applying to international teaching positions. While TEFL courses in universities are highly recognized internationally, wteflac accredited courses allow strong recognition of TEFL certificates by non-university students.
The World World Accreditation Commission is certainly not the only TEFL accreditation organization with a strong international reputation. For example, the UK Open and Distance Learning Quality Council is generally recognized. That said, there are few organizations whose reputation is as strong as the World World Accrediting Commission. The overwhelming majority of international employers of teachers who teach English as a foreign language will readily accept the wteflac certification of a potential employee.
If you wish to be an international teacher of English as a foreign language, you will need to choose a TEFL course to take to get your certificate. When you select a TEFL course, your most important consideration is who will recognize your certificate and what your certificate will mean to potential employers abroad. A certificate accredited by a national organization in your country of origin may not be recognized in other countries, thus limiting your opportunities for international employment. If you are following the course through a university, this does not apply. Outside of university courses, the best solution is to take courses accredited by the TELF Worldwide Accreditation Commission.