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  • Abigail Woodruff

The VIPKid TESOL Certificate

VIPKid Series


What is this TESOL course you speak of?

So, you've passed your mock class and you are starting to upload documents when something catches your eye... you need a TESOL Certificate?? I had to have a second take when I first saw this because one of the things that guided me towards VIPKid over other teaching platforms was the fact that you didn't need a TESOL Certificate. Well, surprise! You do- it's just that you don't need it to be considered for the initial hiring process.

A lot of older videos/hiring timelines don't recognise this step because it's only recently that China has required all online ESL teachers to have either a teaching license or a TESOL Certificate. Now, all new teachers must read the materials and take the quizzes in order to be hired as a VIPKid teacher. Check out my up-to-date hiring process blog HERE for more details on everything a newbie teacher must do to get hired with VIPKid.

Do I have to get the certificate if I am already a brick and mortar and/or online teacher?

If you are already a teacher with a full teaching license or have a TESOL Certificate from a different company, you do not need to get the TESOL Certificate, however I still recommend that you take the quiz as the material will be familiar to you and it will look good to prospective students (and their parents) that you have the official VIPKid & TESOL badge on your profile.

How is it different than another TESOL Certificate?

The official TESOL company- the big kahuna- worked hand-in-hand with VIPKid to create a course for their teachers that basically condenses the material into a feasible course load that will also fulfil China's requirements. That's right, you don't have to click through Groupon or any other sketchy website on the web trying to find good deals (while also hoping it's completely legitimate). The VIPKid/TESOL Certificate is completely free and guarantees you a spot as a VIPKid teacher once passed- provided everything else on your application is up to scratch of course. (Which, personally, I think really gives the platform a leg up over other companies that do not provide anything of the sort).

Is the information difficult?

Honestly, it feels like being thrown right back into the throes of college with all of the academic articles and information being piled upon you, so, yes- it's not easy information. However, if you've made it this far, you already have a Bachelor's Degree at minimum and I know that you can do a short course. Plus, you will learn about tactics proven by psychologists to help second language acquisition so you can really see that VIPKid is based in research and science.

How is it that I read all of the information and am still struggling to pass the quizzes?

I really do not feel like the information in the quizzes accurately checks the knowledge you take in by reading the articles that they provide (a bit of a silly oversight on their part). For the first few articles, I was jotting down every single piece of information that I thought I might be tested on and it honestly did not help at all. My advice is to read my tips below and to simply skim-read the articles for clarity. This course does not need to take the 120 hours that it says it takes.

Tips for passing quickly?

  1. Everyone says it, but it's so true- LOOK AT THE QUIZZES FIRST. You are not penalised in any way for the amount of times it takes you to pass the quiz, so in order to get familiar with the material, click through the quizzes at the beginning and jot down the questions that they are asking. Make sure to do this a few times as there are some questions that appear in some quizzes and not others.

  2. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! My favourite part of the course that they provided was the links to YouTube videos that put the academic information into more palatable clips. There's nothing at all stopping you from 'Googling' the developmental psychology topics yourself and getting to grips with the information that way.

  3. This tip I haven't heard anyone talk about, but it is legitimately the best way to get through the material quickly--- UTILISE THE 'TIPS' TAB. They pretty much give you the answers. I printed off all of the information found under 'tips' and jotted down notes that I thought might come up based on the info they gave me.

Should I take the TESOL Advanced Certificate?

Why not?! Everything I have read or heard says to get as many certifications as you possibly can! Nothing bad can come out of your profile looking like you are one of the most qualified teachers on the platform. The layout for the advanced certificate is pretty much identical, so if you find yourself having time (especially at the beginning when bookings are a lot slower) then it's definitely something worth looking into.

Does the TESOL Certificate work outside of VIPKid?

I can't find too much information on this, but from what I can tell- some other online teaching companies may let you use your certificate, but for the most part, it's only valid for the VIPKid platform since it is their specific program that they created in tandem with TESOL.

Alrighty, folks! It's just a short one today! (Is that a collective sigh of relief that I just heard?) ha!

For my prospective VIPKid teachers- Let me know if you have any questions about the VIPKid TESOL program that I didn't address and I will do my absolute best to find out for you. If you haven't started your journey yet or have just started but don't have a Referee and want some guidance along the way, I would feel honoured if you would use my code: ABIGA0441 or my LINK. Shoot me an email at afterwards if you do so we can chit chat and get the details ironed out!

If you are a veteran VIPKid teacher, I would love to know what things you learned in the TESOL Course that you still think about or utilise today. I always keep 'the silent period' in mind when working with my Level 1's and I also always think about the fact that the 1-to-1 communication is helping them with social communication.

Until next time-

happy teaching,

A.C. Woodruff


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