In his article, Harbord (1992) recommends that an English-language strategy should replace L1 strategies whenever possible. Using the L1 to save time, such as giving instructions for an activity, classroom administration, or chatting with students, is never a good reason. As mentioned in Part I, this is because using the L1 during these situations actually results in the loss of valuable opportunities for using English. It also sends a message to students that English is only a subject for learning, and they are not proficient enough to use it as a means of communication. So how can teachers demonstrate to students that they are capable of using English to communicate when it would be much easier and faster to use the mother tongue?
Teaching culture is an integral part of teaching a language. They are intricately woven together. In order to communicate clearly and effectively in any language, learners must have knowledge of the language’s vocabulary, grammar, when and how to use them appropriately (function), and the corresponding body language. Students also need to be able to read and make accurate assumptions about the other person’s meaning by evaluating his/her verbal and non-verbal cues. When one is gauging the appropriateness of language and behaviour, culture must be considered. It would be impossible to explain, for example, how to talk to a potential employer without talking about both the language and its culture.
The price of an expensive on-site course is not indicative of quality. Online TESOL courses can be offered for a much lower tuition fee because the need to rent expensive downtown classrooms is eliminated. Furthermore, online education provides great economies of scale because schools have a global reach. While online courses provide a private tutor to every trainee, quality on-site TESOL courses cannot accept more than 15 students. As TESL Canada and CELTA recognize some online TESOL courses, this method of instruction is the way of the future.
In order to obtain a work permit in another country, a university degree is required unless you are a citizen of that country. The degree does not have to be on education, TESOL, or anything related to teaching. In fact, most TESOL trainees have degrees in business, history, and art.
Having a degree in an unrelated area does not indicate that the applicant can teach English. The reason immigration offices require a university degree is to avoid young backpackers who are usually irresponsible with their students, their contracts, and used wreak havoc when there were less restrictions. Gone are the days when any native-speaker could move to another country and find a job teaching English. Language institutes have established a professional industry in which a degree and an internationally recognized TESOL certification are required.