Teaching English is a very complex process that involves knowledge about linguistics as well as about educational psychology.
However, like everything else in life, there is the theory and then the reality.
There is a Chinese proverb that says: I hear and I forget... I see and I remember... I do and I understand. This holds so very true for English teaching. That's why at Oxbridge we believe that a good TEFL course should back all this theoretical knowledge with actual practice.
From the very first day, we believe that our TEFL trainees should not just "hear" but they should also "see". For this reason, trainees are assigned a weekly observation schedule, where they can monitor experienced teachers and see the theory put into practice. After watching a few classes, students are then given the opportunity to "do" by co-teaching these classes.
I honestly believe this is the most valuable experience any TEFL training can provide, the chance to actually teach and put different theories to the test. Oxbridge provides this teaching practice with real paying clients with different levels of proficiency, which adds pressure and authenticity to the experience. It's not some mock class you can mess up and get a failing grade, serious mistakes could result in dismissal, loss of a client, etc. However, we believe that with proper guidance and training, as well as an experienced teacher to oversee the class, our trainees can be trusted to teach in our name.
Much like our students of English as a foreign language, we also learn a lot more about teaching through usage than we do by careful analysis of linguistic theories. There are very good teachers out there with little or no linguistic knowledge. Conversely, there are great linguists who make terrible teachers, because they assume everyone shares their knowledge or interest in how a language works, which is rarely the case. However, a teacher can shield himself from a lack of linguistic knowledge by teaching English through its functions, its usage... avoiding technical explanations of adverbs or verb tenses, since there's a good chance he won't know their name!
These teachers become great simply through experience, over time they develop an understanding of how the language works by having to come up with explanations for their students. They may not necessarily know the technical names of things, but then neither will most students. In fact, this will often lead to simpler explanations for students to grasp, since the teacher is coming up with them as a user of the language, not as a scientist of it.
were to explain the theory of relativity in terms of quantum physics, it probably wouldn't make that much sense to most people. However, everyone can grasp a simpler concept of relativity, like a car's velocity relative to another car. That's why no matter how long we spend studying something, until we get to practice it we won't really know just how much we know. It is by doing that we will develop the tools we need to continue to evolve as teachers everyday. So make sure that wherever you decide to receive your TEFL training will provide as much teaching practice as possible, it really is the best way to find out what you truly need to know to make English teaching work for you.