Don’t know what TEFL course to choose? Don’t worry – we’re here to help. Now is your chance to get started while teaching English is booming. With all the different TEFL courses on offer these days, it can be quite the train-wreck trying to figure out which one to buy. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will be able to find the perfect TEFL course to fit your goals, skills, qualifications and budget. Here’s everything you need to know before you answer the question: “which TEFL course to buy?”
So, who can actually take a TEFL course? Typically you will need to be over 18 years of age and you can come from any sort of background. You don’t necessarily need to be a native speaker of English, nor is it necessary to have a degree, but the more you scale up your qualifications, the more earning potential and opportunities.
One of the most common questions that is asked of new TEFL teachers is “why”? Why do you want to teach English? Some teachers may have decided on a change of career. Others may just be starting out in the working world. What’s important to remember is that everyone has their own reasons and every teacher is different.
The entry requirements for the TEFL industry can be relatively low. However, the more qualified you are, the better. It’s important to know what types of courses are out there, and picking one that is right for you can be overwhelming. That’s what we are here to help with.
First things first – do I need a TEFL qualification to teach abroad or online?
While you meet countless people who claim otherwise, as well as read numerous blogs that share “teach abroad hacks” or other ways to get around TEFL requirements, the reality is that you will need a TEFL qualification to teach abroad. It is crucial, as speaking a native language and teaching that language are two entirely different beasts. You also really owe it to your students to have the skills and qualifications to improve their English language proficiency and prospects.
Teaching abroad is a viable gig, and one that can allow you to travel and work remotely. And if you want to be paid fairly and have opportunities to work in a lot of countries, then you need to be qualified. And luckily for you, TEFL courses are reasonably priced. Sure, you might have to wave goodbye to the fancy Starbucks lattes for a while, but it is a truly worthwhile investment that will prepare you to not only do the job, but to do the job well.
When it comes to teaching online, entry requirements can vary. Some companies will require the whole shebang including a degree, TEFL qualification, prior experience and more, whilst other companies may not need any qualification or experience at all. We have put together a blockbuster guide to online teaching platforms where you can see the requirements for some of the most popular companies for teaching English online.
By having a TEFL qualification, you have the potential to travel and and work around the world remotely. Or if you really want to, you can stay at home in your pyjamas. Either way, it allows you to work anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection.
Types of TEFL courses available and how to pick what is right for you.
The TEFL world can be confusing with hundreds of companies providing courses. How are you supposed to find one that suits you when there are so many to choose from? Here are a few important things to look out for.
The first thing to check for when choosing a TEFL course is to make sure that it is accredited. Looking for external validation can be key, and in the UK, having a course that is accredited by Ofqual is often a good start.
Next, how much will your TEFL course cost? In-person courses will usually be more expensive, but online courses have become an affordable way to get TEFL certified. Not only this, they are convenient and allow you to learn from the comfort of your own home.
It’s also important to figure out how many hours you want to invest before buying a course. If you plan to teach online, you may come across a lot of Chinese companies who hire TEFL teachers. These companies require a minimum of a 120 hour course, so having this type of qualification is usually the industry standard and anything less may not be considered.
Cheap TEFL courses may seem appealing, but if they are not accredited or don’t have enough hours, then they may be useless when trying to find a job. You really do get what you pay for when you purchase a TEFL course. If you fall into the trap of buying a cheap course, it’s likely the content will be lower quality. If you want to really set yourself apart from other TEFL teachers, then you can always study an advanced course that will help you ramp up your skills.
Our available TEFL courses
If none of those options fit what you’re looking for, you can also try our shorter TEFL courses. Or, you can strengthen your TEFL skills set with specialist modules. These can be bought individually and are perfect for improving your resume or opening yourself up to new jobs with higher pay or better opportunities.
You might want to prepare your long-term students for success by investing in our Advanced Grammar for English Teachers course. Or our Teaching Young Learners course might be right up your street if you love teaching kids. But if you don’t really fancy teaching children, then you could avail of our Teaching Business English short-course which is perfect when teaching adults. And you could also boost your insight into the differences of teaching online with our 30-hour Teaching English Online module. These are only some of our specialist courses available, but by investing in one or more of them, you are really setting yourself apart.
Fast track courses versus Level 5 courses
The key to deciding what TEFL course to choose is to understand what your needs are. If you are just starting off as a TEFL teacher online, then a 120 hour course will usually be sufficient. This type of course is classed as a fast-track course. Fast track courses will typically allow you to get into the TEFL industry as a beginner at entry-level. They are also usually the best value for money. These courses are great for people who plan to do short stints abroad or work online.
Regardless of whether you start with this type of course or a more in depth one, the same techniques and methodologies will apply. You will still learn the same fundamental techniques that you can use in your virtual classroom.
However, Level 5 courses have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These courses are usually more in depth and represent the equivalent of a government level qualification, similar to CELTA. If you want to aim for the top-paying jobs in the TEFL world, then this is definitely the course for you. Our Level 5 government regulated TEFL courses guarantee you the highest standard of teacher training, and this will lead to more opportunities and the highest paid jobs.
Are you looking for classroom practice?
Practising your TEFL skills in front of a classroom, whether in-person or online can be a great way to test drive your skills and eradicate any butterflies that might remain in your tummy.
One of the best options for this is our scholarship programs across Europe. You can choose to take your TEFL course as a blended class option, with some coursework done on your own time online with a secondary portion completed in-person. Pretty cool, right? We think blended TEFL courses are awesome, and they give you the option of traveling, teaching in-person and learning online in your own time.
What if you want to teach English from home?
Then you’ll be joining the newest, biggest trend to hit the ESL teaching industry. More and more budding English teachers are starting their career from home and teaching eager learners online. You’ll typically teach one-to-one or small group sizes and build an impressive resume of work experience in no time.
One of the main benefits of teaching online is the ability to be your own boss and have a sustainable income. Although you won’t become a millionaire from teaching English online, money is definitely there to be made.
Being able to make your own schedule is also very appealing for teachers. They can schedule classes around their commitments, giving them more flexibility and a healthier work-life balance. It means that those with hectic lives can still make some money online in their spare time on their own terms.
Teaching English online really does give you the opportunity to have freedom, flexibility and lots of fun. You have the potential to change the lives of not only your students, but yourself. People who pay for English lessons tend to be more motivated, and thus learn more. So this will allow you to see the development of your students, which truly is a wonderful thing! Being a part of that learning and cultural experience is something that will change your life for the better.
How to choose the right TEFL course
Always remember: the more training you have, the more opportunities will come your way. Here’s some basic steps to follow to ensure you have the highest earning potential and best teaching opportunities.
- Identify your goals: what is your main objective? Do you want to get certified quickly, move abroad, and then figure out next steps? Do you want to invest in your skills set to be more marketable once you live and work abroad? Want to teach English online from the comfort of your own home? Identify your goals before buying your TEFL course.
- Do your research: we know that you might just be scratching the surface of TEFL program options. So we’ve worked hard to provide you the comprehensive resources necessary to know what’s out there.
- Ask lots of questions: just like you look at reviews when buying clothes online, make sure you conduct due diligence on your TEFL program supplier. Question them about the services they offer, any hidden fees and unexpected costs. Also check with them what frustrations past teachers have experienced and how they’ve handled them. You could also enquire about getting in touch with an alumni to hear about their experience. Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. So make sure to ask them.
- Match your qualifications to the role you want to do: depending on which company you work for or what country you plan to work in, requirements will vary. So, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign that dotted line!
- Never look back: preparing to teach abroad or online with a TEFL qualification is important. But most of the time you will rely on good old-fashioned improvisation to make the magic. Don’t forget, teaching English is life-changing for you and your students.
Now, get that TEFL and start teaching!
Just like that, you know what your TEFL program options are and what considerations to make as you weigh up your options. You’re already a TEFL superstar and you haven’t even signed up yet! The best thing for you to do is to get TEFL certified and start teaching as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the less likely you are to do it. And demand for English teachers is higher than ever, so what is stopping you? Being a TEFL teacher is extremely rewarding, and it can really allow you to become your own boss, have financial freedom and flexibility. From all of us, good luck with your TEFL journey!