With all of the different TEFL courses on offer these days, it can be quite the trainwreck trying to figure out which TEFL course to buy. Much like the myriad types of shoes to choose between when shopping at Payless, you quickly realize that the deeper you dive, the more considerations you need to make as you sift through all of your different options.
But, there is light at the end of the tunnel — just as you eventually find that perfect pair of sandals or gym shoes after hours of perusing, you too will find the perfect TEFL course to fit your goals, skills, qualifications, and budget. That ideal TEFL course is out there, and don’t worry, it’s not at the end of some rainbow. It’s right here!
Here’s everything you need to know before you answer the question: “Which TEFL course to buy?”
First Things First: Do I Even NEED a TEFL to Teach Abroad?
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 need a TEFL to teach abroad. It is absolutely imperative, as speaking a native language and explaining that language are two entirely different beasts. Moreso, you really owe it to your students to have the skills and qualifications to improve their English language proficiencies and prospects.
Teaching abroad is a viable gig, one that can help you battle debt or even stock up on savings. You want to be paid fairly, right? Well, that includes schools, agencies, universities, and other teaching gigs to also be paying you fairly for a skills set that can do the job.
And luckily for you, TEFL courses aren’t expensive. Sure, you will probably have to save and cut back on other unnecessary expenses (*waves bye bye to lattes*), but it is a truly worthwhile investment that will prepare you to not only do the job, but to do the job well. So yes, you do need a TEFL to teach abroad. It’s the right thing!
A Short List of the Types of TEFL Courses Out There
If you were hoping to find a nicely organized, concise bulleted list of your TEFL program options, you’ve come to the right corner of the internet.
120 Hour Course
The 120 hour course is the industry standard and most commonly requested level of certification when applying for a TEFL job. That means that this is the TEFL course that can get you most entry-level jobs in the field. It requires less time and less money, but prepares you sufficiently for the classroom.
168 hour course
Are you on the hunt for top-shelf TEFL certificate? Look no further—our Ofqual regulated Level 5 Certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (QCF) ticks off every qualification box you could ever hope for.
If you’re looking for a step-up in accreditation from the 120-hour TEFL course, but still want the flexibility of getting trained in an ultra-convenient way, then this higher level TEFL course certification program is for YOU.
230 Hour Course
You’ve got your eye on the 168 hour TEFL course—and know that it would set you up for a thrilling career path as an English teacher abroad—but you can’t help but feel like you want a little more. You want to go chest deep into the TEFL pool instead of dipping your toes. You want to specialize, earning additional certifications and improving your long term job prospects. You want to get TEFL certified, but with a lil sum’em sum’em on the side. Our 230 hour TEFL course checks off all those boxes; you’ll get a comprehensive training + the benefits of additional coursework in IELTS & TOEIC test prep training.
290 Hour Course
Our 290 hour TEFL course checks off all those boxes; you’ll get the most comprehensive 168 hour Ofqual level 5 course out there, including four specializations—teaching young learners, teaching Business English students, as well as training to help students prep for exams like IELTS and TOEIC.
If you’re looking to have leaps and bounds more accreditation than a basic TEFL course, still want the flexibility of getting trained in an ultra-convenient way, AND want to have the pick of jobs available to you post-certification, then the 290 hour TEFL course with level 5 certification included is for YOU.
If none of those options fit what you’re looking for, you can also try-on shorter TEFL courses OR strengthen your TEFL skills set with specialist modules. These can be bought individually as 4 x 30 hour trainings — perfect for improving your resume or opening yourself up to new job opportunities (with higher pay or better compensation).
Bundle all of these specialist courses with our 120-hour Advanced TEFL Course to gain 240 hours of expert TEFL training; it’s a favorite with our fluent English speakers!
Do You Desire Practical TEFL Training / In-Class Practice?
Practicing your TEFL skills in front of a classroom — even a “peer classroom” with other TEFL students like you — can be a great way to test drive your skills and work out any butterflies that might remain in your tummy.
You can choose to take TEFL courses entirely in-person or as a blended class option, with some coursework done on your own time online with a secondary portion completed in-person in Poland. Pretty cool, right? We think blended TEFL courses are awesome (and not only for the ample opportunities to chow on pierogis).
What If You Want To Teach 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.
Prepare yourself with a comprehensive TEFL qualification and boost your insight into the differences of teaching online with our 30-hour Teaching English Online module.
How to Choose the Right TEFL Course
Remember: the more training you have, the more opportunities will come your way. Here’s a basic step-by-step guide to follow to ensure you answer the question: “Which TEFL course to buy?” with the best decision for you.
- Identify your goals. Do you want to get certified quickly, move abroad, and then figure out next steps? Do you want to take the time now to invest in your skills set to be more marketable once you live and work abroad? Write out a short list (or a long one, you go-getter you!) and keep it by your side as you…
- Do your research. We know this article is just scratching the surface of all of your different TEFL program options, but we’ve worked hard to provide you the comprehensive resources necessary to know what’s out there. Still confused? Don’t hesitate to email us.
- Ask lots o’ questions. Just like you peruse reviews on the internet before investing in those $100+ hiking boots, you should also conduct due diligence on your TEFL program supplier. Questions about the services offered, any hidden fees (for instance, we have none!), other unexpected costs, what frustrations past teachers have experiences and how they’ve handled them, if you can talk with an alum, etc. The more you go through the process, the more questions will pop in your head. Ask ‘em!
- Match your qualifications to the country you dream of teaching in. Sometimes countries require you are a native English speaker to be eligible for teaching abroad. Others are more lax. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign that dotted line!
- Jump in, memorize those grammar rules, trust your gut, & go! Preparing to teach abroad with a TEFL is important, but most of the time you’ll be relying on good old-fashioned improv to make the magic. With the right combination of courage and know-how, you’ll be well on your way to making a difference in your students’ lives.
Now Get That TEFL!
Just like that, you know what your TEFL program options are and what considerations to make as you weigh your choices. You’re a TEFL superstar and you haven’t even signed up yet!