Which TEFL course is right for you?
So you’ve decided to teach English overseas? Great news! A world of adventure and excitement awaits; whether you’ll be teaching in the beachside schools of the Thai Andaman, business English in the buzzing cityscapes of China, children in the horizon-widening summer camps of Eastern Europe, or locals in the rural foreign language academies of South America.
Yes sir, opportunities abound for the TEFL-certified graduate – but first you need that all important qualification under the belt!
Today there are a range of different forms of TEFL qualification available, ranging from online to offline courses, and from 40 to 120 hours in length (and over!). To help you navigate the maze of everything TEFL, we’ve put together this guide to choosing the course that’s right for you…
1. Choose online or onsite
Studying the bulk of lessons over the internet affords a great amount of flexibility and convenience; allowing you to complete a TEFL course while at home, working your current job or still in college. Many people find this to be the most convenient, and most affordable route to getting TEFL certified.
That said, onsite study programs tend to peak the excitement just a little more, with opportunities to experience other cultures, meet likeminded people while you hit the TEFL books. With these programs you’ll not only receive full TEFL training, but you’ll gain classroom experience as well.
Naturally, opting for online courses tends to be the most popular option, but it’s all about weighing up the pros and cons and deciding what’s best for you. If you’re still not sure, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options in detail.
2. Select the length.
TEFL certifications come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from short and snappy 40-hour courses that are great for getting a taster of the profession to lengthy 120-hour courses that include a wider range of modules, tests and skills based units.
If you’re unsure about which course to take, consider your current situation and what you’re looking for.
40 hour course: Not entirely sure if teaching is for you? Opt for a 40-hour taster course to get a feel for what teaching abroad is about. You’ll learn about classroom management skills, what it takes to develop a lesson plan, and utilizing effective feedback and testing systems.
60 hour course: JDesigned for private tutors, this course is the perfect blend of practical knowledge, value and efficiency. The course covers management techniques, and lessons on teaching the fundamental four skills. Afterschool ESL students look out!
80 hour course: JHave you been teaching for a short while but feel your skills are lacking? Running out of new ideas to present and practice new material? Then the 80 hour is a smart choice. The course dives straight into teaching the four skills, grammar and lexis giving teachers the training to advance to the next level.
120 hour course: If you’re entirely new to teaching, or you are looking to teach in a professional capacity overseas, you’ll want to take the 120-hour course. Aside from giving you a complete and thorough understanding of teaching English, managing your classroom and navigating the intricacies of test making, lesson planning, and curriculum development, a 120-hour TEFL certificate is often a standard pre-requisite for employers internationally. Your 120 hour TEFL can be used to support work visa applications around the world.
3. Read the reviews.
As with most things, not all TEFL courses are created equal. While some courses may seem to stand out, it’s always worth checking any reviews for your chosen TEFL provider to see what past graduates have to say.
Review sites such as TEFL Course Review allow past graduates to leave feedback about their experience, and rate the course in a range of areas, from how well the program was administered, to the resources available and more.
It’s also worth opening up communication channels with prospective TEFL providers and institutions you’re thinking of studying with before you take the plunge and purchase a course – their own enthusiasm and support should give you a rough idea about what they’re like!
4. Check for extras
Opting for a TEFL course with all the bells and whistles can make a huge difference in your post-qualification journey to find a job, settle in with some private students or hone your own teaching skills to perfection.
To ensure you get the best bang for your buck when choosing your study program, check out what extras come part and parcel.
Most important of these are job placement services, which mean continued support to graduates with things like CV building, school outreach, visa applications, work permits, interview techniques and further learning, not to mention fantastic contacts in institutions from Beijing to Buenos Aires!
5. Make the leap
Okay, so all the boxes are ticked and you’ve done your pre-course research – all that’s left now is to take the plunge and get studying. Believe it or not this can be one of the biggest steps for prospective TEFLers; the hardest leap between their old nine-to-fives and their new life of globetrotting and language teaching.
To make things a little easier and to give that final little push, many EFL companies offer select discounts on TEFL courses, knocking off irresistible percentages for college goers, first-time teachers, online students and more!
Are you ready to start your TEFL adventure? Take the first step by getting your TEFL training and certification. myTEFL’s online courses give you all the training, certification and job placement support you could need!