Published 30th June 2016
Once you’ve decided to enter the TEFL world, you’re probably looking at all the different TEFL courses that are available and you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. That’s okay – because it is overwhelming! Everywhere you look some company is offering a course which offers something different to the others. “I haven’t done the TEFL course yet,” I hear you scream at your computer screen, “so how am I supposed to know which one to choose?!”
And here’s the answer: have a look at what the course offers and compare it to this handy checklist:
- A Grammar component
- Teaching Language (grammar and vocabulary)
- Teaching Skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
- Teaching methods, ideas and materials
- Lesson Planning
- Classroom Management
If the TEFL course can offer all of these things, then you know you’re on the right track. These are the staples of any TEFL course and you shouldn’t be wasting your time or your money on a course that doesn’t offer a module related to these topics. This might seem trivial, but when you think about it, this course needs to prepare you to teach. There will be no one to hold your hand or tell you what to do, so having a knowledge of these topics is for your peace of mind, too – so you don’t freak out completely on your first day of work.
Those are the guidelines for any TEFL course, but what if you have decided to go the online TEFL course route, how do you know which online course is best?
In this case, there are a few extras that your online TEFL course needs to offer you:
- Tutor support
- Possibility for practical experience
- 120 hours
Studying on your own can be challenging and it’s necessary that you have someone (preferably a team of someone’s!) that you know will be there if you need to ask a question, don’t understand something or just need a bit of a kick up the bum. Your own personal cheerleaders. Because starting an online TEFL course is easy, finishing it, not so much. Plus, you should be assessed at certain points in the course so you can get an idea of whether you are on track.
What’s more, though it can be hard to get practical teaching experience with an online TEFL course, there should still be some guidance or help on how you can get teaching experience once you have the TEFL certificate. If you have a 120-hour TEFL certificate and you can get some classroom-time under your belt, you’re golden.
Finally, the one way you can decide which online TEFL course is best, is to look for the 120 hours. Some online TEFL courses try to skimp on the hours because they are online courses. Don’t bother. 120 Hours is a vital component of any TEFL certificate, and it’s no different with an online TEFL course.
If you’re trying to decide which online TEFL course is best, consider these different components and you will get a better idea of which one is best.