Published 30th June 2016
Imagine this: you want to study, but you’re not sure where. How do you decide?
Usually, you’ll decide what you want to study and find the schools that offer that qualification. Then you look at the reputation of the school and maybe the calibre of its graduates. Finally, you will consider the cost of the course, whether or not it is reasonable relative to the perceived quality of the course, and whether or not it’s affordable.
Deciding to do an online TEFL course is no different, except a little easier.
The decision as to what you want to study has already been made; you want to study Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Further than that, it’s not up to you to decide what particular aspects of TEFL you want to teach. That’s all you need to know: you want to study TEFL. If you make a list of all the online TEFL courses available online, you’ll have a long list of institutions that offer online TEFL courses.
Then, consider the reputation of the institution or organisation. The easiest way to do this is to look at the website and find out whatever information you can from there. To be honest, looking at a website will give you a good sense of the style of the institution and, seeing as you’re choosing an online course, you would want the website to be pretty good. This research should also extend to their social media pages.
The website should provide you with all the information you need regarding the practicalities of the course, but it will also give you a glimpse into the life of its graduates. Often TEFL graduates will write articles or blog posts for their institutions describing their teaching experiences. This is a good way to see if this agrees with your idea of where you want to be and what you want to be doing after the course. If you see all the graduates are teaching kindergarten in little villages in rural China and this is not your vibe, then maybe this is not the course for you.
Then do some googling. Find online forums and chat rooms which are talking about the institution and see what other people are saying about it. You can’t believe everything you read, but if everything is overwhelmingly positive or negative, then you have a good idea of what the general opinion is of the course. The sheer number of online courses is actually a positive thing for potential students: there is no need to settle for anything less than exactly what you want because there will always be someone out there who offers that.
Finally, consider the cost of the course. For an online TEFL course this cost needs to be weighed up with the amount of time needed to dedicate to the course, how long you have to complete the course and what you can realistically dedicate to the course.
Once you have considered all these factors, you will be able to decide how good an online TEFL course is. If you think the course is able to offer you everything you need and want in an online TEFL course, then there should be nothing stopping you from signing up.