Published 29th June 2018
Choosing the right TEFL course is crucial to provide you with the training, qualifications and job support you need to give you the best opportunities to teach English abroad and enjoy the international adventure of a lifetime. It’s simply not worth enrolling on cheap TEFL courses to save money and then realising that the course did not qualify you for the teaching jobs you want or provide any TEFL job assistance.
Here are 3 critical mistakes to avoid in choosing a TEFL course:
1.) Choosing a TEFL course that is not accredited, recognised by government or does not meet international standards
While any training is better than no training, taking a course that is not accredited and recognised by government will limit your job opportunities teaching English abroad. The vast majority of schools and language institutes around the world looking to hire an English teacher will not only look to see that you have a TEFL certificate, but also that it is accredited by a government regulated, independent body within the field. This is to verify that your TEFL class meets certain quality standards with regards to its curriculum, hours of training and academic integrity.
2.) Buying cheap TEFL courses from Groupon, Amazon or other group-buying sites
To sell on Groupon and other similar sites, TEFL providers must reduce their price and then split what they make 50/50 with the deal portal. It just isn’t possible to offer high quality tutor support and job assistance with such small revenues. Cheap TEFL courses are highly unlikely to be accredited by a government regulated body. TEFL courses are like anything else – if an offer or price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3.) Signing up for a TEFL course without doing your research
Financially seeing the prices of some TEFL courses on group-buying sites like Groupon and Amazon can look like you are getting a great deal, but it is not always clear what you are getting for your money. Cheap TEFL courses are merely certificate mills and often have limited personal interaction with a human and lack of support and feedback.
Here are 7 key factors that you should be clear about:
Training/Study hours: How many hours of training does the TEFL course include? (currently the international standard is at least 120 hours, but courses up to 170 hours offer more in-depth training)
Accreditation – is the TEFL course accredited by a government regulated body?
Course Level -Is the course a real level 5 course? A TEFL course is only really a “level” if it sits on the Register of Regulated Qualifications. If it doesn’t then it’s not the level the company is claiming and will not be accepted by embassies and employers around the world. You can find our qualification on the register here.
Tutors – If you want to become a professional English teacher, should you accept anything less than top-level instruction from experienced EFL tutors with a TEFL qualification and advanced degrees (MA, PhD or Delta)?
Course Completion and Course Access – The norm for average completion time is 4 – 6 weeks with 6 months’ access to the course.
Hidden Costs – Are there any hidden costs, like job placement assistance or high extension fees?
The perils of group buying are often overlooked and TEFL is a prime example of a sector being significantly influenced by the offer of ‘bargain’ buys. Groupon, and other similar sites, brings traffic in large numbers which enables course providers to lower their cost, but in doing so they typically lower their service. Stay clear of group-buying sites when choosing a TEFL course.