Published 9th October 2021

Man clicking on TEFL in search engine on screen

Are you thinking of becoming a teacher of English as a Foreign Language?

Congratulations on taking the first step to changing your life!

So you’re probably looking into doing a TEFL course. After all, that’s your ticket to a life of travel, adventure….and teaching, of course!

But if you’ve started looking at your different options, you would have noticed that there are literally thousands of different TEFL courses out there. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. It can be tricky to decide which TEFL course is best for you.

Let’s look at your different options when it comes to TEFL courses and look at how you can make sure you are choosing the best TEFL course for you – and, ultimately, why you shouldn’t choose a cheap TEFL course.

What is a TEFL course?

A TEFL course is a course which provides you with a teaching certificate. In the world of TEFL, you don’t need to have a particular teaching degree in order to teach English as a Foreign Language. Some countries will require you to have some sort of Bachelor’s degree but it doesn’t have to be in English or in Education – and some even don’t require a degree. But the majority of TEFL jobs require a TEFL certificate.

Basically, a TEFL certificate is a no-brainer. But what is not so easy to decide on is which TEFL course to choose. If they’re all the same then surely you can just go a cheap TEFL course?

The short answer: no.

But let’s look at the long answer. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t do the cheapest TEFL course.

Read more: 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a TEFL Course

Teacher in front of whiteboard teaching English as a Foreign Language

1. Not all TEFL courses are long enough

As you may have noticed, TEFL courses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are long, some are short. Some are full-time, some are part-time. Some are face-to-face, some are online, some are a combination of both.

What is important if you are looking for a TEFL job is that your TEFL course is at least 120 hours. It doesn’t matter if you do the course part-time or full-time, face-to-face, online or a combination of both. What is important is the length of the course and the content of the course.

A cheap TEFL course is often cheaper because it is only 20 or 50 hours in length. There is no way you can take in and learn everything you need to know about TEFL in such a short space of time.

Read more: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a TEFL Course

2. Not all TEFL courses teach you enough

When you think about it, this TEFL course needs to prepare you to teach effectively in a classroom. If you have no teaching experience or if your knowledge of the English language is not up to par, this is a tall order. Speaking English is not the same as teaching English! So your TEFL course needs to teach you everything you need to know.

Read more: What Will I Learn on a TEFL Course?

While many TEFL courses might look the same on the surface you need to look very carefully at what is being offered. A cheap TEFL course might not offer as much content as other courses – this is why it is cheaper!

3. Not all TEFL courses are accredited

Because there is no gold standard when it comes to TEFL courses, it is important that the TEFL course you choose is accredited. There are a number of different accrediting bodies which are internationally recognised and reputable. You need to make sure your course is regulated and accredited by one of these bodies.

For example, The TEFL Academy is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education National Accreditor. It is regulated by Ofqual (a UK government department) and award by Qualifi (a UK government recognised awarding body). You can learn more about our accreditation here.

If it’s not clear who the accrediting organisations are, the alarm bells should be ringing!

Read more: TEFL Accreditation Explained

TEFL teachers with TEFL tutors working at a desk

4. Not all TEFL courses provide you with support

120 Hours might not seem like a very long course, but any TEFL course worth its salt is intense and comprehensive. If you have no prior experience with teaching – as most TEFL teachers don’t – it is not enough to do the course on your own. Even if you are doing your TEFL course online you should have access to qualified tutors who are there to answer any questions you might have.

If you are doing a face-to-face course you will automatically have that because you will be in the same room as your tutors. But you still need to make sure they are qualified and experienced and know what they are talking about! A cheap TEFL course might have tutors who are not very experienced or who are not available to provide you with the support you need.

Read more: How to Ace Your TEFL Course

5. Because you’re worth it

Last but certainly not least, our final reason you shouldn’t do a cheapie TEFL course is not about the course but it’s about you!

Doing a TEFL course is investing in yourself and your future. We know times may be tough but your education and training is not something you want to skimp on. If you choose a cheap TEFL course, we can guarantee you that you won’t be prepared to step into the classroom, let alone be able to find a job.

All in all, you would’ve wasted your time and your money. And if you’re serious about TEFL you’ll have to do it all again anyway!

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