How to choose the right TEFL course?

Deciding which TEFL course suits your individual learning style, your current situation and your future plans can be difficult as there is no standard length of training or a fixed syllabus that providers have to adhere to. The best advice we can give is don't simply choose the cheapest or the first option you come across as it may not be suitable for your needs. You should spend time researching what employers expect from job applicants in the countries where you would like to work, as well as any official requirements for work permits and visas etc. Finally you should also research the course provider to ensure they have a good reputation amongst their graduates.

What should I look for when choosing a TEFL course?

The overall length of the course is a good place to start. There are many providers who offer short format online courses of 40 hours or even less, as well as in-class courses that can be completed in one weekend visit. Whilst these courses will give you an introduction to EFL teaching, they are unlikely to provide enough depth to satisfy the majority of employers. It is worth noting that most English language teaching jobs will stipulate a minimum of 100 hours of instruction. Unless you are simply looking for an insight into language teaching or are planning to work in a voluntary capacity, these courses are probably not for you.

How long should an online TEFL course be?

Online courses that include 100 or 120 hours of instruction are a good option for many people as they are generally affordable and should provide a solid grounding in areas such as teaching methodologies, classroom management and grammar structures. If you choose this option you should look for a course that is designed to be as practically focused as possible. For example, ITTT's 120-hour TEFL certificate course with tutor & videos provides all the theoretical knowledge required by a novice teacher, as well as a selection of videos that includes real teachers delivering lessons in a genuine classroom environment. A course such as this also requires the completion of multiple lesson plans that are submitted to a professional teacher trainer for assessment.

What are the differences between an online TEFL course and an in-class TEFL course?

Probably the most significant difference is the inclusion of Observed Teaching Practice (OTP) in classroom based courses. Throughout the four-week course you will spend many hours practicing your teaching skills in a real classroom with genuine English language learners. These practice lessons are observed by an experienced course trainer who will provide instant feedback and tips for improvement following each lesson. OTP allows you to hone your teaching skills and gain confidence in your ability before you start teaching in your own classroom, something that is not possible with a standard online course.

Classroom based courses also include daily lessons on grammar and other subjects delivered by qualified teacher trainers. Many students find this classroom based approach preferable to learning on their own as the subject matter is explained by a professional and any questions will be answered immediately rather than via email. Learning within a group setting can also be advantageous as input and ideas from multiple sources can often lead to a more rounded understanding of the subject. The social aspect of an in-class course is one other area that should be acknowledged as making new friends in an interesting and unfamiliar environment should ensure that the overall experience is far more stimulating than distance learning.

What are the advantages of an online TEFL course?

The big advantage of an online course is that you are free to study in the comfort of your own home at whatever pace suits you. Many people also find they are simply unable to take a month away from their commitments to attend a training center, making distance learning the only realistic option. Another big difference that can?t be ignored is the cost. This is often the most important factor as an in-class TEFL course costs in the region of $1500 or more, with accommodation, travel and entertainment not included, whilst a good quality 120-hour online TEFL course can be completed for around $250 - $350.

Are online and in-class TEFL courses both viable options?

There are several significant differences between the course options but it is clear that the in-class TEFL courses focus on practical teaching skills offers a solid foundation from which to start a teaching career. However, if the cost or time needed to complete the in-class course is prohibitive then an online TEFL course from a reputable company can still provide a convenient and affordable route to TEFL certification.

What is a combined TEFL course?

One further option is the combined TEFL course which blends different aspects of both the online and in-class courses. With the combined course you complete all the theoretical components via distance learning at any pace you are happy with. Once complete you then attend a training center for two weeks to complete the course and the observed teaching practice sessions. This third option is popular as it requires less time commitment but still results in a full TEFL certification.

Which TEFL course is the quickest to complete?

Online courses are often the quickest route towards TEFL certification. If you are in a real hurry a course such as our 60-hour introduction to TEFL may be a good choice as you can conceivably complete it in as little as five days. Even those who prefer to study at a slower rate should find they can complete the course within one month. However, it is worth remembering that the majority of employers worldwide insist on job applicants having a TEFL certificate of at least 100 hours.

Are longer online TEFL courses more beneficial?

If you want to ensure you meet the criteria of these employers and therefore open the door to jobs offering a competitive salary, a 120-hour TEFL certificate may be more suitable. The 120-hour TEFL course includes more than enough content to satisfy the majority of employers, and is therefore a very popular choice. This course can be completed in as little as two weeks if you are extremely motivated and have few other commitments, however, most trainees should expect to spend around six to eight weeks on this course.

How long does an in-class TEFL course take?

As the online courses are designed as self study options, the time they take to complete is really down to the individual trainee. In contrast, the in-class TEFL certification course is a full-time course that runs for a set time period. If you choose this option you will attend the training center of your choice for a period of four weeks. During this time you will complete all the theory lessons and have extensive teaching practice with authentic English language students to ensure you are ready to start work as soon as the four-week course is complete.

How long do specialized and advanced TEFL courses take?

As well as standard TEFL certification courses, we also offer specialized and advanced online courses that allow you to expand your CV/resume. Our specialized courses in teaching young learners and teaching business English are both 50-hour courses that can be completed in as little as one week, with an average completion time of around four weeks. The online diploma course is an advanced qualification that will take a minimum of one month to complete, with an average completion time of around eight months.

Is there a maximum time limit for completing a TEFL course?

Unless you choose the in-class TEFL course which has a fixed timetable of four weeks, the speed at which you complete your training really comes down to how much time you choose to spend on it. The good news is that all our standard online courses have a time limit of up to six months which should be plenty of time to complete your certification and start out on your new career as an English language teacher.

Can you fail a TEFL course?

If you have done your research and are serious about becoming an EFL teacher, either at home or in a foreign country, there is no reason why you should not successfully complete your TEFL certification course. However, you do need to be aware that our training courses require a high level of commitment in terms of time and effort and if you do not complete all aspects of the course in the time given it is possible to fail the course.

How does ITTT maintain a high pass rate for its TEFL courses?

Although failing to complete the course is possible, the vast majority of our students successfully complete their training and go on to start a new career as an EFL teacher. As part of our commitment to our students we provide all the assistance we can to help each and every one to reach their full potential. Our unique combination of high-quality study materials, experienced trainers and dedicated support staff all combine to provide everything you need for a successful training experience.

How hard is the in-class TEFL course?

While many of our in-class centers are located in exotic and exciting locations, you should be aware that the course involves full-time study that includes coursework, practical teaching experience and an end of course exam. Daily attendance is required so it is unwise to view the course as a spring break or vacation. However, it is not all about study as you will have time on the weekends to explore the area and to relax with your classmates. Due to the support and dedication of our training staff, most students who arrive with an open mind and a willingness to learn are able to successfully complete the in-class TEFL course.

How hard is an online TEFL course?

If you choose one of our online courses you will not have the benefit of face to face tuition, but you can choose to take any of our courses with the guidance of an online tutor. Our highly experienced online tutors can provide assistance with any aspect of the training and are available to guide you through your studies from start to finish. In order to gauge your progress, our online courses are continually assessed via automated multiple choice tests as you work through the materials. Thanks to this convenient method there is no final exam to worry about, although you will need to submit a final essay writing task to complete the course. Our online courses are also designed to be as flexible as possible and you will be given enough time to complete all aspects of your training, working at whatever pace you choose. As long as you are prepared to put in the required hours you should have little trouble successfully completing an online TEFL course.

What are short-format TEFL courses and who are they aimed at?

One ever-growing opportunity is to spend some time helping others in a developing part of the world by volunteering as an EFL teacher. In many areas there is a huge demand for qualified teachers to provide English language instruction that will allow people to move out of poverty by entering tourism based job markets. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for these positions a short-format TEFL course is usually sufficient.

What are standard length TEFL courses and who are they aimed at?

Although there is no definitive length, the general consensus of employers worldwide is that a TEFL certificate of at least 100 hours is desirable for teaching jobs that offer a good salary. Our 120-hour-tefl-certification is designed to cover all the most important areas of teaching theory which should enable you to confidently apply for jobs all over the world. If you want to widen your options even further you can undertake an in-class TEFL certification course that also includes observed teaching practice. ITTT operates in-class courses in dozens of worldwide locations which provide a minimum of 120 hours of face-to-face training on the theory of teaching, as well as 6 to 10 hours of teaching practice with genuine language learners in an authentic classroom environment.

What are advanced and specialized TEFL courses and who are they aimed at?

If you have already completed a standard certification course and want to extend your qualifications, a diploma certificate is the logical next step. The addition of a diploma to your CV/resume is a sure-fire way to expand your job prospects and increase your salary and responsibilities. Our 240-hour TESOL Diploma is a great choice for anyone looking to move their teaching career forward. Another way to move your career forward is to branch out into specialized areas of EFL teaching. The two main areas that have grown considerably in recent years are in the fields of teaching business English and teaching young learners. To break into these fields you can complete one or both of our 50-hour specialized TEFL courses that are designed to build on the knowledge covered in the standard certification course.

Can a TEFL course be completed quicker than advertised?

It is worth noting that while most courses have a specific label that represents the typical hours of study required this figure is by no means absolute. The amount of time it takes to complete a specific course is largely down to each individual student. If you are fully dedicated to your studies and determined to finish as quickly as possible, it is certainly possible to complete the training in considerably less time than stated in the course literature.