Once the decision has been made to earn a TEFL certification online, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of online TEFL courses. When choosing a course, future teachers face questions like which online TEFL school is reputable and how many hours of training is needed.
Most self-study online TEFL courses include components such as unit-by-unit reading, practice quizzes, videos, written assignments (such as lesson plans), and end-of-unit tests. Online TEFL programs are usually self-study, meaning you can log into your course and work on it whenever you have time, rather than having to attend classes at certain hours of the day. Give yourself about two to three months for most quality online TEFL certification programs of 100 hours or more.
Choosing An Online TEFL Course
All online training courses are not created equal, and the quality and content of a course can vary drastically from one provider to another. However, there are some industry standards to look for to be sure that the TEFL certificate you earn will be accepted by the most schools abroad.
1. Choose a Course of at least 100 hours
It’s true that in certain countries, such as China, courses of fewer hours may be accepted, but the vast majority of countries worldwide will look for 100+ hours of training. Onsite (classroom-based) courses are almost always over 100 hours, but when you take an online TEFL course you will have an array of choices, from as low as 20 hours to up to 200 hours or more! A 100-hour certificate is considered the international standard to be considered adequately TEFL-certified.
2. Make sure the TEFL course is accredited
Accreditation is an external review of a TEFL course to measure standards of quality, such as tutor qualifications, course content, and a provider’s policies and procedures for students. There is no single accrediting body for all TEFL courses abroad, and in fact TEFL courses are not actually required to be accredited at all. First and foremost, accreditation offers you, the consumer, assurance of the quality of your TEFL training. It also lets a prospective employer know that you took a reputable and comprehensive course. You can ask any TEFL provider to give you the name of their accrediting body and the external link to verify that accreditation.
3. Look for a Course with Tutor Involvement
Some TEFL courses may simply be self-study online “textbooks” with a final exam at the end. Other courses assign students a qualified tutor who can give feedback on lesson plans and other assignments that they submit. Without the benefit of classroom training, this tutor feedback is a crucial part of any online course, as it gives trainees a chance to learn and improve with every lesson plan they submit.