Alright, that happens sometimes. But you don’t want to give away the best possible job opportunities just because you don’t have a degree in education or prior teaching experience. So what makes you qualified to teach English in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, or any other fantastic part of the world?
The answer is an accredited TEFL Certificate!
No need to be stressed, mate. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of these two TEFL certification options together.
Classroom TEFL Courses
Do you want hands-on training?
One of the most invaluable experiences that an in-class TEFL course can provide is the “Observed Teacher Practice”, where you will be teaching in a real classroom setting, and your TEFL instructor will give you feedback based on your performance. This experience will help prepare you for your international teaching role, and it will give you the confidence that you need to stand up in front of your class in your new teaching role.
You also get the chance to participate in a lot of simulations with your co-teachers, where you deal with various difficult scenarios so that you know how to handle different situations that may arise in your classroom.
This is useful classroom practice that an online TEFL course just can't provide. Some schools even count this as teaching experience that qualifies you for even more positions!
Are you interested in networking or culture immersion?
If you've decided on the country that you want to teach abroad in and you've never been there, an in-class TEFL program is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture before completely committing to a job. Not only that, but you also get to meet a bunch of other teachers that have the same mindset as you.
There are TEFL courses available in many countries, and many of these programs provide local orientations and language courses to help you adapt to the local environment where you want to start your international teaching experience. Besides, being surrounded by co-learners who speak English will alleviate a lot of your anxiety. Of course, there's also the potential to form lifelong friendships with your co-learners, and you can explore the local culture and look for positions together.
Ready to start your in-class experience?
Online TEFL Courses
Do you want to save some money?
Obviously, the online TEFL course is a more budget-friendly way to get certified. Not only is the course itself cheaper, but you also don’t have to pay for anything extra, like a plane ticket or accommodations.
For a 120-hour TEFL course, which is usually the minimum requirement of the governments or schools to apply for a proper work visa for their international teachers, the price is around a few hundred dollars (USD). But at the same time, you are saving quite a lot compared to attending an in-class TEFL course miles away from where you live.
On top of everything else, you probably won’t be able to work if you sign up for a full-time in-class TEFL course, so the online course could be your best option when you have a tight budget.
Do you want some flexibility or convenience?
The online course it is! Since all you need is a laptop, you can take the online course and do your online assignments wherever and whenever you like - in a café or during a trip. You could even lie on your sofa, in your pajamas, with Doritos in hand (why not?), as long as you finish the course. You even can finish an online course in as fast as 1-2 weeks if you really buckle down.
This is also a perfect choice for people who don’t have access to a local program or people who are not interested in traveling elsewhere to complete an in-class course. The convenience of the online course allows you to spend more time on the sections that interest you or the parts that you have yet to perfect. Compare this to onsite TEFL courses, where the instructors have a lot of material to cover, so you may not get all of the repetition and explanation that you need to feel completely confident in the classroom. Some online TEFL courses let you go at your own pace the entire time, which is very useful for people who lead busy lives.
Ready to get TEFL-certified from your couch?
So...which is better?
This really depends on what you're looking to get out of it. If you just want to get your certificate in the quickest and easiest way possible, go for the online course. If you want an immersive, unforgettable experience, take an in-class course!
Look through the course descriptions thoroughly and make comparisons before you register for the course. There is no right or wrong answer. What really matters is that you find one that is the most suitable for you. From there, you shall begin your wonderful journey!