Are you an ESL teacher who has been caught off guard by the pandemic? So, take a look at this. We’ve come up with a brilliant way to make use of any spare time you may have. You can improve your grammar, improve your teaching skills, and increase your employment opportunities all by obtaining an online TEFL certification.
Being online TEFL certified would not only help you build your skills and add to your CV; it would also open up a whole new world of employment opportunities abroad (remotely or in-person). With this additional certification, you would be an unbeatable candidate for any job.
Learn more about the advantages of taking an online TEFL course.
There cannot be many more useful ways to spend your furlough, quarantine, or time inside, whether you are new to teaching or experienced.
However, you undoubtedly have hundreds of questions, such as how it differs from in-person learning. Is it equally acknowledged? Will I gain classroom experience? We understand. And, with a dizzying array of courses and curriculum options available, it is critical to understand what to look for. So, don’t worry, we’ve thought about it.
HERE ARE SEVEN THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ENROLLING IN AN ONLINE TEFL CERTIFICATION COURSE:
1. IT ISN’T ANY LESS PRESTIGIOUS
Your initial thought may be that an online TEFL training course would be less well-received by employers than an in-person one. Wrong. Your qualification will be highly valued as long as it is delivered by a recognisable and accredited institution (and there are many to choose from). Many reputable in-person providers even provide both options.
For example, the Trinity or Cambridge TEFL certification is regarded as one of the most prestigious online teacher training courses. Anyone from any country can study with them because it includes 100+ hours of study and 20 hours of teaching practise.
You won’t have to worry about your credibility as a teacher if you take a reputable online TEFL certification course. Not only that, but choosing to further your education, especially in difficult times like these, demonstrates great initiative and a desire to improve, both of which will serve you well.
2. THE HOURS ARE IMPORTANT
There are courses available that last 40 hours or even 20 hours. Furthermore, while those may be faster and less expensive, they will only get you so far. Employers want to know how extensive your training experience was. They want teachers who are capable, experienced, and knowledgeable. Some schools will only accept candidates who have completed at least 120 hours of coursework.
Courses lasting more than 100 hours are the way to go. Furthermore, make sure to look at the breakdown of those hours – how much is instruction and how much is classroom time? When applying for better teaching positions in schools, classroom time is essential (public and private). The standard norm for most TEFL courses is 20 hours of teaching practise.
3. IT IS INEXPENSIVE
This is a strong pull. Online TEFL certifications are far less expensive than in-person ones because they do not include the costs of travel, lodging, and even flights on top of the standard course fee. Furthermore, fees on the bank can be more manageable, with some being only a few hundred dollars. However, keep in mind that lower-cost courses do not always imply lower quality, and you may end up with less job support assistance and benefits.
Furthermore, if you play your cards right, you may be able to get free tuition. Some TEFL providers will sponsor qualified candidates for their online TEFL certification course in exchange for a job offer upon graduation.
4. YOU CONTINUE TO RECEIVE CLASSROOM PRACTISE
Just because a course is online does not mean it does not include some classroom time. But how exactly? Most courses require you to complete at least 20 hours of teaching practice, and the methods for doing so vary.
They may request that you attend a local ESL class and spend time observing and participating. These are available at language schools, ethnic community centers, community colleges, libraries, and even churches.
However, given the current situation, this may be more difficult. So you could do one-on-one tutoring, English language conversation exchange, or even work as an online English teacher. Some training institutes and providers arrange for trainees to participate in teaching practise sessions.
In any case, even in the midst of a pandemic, an online TEFL certification can provide you with all the experience you need before diving into the real thing.
5. IT IS ADAPTABLE
This could be one of the main reasons why so many people opt for an online TEFL certification. It conforms to your needs.
Despite the fact that there are deadlines, many of these courses can be customised. You can complete the course at your own pace, taking up to two weeks to complete it for up to six months, whatever works best around your work, family, and leisure time. Furthermore, in most cases, there are no exams to take, only frequent quizzes and assignments.
You can be a working mother of two, a part-time sales assistant, or even work full-time and study on weekends. The beauty of online TEFL certification is that it does not discriminate and you have complete control over how it works.
6. THE EXPERIENCE IS DISTINCT FROM THE IN-PERSON EXPERIENCE
However, there are distinctions between studying in person and studying online. There are some disadvantages to online learning. For example, because it will not be an on-site programme, there will be less opportunity for immersion into the culture of the location where you hope to teach. You can’t spend time in a foreign city just soaking up the culture’s values and quirks and gaining useful training. Furthermore, you will spend less time interacting with classmates and will have less classroom experience to refine your learning.
However, with all of the advantages of online certification that we have already discussed, it is a difficult decision to make. Although you may not have to choose if there are mixed classes available, which combine online learning with an in-person classroom component.
7. THERE ARE SOME UNHELPFUL COURSES TO AVOID
The internet is a dangerous place. Furthermore, there are some deceptive programmes out there. So, here are some dangerous things to keep an eye out for.
Keep an eye out for courses that are less than 100 hours long – at the very least, make sure they have thorough content and plenty of classroom practice. Some courses may appear glitzy, but they require instruction.
Make certain that your course has instructors who are alive and well. They will be able to provide you with specific feedback and responses. Courses that use automated models that require you to read and take tests will not cut it with future employers.
Furthermore, double-check that it is an accredited course. It’s unfortunate, but there are courses available without accreditation at the end of all that hard work. This is especially important if you are enticed by the offer of ‘free certification.’ Before enrolling in a course, conduct some research using Google.
I hope these pearls of wisdom will assist you in beginning your online TEFL certification journey. You will be qualified in no time if you have a computer and reliable internet access.