Are you considering teaching English abroad for a career change, a break in-between studies or just a new challenge for yourself? From the moment you type online TEFL courses into that google search bar, it can be overwhelming narrowing down the best option for you. That’s why we are here to help!
There are many different factors when it comes to choosing between an online TEFL course or an onsite TEFL course. The TEFL world doesn´t present people with a lot of difficult decisions; picking the right course and which country to travel to are about as complicated as it gets!
The first question many people ask us is if having a TEFL qualification is necessary to enter into the TEFL jobs market. Let us ask you this: would you employ a chef who has never cooked before? Depending on your kitchen you may or may not hire the person, but invariably he or she will get the worst role in the kitchen with the worst pay.
The same goes for English teaching positions in international schools. Yes, of course, people have been fortunate to bag a job teaching English without any prior training, but salaries are lower and job security non-existent.
So, now that you know to take a TEFL course (or if you still are not so certain check out our other blog article on why to take a TEFL course) the next big decision is whether to do an online TEFL course or an in-class course TEFL.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which we will happily outline for you now.
What’s the big difference anyways?
In a nutshell, online TEFL courses are made available through the internet. Students complete the course material over a set amount of time, gaining a qualification from the comfort of their own homes. So, what are the pros and cons of this method of skills training?
Online TEFL Course Pros:
- Affordable: By removing many of the external costs associated with TEFL training, the cost of online TEFL courses are significantly lower than in-class TEFL courses. We offer our courses from as little as €185.00. View all our courses here.
- Flexible: As long as you have internet connection you can be anywhere in the world and fit your TEFL training into your daily routine.
- Convenient: Taking an online TEFL course gives you a lifetime qualification which you can put to use immediately or at a later date. The money you save through an online course leaves you in a more comfortable position when it comes to making your next move.
Online TEFL Course Cons:
- Motivation: The absence of a teacher or fellow classmates can really slash your motivation, so you need to ask yourself if you have the diligence to complete the course by yourself. TIP: Internships include your online course with a guaranteed job at the end. We think that is motivation enough to complete your training!
- Location: Lying on your bed in your pyjamas teaching yourself how to design lesson plans can be great, but for some TEFL students procrastination takes over. Some students work better in a classroom setting, with classmates around them to help them to focus. Ask yourself what style of teaching you prefer and see if online is right for you.
- Practical experience: Online courses do not include practical classroom teaching, which for some makes the learning process more difficult. That said, teaching to your fellow TEFL classmates does not equate to in-class teaching experience. We recommend looking for volunteer teaching opportunities in your local community, there are always kids homework clubs looking for enthusiast volunteers
In-class TEFL Course Pros:
- Hands-on learning: If you love practical learning in a classroom with a teacher then in-class courses are probably the best choice for you. Some students hate looking at a screen all day, and we get that!
- Network: You form relationships with your fellow students and of course teachers. It may be that through these relationships you bag your first job, or find the perfect buddy to start your TEFL journey with! China is a great destination for TEFL duos. That being said, there are many online forums and groups with eager TEFL teachers looking for travelling companions or advertising jobs in their schools.
- Practical: In-class courses incorporate some mock lessons into the course structure, giving you some practical experience executing a great lesson!
In-class TEFL Course Cons:
- Expensive: At the end of the day the in-class course will always be more expensive than an online course. Prices vary from €1200 up to €2000 depending on the course length and standard, the most well known in-class TEFL course is called CELTA. You can always combine an online TEFL course with in-class practical day course that we offer. Check out our 10 hour in-class course to get an idea of what to expect!
- Less Flexibility: Class times and attendance are non-negotiable, so you may need to take a few days off work or from studies to complete the classes.
- “Clipped wings” syndrome: Some students like to have their hand held throughout all of their TEFL training, so when they enter into the TEFL jobs market they panic! Make sure that you are prepared to work hard at applying for jobs and sending your CV to potential employers. The TEFL industry is competitive, but we will prepare you for just about anything.
If you still have a foggy brain over what kind of TEFL training to do get in touch with us! We have some great humans on our team who are more than happy to discuss TEFL and all its quirks!