Top study tips for completing your online TEFL course
So you’ve just signed up to complete an online TEFL course. Now what? Whether or not you’ve studied an online course before, it can be unsettling to make a start without that traditional teacher input you might have experienced in the past, or having the typical classroom environment around you. These days, studying online is becoming more and more popular and can make it even easier to get qualified from the comfort of your own home. We have some tips to help you along your TEFL journey!
Why choose an online TEFL course?
-It’s a flexible way to get qualified. You can study at your own pace and fit this in with other commitments you may have. Most courses offer you the chance to access the materials whenever you want and study the content in your own time. So you don’t need to worry about being available at specific times to be able to do your course, you can still get your qualification all in your own time!
-Online learning is exploding right now across the globe. Undertaking an online TEFL course can give you transferable skills to enter into a TEFL career teaching online as you’ll learn the skills you’ll need to use different platforms, communicate online with others and use different programmes. There is a good chance that you might want to become an online English teacher so completing your TEFL course online will put you in the shoes of your future learners and get you immersed in the world of online learning before you dive into the teaching aspect.
-You can access courses and chat with learners from anywhere in the world! Learning online means that you aren’t bound by geographical or time constraints. You don’t have to settle for a course that’s in your area if you’re not happy with it, you can find the best course out there for you. It can also allow you to meet other students from different countries with a variety of different backgrounds who have different approaches and ideas for teaching TEFL.
Tips for completing your TEFL course online and getting qualified now!
Make a study plan
Studying an online TEFL course with the TEFL Institute means you can go at your own pace and access the course as and when you want, completing the modules in your own time. It gives you great freedom to plan your studies the way you want but the key aspect here is planning and organisation. Making a plan of how much you will study each week will allow you to tackle your course head on and in a more enjoyable manner. This is especially important if you are undertaking a course with other commitments such as other studies and work, as you might need to make the most of your free time to complete the course.
If you are working full-time, then planning your study time is key. For example, if you take our 10-Module 180-hour course, you can aim to do one module a week, or two if you have time! There’s nothing worse than realising that you have to complete all the work in a short space of time and burning out because you’re taking too much on trying to get it all finished. Or worse, underestimating how much work there was to do in the first place!
To avoid this happening, you can check the list of modules in your course and make a plan to cover them in the time you are aiming to complete your course in. To make consistent progress, it’s important to set learning goals with achievable tasks every week (e.g this week I will study 5 lessons). Using a study plan can help you manage your time and achieve your learning objectives in the set time frame without feeling overwhelmed
Use the support available to you and get involved!
Studying online can always be more of a challenge. It may feel that you don’t have the support of your peers. When you go to a classroom and sit with classmates, you know that you are all going through the same. There’s no reason why this can’t be the same online. Only your classmates might not be next to you while you are studying. They might be on the other side of the world! You may also feel that you can’t ask questions without the teacher directly guiding you.
To stop this from making you feel unsupported in your learning. It is important to make an effort to use the resources available to you. For example, here at the TEFL Institute, we have an active discord network. Where you can chat with other learners on your course. We even have a tutor support system for any questions you might have. As well as a weekly live zoom Q and A session to talk to an assessor face-to-face and meet some classmates!
It can be easy to sit back and relax too much when you’re learning at home. But to make the most out of your course, you should dive head first into online learning. Engage with others who are sharing the same experience as you! Learning by yourself at home doesn’t mean you are truly by yourself!
Get to know your online classroom
When you first log in to your course and a new learning platform, it can be daunting. Especially if you are not familiar with the programmes. It’s important not to panic at this stage and feel that you are out of your depth. You should spend some time at the beginning of your course familiarising yourself with the platforms. You should also note down any important emails and dates. If you note down your tutor’s email, you’ll have it ready if you need to ask any questions.
Keeping track of important dates also helps you organise your work. You won’t have any sudden stress along the way if you’ve forgotten you were supposed to complete a task by a certain date. This way, you will feel more prepared to progress through the course. There are often videos and extra documents available to explain key platform functions to you. Utilise these and take the time to watch/ read them before you start studying. If you have any genuine concerns or confusion get in touch with your tutor. They can help you feel more comfortable using your new classroom!
Recognise and implement your own learning style
As you will learn on your online TEFL course, there are many different learning styles and different ways of studying. There is no one correct way to study. It all depends on you individually as a student. Some students like to take a lot of notes and use colours to make mind maps. Whereas others might record the material to listen back to later and memorise. Each learner has their own preferred learning methods and techniques. It’s important that you find the way that suits you best. Take some time to think about how you learn. This might be drawing on previous learning experiences or simply thinking of study methods that sound effective to you! You might start one way and then discover it’s not working for you and look for alternative methods to study.
It’s also good to know how the course works and how this might affect how you study. For example, our courses are open quizzes and assessments, so you don’t necessarily need to write down everything and memorise it like you would in a closed exam. You can refer back to your notes to help you shape your answers. Or go back and revise anything you feel you need to work on more. It’s always important to find out what type of assessment an online TEFL course entails. To see if this is suited to you and how you learn.
Create a comfortable working environment
Spending hours staring at a screen hunched over your laptop can be tough, especially if you’re not used to it. It’s important to set up a good study space where you can concentrate and feel comfortable. This doesn’t have to be a separate room, you can create your own space anywhere in any corner! While studying, make sure you have a comfortable chair and the space you need.
An important TEFL Tip is to take regular breaks and look after yourself. For every hour of study, you should get up and move a little. This can simply be stretching your legs around the room or even head out for a longer walk. It’s very easy to get lost in the online world and forget to move around! But this isn’t good for your mind or for your body. If you schedule regular breaks and exercises in, you will feel more active. You won’t ache so much after a hard day’s study. We spend more and more of our time working and studying online. It’s important to also look after ourselves at home too!
It is important to ensure you get the most out of your course and have a positive learning experience. You can still enjoy studying an online TEFL course just as much as you would in a classroom. It’s good to be prepared for studying online so you know what to expect out of your course. You should make sure you know what the course involves, and what is expected of you (workload, assessments, deadlines). What support will be available to you if you do have questions or feel overwhelmed at any point?
Taking an online TEFL course can open up a whole world of new possibilities, in classrooms across the world. It can also give you access to online opportunities. So don’t let the online aspect put you off. Studying a TEFL course online could be just what you’re looking for to kickstart your TEFL career!