Home / Top Tips for your online TEFL course

Studying online is becoming even more popular, especially since the covid-19 pandemic and more and more people are choosing to take their TEFL courses online. An online TEFL certification can help you get qualified quicker and more conveniently! Online TEFL courses can be as comprehensive as face-to-face courses and meet your learning needs.

Many options are available for you now if you want to study an online TEFL course. It’s essential to choose the right course to have the best chance of obtaining your TEFL certificate! Before choosing your system, make sure you’re fully informed. It’s always good to speak to a representative from your potential TEFL provider to ensure it’s the course for you. 

Why take your TEFL course online? 

The biggest reason to do this is for flexibility. You can study whenever and wherever you want. You don’t need to be committed to attending a specific class at a particular time; you can access the course at your convenience. This is a considerable advantage, especially for those with other commitments such as work, family and other studies. You can fit your studies in when you have time.

You also have greater access to the best courses and a more comprehensive range. If you are from a smaller town or city that might not have many TEFL schools, the world opened up to you even more quickly! After doing your research, you can pick the course you want to do, whether from a provider in your own country or halfway across the world! This can be overwhelming, so make sure you check the reviews online!

As much as face-to-face learning and teaching are still meaningful, the world is heading online, so it’s great for a new TEFL teacher to be a part of it. Many schools now expect you to have computer skills and know how to work essential platforms. Why not start working on this with your learning and take online courses? This is especially useful if you plan on teaching online, as you can put yourself in your student’s shoes and better understand their learning.

An important thing to consider when taking a TEFL course online is that you are signing up for independent study! This means you must be in charge of your organisation, deadlines and time. This is something that students often find challenging. If you think you might be one of them, here are some top study tips for completing your online TEFL course!

  1. Understand your course 

If you’ve signed up for an online TEFL course, you’ll most likely be sent several emails with a lot of information. Take the time to go through all of this so that you understand the structure and processes of your course. You essential down any assessments or exams, including how and when you will do them. Understanding your system will help you be prepared and keep up with things. If you’re not sure, then ask your TEFL provider any questions you have about the procedure.

If you have assessments or exams to complete, write down any important dates or deadlines. You must be responsible for your learning and be organised with any critical dates. 

Happy girl interpreter in headset write notes study on laptop

  1.     Create a schedule 

You might not be able to plan precisely what time and day you will be free to study, but you should create a schedule of tasks and modules you aim to complete each week. This will give you a weekly goal and make the course more manageable. Most systems give you limited access time, so planning what to study each week will help you stick to this time.

If you have time to learn every day, then treat it as you would an in-person course and stick to a routine. Consistency is critical when you’re looking! It might even help to look at a local library or co-working space if you’re not motivated at home.

It’s essential to ensure that your goals are realistic and in line with what you have time to do. If you are working full-time, it might not be plausible for you to study 3 modules a week! It’s OK to do less each week if this gets your course finished in the allocated time. If you try to take on too much, you might feel stressed and counter-productive. 

  1.     Find your inspiration

Remember that there is a purpose to your taking your online TEFL course – to become a TEFL teacher! Whether you plan on moving abroad, teaching online or volunteering in your local area, you have something to look forward to after you finish your course! Having an end goal in sight can help you stay focused and remember why you are studying the course. 

Think about what you want to achieve with your qualification and how your system will allow you to do this. This will give you more motivation to complete it. If you plan on travelling abroad, you could post pictures of destinations you’ve been dreaming of. Even changing your phone background could give you that extra push you need! Remember that passing your TEFL course could change your life, which is something to look forward to!

Once you start approaching the end of your course, you can start looking at jobs to get an idea of what’s out there and what you might be interested in applying for. This can also serve as inspiration for you! You can even start preparing your CV and cover letters!

  1.     Share the TEFL dream! 

It’s well known that if you have a friend to do things with you, you’re more likely to keep up the habit. Isn’t it easier to go to the gym if you know your friend is waiting for you? It can be the same with your online TEFL course! If you see a friend that has also been talking about teaching English, speak to them and look for a system you both like. 

If you have someone who is also doing the course, then you can make a plan to study together or talk about things in the system together. You can motivate each other and check in to ensure the weekly goal has been met! Sending each other progress updates is a great way to keep up the excellent work.

Similarly, connecting with other students on the course is a great way to share motivation. Check out any groups available to you from your TEFL provider that will enable you to chat with other students on the course. Did you know the TEFL Institute has a discord network where you can talk to other students on your system? This is a huge plus for your motivation!

TEFL teacher Kate with friends on beach in Italy


  1.     Create a comfortable working environment and take regular breaks!

Try to clear your workspace from distractions and make sure it is comfortable to spend more extended periods sitting there. This might be ensuring that you use a proper desk and chair and shut the door to any background noise! Make your space your own and decorate as you want!

For every hour you spend studying, you should get up and move around a bit. This is also important if you are staring at a screen for a long time; it’s essential to rest your eyes too! You don’t have to do a workout every hour; just a quick walk to the kitchen is fine! Anything that gets you moving does the trick.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your TEFL provider to see if they can help you with any deadlines. Think about how you can make studying more manageable. If it takes an extra month to complete, then don’t worry about it – it’s not worth feeling too stressed! Remember to look after yourself. If you’re already working a lot, you don’t want to burn out by taking on too much.

  1. Learn in your way!

Everyone learns in different styles and at their own pace. Work out what works best for you and adapt to this. If you prefer to take more notes, then spend time doing this. Maybe you like to record your letters on your phone to listen to! Whatever works best for you! You might pick up valuable tricks like leaving post-it notes around the house or making mind maps.

It’s also worth checking whether it’s necessary to make detailed notes. If you need to complete assessments, assignments or essays for your course, then it’s likely that you can refer back to your system when doing these. This means that you don’t need to memorise everything! Don’t stress trying to learn every little thing; note critical points and terminology.

Remember that your TEFL course could be the key to unlocking your teaching abroad dreams or a career change! It might require you to put in some extra hours for a short period, but in the end, you will feel great about your achievement! The most important thing to learn is that you’re not expected to know everything immediately. You’ll learn a lot when you start teaching and pick up experience as you go, so don’t worry if you can’t quote absolutely everything from your course! 

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