TEFL Certification Courses: Online or Onsite, What\\\'s the Best Appro
Nov 26, 2010 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 3478 Views
If you are interested in the opportunity to teach English abroad but do not have experience teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language), you will need to get a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages) or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification to make yourself marketable. There are two basic options: online and onsite programs; read on to learn what the best option is for taking TESOL or TEFL certification courses.
Online TESOL/TEFL certification courses generally range in price from about $300 to $500, and include 40 hours of instruction that can be taken from any location (on your computer). While this may seem like the fastest and most convenient option, many of the better schools and companies that offer programs to teach English abroad will not accept online TEFL/TESOL certifications as they are not thorough enough and do not include teaching practice.
Onsite TESOL/TEFL certification courses are thought to be more effective because your classmates and instructors keep you more focused and involved. Most onsite courses will have at least 120 hours of instruction, and will include invaluable hands-on teaching experience, which is what most hiring schools are looking for. Most onsite programs cost somewhere between $2,000 to $3,000 which often includes housing and job placement assistance, but the extra initial cost is well worth it in the long run.
With onsite TESOL/TEFL certification courses, students are taught by professionally trained instructors who train you EFL methodology, how to develop a quality lesson plan and how to address the challenges and obstacles that are exclusive to language instruction. You will practice your EFL instruction first in front of your peers and then in classrooms with actual students. Your instructors will be an important resource for advice and practical experience, and the relationships you form with your fellow students will be extremely beneficial during the learning process as well as afterward when you are teaching English abroad in a foreign country.
It's best if you take your TESOL/TEFL certification course in the same country where you plan to teach English. Native language and culture training are often incorporated as part of the training, and it is this cultural training that will pay big dividends when your real life position begins. The best part about onsite instruction is the teachers and the contacts they can utilize to assist you with job placement in a foreign country. Your school will also have a lot more local contacts then an out-of-country training facility would. There might even be local job fairs or opportunities for introductions to potential employers while you are taking your TESOL/TEFL certification course in another country.
The application process for TESOL/TEFL certification courses is quite simple and can usually be done online. The minimum requirements for most courses are a high school diploma and the ability to speak fluent English, but some may require a college degree in order to get a paying job teaching English abroad. It's best to apply for the program around four to six months prior to when you plan to leave in order to give yourself enough time to take care of all travel arrangements, visa processing, etc. Sometimes accommodations can be made in as little as six weeks but you don't want to risk the class you want filling up.