There is a prevalent misconception that if you are good at speaking English, then you shall be able to teach English. Generally speaking, this isn’t true. Speaking fluently does not mean that you automatically have the skills necessary to teach the subject well. If you look for teaching jobs abroad, you can observe that the majority of schools and recruiters are looking for applicants who have a college degree along with a TEFL certification. Though a TEFL certification may not be a mandatory criteria to apply for certain jobs, having the credential will greatly increase your chances of ‘landing the job’.
Completing a TEFL or TESOL course is hard work but the long and short terms benefits are definitely rewarding. How much course work is required varies greatly between course type, course duration and the vendor who’s responsible for training and certifying you. Therefore, before you enroll in a course is important to take your short and long term teaching goals into consideration. Once you’ve determined your goals you can begin researching courses that meet your requirements.
Online courses are growing in popularity because of their lower price points and level of flexibility – people can enroll anytime and complete assignments at their own pace. Generally speaking online courses are heavy on theory and require students to memorize what they have learned in order to pass. Most of these courses are broken up into different sections or modules that require a test or quiz at the end. In order to move on to another module the student must pass the current module first. Passing grades are determined by the course providers and vary greatly between courses.
In-class or on-site courses obviously work much differently. In addition to written tests and assignments students are also graded and assessed by their level of competence during the practicum sections of the course. Because of the hands on training students get to learn through experience which is highly advantageous to people with no prior teaching experience. In-class courses are also better for developing networks and connections that will help with your job search.