TEFL online courses vs classroom based courses
The choice of TEFL online course or classroom based course is one the most important decision any TEFL teacher can make. The training you receive in the early part of your career will have a great influence on your teaching style and inevitably how successful you will be as a teacher. A quick internet search brings up thousands of hits for TEFL online courses – but can these courses really prepare you for a career in the TEFL industry?
TEFL online courses often seem like a good choice on paper – they are both cheaper and quicker and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Companies will promise a “certificate” in TEFL and this will seem like an easier and less stressful way to get a TEFL certification. However, online courses are often not what they seem. Firstly, the certification you will receive from an online course will not be the Trinity CertTESOL or the CELTA, it will be another qualification all together – one not recognised by the British Council and therefore not recognised by many employers. It is possible to learn the methodology online to some extent, although without trainers and other trainees to bounce ideas off, it can be difficult to grasp the concepts involved. This is the main problem with TEFL online courses – the lack of interaction with experienced TEFL teachers and other students working towards TEFL certification. It is almost impossible to improve as a teacher without feedback and input from experienced TEFL trainers and learning from the other trainees is an integral part of any TEFL certification journey.
Classroom based TEFL and TESOL courses provide this invaluable feedback and support, which cannot be replicated in the TEFL online environment. The methodology will be taught by experienced TEFL trainers who will ensure you understand every aspect fully and can tailor the course to your needs – something which is impossible in the mass education style favoured by TEFL online courses. The difference in methodology teaching is not the only difference between classroom based and online courses – the opportunity to have teaching practice within a real life setting can only be provided fully to you by a classroom based course. Teaching practice is such an important part of your TEFL certification journey – the opportunity to put methodology in to practice with real students can only cement your understanding of the different teaching methods and build your confidence in teaching English. Classroom based courses often seem like an expensive and difficult way to reach your TEFL certification but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The personalised tailored experiences offered by a classroom based course makes your TEFL certification journey so much easier and although the initial outlay is more than a TEFL online course, the investment is far sounder as you receive a much better and more sought after qualification at the end of your course.