Teaching English as a foreign language and becoming TEFL qualified is an incredibly rewarding thing to do. With the online teaching and learning industry booming, now is your chance to get started. Having the ability to study for your TEFL course online will allow you to learn and teach in your own time. So why not jump into the TEFL industry while it’s thriving? Don’t forget to check out our webinar where we discuss how and why to do an online TEFL course!
First things first, who can actually take a TEFL course? Typically you will need to be over 18 years of age and you can come from any sort of background. You don’t necessarily need to be a native speaker, nor is it necessary to have a degree, but the more you scale up your qualifications, the more earning potential and opportunities.
One of the most common questions that is asked of new TEFL teachers is “why”? Why do you want to teach English? Some teachers may have decided on a change of career, others may just be starting out in the working world. What’s important to remember is that everyone has their own reasons and every teacher is different.
The entry requirements for the TEFL industry can be relatively low, but naturally, the more qualified you are, the better. It’s important to know what types of courses are out there, and picking one that is right for you can be overwhelming. That’s what we are here to help with.
What types of TEFL courses are available and how to pick what is right for you.
The TEFL world can be confusing with hundreds of companies providing courses. How are you supposed to find one that suits you when there are so many to choose from? Here are a few important things to look out for.
The first thing to look for when choosing a TEFL course is to make sure that it is accredited. Looking for external validation can be key, and in the UK, having a course that is accredited by Ofqual is often a good start.
Next, how much will your TEFL course cost? In-person courses will usually be more expensive, but online courses have become an affordable way to get TEFL certified. Not only this, they are convenient and allow you to learn from the comfort of your own home.
It’s also important to figure out how many hours you want to invest before buying a course. If you plan to teach online, you may come across a lot of Chinese companies who hire TEFL teachers. These companies require a minimum of a 120 hour course, so having this type of qualification is usually the industry standard and anything less may not be considered.
Cheap TEFL courses may seem appealing, but if they are not accredited or don’t have enough hours, then they may be useless when trying to find a job. You really do get what you pay for when you purchase a TEFL course. If you fall into the trap of buying a cheap course, it’s likely the content will be lower quality. If you want to really set yourself apart from other TEFL teachers, then you can always study an advanced course that will help you ramp up your skills.
Fast track courses versus Level 5 courses
The key to deciding what TEFL course to choose is to understand what your needs are. If you are just starting off as a TEFL teacher online, then a 120 hour course will be sufficient. This type of course is classed as a fast-track course. Fast track courses will typically allow you to get into the TEFL industry as a beginner at entry-level. They are also usually the best value for money. These courses are great for people who plan to do short stints abroad or work online.
Regardless of whether you start with this type of course or a more in depth one, the same techniques and methodologies will apply. You will still learn the same fundamental techniques that you can use in your virtual classroom.
However, Level 5 courses have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These courses are usually more in depth and represent the equivalent of a government level qualification, similar to CELTA. If you want to aim for the top-paying jobs in the TEFL world, then this is definitely the course for you. Our Level 5 government regulated TEFL courses guarantee you the highest standard of teacher training, and this will lead to more opportunities and the highest paid jobs.
Benefits of teaching English online
One of the main benefits of teaching online is the ability to be your own boss and have a sustainable income. Although you won’t become a millionaire from teaching English online, money is definitely there to be made. The more qualified you are, the higher your earning potential.
By having a TEFL qualification, you have the potential to travel and and work around the world remotely. Or if you really want to, you can stay at home in your pyjamas. Either way, it allows you to work anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection.
Being able to make your own schedule is also very appealing for teachers. They can schedule classes around their commitments, giving them more flexibility and a healthier work-life balance. It means that those with hectic lives can still make some money online in their spare time on their own terms.
Teaching English online really does give you the opportunity to have freedom, flexibility and lots of fun. You have the potential to change the lives of not only your students, but yourself. People who pay for English lessons tend to be more motivated, and thus learn more. So this will allow you to see the development of your students, which truly is a wonderful thing! Being a part of that learning and cultural experience is something that will change your life for the better.