5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing the Best TEFL Course

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing the Best TEFL Course

As the TEFL industry has grown, so has the number of different TEFL courses and TEFL providers out there. As a result, choosing the best TEFL course for you has become an even harder task. You want to make sure you’re investing in the correct course, so you are getting value for your money. Nobody wants to end up discovering that the course they signed up for and completed is not globally recognised and won’t help you secure a TEFL job in the future. 

To ensure that you select the best TEFL course and provider, we’ve drawn up a list of common mistakes that you should avoid when choosing a TEFL course.

Mistake #1 Not doing your research on the TEFL course or provider

magnifying glass on laptop keyboard

If the TEFL course is not accredited or globally recognised, you will find it extremely difficult to secure a teaching job. You must ensure the course you sign up for will leave you with a qualification and certificate, which will let you teach across the globe. If you don’t, you’ll be left with an empty pocket and wasted time. 

Although there are several different accrediting bodies for TEFL courses, it’s a good idea to research if the course you’re looking at is accredited by a well-known and respected accrediting body. For instance, at The TEFL Institute, we offer ACDL and Level 5 Ofqual UK government regulated courses. This ensures that you will be gaining skills and qualifications that are recognised internationally. 

If you’re unsure whether the TEFL course you’ve found online is legitimate, examine the provider’s website. Does it look professional? Has it got any online reviews from previous customers? Reviews offer an excellent insight into the legitimacy and service provided by a TEFL company and demonstrate if they can be trusted or not.

You should also affiliate with a TEFL provider that promises to provide you with TEFL job advice and support. This shows that they take their role as TEFL providers and advisors seriously and that they aren’t in it to make a quick buck. Luckily for you, if you purchase a TEFL course with us you will be able to reach out and contact us whenever you need help.

Mistake #2 Assuming all courses are the same

Often, people assume that all TEFL courses are the same but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Different institutions will offer different TEFL courses that meet various standards and provide different levels of support, services and qualifications. 

The mandatory standard qualification needed to become a TEFL teacher is the 120 hour TEFL course. Our 120 Hour TEFL Course is one of our fast-track courses. You can complete this online course within 2-4 weeks, which is great if you are under time constraints to get it done, plus you can do it remotely and study when it suits you.

However, if you’re looking for a more in-depth or specialised course to make your CV stand out, our hybrid courses offer just the ticket. All our courses are explained here.  

Whichever course you decide to invest in, make sure that it’s the right TEFL course for you. You must choose a course that interests you and one you know you can complete. There’s no point signing up for a 300 hour TEFL course if you struggle with studying online or don’t have an interest in gaining a qualification to teach business English or training in IELTS exam preparation.

Mistake #3 Only choosing to do a short course

woman studying tefl at desk

Firstly, we would like to make it clear that The TEFL Institute is not against people doing these short 10 to 30 hour TEFL courses. In fact, we highly recommend that you choose to do a range of these specialised courses. BUT they must be done alongside your 120 hour TEFL course.

You might think that if you do one 20 hour TEFL course, you’re eligible to teach English. Or assume by doing a series of short TEFL courses you can make up enough credits to substitute doing one 120 hour TEFL course. These are both incorrect. The purposes of these short courses are to expand and develop your teaching skills by specialising in one area. 

Our specialist short courses include:

Not only do these courses allow you to gain more teaching knowledge and develop you as a teaching professional, but they look great on your CV. Remember, the TEFL teaching industry is extremely competitive. The more qualifications you have, the more employable you are, and it’s more likely you will get a higher teaching wage. 

Mistake #4 Thinking cheap always means cheerful

We understand it can be difficult to part with your hard-earned cash but trying to find the cheapest course out there will only result in failure. Websites like Groupon that advertise the “best” TEFL courses for 40 euro send shivers down TEFL providers’ spines. This is because these TEFL courses often lack accreditation and recognition from TEFL employers. No worthwhile TEFL course is going to be so cheap. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Remember, a TEFL course is a teaching course. Think about it, no legitimate course that qualifies you to teach in schools across the globe is going to be a ‘steal’ money-wise. So, listen to our advice and don’t cut corners when it comes to investing in yourself. If you do, you will only have to purchase another course later down the line with a trusted provider. 

Mistake # 5 Thinking an in-class course is better than an online course

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that online learning is in and face-to-face learning is out. Face-to-face lessons may seem better because of the physical presence of a teacher. But there’s nothing to prove that face-to-face courses are better than online ones.

Many TEFL providers will try to convince you that you will not be on the same level playing field as your teaching counterparts if you choose to do an online course rather than a face-to-face. However, this is simply not the case. Usually, they just want you to pay for the more expensive in-house training course. 

To put it simply, the content in both courses is the same, the theory is the same and the support is the same. However, when you do the online course, you can do it from anywhere in the world, at your own pace and whenever you want. If you’re still worried about not having done teaching practice, then you can sign up for the 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course where you can practice your teaching skills with one of our experienced TEFL tutors in real-time. 

There you have it – five mistakes to avoid when selecting the best TEFL course for you. If you follow these guidelines, you will start your TEFL journey off on the best path possible.

To find out which TEFL course is most suited to you, why not try our free English Level Test today?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it’s a certificate you need if you want to teach non-native speakers English. With a TEFL certificate, you can teach students of all ages – from young learners to adult business language learners – anywhere in the world. It’s recognised globally and is the key to kick-starting your English teaching career abroad, home or online.

To get a TEFL certificate you must take an accredited TEFL course. The minimum training required by employers worldwide is 120 hours. You can choose between accredited, government regulated Level 5 or combined TEFL courses. You’ll find TEFL courses are either online or combined in-class and online experiences. 

Getting a TEFL certification from a recognised, trusted provider is essential when it comes to receiving high-quality training and finding a job. Always go for a globally recognised accredited certification. It’s also worth double checking company reviews to make sure customers are satisfied with their training.

What’s the difference between accredited and government regulated Level 5 TEFL courses?

The Accredited 120 Hour Premier TEFL Course is what we call one of our fast-track courses. This is the minimum recognised worldwide.

  • You have 10 modules to complete usually taking 4-6 weeks.
  • Each module has a multiple-choice test at the end, and you need 80% to pass.
  • You’ll get your digital certificate on completion and can buy a hard copy from us if you’d like one with an embossed logo.

Level 5 Ofqual-regulated courses offer more in-depth training. If we look at the 180 Hour Level 5 TEFL Diploma in comparison: 

  • Learners typically spend 12 – 14 weeks to complete 11 modules.
  • The pass mark is 100% and assessments are multiple-choice plus open-ended answers. Don’t worry, you can redo quizzes to get 100%. Our academic team will review your answers at the end of your 11 modules and may ask for some questions to be reattempted. Some questions may require you to provide academic references.
  • You’ll get your digital coursework completion certificate from us after module 11. Following successful assessment from our academic team, we’ll be able to claim the licence for your Ofqual (government) certificate from our accreditation body Highfield.

The Ofqual-regulated Level 5 course range is for those who want to gain a higher-level, more recognised qualification.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers teach English in non-native English speaking countries. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) teachers teach English in native English speaking countries. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is a separate qualification you can get to teach English.

TEFL: One of the most accepted certificates worldwide, this allows you to teach English to non-native speakers across the globe. 

TESL: As a TESL teacher, you would likely be teaching English in your home country to students who have moved or live in an English speaking country. In other words, they are continuously surrounded by the language and will be using it every day outside of the classroom, unlike TEFL students who are likely learning in their home country.

CELTA: A very prestigious certification that follows a strict regulation created by Cambridge University. You must complete a 120-hour TEFL course and six hours of teaching real ESL students. Most of the programmes are held over a month and are full time. However, you may be able to find some courses that are part-time and are spread over three months. Due to its intense nature and requirements, the cost tends to be much higher and can be up to €1700!

Yes! Teaching English as a foreign language – online or in-class – will give you an abundance of transferable skills. From time management to problem-solving and communication, you’ll have plenty of experience to impress future employers. As your TEFL certification never expires, you can get back into TEFL whenever you wish, too.

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