Are TEFL Courses Hard to Pass?

Teaching English as a foreign language is a vocation pursued by many, but one of the big questions that are asked by new students across the globe is a simple one. Are TEFL Courses Hard to Pass?

Understandably, if you’re new to the world of TEFL and looking to get a qualification, then this can seem incredibly daunting to navigate. However, we are here to tell you that this process is not as impossible or challenging as many have been led to believe. The demand for teachers is stronger than ever, and getting into teaching is quite straightforward.

120 Vs 180-Hour Qualifications

Before we talk about how hard a TEFL course is to pass, we need to outline that there are different levels of qualifications to consider.

First of all, it is possible to teach English as a foreign language without a qualification. A lot of places aren’t fussy about formal qualifications if you’re fluent in English, and if you’re self-employed, then you can do whatever you want as the owner of your business.

However, there are a lot of reasons why you should have a TEFL qualification, and we’re going to highlight them now:

  • Qualifying means that you can apply for salaried positions in places like schools. Qualified professionals have access to more secure positions and better wages from the start.
  • As is the case with most TEFL opportunities, you’ll need a certification if you want to even be considered for the bulk of positions. Unfortunately, not having qualifications can severely limit the amount of positions you can apply for.
  • In some cases, you’ll need to be able to evidence a TEFL qualification if you want to get a work permit. All the prominent locations require you to have a permit and, by extension, a qualification.
  • Without a TEFL qualification, you may find that you’re only able to teach a basic level of English. Those higher levels of English proficiency will require you to have the qualifications to ensure you’re capable of teaching at the higher levels.
  • Finally, when it comes to a TEFL certification, there is that all-important confidence factor that comes from qualifying. You’ll be able to walk into a lesson and know that you’re qualified to be able to teach it, and that is a beautiful feeling.

The 120-Hour Course

So, when you go and look for a TEFL job, you’ll find that postings and employers ask that you have at least 120 hours of training to apply for the position.

This is accepted within the TEFL community as being the minimum period necessary to study for and successfully gain a qualification to teach English as a foreign language. This is a course that we offer and is currently the fastest and most affordable way to become certified. Plus, it’s completely available online. Once upon a time, there were no higher-level qualifications than this.

As the main qualification, it’s still quite a popular choice. As a course, it contains all of the information that you need to become a qualified teacher. You can get a qualification completely online now; therefore, it is the best course to try and get on if you want to access many different career paths within the TEFL industry.

If you want to teach as a primary or secondary teacher, then you’ll need this qualification – it is the minimum requirement for anyone who wants to teach online or over the summer.

If you’re a non-native English speaker, you might struggle with the more advanced course, but this is a better option. It is much more comfortable and a good way to get some experience.

If you’re doing an intern position somewhere, then you’ll probably find yourself doing this course. It is good training and means you’ll be educated to an industry standard. Understandably, this will help you a lot when it comes to your qualifications and what doors it can open for you.

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The 180-Hour Course

If you’re just looking into the world of TEFL, then you’ve probably run across the idea of a level 5 TEFL course by now. This is a higher-level qualification, so it is going to be harder, but the reward can be greater.

The 180-hour course has become much more popular in recent years, and it is growing in popularity all the time. The recent online availability of this course results from government regulation and approval by relevant authorities for teaching.

As qualifications go, this is undoubtedly one you’ll want to look into. The process has been carefully designed and regulated, and the result is a certification that will improve your employability for TEFL jobs in a big way.

A level 5 TEFL qualification you get in the UK is equivalent to a CELTA or TrinityTESOL qualification. The primary advantage to completing your qualification online is the improved level of flexibility to which you will have access.

Are TEFL Courses Hard to Pass?

Naturally, now that we have explained how the different types of courses work and what you can look forward to during your studies, we have to attempt to answer the question that brought us all together. Is a TEFL course difficult to complete?

We would love to give you a simple yes or no answer, but we are afraid it’s just not that simple. Education is a very difficult field to quantify difficulty in. It’s hard for us to tell you whether or not something will be easy or difficult because education is a unique process.

Every single person learns and processes information differently. You might be somebody who works best with written materials or someone who benefits from listening to an audio lecture. Furthermore, your unique strengths and skills as a learner mean that you will approach a situation differently from somebody else. There might be sections of the course that you find easier than others, but other people may find that same section rather challenging. The inverse also applies.

Choose what might be best for you

There are two different types of courses available, and you will probably find the 120-hour course easier than the 180-hour course because the materials and certification are at a lower level. Therefore, it’s going to be easier to understand. However, it’s impossible to tell you whether or not this course is hard to pass because it relates directly to your attitude as a learner.

That is not to say that you won’t get the support you need throughout the course. We recognize that many people are keen to pursue teaching English as a foreign language and need to complete the qualification to do so at the level they need.

We have a proper support system in place, and we will be talking about the different opportunities and tools that are available to our learners throughout this article because we do believe that you should have access to high-quality education and a proper support scheme.

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Our Support System

We recognize that learning to teach English as a foreign language can be a difficult process. This qualification requires at least 120 hours of study, which is a long time to pay attention and assimilate all of the knowledge necessary to receive your certification at the end. That’s why we have built a supportive and robust system.

Needless to say, you will be supported and taken care of at every stage throughout the program. From the moment you express interest in the course, a team member will talk to you about what you are going to encounter during your learning and what to expect. We provide the same support network for every student because we understand that regardless of how you approach learning, there will come a time when you could benefit from the wisdom and experience of those who have been in the TEFL world for a long time.

You will be provided a tutor when you begin your course, and they will be freely available to you at any point during your education. You can choose whether or not you want to come for physical classes or attend online lectures, and we endeavor to tailor the content in a way that works for you. We also heavily encourage students to discover their preferred way of learning and help them figure out how to use the materials we provide in a way that works for them. For example, for some students, this involves taking audio recordings of all of our Zoom meetings that they can play back later, whereas for others, this is comprehensive note-taking. Gain skills to identify your preferred learning style, empowering you to make informed decisions.

A Different Approach to Learning

When we talk about the difficulty of teaching English as a foreign language, we have to identify some of the typical misconceptions that arise from students who sign onto this course with certain ideas about what it will be like. This is not going to be a four-month summer vacation where you do very little work and teach English as a foreign language for fun. This type of career path is a serious occupation for many people, and to get the certification required to do so is a lot of hard work and study. The typical TEFL qualification is comparable to college or university-level education, so you do have to put the work in.

Type Of Accreditation

This type of accreditation will require you to complete coursework and have it ready to go on time, pay attention during the Zoom lectures, and to finish the qualification with sufficient knowledge and passing marks. This qualification doesn’t involve many conventional exams. Instead, it’s an intensive study, requiring completion of all parts to a satisfactory standard for qualification.

Something that you will find with these types of courses is that there are often entry requirements. Understandably, we want to make sure that you are going to be able to finish the course because the last thing we want is for you to spend time and resources becoming frustrated with something that you simply cannot do. Certain individuals may struggle to pass this course and find it challenging to cope with the pressure exerted over the 120 hours.

It’s very important to understand that these entry requirements are not there to try and act as a barrier to stop people from participating in the course but are simply guidelines. Completing a certain level of mainstream education before attempting certification is recommended, offering the best chance of success.

Part of the support you’ll get from us is access to weekly Zoom sessions with your tutor and the chance to connect with students from all over the world. Our diverse group of students, coming from worldwide, enjoys a unique, engaging, and fun experience while learning English as a foreign language.

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Finding the Right TEFL Course Provider

One of the influencing factors for whether or not a course will be easy to pass is whether you have chosen the correct course provider. Unfortunately, not all courses and providers are created equally, so there will always be one or two choices that are not effective. It’s important to know how to pick the right TEFL course provider, so let’s talk about what you should keep in mind.

1. Course Accreditation

One of the big factors you need to consider when looking into a course is what accreditation it has. This will serve as your guide for how you pick the right course provider. This can be complicated within the world of TEFL, so we will try to keep it simple.

The first thing you need to understand about TEFL accreditation is that many companies will simply invent their own accrediting body to legitimize the course they offer. They can successfully claim that the course is, therefore, “fully accredited”, which in this case is a meaningless accolade.

It is also worth noting that when it comes to membership, this is not the same as being accredited. The two are different aspects of the same basic idea. Accreditation is preferred, especially when it comes from a recognized and widely known regulatory body. This means that they will have inspected the course to ascertain how legitimate it is.

We encourage people to look on the website of any good provider to check their accreditation. You should also do your research – take nothing at face value.

2. Available Support

Making sure that you know what support is available to you will help a lot in getting the results you need. A good course provider offers you a personal tutor and assistance with finding work once you’ve completed the course. This is the type of support that guarantees you a proper level of care and helps you feel confident about your course provider.

For example, we make sure to give you a personal tutor throughout the course. All of our tutors are experienced and qualified, and they serve to give you important feedback about your course and guide you towards the next part of your journey.

It is worth being sceptical of any provider that claims to give you instant access to a job at the end of the course. Access to a tutor is crucial for advice, CV preparation, and honing skills for a TEFL career. Help makes job hunting easier.

3. Number of Hours For a Course

It’s important to know how many hours are in your course to ensure that you get the right education. The industry standard for a TEFL course is 120 hours. This is a course taught by qualified TEFL teachers and is a good use of your time and money. Be wary of any course that claims to be able to deliver a qualification in a quicker time – they may not be truthful.

This 120-hour course is needed to build the foundation to start teaching English as a foreign language. Nearly all of the training you get as a teacher will come from your job role. However, you must grasp TEFL methodology, understand teaching methods, and gain the confidence to stand before a classroom and instruct students. This is why you need the qualification – to feel confident in delivering your lessons.

When you choose a TEFL course, you need to look at what modules are available. You need to ensure that you cover both the methodology and grammar within your course. It is worth noting that a good course should have a proper grammar component because the majority of native English speakers are fluent but don’t comprehensively study grammar. It is also an area that most teachers are concerned about during their first foray into TEFL.

If you intend to study for more than 120 hours, you need to ensure that the extra hours you spend studying are going to align with your goals for your course. Are you looking to teach business English, for example? This will mandate learning new and different terms specific to business.

4. Their Attitudes to Teaching Assessments

Many TEFL course providers continue to insist that you need to train to work with real students by working with them throughout your training. They are often insistent this is the case. We are here to inform you that it is not.

The idea that an employer will reject you outright if you don’t have contact time with students is false. You’ll benefit from this type of educational experience, but it isn’t necessary for success – many employers recognize that we all start somewhere.

It is also worth considering that a course, including a teaching placement, is much more expensive than your typical TEFL course. You could pay almost double for the privilege, and it is not necessary to achieve the position you want.

5. Hidden Details and Costs

When seeking a course provider, scrutinize the terms and conditions fine print thoroughly. There are many ways that course providers attempt to sneak in extra costs that you will have to pay during your education, so you need to know what these are beforehand.

You should always read the fine print and take note of any extra costs which are listed. This can sometimes be the cost of course materials or costs which go towards having your tutor available. Understandably, this is a dishonest way of doing business and should be avoided at all costs.

Be cautious as your TEFL teacher may attempt to charge extra for printing and mailing your certification, a potential issue with TEL courses. Most countries mandate a physical qualification copy for employment, pushing individuals to incur extra costs—a sneaky tactic. A good provider will include this within the course price.

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Cape Town

There are plenty of popular destinations in South Africa to become a TEFL teacher. One such location is Cape Town. With regards to TEFL jobs for South Africans and visiting professionals, there’s a lot to take advantage of in Cape Town.

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa. It sits at the bottom of Table Mountain and has changed names numerous times over the years, ranging from “Cape of Storms” to “Cape of Good Hope”.

As a place to live, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. It has a gorgeous national park and two world Heritage sites. South Africa welcomes anyone from around the world to teach English, thanks to its diverse inhabitants and cultures.

The amazing thing about Cape Town, South Africa is just how young the population is. The average age for people living in Cape Town is roughly 26, and more than half the population is under the age of 24. This means that many people are currently learning English as a language, which translates to both volunteer and job opportunities. There are more volunteer positions available than paid at the moment, but the climate for EFL teachers is very accepting, and there are lots of opportunities to gain valuable experience.

If you want to teach English as a foreign language in Cape Town, then the majority of paid positions will require you to have a bachelor’s degree. You will also be expected to have a TEFL certification to give you the advantage you need. The average salary for teaching English as a foreign language in Cape Town is between $1000 and $1500 per month.

So, Are TEFL Courses Hard to Pass?

As we have said, there are certain things you can do to make the likelihood of passing a TEFL course much higher. By making sure that you undertake the correct course and choosing the right course provider, you stand a better chance of successfully passing the course that you want to complete.

As is the case with a lot of education, it’s all about your attitude as a learner. If you can succeed, then you will pass the course with very little problems. When you have the right support scheme in place, overcoming challenges becomes a lot easier.

When in doubt, we would recommend a chat with one of our advisors. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re going to be suitable for a TEFL course and give you an idea of what to expect. We do this so you can make an informed decision about TEFL and how it can benefit you.

The Sucess Rate

We have a very high success rate when it comes to our courses because we make sure to match up the right student with the right course every time. It’s not a case of just signing up for a course, as there are always considerations, and you must look at it sensibly. However, if you do this, then there’s no reason why you can’t go and teach English as a foreign language somewhere like Cape Town because there are always opportunities for qualified teachers across the world.

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