Is a free TEFL certificate worth it?
We can start by considering a number of factors to investigate what these courses do or do not provide in terms of their outcomes. These factors are:
Table of Contents
- Most free courses don't provide enough hours.
- Most free courses do not offer a recognized qualification.
- The course is free, but you pay for certification.
It is possible to find some legitimate free TEFL or TESOL courses that do what they claim. Typically, they will be of a few hours' duration, such as a weekend course, and will have titles like "Introduction to TEFL/TESOL." These courses may come with some form of certificate; however, they often do not provide you with the qualification required by most TEFL/TESOL teaching employers. The standard minimum requirement for most legitimate English teaching jobs is 120 hours of study.
There is no central worldwide body for TEFL and TESOL certificate accreditation. This work is often undertaken by exam boards, universities, and various private organizations. It is fair to say that some organizations offering accreditation have less worldwide recognition than others, and it is important to examine the accreditation claims being made. Any recognized course will be on a list somewhere and have accreditation credentials offered by a recognized government body or university. If you plan to work in a foreign country, you will likely need a visa and work permit. Check which organization accredits the course you are taking and find out where the certificate is recognized.
This is a fairly recent marketing development that has taken place. You are offered the chance to take a course for free, and it does not provide you with any certification. If you wish to receive a certificate, you may then pay for it. As the cost of the certification is typically similar to taking a regular course, you are not actually receiving the course for free. If you just want to find out what TEFL or TESOL is about, this may be a valid way of going about it.
A quality, well-designed, and operated course that provides a good quality accredited certificate will cost money. In general, you will get what you pay for.
A simple checklist of course features:
- Does the course provide at least 120 hours of study?
- Is the certificate internationally recognized?
- Does the course offer continued job guidance and support?
- Does the course cover teaching skills and language awareness?
- Does the course lead to higher possible certificate levels and specialisms?
- Does the course come with a hard copy certificate for work permit purposes?
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to obtain all of the above items with a free course. In terms of employment prospects, all of them are very important, and you should not settle for anything less.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad!
Send us an email or call us toll-free at 1-800-490-0531 to speak with an ITTT advisor today.
- Top 10 Cities in Europe with the Highest Demand for English Language Teachers
- 5 Reasons To Take A TEFL Course Right Now - Even If You Are Not Leaving Yet | ITTT | TEFL Blog
- All the Documents You Will Need to Teach English Abroad
- The Impact of Positive Motivation on an ESL Classroom
- Youâre Never Too Old to Change Your Life and Do a TEFL Course | ITTT | TEFL Blog
- Getting Student Placement Right - The Best Desk Arrangements for EFL Students