Online or In-Class TEFL Certification: Which Option to Choose?
TEFL/TESOL stands for Teaching English as a foreign language, whether you are a native speaker which means you are born in an English-speaking country or a non-native speaker which means you are not, you can get a TEFL certificate to be a certified English teacher. It's a certificate for those who wish to teach English as a second language with minimal or no teaching experience. Students who wish to learn English as a second language are known as ELLs which stands for English Language learners.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Semih S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Demand in English-Teaching Specialists
The number of people who wish to learn English is increasing every year, that’s why they need for certified English-speakers is on the rise day by day. Out of 7.5 billion people living on earth, almost 1.5 billion speak English which is 20 % of the world’s population, only 360 million of them speak it as their mother tongue which makes the English language the most commonly studied language in the entire world. For that reason, the demand for certifications like the TEFL certificate has been significantly high to ensure better teaching and better education. Having a TEFL certificate is very important when it comes to negotiating salary and it opens up many job opportunities. It would make its holder a favorite candidate. There are many different types of TEFL certificates with different contents and for different purposes, whether you want it for teaching adults, teenagers or children but the most common way to acquire the certificate is either online or on-site.
Also Read: Using the ESA Method in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Differences Between Online and In-Class Study
After you choose the type of certificate you need according to your requirements, you will be given the choice of finishing the course online or on-site. The online certificate has a very distinct advantage which is flexibility. Naturally, the online certificate means that you can access the course material from anywhere, anytime as long as you have an internet connection. Which is perfect for those who won’t be able to attend the course locally, are traveling during the course duration, or are unable to stay in one place throughout the course duration. Convenience factor especially for people who are working at the same time as the course duration. Online courses are self-paced so when it comes to completing and finishing the online course it’s really up to the English speaker, which is convenient if the English speaker wishes to acquire the certificate as fast as possible. On the other hand, online courses have some downsides including independency. The English speaker is on his own, trying to finish the course with no face-to-face encounters with other English speakers who share the same goal of teaching and living abroad. This would take most of the fun out of the course since the English speaker won’t be able to meet new people or be able to share the experience with anyone. Even though every English speaker would have a personal tutor to advise them on any inquiries regarding the course, this is not as productive as face-to-face interactions.
Choosing an on-site program, on the other hand, would be all about cultural immersion, learning and having fun simultaneously. Taking a TEFL certificate abroad is the best way to efficiently learn to teach methodologies and practices since they offer on-hand and in-the-classroom practices with real students. From these practices, an English speaker can overcome discomfort and inexperienced when it comes to teaching. Besides, it gives the English speaker a useful practical teaching time since the English speaker is given useful productive feedback from the on-site courses’ instructors.
Also Read: The Benefits of the ESA Methodology
The English speaker can also learn all about teaching methodologies and practices from the online courses. However, it won’t be as efficient as the on-site programs. Cost is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the right program for every English speaker, and when it comes to on-site programs, it’s a major drawback. The English speaker has to be able to afford accommodation, transportation including flight tickets and food. These expenses are really difficult especially if the English speaker is choosing a full-time course, not to mention having a job and a full-time course simultaneously would be dreadful. On-site courses can also be stressful and agonizing for some English speakers especially for those with no teaching experience, because of the practical teaching time and face-to-face interactions with real students.
Also Read: "3 Key Ways to Build Your Teaching Career From Scratch"
Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!
In conclusion; when it comes to choosing the right course for the right purpose and choosing the right way to acquire it, is all up to the English speakers themselves. Neither the online courses nor the on-site programs are perfect. Both of them have their ups and downs. Sure, the on-site programs seem fun and productive, but also, gives the English speakers constraints when it comes to acquiring the certificate quickly. While on the other hand, online courses are flexible, and they are more wallet-friendly since there are no extra expenses like in on-site programs.
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