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Which Option is the Most Favorable for an ESL/EFL Teacher?

Which Option is the Most Favorable for an ESL/EFL Teacher? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

The very moment I started thinking about the TEFL/TESOL course, many options came up in my mind that’s an online TEFL course or on-site course. Another thought I had in mind was after completing the course should I teach English in a classroom or online? Although both options have pros and cons, there are several distinct differences between teaching English in a classroom and teaching online. While undergoing my TEFL/TESOL 120-hour course with ITTT, considering both options, I think classroom teaching will be suitable and important to my lifestyle. There’re factors which I took into consideration which are listed below:

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nkwain N. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


Teachers need to prepare before the lesson. This applies to any teacher whether you’re teaching in a classroom or online, however, your materials and content prepare will differ. Generally speaking, teaching a class in-person, you might be responsible for developing the entire lesson plan in case the institution doesn’t have course books. This might include warm-ups, lessons, games, power-points, preparing any props you may need, and as well as which ESA strategies you intend to implement. This requires an amount of time to prepare.

On the other hand, I noticed if teaching online, some EFL/ESL companies prepare the lessons to facilitate everything for their students and teachers. Some might as well design the warm-up, lesson, power-points, games, and ESA strategies that you must implement. With the enormous knowledge acquired from the ITTT course in regards to EFL methodology, lesson planning, what makes a good EFL teacher, grammar, teaching a new language, teaching the receptive/productive skills, and teaching pronunciation/phonology, etc. The best option for me will be classroom teaching.

Also Read: What is the TAPIF Program for teaching English in France?

Teaching Time

Working hours depend on the institutions and age groups given to the teacher that’s applicable for both online and onsite. Teaching English in a classroom can be either for a regular school with the working hours of 8:00 is-5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday are days off. Or perhaps a language school with workings hours from 3:00 pm -7:30 pm, from Tuesday-Friday and 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays. You can determine your schedule in the morning hours. Mondays are often a day off and any holidays that the institution recognizes.

teacher writing in the notebook

Flexible Schedule

Online teaching gives more flexibility for a teacher to decide on his/her schedule. However, time zones are a tremendous or vital factor to consider. For instance, if you are working for an EFL institution that teaches students located in South Korea and China, and you are located in the U.S.A, most of your teaching hours will be during the day. The reason has to be that the time zone is six or seven hours difference.

Also Read: How much can I earn teaching English in Italy?

Class Size

Class size is another important factor to consider between teaching ESL/EFL in a classroom and online. As a classroom teacher, your class sizes can range from small classes of 5 to larger classes of 50 or one-on-one. These vary depending on the institution and the region. Sometimes teaching large classes might be challenging.


However, Unit 20 of ITTT course on TEFL/TESOL 120 hours covered content related to most common problems situations that teachers can encounter in the classroom and also suggested ways of resolving them. In a classroom, it’s easy for teachers to establish rapport among students, students, and teachers. In the classroom, the teacher can pair/group work, there can be clarity, choral repetition, appoint group leaders and dynamics in the sense that it's dramatic and equals a greater variety of ideas. Online ESL/EFL classes are generally one-on-one or a few students. This might depend on the ESL/EFL online company.

Classroom teaching gives the ability to interact and establish rapport with your students. The teacher will see the students often. This will enable him/her to develop a rapport with them. The teacher will also be able to play games with them during the lesson, will understand different levels and their learning abilities. Also, the teacher will find out about the student's need, aspiration with English and find out the English level of each class member. With online English teaching, it's difficult to establish a rapport since the teacher interacts with students just once a week or a month.

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