If you do a general search query for “TEFL courses” on Google, for example, you will find in excess of 6 million hits, while “best TEFL courses” will give you more than 9 million results. Incredible, right?
Not really as most of these alleged “best TEFL courses” will not actually be the best. Why you may ask. Unfortunately, there are people and companies out there who don’t deliver what is promised, and a lot of these courses are not accredited or industry standard ones.
In order to identify which TEFL courses fulfil industry standards and are accredited, have a look at this article, Your Guide to the Best TEFL Certification Programs, but below we also highlight why an accredited course is non-negotiable.
We also compare online and face-to-face TEFL courses to help you with your “what are the best TEFL courses” decision.
Internationally Recognized TEFL Courses Are a Must
Before we delve into online and face-to-face, let’s briefly look at why only internationally recognised TEFL courses are the only ones that should make it to your shortlist:
- An internationally recognized course separates the real deal courses from those that aren’t.
- If a course is accredited, it means that the school or institution through which you complete your TELF program is seen to be reputable enough to teach you about teaching English as a foreign language and award you a TEFL certificate once you complete and pass the course.
- Most schools will require you to have an internationally recognized TEFL certificate.
What Kind of Course Is Right for You: Online vs On-Site TEFL courses
In general, online (also called distance learning or self-study) and on-site (also called face-to-face, in-class, or in-person) TEFL courses usually cover the same topics or coursework, which comprise:
- EFL methodology
- Teaching of grammar and vocabulary, as well as listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills
- Classroom management
- Lesson planning
- Motivation in the classroom
- Teacher roles
Deciding which best TEFL course, whether done online or face-to-face, is right for you would depend on several factors. Below we have summarised the main differences between these two kinds:
|Online TEFL Course||Face-To-Face TEFL Course|
|Can commit part- or full-time to the course; suitable if you have a busy schedule||Can commit full-time to the course|
|Provides foundation knowledge of TEFL – suitable if you want to teach EFL for the short term or want an introduction to TEFL||Comprehensive and in-depth TEFL training with an emphasis on teaching practice|
|Course length is varied and teaching practice may not be included||Courses are 100+ hours, with a minimum of 6 hours of teaching practice|
|Makes use of chats, forums, and other technology-driven ways to support trainee and tutor interaction||Tutor and trainee interaction is mainly face-to-face, but some courses may make use of online learning platforms to supplement the course|
|Classroom management training and assessments are limited to online interaction and content||Classroom management and assessments take the form of hands-on training|
|Support from tutors and trainers is limited to specified available times via online platforms, such as Skype||Support from tutors and trainers takes place during each day at the centre|
|Need to have your own computer, internet access, and resources||May use centre’s facilities – computers, internet access, and resources|
|Generally cheaper than in-class TEFL courses||Generally more expensive than online TEFL courses|
|Can do the course from anywhere||If you aren’t doing the TEFL course where you are staying or close to home, then your costs would need to factor in housing, travel, and other personal expenses|
|Even though online TEFL courses are becoming more popular and accepted, some employers may not consider this as a ‘real’ course in TEFL and may prefer a TEFL certificate that was earned in-class||Many employers may still prefer face-to-face TEFL training with teaching practice as it demonstrates that you have in-classroom experience and you may be better prepared to teach students for real|
Looking for an internationally accredited TEFL course? We highly recommend this one
To recap, the best TEFL courses are the ones that are accredited and/or internationally recognized, and these are the only ones that you should consider.
There are also several differences between online and face-to-face TEFL courses and the best one for you would depend on the time you have available to dedicate to learning, your budget, as well as why you want to become an EFL teacher.