Working in the field of ESL (English as a Second Language), I have made some of the most memorable experiences in my life. It’s hard to put into words the rewarding feeling when a student remembers a new word or when you get a love letter with an adorable drawing on it. Yes, teaching English abroad is one of the most amazing careers to follow but the journey towards your dream job can be hard. It’s especially hard to choose the right TEFL/TESOL course that gets you that dream job. I have taken several TEFL/TESOL certification courses and can tell you exactly what to look for.
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Here’s how you can choose the right TEFL/TESOL course:
Do I need a TEFL/TESOL certification?
This is probably the first question you might as yourself – and the first question I asked myself. The answer depends on where you want to work and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead during your time abroad. For me, it was clear I was going to move to live in South Korea where competition for ESL teaching jobs is fierce. I needed something to set me apart from the other candidates, something that showed potential employers that I am serious about teaching and am not just looking for a ‘fun experience abroad’. The Korean ESL program called EPIK (English Program in Korea) that hires teacher for the public school system only hires TEFL/TESOL certified candidates, for instance.
What I also quickly realized were the higher paying positions with better benefit packages and more appealing working hours were only available to those with TEFL or TESOL certification. This was when I knew I absolutely had to get this type of certification to be able to make it in this industry.
Online Vs. In-Class
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether an online certification will suffice or you need, or simply prefer, to possess any practical teaching hours. For me, I had already been teaching in China for a few months and did not need any additional teaching practice to be able to work in South Korea. Therefore, I decided it was much easier to take on an online course. At first, I was unsure as to how they actually work and how effective, or simply ‘legit’, they really were. After hours and hours of research, I found a reputable TEFL/TESOL course provider offering a wide variety of different courses, both online and offline, with great reviews. I started comparing the different course options and came to the following conclusion:
- great flexibility
- study at my own pace
- study from laptop, tablet or smartphone
- cheaper course fee