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A 2020 Guide to Choose the Best Online TEFL Programs [+ Avoid Bad Ones]


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In the past, only in-person TEFL certification courses existed. This limited the availability of TEFL qualifications due to the intensive time demands of in-person training. However, thanks to the creation of online TEFL programs, those who want to become EFL teachers can become TEFL certified at their own pace. Not only that, but the global accessibility of online TEFL courses now means you can become TEFL certified from anywhere in the world.

Of course, the boom of online TEFL courses means better access to ESL teacher training. However, the problem comes in knowing how to distinguish good online TEFL programs from bad.

At TEFLPros, we believe in providing our students with the highest quality online TEFL education delivered in an insightful and approachable manner. That’s why we want to help you avoid sub-par TEFL certification courses that won’t give you this.

Here’s what to look out for when identifying good versus bad TEFL courses.

Choose Accredited Online TEFL Programs

Simply put, bad online TEFL programs generally aren’t accredited. With TEFL accreditation, a course hasn’t been quality tested by an independent body. This means you have no idea if the course content meets a high enough educational standard.

What’s worse, potential teaching job prospects won’t be able to tell if your TEFL qualification covers all you need for a teaching position. Schools like to know that your TEFL program is from an accredited institution so they can be assured of your level of knowledge.

While there is no single TEFL accrediting body, the best TEFL programs seek to prove their top quality with TEFL accreditation. By becoming accredited by a recognized authority in the TEFL industry, good TEFL certification providers can prove to you that their online TEFL program is well-delivered with comprehensive content.

Accreditation also helps with teaching job prospects. If your TEFL certification is internationally accredited, schools around the world feel assured by your level of education and teaching knowledge.

TESOL Accreditation - TESOL Direct


TEFLPros chose ACCREDITAT as our international recognizing body due to their stringent TEFL training standards for high-quality ESL education. ACCREDITAT recognition demonstrates that we operate with integrity, while providing the highest quality content from well-qualified, experienced TEFL teachers.

Choose Online TEFL Programs with Real English Teaching Experience

Low-caliber TEFL training tends to be text-heavy. This is because poor quality online TEFL programs are often pieced together with recycled information and lesson plans ripped from the internet. Often the founders of these programs don’t have teaching experience, so courses aren’t delivered by real TEFL teachers.

Superior TEFL certification programs provide a multimedia teaching experience where real-life, experienced TEFL teachers lead the lectures. Offering first-hand knowledge and hands-on teaching experience, first-rate TEFL programs are transparent about their founders, proudly showcasing their backgrounds.


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TEFLPros is the brainchild of Jos and Whitney — both certified and extremely experienced ESL teachers who have held scores of teaching positions abroad. The pair commit to leveraging this worldwide experience to deliver sound TEFL education to future English teachers.

Jam-packed with real teacher interviews, real-life in classroom observations, and cultural awareness practices, the TEFLPros online TEFL course truly prepares students for the realities of being an ESL teacher.

Choose Comprehensive TEFL Certifications

The internet is peppered with cheap TEFL courses, promising full qualification in less than 20 hours yet they masquerade as being 120 hours. An online TEFL course this short simply doesn’t provide enough time to cover all the necessary aspects of being an English teacher.

Often 20-hour crash courses lack comprehensive coursework and effective assessments, and simply skip out all classroom management skills and teaching practicum – both are necessary for online and in-person teaching.

The TEFL industry standard for a high-quality online TEFL program is 120 hours of coursework and assessment. This should cover lesson planning and content, as well as student interaction methods and classroom management techniques.

TEFLPros offers a 120-hour TEFL certification course that consists of 32 units across 10 modules. Students get life-long access to 17+ hours of real classroom observation, step-by-step planning video guides, quizzes, assignments, worksheets, and much more.

Choose TEFL Certification Courses that Help with a Job Placement

Poor quality TEFL providers offer a basic course, without any extras. These establishments rarely have connections to schools and offer no help with job prospects or preparation.

Equally, watch out for TEFL training courses that promise ‘guaranteed job placement’. These are often scams. If they are not a scam, the TEFL school is taking hundreds of dollars in kickback money to “place” you. TEFLPros has never taken money to help our grads. 

Look for an online TEFL program that offers teaching job assistance and advice. Seek TEFL courses that provide help with writing a CV or portfolio, as well as preparing you for the classroom.

The best online TEFL programs have partnership networks with educational institutions teaching English all over the world. Choose a TEFL course that helps to connect you to future teaching job prospects.

TEFLPros helps all students prepare a professional portfolio to assist with the job application process. Thanks to our global partnership of vetted schools, TEFLPros also connects students with teaching positions that favor TEFLPros grads. Since we don’t sell our grads, you can also be assured that the position we recommend doesn’t come with a paycheck to us.

Choose Online TEFL Programs That Look After Course Graduates

One of the worst things about second-rate TEFL courses is that they limit alumni access to English teaching materials. Once graduated, students can no longer access material from the course and are rarely given teaching resources to take away.

Contrarily, the top online TEFL programs are filled with multimedia learning materials and English teaching resources throughout the course. This content should be accessible to graduates after they have finished the course. This helps you to recap on what you have learned.

Elite TEFL courses also provide bonus materials for graduates to take away. These usually include teaching resources, lesson plans, and other guidance material.

At TEFLPros, we send our graduates home with a full Graduate Pack. This includes a professional teaching portfolio, the TEFLPros Activity Book, the TEFLPros Interview and Resume Guide, and 6 interviews with real TEFL teachers on their experiences. Plus you retain access to your course portal.

Choose Highly-Recommended Online TEFL Programs

If the TEFL course you’re researching has bad reviews or has no reviews at all, run for the hills. If students are saying good things about your course, you let the world know. A lack of reviews suggests a course hasn’t got much to rave about.

Look to the course reviews and testimonials to distinguish the good online TEFL certification courses from the bad. Check specific TEFL review sites like GoOverseas and GoAbroad.

The TEFLPros reviews speak for themselves. With nothing but top-marks ratings, TEFLPros receives incredible platitudes from our graduates.

As one current Bangkok teacher praises, ‘The course is very thorough and detailed and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for accreditation to become a foreign language teacher overseas.’

Choose TEFLPros Today

There’s no time like the present to sign up to the most superior online TEFL program available — TEFLPros’ 120-hour online TEFL course.

TEFLPros not only offers you an extensive high-quality TEFL course delivered by experienced tutors at great value. With alumni teaching all over the world and a global network of possible teaching positions, the TEFLPros 120-hour course also prepares for your future as an international English teacher.



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