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Finding the perfect TEFL certification course can be challenging. That’s why we’re helping you out with 7 questions to ask yourself when you are on the hunt for the TEFL certification that best fits your needs.
Are you more of a visual learner? Auditory? Kinesthetic? Can you study on your own or do you prefer working with a group? Thinking about your own personal learning style will help you determine if a TEFL certification course will help you learn the material needed to be an effective teacher in a way that you can absorb properly. Every person is different and every learner will have their own priorities. Once you know what your priorities are, you will be able to make a better decision for yourself.
Can you take the time to do an in-person training? One month without pay isn’t feasible for everyone. Plus you will need to factor in the cost of the course, travel, food and accommodations during that one month period. On the other hand, can you handle working solo during an online course experience? Or do you need more support? Both options have their pros and cons. In our opinion, online TEFL courses offer a great deal more flexibility, but you have to do the research to find one that will give you proper support and a dynamic learning experience.
The answer to this question may be unclear, but if you have some idea of how you want to use your TEFL certification, it will help you better judge your course selection. Some people teach English for their whole career. Others do it as a volunteer opportunity over one summer. And others still will choose to take a 2 year hiatus and teach abroad while they explore the world. Which one is you? Some options here could be:
“I am going to be a volunteer teacher for 2 months over summer break.”
“I want to take a gap year and live and work abroad as an English teacher.”
“My goal is to live as an expat for an extended period of time and teaching is my gateway to financing that dream.”
Whether your plans involve a short-term stay or a long-term commitment, you will need to find a training option that gives you solid skills for the classroom. Weigh in the balance how much of an investment you want to make in time, energy and finances in order to set yourself up for success.
If the answer here is “Yes”, then you will want to look at TEFL providers that can assist you in offering job support.
One pitfall we suggest watching out for is the “guaranteed job” commitment. This can often be a warning sign because it points to an agreement between the TEFL provider and most likely a poor quality school whose standards are very low for new teachers. This could mean that you will be living in an undesirable location, earning lower wages, or placed in a school that doesn’t have the proper resources or programming to support you.
Our suggestion is to find a TEFL provider that can help guide you in your job search and offer support in interviewing, resume building, country selection, and personalized advice.
TEFL certification brings with it unbounded opportunities. You can take your certification to almost any country in the world! If travel is something you love (like we do) that choice of where to go teach can be difficult to make. However, we suggest deciding this early on. After all, you can always change your mind or teach in several different countries. But you will want to get a certification that will be accepted in the country you have your eye on. Check the credentials for schools in that nation before your nail down your TEFL certification plans.
A life as an English teacher abroad is awesome and amazing in so many ways, but there is definitely a spectrum as to how far you want to push the boundaries of your comfort zone.
Some people set their sights on living in a developed nation, probably in a nice urban environment, where they can have their creature comforts and still enjoy learning a new culture and language. Others dive head first into the unknown and want to live in a small village in a developing country and teach in a one room school that has dirt floors.
Keep this in mind when you are considering training options. Look for courses focused on teaching you the skill of lesson planning which can be independent of a textbook, worksheets, and other basic school supplies. This will help you develop your skillset as a teacher independent of materials or resources available.
What do we mean here by “long into the future”? Well, in our opinion, TEFL certifications can be useful far beyond your teaching career. Why? Because teaching is a career that involves improving your communication skills and your people skills – both of which are vital to most jobs. So before you latch onto the cheapest TEFL course you can find, think about what you are building for yourself now and in the future.
If you want more tips and advice on TEFL courses, check out our blog.