As there is no specific standardization when it comes to TESOL qualifications, it is up to each individual provider to decide how much to charge for each of their courses. If you go online and search for TESOL courses you will find there are many short-format options that are available for as little as US$50 or even less. However, before you sign up for a course you should ask yourself two very important questions.
Will the certification you receive be seen as sufficient by employers in the country or region where you want to teach?
Will the course provide you with enough preparation for everything you will face once you step into your first real classroom?
The best advice here is to never choose a TESOL course based on its price alone. The course content and its reputation with international employers should also be taken into account.
How much does an in-class TESOL course cost?
A typical in-class TESOL course is completed over a four week period of intensive full-time training at a dedicated TESOL center. During the course you will learn about all the main areas of ESL teaching such as teaching methodologies, lesson planning and classroom management. The course should also cover the structures of English grammar and how to teach them effectively in the classroom. The most important benefit of an in-class course is the opportunity it provides to practice everything you have learned during teaching practice sessions that are observed by a course trainer. A good quality course will ensure that these sessions are conducted in an authentic classroom environment that contains local language learners. After each lesson you should receive extensive, personal feedback from your trainer that is designed to highlight your strong points and also highlight any areas that need improvement.
An in-class course should provide excellent preparation for anyone who is planning to teach English overseas, although the intensive nature of this option means it is not the cheapest way to gain your TESOL credentials. At ITTT we offer high-quality in-class TESOL courses from around US$1,500.
How much does an online TESOL course cost?
While it is true that in-class courses offer the very best preparation for teaching English, it is also true that the cost can be prohibitive for some trainees. The good news is that an online TESOL course can also provide a good route towards a new career as an ESL teacher. Despite the fact that a standard online course does not typically include teaching practice, it should still include all the same theory subjects as the in-class alternative. You might find that some employers prefer to hire teachers who have completed an in-class course or who have some amount of teaching experience. However, as the worldwide demand for TESOL qualified teachers is so high, an online qualification is generally good enough to qualify you for the majority of vacant positions.
A 120-hour online TESOL course (which is typically considered the entry level for ESL teaching) from ITTT starts at around US$250.
Is an online TESOL course or an in-class TESOL course the best option?
There is no simple answer to this question as it often depends on your desired teaching location. In regions such as Western Europe and the Middle East where the competition for jobs is at its highest, an in-class qualification might be enough to tip the scales in your favor. In contrast, the majority of employers across Asia and Latin America are generally less concerned about the type of certificate you have completed as they often have less choice when filling their vacant positions. The bottom line is, that regardless of the course you choose to take, as long as it is with an experienced and well respected course provider you will have no shortage of job options in countries all over the world.