If you have started researching the requirements for teaching English abroad or online you will already know that a TESOL certification is expected by the vast majority of employers who offer comfortable working conditions and a good salary. Your research is also likely to have highlighted the fact that there are many different course providers out there offering a dazzling array of different TESOL course options. So how do you navigate your way towards the right course option to suit your personal circumstances, study style, and future teaching plans?
How do I choose the right study method?
When choosing a TESOL course a good place to start is to decide what style of study will suit you best. If you have existing commitments that you cannot avoid, such as work, other study, or family responsibilities, then an online course might be the best option as you get to decide exactly when you study and for how long. Because of this convenient structure you should be able to fit your studies around these commitments and complete the course at your own pace. An online course is also typically the cheapest method of study as it doesn’t require any physical attendance at a training center and the overheads for the provider are relatively low.
For more information, take a look at our online TESOL course page.
Although an online course provides a very convenient and affordable study option, it does lack any real teaching practice that many trainees find invaluable before starting their first teaching job. If the idea of walking into a classroom full of students for the first time without having any practice seems like a scary proposition, then you might want to consider an in-class TESOL course. With this option you get to practice all the theory of teaching you have learned during your course by undertaking several sessions of Observed Teaching Practice (OTP). These sessions are supervised by experienced teacher trainers who will help you plan an effective lesson and then provide a full debrief upon its conclusion. By the end of the course you should feel confident in your teaching abilities and ready to set foot in the classroom on your first day in your first teaching role.
For more information, take a look at our in-class TESOL course page.
Does the course length matter?
If you decide that the in-class option is the right choice for you then you have nothing else to consider other than the location of the course, as in-class courses generally run on a set study schedule of four weeks of full-time study. However, if the online route is more to your liking, then the course length is something you do need to consider. Most TESOL course providers offer a range of options that often start at around 50 or 60 study hours and can go upwards of 550 hours or more. The key thing to remember here is that anything under 100 hours is generally aimed at volunteer teachers or teaching assistants, rather than mainstream classroom teachers. Around the world it is generally accepted by most employers that a TESOL certificate of 120-hours is the basic level of training required.
For more information, take a look at our 120-hour TESOL certification course page.
What if I am planning to teach English online?
If you already know that you want to teach English online rather than in a standard classroom, then you should seriously consider completing a course that has been specifically designed for this purpose. A standard TESOL course will cover all the basic teaching skills that cover every type of teaching scenario. However, any teacher who also has a specialized qualification in online teaching will have a clear advantage when applying for jobs and they will be better prepared to provide the type of lessons that online students need.
For more information, take a look at our 170-hour TESOL course with online specialization.
Should I also take additional TESOL courses?
Although a standard in-class or online TESOL course will provide all you need to get your teaching career off the ground, many trainees decide to take additional courses to further build their teaching knowledge and to gain an advantage in the ESL job market. Short-format specialization courses are very popular as they give you extra skills and knowledge on areas of teaching that are especially prevalent in many parts of the world. By adding specialized courses in teaching young learners, business English, or teaching online, you will greatly increase your level of employability. If you see yourself working your way up the ladder towards more responsibility and better pay, then an advanced-level course, such as a Diploma in TESOL, is certainly something you should consider.
For more information, take a look at our specialized TESOL course page.
Also, take a look at our Diploma in TESOL course.