Choosing a TESOL course can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you don't know where to start. Knowing what you should look for in a certification program can dramatically help you in your search for the right TESOL course.
One of the most important factors is location. TESOL courses can be taken in a classroom setting in your home country, on-site in the country you want to teach in, or even online. If you're thinking about teaching English just as an option, and aren't fully committed to the idea yet, an online TESOL course may be the best choice.
Online TESOL courses provide very similar content compared to their in-class counterparts. The main difference, however, is that you usually have a longer time frame to complete the training. Convenience is the main draw. Choosing an online TESOL course allows you to work through each unit at your own pace, from anywhere in the world.
Online courses are also ideal if you have a full or part-time job. Or you have too much going on to focus on the training full-time. While completing the course, you will get access to tonnes of information and video content. Course content will give you an insight into teaching, and serve as a taster to help you figure out if this is the right move for you!
There are also several TESOL courses online that have more of a hybrid structure. These online courses provide you with a chance to work on most of the training at your own pace. As well as offer interaction with teachers or mentors online through forums. Some curriculums may include class meetings from time to time (but not all). Supplemental teaching practice within a classroom setting may also be available, but this is usually in major cities. These hybrid qualifications provide you with the opportunity to gain some experience teaching in front of a classroom after learning the theories and methodologies online.
An in-class TESOL course can offer several benefits. With this type of course, you have the opportunity to gain practical experience within a classroom setting. This better prepares you for teaching English to a classroom full of students. In-class courses allow you to learn with others and communicate in person, as well as practice teaching English to an actual class. Typically, they are better at helping you feel more comfortable teaching in a classroom, allowing you to have an easier time when you start your teaching job abroad.
In-class TESOL courses are typically full-time courses. Full-time courses often require a more significant time investment than their online counterparts. Most in-class sessions last around one month. During these four weeks, you will work in a classroom setting which will help you gain valuable teaching skills. You will learn more about classroom management, contingency lesson planning, and how to use "realia" (props) to aid learning. These courses will provide you with the confidence you need to start your job teaching English without worry.
In addition to deciding whether to complete a TESOL course online or in a classroom, you should also take the number of hours in a TESOL course into consideration. The amount of time you actually spend on training can factor into whether you get the teaching job you want. The standard minimum hours for a TESOL course is 120-hours. Some TESOL courses, however, offer 150-hour qualifications as a more advanced training course. There are some courses out there that provide quick-start courses with as little as 40-hours. However, it might be more challenging to find a job with one of these. It's best to look for a course with at least 120-hours of training.
Do you have a specific type of English or age group you would like to teach? There some TESOL courses available that are more specialised. Some courses are geared towards teaching business English, adult students, young learners and early education. These additional course features could help set you apart from other candidates when applying for specific teaching positions abroad.