Erica Fairchild

If you've ever thought about traveling for long periods of time you may (or may not) have thought about teaching English whilst doing it. Supporting your adventure with extra cash, creating a support network with other teachers in your school and making a positive societal impact are just some of the reasons you will want to teach abroad.

The only problem you might come across is getting your foot in the door. To do that you will need an English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching certificate, however, the world of ESL Certificates can be difficult to navigate and confusing. Not to worry! I am here to guide you through the three most common ways to get ESL Certified.

Getting ESL Certified has never been easier, there are three main ways people do it: online, in-person or blended. Each come with their own pros and cons, so here's some things to consider.

Online ESL Certificates:

Online courses offer an easy, affordable and flexible way of getting ESL Certified. Online ESL certificates are most often called Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificates and come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Most countries only accept a course with a certain number of hours, to be safe you need to aim for at least a 120hr certificate or higher.

+ Cheaper prices then other methods

+ Flexible around your work/study schedule

+ Great for learning the basic theory of ESL teaching

+ Able to get ESL certified wherever you are

- Confusing to find a reputable brand. There are many different companies with different reputations, prices and material

- Some illegitimate certificates

- Lacks the practical knowledge you gain from being in the classroom

- No way to get additional help though out the course

In-person ESL Certificates:

In person ESL certificates have the most history and are often run by nationally or internationally recognized brands. The most famous is probably the CELTA, accredited by Cambridge University. They offer the most well-rounded ESL educations but can come with a hefty price tag.

+ Extensive knowledge of ESL teaching

+ Comes with built in practical elements

+ Often the most reputable and legitimate course

- Not flexible around your schedule

- Fixed locations mean you must live close to a center or could travel long distances

- Significantly larger price tag than other methods

Blended ESL Certificates:

Blended methods of getting ESL Certified try to combine the advantages of online teaching whilst also giving you practical teaching knowledge. They are usually run in two parts; a 100hr online course to give you the theoretical knowledge and then a 20hr voluntary practical element. You will have to arrange your own voluntary practical hours with an ESL school which means more work for you, especially if you don't have an ESL school in your local area.

+ Competitive pricing with other online courses

+ Flexible to your schedule

+ Semi flexible to your location

+ Offers both theory and practical learning, but not extensively

- Getting the certificate is dependent on completing your practical element, this could slow you down

- You will need to arrange your own practical learning

How to get ESL certified with EF:

EF is looking for fantastic teachers to join our expanding team in China and will assist you in getting certified if you are successful through our application process. We have over 300 schools in China in over 60 cities so are able to find the perfect city to match your needs.

EF uses a blended approach, helping teachers get certified before they arrive, then supplementing the theory with extensive onboarding and training to get you up to scratch in the classroom. The online element is a TEFL course all paid for by EF. The course itself has been vetted by EF and offers the most well-rounded ESL certification in Kids & Teens, Adults and Online teaching. You also have the added security of knowing hundreds of new English teachers get certified and join our team in China every year.

+ Completely free

+ Stress free and simple process

+ Start your adventure before you're ESL certified

+ Flexible to your location and schedule

+ Extensive knowledge of ESL teaching with continuous development available from the EF in China

There are many ways of getting ESL certified, each one matching people's needs differently, however if you are committed to starting your English teaching journey then EF offers a fantastic way of gaining a certification and beginning your adventure today. EF does more than just assist people with their certification; we will also work alongside you to make the visa process as easy and simple as possible and go further to ensure teachers are settled into their new life in China. If you are interested, use the link below.

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