9) What do you think of Online TEFL Courses?

Distance Learning

Distance Learning

I’m assuming a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) class would be superior if you could attend it in person, right? (Or do you disagree?) But are there any better bets for online TEFL programs? For example, if you were to study at…


would you come away with a good handle on how to Teach English? Do you have a favorite online program or experience? If so, would you be willing to give us the referral information in a comment box immediately below this item?

2 Responses to 9) What do you think of Online TEFL Courses?
  1. Kitty Purgason Reply

    Training for TEFL/TESL/TESOL suffers from a lack of international or local standardization/regulation, as well as a proliferation of competing businesses. The original entry-level certificate, the CELTA, is vetted by Cambridge University: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/celta/index.html. It requires about 120 hours of instruction and supervised practice teaching. Any program requiring less than that is a pre-entry-level certificate.

    Before signing up for training, people should ask themselves two questions. (1) What qualification do I need in order to get the job I’m looking for, and (2) What training do I need in order to confidently and successfully serve the students I’ll be teaching. The answers may be different.

    Employers vary. Some may accept any kind of “certificate” without asking questions. Others refuse to hire teachers with online certificates. Others specify a certificate with particular standards, require experience as well as a certificate, or require training beyond an entry-level certificate, such as a graduate certificate, diploma, or MA.

    An entry-level certificate may be enough to help someone teach a conversation class or work in a school with good materials/curriculum and a trained mentor. However, more training is going to be needed for someone who is asked to teach specialized students (e.g., children or business leaders), teach specialized classes (e.g., grammar or academic writing), write materials, design courses, assess students, train teachers, and so on.

    Christians who want to teach ESL or EFL should follow Colossians 3:17. “As unto the Lord” entails preparation that fits the job. A pre-entry-level certificate may be enough for a person’s first job volunteering as a conversation partner in a neighborhood center. To keep going in the field, it’s a good to keep moving up the training ladder.

    I should add that if your job, ministry, or visa responsibilities mean that you want an MA, consider Biola University’s MA TESOL, which is completely online and which allows you to integrate your training with your current teaching and ministry.

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