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  :: Online vs Face-to-face TEFL Courses

The benefits of face to face courses are well documented elsewhere on this site. Onsite courses have the face to face contact which online courses lack, and online courses do not include any practice teaching, and for this reason are less recommended for absolute beginner teachers.

There are many factors which may lead a student to go for online training, however, factors which include convenience, cost, access, location, learning styles and preferences...

Benefits of online training ...

Online TEFL courses do enable you to gain a useful insight into TEFL, and in countries where there is a lower minimum requirement for the qualifications of teachers, these courses can serve as a 'passport' into teaching. Online courses give a foundation which is ideal for helping to orientate potential teachers who may be going off on a short term teaching mission, where teaching English is not being seen as a long-term career, nor to provide a sustainable source of income, where teaching might take place on a casual or volunteer basis.

TEFL training in an online format is beneficial for anyone who doesn’t have the time or money to commit to a longer, more expensive course, or is not near a centre where face to face courses are held – provided that the qualification gained will suit their plans in terms of where they want to be, what kind of TEFL teaching they want to do, and for which employer.

Doing your TEFL course online is certainly a very convenient and flexible way to follow a course. In addition, it gives you a more prolonged period of time in which to learn about the industry, think about where you’d like to go, and consider whether or not you would like to take further training.

There is also the argument that anyone who embarks on an online training course, before moving on to a face-to-face one of the assessed variety, will be better prepared, and therefore more likely to achieve a higher grade.

Content ...

Online TEFL courses focus on aspects which you would expect from any TEFL course, be it online or face to face, such as Student Motivation; Teacher Roles & EFL Methodology; Teaching of Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading and Writing; Classroom Management and Lesson Planning. Because of this, an online course is idea for a qualified, experienced teacher of another subject, used to teaching children in their own language, who needs not the classroom teaching experience of a face to face course, but an overview of what teaching EFL is all about, and additionally, what teaching another language to adults, rather than children, is like.

Some online courses have useful extras such as chat and forums, in which you can discuss ideas or issues with tutors and fellow course trainees.

Validation ...

Some online courses are externally validated by reputable accrediting agencies.

Finding work ...

Online courses usually include a section on finding work in the UK and abroad, and provide you with useful publications as well as web sites that you may find interesting throughout the course. Even though the course providers cannot guarantee work they will help and guide you through the process of applying for a TEFL position.

Teacher development ...

Online training provides an especially useful format for teacher development courses.

Many people who complete TEFL courses are interested in learning more about teaching specialist groups of learners or types of language after they have done their basic training and, perhaps, taught for a while. There are relatively few face-to-face Young Learners and Business English courses available, but there are some good quality online ones. Upgrading your training with these extra skills will increase your chances of finding work and make you more confident as a language teacher!

The time factor ...

Basic online courses can be completed in anything from approximately 40 hours upwards, although the actual time you spend and the pace of the course will vary and depends on your individual investment and dedication.