Online TEFL Courses: One TEFL-er’s Experience
Usually employers who require a TEFL course require an “in person” one, like the CELTA or those provided by LanguageCorps or through Bootsnall with TEFL International. There are lots and lots of types of courses – and I firmly believe that it’s not only incorrect to generalize based on minimal information, but it makes me look silly – so I won’t claim to make some fair comparison. Many people feel that online courses really aren’t enough and I generally agree that actual teaching practice is pretty essential – I don’t think I’d have felt comfortable walking into a classroom on my own without it.
Yet online courses abound. Why do people take them?
Some probably feel they can’t afford and in person course and think the online ones are better than nothing; others may already have some experience, and perhaps want to work in a country like Korea where TEFL certificates are often not required. They may not officially be required to take any course, but do what they can to improve their knowledge.
One teacher who has experience and is currently working in a country which doesn’t require any certificate kind enough to share his insight on an online TEFL course which he completed.
It consisted of ten modules, some of which involved more work than others. The course had to be completed within six months of the day it began – and he found that, despite the occasional difficulty with motivation inherent in self-study, he was able to successfully finish the course in that time, some of it in fact overlapping with his teaching load. In the end, he found the additional insight into grammar perhaps the most useful component of the course.
And the process in detail? “After each unit was completed, I would submit my answers to my tutor for correction. Within two working days (but usually much sooner than that) he got back to me with corrections, comments, and suggestions on what I had written. I found that the comments were generally very good and helpful. He clearly DID take the time to read all of my answers and did not just have a series of canned responses for everyone’s answers.”
Certainly people’s experience can vary greatly (and with any course, not just online courses), and in this case, the teacher already had quite a bit of experience, so the situation may or may not be typical. In any case, thanks to this teacher for sharing his experience!