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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Tagalog
      • Home Country:
      • Philippines
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines

    • Join Date: Jan 2019
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    #1

    Online TESL Certification

    Hi guys! I hope you can help me with deciding. My main question is which online TEFL course should I get?

    Brief background about me. I have just applied to the JET program and I failed. I want to improve my next application so I want to get a TEFL certificate. Now I know that it's not needed but as long as it can increase my chances why not? That said I don't want just a certificate, I do want to learn while getting it.

    My teaching experience is limited to a 3-month stint as an intern in a pre-school a long time ago and 2 years as a weekend volunteer art and computer teacher for high school students three years ago. I'm currently volunteering as an English tutor as a way to also improve my next JET application. My normal job is management and I've had 8 to 9 years of management-related work experience so far. I do enjoy teaching though, it's just not financially viable here in my country vs my current work.

    I joined the JET program because I want to live in Japan for a bit. I have my own reasons for this and I'm stubborn about it so Japan is my only goal. JET seems to be the best option for me, especially given that I'm a non-native English speaker. However I'm also open to applying as a English teacher which is another reason why I want a TEFL. I want to do this for a few years while improving my Japanese.

    "Brief" background done. So after digging around I found some online courses I'm interested in and I hope you can chime in about them. First, it has to be online as I want to do it while working. Second, my budget is around $200. That's all I'm willing to invest given my current pay. Third, I'm avoiding Groupon classes. While this is a cheaper option I'm just worried that I won't learn as much as I could in the classes that they offer. I'm also worried that they have a reputation of being too cheap. Fourth, I want to do a 120-hour course as this seems to be the industry standard. Fifth, I would like a young learner's course included with my TESL classes if possible as I want to primarily teach kids.

    Some TEFL centers that are too expensive for me are TESOL International Association, International TEFL Academy, University of Toronto, OnTESOL, and Bridge TEFL.

    The ones that I settled on are:

    TEFL Bootcamp/TEFL Educator
    - $188
    - Comes with a young learner's course and 2 other specializations

    International TEFL TESOL Training (ITTT)
    - $239
    - Doesn't have tutors or videos for the 120-hour program

    i-to-i
    - $174.50
    - With a young learner's course for $224.50
    - OFQUAL accredited (I know TEFL accreditation isn't strict but I liked the OFQUAL certification as it's a government accreditation. Please correct me if it's actually useless.)

    MyTEFL
    - $295 ($199 with promo code)
    - Seems to be the most popular choice so it might be more well-known (?)

    ESL Insider
    - $209 for the advanced course
    - Focused on East Asian students
    - Long term access to their resources
    - I'm worried that they don't really term their advanced course as a 120-hour program (though it used to be) and it might confuse employers

    TEFL.IE (TEFL Institute of Ireland)
    - 89 Euros
    - Cheapest option that looks legit and has their own app
    - OFQUAL accredited

    The TEFL Academy
    - $210
    - OFQUAL accredited
    - Includes a young learners course

    Premier TEFL
    - $139.50
    - Has some scholarships that I really didn't look in to

    Arizona State University (via Coursera)
    - $49 per month
    - I liked this as it comes from a good university but I'm worried about Coursera's bad track record when dealing with subscription payments (not cancelling subscription payments properly, no refund policy)

    So there those are my choices. Any thoughts on them? :)

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,577
    #2

    Re: Online TESL Certification

    The problem is that many schools will not consider any online course to be a proper teaching qualification. The 120-hour industry standard course involves teaching practice and assessment, like CELTA.

  3. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 15,305
    #3

    Re: Online TESL Certification

    Quote Originally Posted by kimmandy36 View Post
    Second, my budget is around $200.
    I am afraid that you will not find anything worth having at that price. As Tdol said, the only courses really recognised internationally are those of 120 hours involving observed teaching practice. The current price for such a course in my city (Prague) is about 1,200 euros.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  4. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
    English Teacher
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      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2,884
    #4

    Re: Online TESL Certification

    That's not to say that some of those courses don't have valuable information or content that you'll find useful, just don't count on them being recognized or accepted.

    I have no familiarity with any of the ones you listed, so the only advice I can have it try and find some unbiased (i.e. unpaid) reviews of them. However, I would be leery of anything like the second one (ITTT) that offers neither videos or instructors - they should have one or the other (if not both). For that price, you should be getting some kind of resources beyond just materials. You shouldn't be paying to teach yourself.

    As I see it you have two options - go with one of these online ones in your price range, but view it as a self-enrichment course rather than a certification course, or one of the more expensive, face to face options which are widely recognized if your goal is a marketable certificate.

    Unfortunately, there's also costs beyond just those course fees. Unless you find one within driving distance, you'll have to worry about room and board while you attend the one of the more comprehensive classroom programs.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 8,257
    #5

    Re: Online TESL Certification

    I don't have anything to add further to posts #2 and #3 but I do want to say that your English is excellent! There is no way I would suspect that you are a non-native speaker.

    Good luck with whatever comes next for you.

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