ESL Training and a Bit
   More About TEFL Training Online

If you are thinking you're thinking about pursuing ESL training on-line instead of going for on-site TEFL training then here are a few things to consider. (Note: the bulk of this article is about ESL certification as it relates to teaching English in Japan and NOT other Asian countries.) So without further ado let's get down to some myth busting.

TEFL Training Online: Which Type Are You?

ESL Training:
Choosing a TEFL Course

One thing that you will read on many sites is that TEFL certification will result in a higher salary.

          First things first

There are various types who are seeking ESL training online but in general those who don't have hands on experience in the teaching area are a big group. They need to get  their toe in the door because they either have a gap year to fill or kill or revel in the idea of being a broke backpacker TEFLing (just made that word up...I think.) across Asia. If you are not that familiar with on-line TEFL certification and what it all means, here is Wikipedia's definition: "A TEFL certificate prepares individuals at all experience levels to instruct students in English in the foreign language classroom." Thanks guys.

Then there are the others just out of college who really want a change in their lifestyle, enjoy teaching or sharing information with others and
believe or hope in their heart of hearts that helping others master or improve their English skills will help this person pursue their dreams.

And lastly there are some who are just itching to find out what is going on in Asia, are curious about customs, language etc. They enjoy change and embrace the type of new challenges that teaching abroad will definitely bring... and in spades might we say. They are at a crossroads and are faced with the decision of going on in their native country doing the same old same old or striking out in a new direction by getting an ESL certificate of some type to get the ball rolling. More on if you are the right type for the adventure.

ESL Training Online With a Splash of Reality on the Side

No matter which type you are, if you are in fact even in these broad categorizations, one thing is dead-on true. When  your resume hits the recruiter or school HR person's desk, you will get blown out by the guy or gal with actual teaching experience. More on on-site vs. on-line TEFL Programs.

  (Note: that is even if it makes it to their desk, meaning the recruiter has to make / earn its keep and one of the functions they provide is giving the ax to the apps without any ESL training whether it is TEFL training on-line or on-site.


So with these market realities out of the way, In reality you are competing against others of similar caliber and if you are in one of the above groups or somewhere near them, then it makes sense not to bet the pot and a single shot with a high-end on-site CELTA.

So we are left with online ESL training. Why? Because it can be completed anywhere on the planet (provided that it is purely on-line), at your own pace, and is much cheaper and most importantly

it fits the profile of allowing you to compete with others of similar caliber without betting the pot.

Furthermore, because many online certificates also include access to piles of teaching videos showing the ESL teacher in action handling the actual class dynamic. This leaves little to imagination as it is right there in front of you to observe and not to ponder about.

Some say on-line TEFL certificates aren't worth the paper they are printed on. Hmm.... the problem of going to extremes. In the bulk of online TEL courses there will be:

  • Online grammar modules
  • Tutor feedback for clarification
  • The certifying body accreditation
  • A review/consolidation testing procedure
  • Access to their job boards, contacts and interview advice
  • Access to other ESL teachers thoughts and ideas via. their forums from those who have done it, lived it and can help you with saving you the pain of the mistakes or misjudgements they may have made. (Worth gold in my book.)

Another thing to remember is that if you go for the affordable route of pursuing TEFL training on-line and it doesn't work out, it means a few things:

  1. In the worst case scenario teaching isn't your cup of tea. Great. You can cut your losses right here and move on.
  2. The company  you work for isn't what you hoped for. Maybe the company was too big or small for you. But this can simply be remedied by switching companies and things might work out.  Ya never know.
  3. Another possibility is the city is either too small or too big and bustling for you. Or that the climate is too much for you.
  4. And of course lastly , the country you landed in isn't  your cup of tea. So suppose you gave it a shot teaching English in Japan and it stunk to high heaven. That means it stunk there. It also means that teaching ESL might be much more to your liking in Spain, Korea or wherever your TEFL certification and tennis shoes might take you.

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