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The opinions on Reddit about online TEFL courses range from positive to negative. For the last year or so I have been using Reddit quite a bit. A lot of people show up there and ask questions about teaching English abroad.

A common question asked there is if online TEFL courses are legit and if so what's the best one?

I thought I'd share some of the thoughts and opinions people have there in regards to online courses. 

The general consensus there towards online courses is slightly negative. Or there is a sort of extreme perspective towards either getting the cheapest one or taking a CELTA. You'll find some favoritism there towards CELTA.

However, according to one moderator there:

"This subreddit is crawling with CELTA schools. They are trying to make money off you, not help you." - Tarkaan

Some people think that online or in-class is irrelevant

"It's not a matter of whether a program is online or F2F, it's a matter of how good the program is. There are crap online programs just as there are crap brick and mortar programs." - jrooted

I agree with this statement as I have taken both. 

Some people think that they are worthless

"Not completely worthless, but mostly worthless.

Obviously this is an extreme analogy but it is sort of like asking if a surgeon could become a surgeon by only studying textbooks." - Thailand_Throwaway

That's a belief that's kinda common in regards to in-class courses. Learning in the classroom is good, but most TEFL courses that you take in a classroom are with pseudo students and/or students who you won't be teaching.

I learned a lot by watching other teachers, by reading books or by searching the web. You can learn online. Anybody that says you can't has some pretty rigid opinions about learning.

Cynics say take the cheapest course or take a CELTA

There are lots of cynics on Reddit.

"The way I see it, you either take the CELTA and spend a month learning something or find the cheapest online course and get it done in a few days. The former if you're planning on teaching for a while, the latter if you're just looking to tick off the "Certification" box on your work visa application." - erufiku

"They are no different from any online TEFL course. Honestly, if an online TEFL course is all you can afford, just go for the cheapest one." - Naliamegod

I personally think this is a little extreme. I mean if you just want to "check a box" then the cheapest on Groupon might work. However, I think it's wise to consider what you will learn in a course otherwise even the cheapest may be a waste of money.

Some don't recommend getting the cheapest one

"Yeah you can get a cheapo on Groupon, but I would look closely at the course syllabus, content or outline instead of choosing one just by the price." - lip420

Some people think nothing compares to CELTA

I usually call these people CELTA snobs.

"All TEFLs can be fit into two groups. The first group is the CELTA and the Trinity TESOL. The second group is every other TEFL. If you actually want to learn something, choose a TEFL from the first group." - explosivekyushu

The reason why I call people like this CELTA snobs is because their views are extremely dogmatic.

Some people think what's learned in an online course is comparable to a CELTA

Of course it depends on the course that you are talking about, but some think that you can learn just as much in an online course as you can in a CELTA.

"People often wrongly conflate knowledge with certificate prestige - don't do that.

At the end of the day online TEFL courses teach almost identical material to the CELTA. What if they don't? You can go google right now their syllabus and the textbooks they use. CELTA isn't offering anything special." - squatcat

Some think that they are a good start

"Many people have never taught before or have very little teaching experience, and are unsure if they will even enjoy TEFL. It would be a huge waste to spend $2000 on a CELTA and then discover you hate teaching after 6 months." - Ficklestix

I think that is a good point. If you are not sure how long you will be teaching for then why invest a lot of money in it?

Those are some opinions on Reddit about online TEFL courses

You'll find an array of opinions and thoughts on online TEFL courses. ESLinsider offers some online courses too. There's even a free course too.

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