What's the best TEFL course for Taiwan?
The one that's going to prepare you to do your job. In Taiwan chances are you will teach mostly children because that's where most of the jobs are.
Most courses are CELTA copies and look alikes and the "A" in CELTA is for "adults", so that means most courses will focus on teaching adults not children. And that might be fine if you are adamant about teaching adults, but based on my experience teaching in Taiwan, Korea and China I would recommend a course focused on teaching mostly kids.
Because it's a different ball game. Kids are the harder age group to teach by far. They are high energy, they have a short attention span and they are not tame. Of course some classes and students are easier than others, but if you don't know what you are doing you are going to be stressed out and you won't like teaching abroad in Taiwan.
I know because that's what happened to me. It was a good year and a half before I started to get a bit more comfortable in the class. And I did take a TESOL course before teaching in Taiwan.
So about 6 years later I started to make videos that would later be used in ESLinsider's courses.
You should also know that a TEFL certificate is not usually a requirement to "legally" teach English in Taiwan.
That's right. The only time that you may actually need it to get a work visa is if you only have an associate's degree.
Or it's possible that a school may require/prefer it if you have no TEFL experience.
If you saw somewhere that you needed a course to legally teach English in Taiwan then that was probably a lie.
I thought you should know that because I see those lies around the web.
So what is the best TEFL course for Taiwan?
It's the one that's going to prepare you to teach the students that you teach.
That's my short answer.
So if you are going to teach adults then take one that focuses on teaching adults which is actually most TEFL/CELTA courses. But I'd say most jobs in Taiwan are for teaching kids.
So if you are going to teach kids then take this one focused on teaching kids.
If you are going to teach adults?
Then you can take a CELTA. Since it can be expensive and more intensive it's usually not recommended for those who are just going to teach for a year or two.
But it is generally thought of as the best course for teaching adults.
Should you take an in-class course or an online course?
Well, that depends on you and the course you choose. I'd say in Taiwan that most online courses are acceptable. If you are debating this then I think you will find the following articles to be helpful:
So if you are interested in an online course then you probably want to know what is the best online course, right?
Well, that depends...
The best online course for what?
There are two reasons to take a course.
- Best for getting a job? I'd say that on paper it doesn't really matter which course you take.
- Best for learning? I'd say that courses vary in quality so choose wisely.
As far as getting a job goes I don't think it really matters because as I already mentioned you don't usually "need" one. You'll find companies that say schools want their certificate or that they are internationally recognized or whatever, but that's just a bunch of marketing B.S.
Here's a quote on Reddit that pretty much sums it up:
"For EFL in Asia, those accreditations don't matter at all, but they are necessary in some Western countries...
If you want to teach in Korea/Japan/China/Thailand, etc. it really doesn't matter. Busan through EPIK requires some in-class hours, but otherwise all certificates are pretty much equivalent in the schools' eyes." - Tomli
So on paper I'd say the cheapest or the most expensive course will probably all look the same to "most" schools.
You might think.
I'll get the cheapest.
That will probably work fine in the short term, but...
I took one of those cheap and popular might I add courses on Groupon, but I think that was a case of "you get what you pay for".
Cheap and easy is a short term solution.
Teaching is not easy and I think you need all the help you can get. You can teach yourself if you are savvy and discuplined, but a streamlined course that covers everything you need to teach in Taiwan is going to save you time and stress.
If you are thinking about taking an online course...
Here are some factors to consider as to what makes a "better" online course
- Instructional videos
- Long term access
- Targeted training
- Feedback and interaction
1. Instructional videos
The first thing that I asked myself before I started ESLinsider was how could I make teaching English abroad easier?
The answer was, video.
Why use video?
Because for me the easiest way to learn was by watching other effective teachers teach. Reading is not an efficient way to learn. It can help, but it's not efficient and most people don't remember what they read.
In fact they usually only read 20-28% of a page.
Most online courses are mostly text based and so what that means is that you probably won't learn or remember much.
People remember visuals like video more. However, it does depend on the video as you don't need to be lectured about how to teach, instead you need to be shown how to teach.
Since you started your search for TEFL in Taiwan and visited various company sites do you feel that you have been told the truth?
Many companies tell lies about teaching abroad to get you to buy.
It happened to me.
Many lie about the requirements to teach abroad saying that their course is required or that you'll make more money with it.
Also since you began your TEFL course search do you feel like you are getting a clear picture of what you are going to learn? Do you know what you are going to learn or know anything about the content of the course?
A good course will be transparent about the content and tell you the truth.
3. Long term access
Many courses online only allow access for 2-3 months.
Is that enough time? Well, it depends on you, but I'll say that by the time you finish the course and actually get abroad and start teaching your access will have expired.
That's fine if the course wasn't very helpful, but what if you want to review the course again or access other content?
Chances are you are going to need ideas for lessons.
ESLinsider's advanced course offers unlimited access to the course and it's how-to videos because learning takes time.
4. Targeted training
A good course will teach you how to teach the students you are going to teach. Most courses including CELTA focus more on teaching adults, but I can tell you from experience that teaching kids is very different.
I took just a general TEFL course that seemed more focused on teaching adults, teaching theory and English grammar. It was not very helpful for preparing me to teach in Taiwan.
ESLinsider's course focuses more on teaching kids which is a large part of the job market in Taiwan. You'll learn how to create lessons that make your students smile and you be able to actually deal with problems when they arise.
Most people will say that feedback is an essential part of learning. Studies do show that the actual instruction is more important, but feedback can help you see what needs to be corrected with your lesson plans and your teaching.
Many of the cheaper online courses will not include any personal feedback.
Read more about the importance of feedback.
A good course will be efficient. It will be structured efficiently and teach you in a timely and orderly fashion. You won't have to wait long for feedback on assignments, to make progress in the course or get a certificate via download.
But some courses will make you wait for all of those or add an express fee for faster service.
In ESLinsider's advanced course you don't have to wait typically more than 12 hours to get feedback on your assignments and you can download the certificate when you finish the course.
Some other questions...
Is a cheap course the best course?
Cheap and best don't usually go together. They are usually cheaper for a reason. The reason would probably become more apparent when you start teaching or it could be so incredibly boring and difficult that you will be searching for the answers.
Who's ESLinsider's course NOT for?
People who want:
- to teach adults
- to teach business English
- an "accredited internationally recognized" course
“Every one of these likes to beat their drum and make out that they are the best; but if you look into the issue deep enough and use a little common sense, you will start to see everything is not accredited in most places.” - Source
What makes a poor online TEFL course?
I wrote an article about that here called "Why many online TEFL courses are not any good".
Is a TEFL course with a guaranteed job the best course?
Possibly, but that doesn't say anything about what you will learn. Also you can find more jobs in Taiwan on your own without a recruiter or a TEFL course that says they can help.
I took a course that said they had "guaranteed jobs", but after I finished and looked at the jobs they had in Taiwan I saw that they had very few.
The truth is you can find many more jobs on your own if you just look and you can start your search for a job in Taiwan at Tealit.
ESLinsider's course doesn't guarantee you a job, but it will help you how to get a job in Taiwan and it will show you how to choose a good school and avoid any horror stories you may have read.
But remember a job is just the beginning.
Learn more about TEFL course scams.
Want to have a better experience teaching mostly children in Taiwan? Then take this course.
"I am an experienced teacher, having taught Science and Gifted Education in the US for ten years prior to coming to Taiwan. Although teacher prep programs will help, many aspects of teaching EFL are unique. I wish I would have taken this course BEFORE I started teaching here three years ago..." - Dolly's review