In this post I will try to answer the question, "Where do I take a TEFL/TESOL course?" And the answer is based on my experience teaching English in Taiwan, China, Korea and I currently live in Japan.
My whole teaching abroad experience started in 2004 and I have either been teaching, learning about it or helping other teachers online since then.
Where can you take a TEFL/TESOL course?
First off it doesn't matter if it's a TEFL or TESOL course as these courses refer to the same thing.
So it doesn't matter?
It depends what your motives are and I think there are 2 basic motives for taking a TEFL course.
- To get a job
- To learn how to teach
1. Getting a job
This is probably the most important to you now. And based on my experience I don't think it usually matters where you take a course as far as getting a job goes. On paper they look the same to most employers. A few may not accept online courses, but that's unusual in Asia.
You can get a job teaching in Asia without a TEFL/TESOL too. They are not required everywhere.
2. Learn how to teach
After you get the job - the easy part, comes the difficult part. Teaching is not easy in my experience. I have taken two courses: one in-class TESOL course (2004) and one online TEFL course (2017) to see how it compares to the courses I have created.
Neither one was practical or focused on teaching children (who I taught mostly in Asia). Both were more teaching theory and English grammar focused.
"Ian's course is practical and based on actual experience in the classroom, not just dry theory. The videos were extremely helpful in the process and I still refer to them every now and then when I need ideas for class." - George P.
The cheap online course that I took was just about reading long boring chapters on various sections and then answering multiple choice questions. The problem with that is that people don't remember what they read.
The easiest way to learn how to teach is by watching other teachers. It's not by reading about it. It's by watching other teachers.
So I created many instructional how-to videos shot in the classrooms of East Asia (mostly Korea, but some in Taiwan too) and then later created courses with those videos.
Online vs. in-class
As I mentioned earlier some employers may prefer in-class courses, but in my experience teaching in Asia this is rare. That is more common in some places like the Middle East or parts of Europe or some higher end schools may prefer it.
TEFL's are usually secondary to experience so if you think a CELTA or high end onsite TEFL course might get you a better job I'd say it's possible, but not likely.
I know there are plenty of courses out there that will say that their course will get you a better job or you will make more money, but I think that is mostly marketing B.S.
You can get a course pretty much anywhere. Just do your research and try to take the best course for the job that you will do. Try to think long term and not just about getting a job cause you can get a job without one somewhere.
If you teach adults mostly then maybe take a CELTA or another TEFL course.
If you teach mostly kids then take a course focused on teaching kids.