Why I´m taking my TESOL Certification Online at TEFL in Italy
If you’ve ever thought about teaching English abroad, chances are you’ve come across the TEFL certification. In fact, Google searching the phrase ‘Teaching English Abroad’ brings up an entire page of different TEFL options. Choosing which school can be tricky because the options are seemingly limitless. Especially now, since COVID has caused so many schools across the globe to transition into online learning. Although this change has made getting certified to become TEFL certified much more accessible, you may be wondering what the benefits are of online learning vs. in-person lessons when it comes to instruction, support, and classroom teaching practice.
With so many choices and so much conflicting advice about which course is best, it can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, I am here to help! This post will review the 10-Week Blended TESOL course from TEFL in Italy and help you choose if learning online is right for you.
What is a TEFL Certification?
TEFL is an acronym that stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and it is synonymous with TESOL, which stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The qualifications are the same and are recognized equally on a global scale. Most people are drawn to completing this certification because they want to combine a love of teaching with a passion for travel.
Be careful though, not all TEFL courses are created equal. If you want your qualification to be internationally recognized, it is important to make sure that the course you are taking is accredited. For example, the Online Blended TESOL course offered at TEFL in Italy is accredited by Trinity College in London, so it is recognized by the British Council and employers worldwide.
In general, accredited TEFL courses require 130 hours of training in teaching English speaking skills and grammar, effective lesson planning and classroom management. Most programs also offer specializations in addition to the TEFL, so if you want to focus on a specific group (like children, business professionals or online learners) you have the option to add that training to your curriculum.
What are the Pros and Cons to Learning Online?
In the 10-Week TESOL course offered at TEFL in Italy, 100 hours of the required instruction are offered online, and the last 30 hours are reserved for face-to-face instruction, if desired. The face-to-face instruction is all completed in one week, any time 12 months after the online course start date. The pros of this are:
- Regular online support and feedback from tutors, both during and after course completion.
- Small class sizes for personalized attention.
- Reduced risk of exposure to the Virus.
- Freedom to work at your own pace & around your existing schedule.
- Option to attend live Zoom classes with tutors and fellow classmates.
- Not expensive!!! The total cost of the TEFL online program is €1399. Sometimes you can even find some sort of special offer with a discounted price.
- Rated level 5 on Ofqual’s Regulated Qualifications Framework, which is the equivalent of completing two years of undergraduate studies.
- Option to complete face-to-face teaching practice in Rome!!! (A week in Rome?? Living the dream)
- Real-life experience teaching in a classroom setting, either in-person or online.
- No previous teaching experience is needed to succeed!
The cons to learning online are:
- Possible technical difficulties. (Although this one is unlikely to impact your progress very much, because the live instructional videos and lesson materials are all posted on the digital learning platform after class ends)
- You will need access to Wi-Fi, a computer and Zoom.
- 9 weeks of self-paced learning, which could be an issue for those who thrive in a more structured environment.
To be honest, finding a downside to this course is difficult. For most people, the option to complete the TEFL course online is more convenient because it is so flexible. Online courses are also usually less expensive than in-person ones, so it is more economical as well. And—I can’t stress this enough—with the 10-week blended course, you get to spend a week in Rome! How great is that??
What is Offered in the 10-Week TESOL Course?
For those of you who are wondering what your schedule will look like while you’re learning, the course breakdown is as follows:
Online element: 9 weeks (100 hours).
- Methodologies and Approaches to Teaching English
- Presenting Language
- Interactive Tasks
- Video Tutorials
- Written Assignments
- Online Forum Discussions
- Videos Featuring Experienced Teachers
- 3-hours online teaching practice through Zoom
*Includes online support and feedback from tutors
Blended element: 1 Week in Rome or 100% online
- Attend our training centre in Rome for face-to-face teaching practice.
- 1 week Monday to Thursday from 10am to 7pm
- Guided preparation for teaching
- Observations of teaching
- Feedback on your teaching
- 3-hours live teaching practice
*Flexible: To be completed within 12 months after the online start date
** Also available as 100% online!
The teachers and staff at TEFL in Italy do their best to prepare you as much as possible for your career as an English teacher before sending you out into the world. If you’d like to know more, there is a more in-depth overview of the methodology, teaching practice and assignments in the Online Blended course here.
Will I Get Support Finding a Job After Completing the Course?
Yes! TEFL in Italy is a very supportive community that provides career services such as CV preparation, job searching, recommendations to future employers and access to a job board for TEFL certified teachers. Whether you would like to work in a specific country, with a specific demographic of students or if you don’t know yet what your career path as an English teacher should be, you will find all the support and guidance you need at our school.
Conclusion: Is Online Learning the Right Choice for Me?
While nothing can replace learning face-to-face, it seems like the demand for online instruction will not fade into the background any time soon. Learning online is convenient and flexible, which is ideal for most students who need a course that fits their needs and schedule. With 9 weeks online and the option to spend one week on-site for in-person instruction, the 10-Week TESOL course is the best of both worlds.