Are TEFL courses easy?
We get this question from many people before signing up for one. The answer to this question, in short, is “no.”
This blog post will give you the inside scoop on how to master your tricks for a new level of success. There are some valuable tips below that we’re sure can help anyone get ahead!
What do you mean by ‘easy’?
If you are asking if you can pass a TEFL course by signing up, showing up for a couple of days and bing, bang, bosh, you are certified to teach people, then the answer is, of course, NO!
If you are asking if a TEFL course is as hard as studying at an Ivy League University, then the answer is also NO!
Are TEFL courses easy?
TEFL courses are straightforward, and as adults, everyone should be able to complete them with ease. You have to attend all classes, participate in all activities, complete your practicum and pass your exams and assessments. If you fail to do these, then you will not pass the TEFL course.
TEFL courses are no different from attending school or college classes. You should find it easy compared to most subjects as you learn about the thing you use every day, English.
TEFL courses aren’t designed to be easy, difficult or to trick you.
They are simply there to train you on how to teach English to non-native English speakers and ensure you can work in a school in a professional manner.
You will be teaching children, young adults and adults. It is important you know what you are doing as your students depend on you to improve their language skills, which will give them more opportunities in life.
So, do not treat a TEFL course as an easy ‘joke course’ just to get a TEFL certificate. You should take it seriously, apply yourself and use the knowledge you get to change some lives.
What everyone should know before signing up for a TEFL course
TEFL as an industry is full of opportunity that opens so many doors worldwide. Below is a list of points we thought you should know before joining the wonderful TEFL world:
- Don’t think you cannot complete a TEFL course because you are scared it will be too hard. Have some faith in yourself. TEFL courses are designed to be fun and educational. You will get to work in teams and bounce of one another for ideas, and it is a very good environment.
- Being a TEFL teacher isn’t just about teaching students how to speak English; it is also about teaching the culture and helping students develop their writing skills, listening skills and reading skills. You will need to know how to teach grammar (the differences of do & does, for example) and communication strategies, as well as being familiar with educational theory.
- You will learn how to keep students focused and engaged at all times. You will also be taught how to deal with unruly children in the correct ways. This does not always work, and disciplining students correctly is also taught, but it is not as easy for some people to find the perfect balance of fair and stern.
One method I remember from my TEFL training, which was for young children from 4-12 years old, was to give the students points every time they did something positive or got a correct answer. Deduct points if the student is not listening or misbehaving. There doesn’t necessarily need to be a prize for the student with the most points as most times being #1 was good enough for them.
If you like, however, the winner could be allowed to choose which game the whole class gets to play or what song you get to listen to at the end of the lesson as part of the warm-down, something simple but fun.
- You can fail a TEFL course, and you won’t get your money back. TEFL courses are legitimate schools, and if you miss too many days or fail the exams, you will not receive a TEFL certificate.
- The TEFL practicum is fun! When you leave the theory and dive into the classroom, you get to experience what it is all about. You get to try out your newly learned methods with the students, and if there are any mistakes, the TEFL trainers are there to help you out at all times.
- If you do a TEFL course abroad, you get to explore the area in the evenings and at weekends. There are also fun trips included, so you get to enjoy the experience and not just work all the time. These courses can be intensive, so it is advised not to treat them as vacations and go wild partying if you have classes the following morning; it can be easy to forget sometimes when you’re abroad!
- Some TEFL courses train you how to teach online. Teaching online is excellent as a full-time career or a side hustle. You can earn anywhere from $10 per hour to $30+ if you are very good and get fantastic reviews. One of the biggest online English teaching platforms is VIPKid if you’d like to check them out!
Here are our easy tips on how to pass your TEFL course
- Make sure you are prepared for every lesson. If not, then practice the lesson with the other TEFL teachers in your class as they will more than likely need to practise, too.
- Be organised. Know what you are learning that day. Do some light research on the topics the night before, so if you have any questions, you can bring them up in class. Bring the required materials.
- With your TEFL tutors, try showing them a few things that you know how to do well and ask if there is anything they would like you to work on more.
- If there was something in the lesson you didn’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask the TEFL trainers to go over it again in class or outside the class. You’re not a teenager anymore, and nobody will think you’re uncool if you ask a question!
- Be positive. Just like with everything in life, a positive attitude will make things go better. You will enjoy learning and be more engaged; therefore, you will remember more.
- Try to have fun! Okay, this one cant be done with the online courses as you will be at home in a room alone! But, if you are taking the course in your home town or abroad in Asia or Latin America, for example, then make friends with the other TEFL teachers, go for a drink after class or explore the city together if you’re abroad. Sometimes the thought of going to class can not be the most exciting thing to look forward to, so if that sounds like you, make these other small plans to give you something to look forward to.
Fake TEFL courses
If a TEFL course is really cheap and is extremely easy, then that should set off warning signals that it is not legit!
If the course is below $300 for online or $1000 for in-person, then it is more than likely fake or just not good quality.
There are also hundreds of fake TEFL courses on sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites offer a wide range of things from fake TEFL courses to meals for 2 in a restaurant, but not at the price that is advertised! Don’t pay a third party website for any course. Get in touch with TEFL companies through their websites and ask for info!
There are many risks involved in taking a fake TEFL course. Firstly your money will be gone, and you won’t have any qualifications that can lead to future employment. Secondly, if you do not get the TEFL certificate, they will charge you extra but never tell you this until it is too late. Also, check to see if your TEFL certificate expires.
Fake certificates will also get you into trouble when applying for visa’s whereas real TEFL courses usually mean you can teach legally on your visa. Fake certificates can also mean you cannot get any kind of visa in the future as it will show up on your records. So if you come across a fake TEFL course, be careful, don’t take the easy option!
How to pick the right TEFL course?
Decide if you want to study at home online, at a nearby school or at a school abroad in the country you plan to move to.
If you work full-time or are busy most of the time, then online TEFL courses are probably best for your schedule as you can do them at your own pace. Try to choose an online TEFL course that includes practicum if possible!
Online TEFL courses can be great! However, they can lack that human dynamic that comes with in-person classes where you have other students and the TEFL trainers there to help you if needed. In-person classes are also great for pushing you forward and encouraging each other since there are teamwork lessons involved. Staying motivated can be tricky when studying at home online.
A nearby school or training centre can be perfect for people that want to study and save a the same time. Maybe you want to get TEFL certified but don’t plan on moving abroad just yet, or you want to teach online first. Almost all in-person TEFL courses include practicum with ESL/ EFL students, but always check to make sure.
Studying TEFL abroad is perfect for someone who is ready to go straight away and begin their travels and teaching career. If you want to attend classes during the day and hang out by the beach in the evening (depending on where you go), then I would suggest doing a TEFL course abroad. Most TEFL schools abroad will have connections in local schools in that country and will organise job interviews for you after the course.
Doing a TEFL course abroad can cost quite a bit more than the other two options. The price of the actual course will be similar to the others, but you must include the cost of your travels and the fact that you will not be working for the first month since you will be in training.
You will have the time of your life, however!
TEFL courses are not easy peasy lemon squeezy, they do require effort on your part, but it is worth it because you get to travel the world and earn money…how many of your friends can say that?
If you are genuinely interested in TEFL and you are excited about becoming a TEFL teacher, then a TEFL course won’t be hard for you as you will consume knowledge better when you love what you are learning.
We wish you all the best on your TEFL journey, and if you have any questions about teaching English as a foreign language or which TEFL course is best, leave a comment or visit us on Instagram.