The U.K. has plenty of TEFL certifications available, but, before signing up, you need to find the right course for you. This means not only checking out the reputation, or the value for money, of a course but also asking yourself what you want and need from a TEFL course.
Like anywhere else in the world, the U.K. TEFL market can be split into two groups: on-site, or online. This is where you need to ask yourself the big questions, because there are pros and cons to both course types. Some things you need to consider are:
- What is your level?
- How much time do you have?
- How much are you willing to pay?
Being honest with yourself when answering questions like these is the quickest way to decide what type of course you should take.
Onsite TEFL Course Options
Onsite TEFL courses are traditionally more demanding in both workload and time commitment. This means you’ll be in a classroom, either studying or teaching, from 9-5 every weekday. On the weekends, as well as writing lesson reviews and lesson plans, you’ll be expected to write your assignments. Most reputable onsite courses include 2-4 written assignments. These take the form of essays on topics from the course, such as: classroom management, reading, writing, listening, or speaking skills.
Online TEFL Course Options
Online courses allow you to train flexibly and fit your study around other commitments. They’re usually less expensive and less time consuming. But, they’re typically less in depth and have little or no in classroom component.
In the end, choosing between an online or onsite TEFL is about finding which program best suits your professional goals and timeframe.
Once you’ve decided which type of study you’re going to pursue, then you need to decide which company gets your cash. When planning which TEFL to take, whether online or in person, you should always consider reputation.
One of the best ways to guarantee your TEFL has a quality reputation is to find one associated with a university. Unsurprisingly, Cambridge University, provides one of the most widely recognized qualifications.
The CELTA from Cambridge can be taken full time, part time, or online. The price ranges, but a full time, on-site course costs between £1,000-£1,500. It is expensive, but for this cost you’ll get five weeks of tuition, which includes observing other teachers; six hours of assessed teaching practice; grammar and classroom management sessions; and four written assignments. This course is designed to leave you fully equipped to teach, and they have test centres around the U.K. so you take the CELTA near you.
Another quality qualification is the Trinity CertTESOL. Like the CELTA it is offered by colleges and universities throughout the U.K. It has a similar structure with observed teaching practice; evaluated lesson plans; spoken and written language practice; and written assessments. Each test centre sets their own prices, but they usually range between £1,000-£1,500, similar to the CELTA.
When choosing an online course, it can sometimes be more difficult to find out which ones are legit. Luckily you can check online course reviews on Go Overseas. One thing you need to make sure of, and a benchmark for both online and in person courses, is that it is a minimum of 120 hours long. Taking a shorter course may be a good choice if you’re just brushing up on previous experience, but if you’re starting out, 120 hours is a standard amount of training time. Online courses, as well as being flexible, are also far less costly. Many courses are between £200 and £500. Just make sure they’re from an accredited provider, like tefl.org.uk.
If these choices feel overwhelming, and all these acronyms have blended into one, then we’ve also got a handy breakdown of TEFL, CELTA, and TESOL definitions.
Once you have decided on, and taken, your TEFL qualification there is the question of: What next? Well, if you feel ready to launch into your teaching journey, then you’re fully qualified and can find respected jobs on many job boards such as Tefl.com, Dave’s ESL Café, or here at Go Overseas.
If you’re not quite there yet, then there’s plenty of choice close to home. The U.K. is, understandably, a top destination for teachers from abroad. Many colleges and universities take students from overseas and provide them with English classes throughout the summer, allowing you to develop your teaching skills at home. Aside from this, several charities provide English lessons to new residents and working with them would let you hone your skills before heading abroad.