TEFL Course: avoiding the crucial mistakes

Its Decision Time


The dream was to travel the world, and you thought using your English language skills would create the pathway for fulfilling those dreams. Now that you know the road let the journey begin. The first step was to choose the right training program, and your search stopped at the TEFL course. It is perplexing: which is the correct institute or even which is the best TEFL Certifications? Don’t fret too much; just make sure not to make crucial mistakes while choosing your course, and the rest would be fine.

It goes without saying that with numerous institutions offering training programs, choosing the right institution is a daunting task. But it is equally important to remember that the correct TEFL certification from a reputed institution can provide you with adequate training, necessary qualifications, and assistance in job placement. Thus, become the launching pad of a successful career and help to attain your goals.

Let’s look at the crucial mistakes that you should avoid while choosing your TEFL Course.

1. Inadequate Research

You risk wasting time and money if you don’t research the available TEFL courses properly. Either you can choose to learn from the United States or China or to the comfort of your bed. You can choose from a classroom option to an online option, a daily course to a weekend only course. The possibilities and combinations are endless. So, you should explore all options carefully before settling on a specific choice.

If you don’t use available resources appropriately, it could result in you picking a course that may not be acceptable by your targeted employers. It is advisable to study your available alternatives in detail.

An excellent way to start is by exploring TEFL Certification websites or other platforms for a list of institutions. Contact these directly via email or telephone to find out more about what they offer. Gather as much information as you can and observe how they respond and the feeling you have about the service you receive. Familiarize yourself with the terms standard in this field: TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, CertTESOL, ELT, etc. so that when someone uses them interchangeably, you are in a position to make informed decisions. In case you know someone who has taken a TEFL course abroad, ask them for advice.

2. TEFL Course without Accreditation or not Meeting International Standard

You might think that all courses provide the same level of training and have similar modules. But the truth is far from it. There is no regulatory body that standardizes the TEFL certifications. However, certain accepted international norms are the trademark of a quality TEFL Course.

If you want to earn a TEFL certification, assuredly train you so that you become a qualified teacher with a renowned qualification that employers world over will accept.

Read Also:  TEFL Certification in Utah

You need to Ensure that you Take a Class that Meets at Least the Following Criteria:

  • At least 100 hours of academic coursework and training can be full time or part-time depending on the institution or your convenience (equal to a full-time, intensive 4-week in-person course, or the equivalent part-time or online);
  • A minimum of 6-20 hours of live practice teaching called Practicum to actual real-life students (not role-playing with other teachers-in-training);
  • A recognized independent body or University accredits the curriculum taught.
  • Highly qualified, experienced, and university-level teachers provide instructions.

These are the minimum standards that language schools and other institutions that recruit foreign English teachers as well as other significant bodies within the field, accept. Other classes, like two-week classes weekend courses or self-taught online courses with no real practice teaching, do not meet the international standards. If you take such courses, you may get some jobs in a few countries, but definitely will not qualify you for the lion’s share of quality teaching jobs around the globe.


Read Also:  TEFL Vs TESOL

3. TEFL Certification Without Practical Training (Practicum)

You will be teaching people, maybe young students or adults who might understand little to no English. How do you manage a class if you don’t have any experience at all? Traditional Teaching degrees incorporate an element of practical training within them. How can this be any different from any other teaching? It is correct that the training process is different, and but still, the job is teaching at the end of the day. It is imperative to make sure your TEFL course provides you some Practical Training (practicum) with ESL/EFL Students, mainly because:

  • First, you will gain experience of working with actual ESL students, and this is essential for you to learn skills and reach the comfort level a successful teacher normally requires. 
  • Second, many language schools in the world will not recognize TEFL certifications that do not incorporate the hands-on experience.

Read Also:  TEFL Certification in Oregon

All well-regarded TEFL Certifications provided by distinguishes institutions aim to help new teachers shape up their careers. These candidates should acquaint themselves with the latest methodologies of teaching used worldwide to start a global English teaching career. The hands-on practical experience is an integral part of the TEFL course. These institutes even include practice teaching in their curriculum so that candidates know how to teach in an actual class environment. 

A practicum with real students and being observed by a seasoned instructor would also provide an opportunity for constructive feedback. This can be an invaluable asset for the new teacher.

4. TEFL Course without Career Guidance

tefl course

You can study the best TEFL Course anywhere in the world, or even get an advanced degree in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL)/English as a Second Language (ESL). You will only achieve success with proper guidance, resources, and contacts. This will enable you to need to find jobs and prepare you for the interview process. The search for a job can be long, tiring, and exhausting, especially when looking in a different country. There will always be the risk of not being able to get hired where you want to teach.

A reputed institute that offers TEFL Certification will always provide career guidance to its students irrelevant to the fact whether the student has opted for a classroom course or an online program. Your ability to find the dream job would after the session depends on your achievement in the course, your professional behavior, feedback from students and instructors, accreditation, and available work permits. A right TEFL course provider includes the following in their career guidance facility:

  • CV writing assistance
  • Distribute CV through their network of schools, institutions, and colleges
  • Advice on various available platforms.
  • Have a database of current opportunities and provide access to this database
  • Prepare you for interviews and demo lessons.
  • Furnish references and other information as desired by an employer
  • Provide peer to peer contact around the world
  • Provide an accredited TEFL certificate

You should be assigned a well-informed, seasoned, and qualified advisor who will be there to provide guidance. He can assist you with questions, give you tips for getting hired, and even offer personal advice regarding resume writing and cover letter.  

Read Also:  TEFL Certification in Minnesota

5. Being Biased towards Online TEFL Courses

tefl course

TEFL Certification can be earned from any country or in the comfort of your home. There are various options like full-time, part-time, in-person, weekend, online classes available. With access to all this flexibility, people from all backgrounds, professional and personal circumstances can find the TEFL course to suit their needs. 

Sometimes people assume that TEFL certification classes taken in a face-to-face classroom environment are guaranteed to be better or are more accepted and respected TEFL courses. However, this is simply not the case. Several Online TEFL classes meet accepted international standards (i.e., at least 100 hours of coursework, 6 hours of live practical experience, accredited curriculum, university-level instructors, etc.). These can provide you a TEFL Certification that is on a comparable level of distinguished classroom programs.

In today’s era of technological advancement, the world has indeed shrunk into a smaller place. The countries, time zones, and physical distances can all be covered and adjusted with technology. There is a growing number of people who want the flexibility that online TEFL Certification classes offer, and many are equivalent or even better than the traditional classroom format. 

 These TEFL Certifications are as acceptable as any good-quality in-person classes. You gain valuable skills and qualifications that make you eligible for thousands of quality teaching opportunities around the world.

Point to note; no matter whether you enroll in a classroom program or an online course, you need to be sure that the TEFL course completely fulfills the criteria for a TEFL certification course.

Henry Harvin’s TEFL Certification is a combination of quality and competitive pricing. The modules are designed by experts to impart the highest quality of training with outstanding academicians conducting the sessions. 

6. Opting for a TEFL Course Without Speaking to Training School Representatives

tefl course


One of the most significant errors which candidates make quite regularly is opting for a TEFL course without being aware of or not speaking to the training institute. Your future and career are heavily dependent on these actions. And valuable time and money are going to be invested in this project, and it’s essential to ensure that the institute can fulfill all your needs with everything required for getting a good ESL job abroad.

You owe it to self to contact the training school offering the TEFL course. You should make sure that they know what they are talking about and that the TEFL certification and service combination is going to be enough training, qualification, and job placement assistance you need to get hired as an English teacher abroad.

The crucial questions you should ask must include:

  • Is their TEFL course designed to meet international standards 
  • Is it accredited – if yes, by which body?
  • Who are the faculty members, and what are their experiences? 
  • Are hands-on teaching practice and feedback part of the curriculum?
  • What other services are provided: job placement, career advice, what level of resources and personal assistance is provided?
  • What would be the potential destinations that you could teach with the certification?
  • If they are aware of the visa process and job market of various countries?
  • Do they deal with visas and provide set-up assistance in a new country?

If the TEFL Training Institute is unable to provide you with satisfactory answers, it is best not to bother with them. They are not going to be able to provide the level of service and guidance that would help you achieve your dream of securing a job in a country of your choice. 

7. Buying cheap TEFL Courses Available Online

tefl course

You are aware that there a considerable number of TEFL course providers. TEFL course providers often team up with websites like Groupon, Amazon, or other group buying sites and sell offers of really cheap TEFL Certification classes. But do you think you could launch a stellar career and gain an accredited certificate to teach English? Do you feel they would provide you quality tutors and career advice to secure the most lucrative jobs? And your prospective employers would be persuaded by a so-called TEFL Certification that neither from a well-known institute may even be accredited by an internationally accepted body and does not have any practical training?

A logical question that should come to your mind is how there is so much disparity in TEFL courses? Especially how can this course cost less than probably a textbook for this training? Would a university-level educator be willing to teach such a course? It is for sure the numbers do not add up.

The TEFL course is a lifetime achievement, and the TEFL certification is valid lifelong. You will gain something that will be useful for a long time. You must decide to move and work in another country after a lot of deliberation. And it is simply not worth the risk to skimp on something critical to your establishing there. Considering this, going on a holiday to places in Europe or the Far East will inevitably cost more than the TEFL Course fee. So, money and time are fruitfully invested.

8. Presuming all TEFL Courses are the Same.

There is a wide array of different TEFL courses ran by a bevy of organizations. When you start researching online, you may encounter while a lot of them, both in-country (even in the country you intend to teach) and abroad, online and in person, having different lengths and flexibility.  

Don’t assume that they are all run or accredited by the same organization even that they all offer the same TEFL courses and have the same modules of study. And finally that they all provide the same services just because they have the word ‘TEFL’ attached to their name or name, of course. If you plan to opt for a particular course online, you must make that you sign up and spend money on the right course on the right website with the program.

In Conclusion

So you have finally made up your mind to teach English abroad, probably in a country and to students who barely use it. This has to be a life-altering decision. You are going away from life. As you know and establishing yourself again in a new place, probably away from friends and family.

Your first step is to get the training as an English teacher. So you know that TEFL certification is the way to go, and you want to choose the correct TEFL course. There is a lot of information on what to do, but what not to do? That is the burning question.

There is a Detailed Discussion in the Above Paragraphs, but Let us Compress it into tiny bits:

      1. Inadequate Research can lead to the wrong choice of the TEFL Course. Use all available resources properly at your disposal. Otherwise, it could result in you picking a course that will neither provide you will the requisite skills nor be acceptable by prospective employers.


    1. There is no single regulatory body for TEFL certification. And the sheer number of available courses means that you run the risk of doing a TEFL course without accreditation or not meeting international standards
    1. Training to teach courses should always include a hand on the module. Thus, never settle for a TEFL Certification without Practical Training (Practicum). 
    2. What happens after the course? You will only achieve success with proper guidance, resources, and contacts, so don’t ever consider the TEFL course without career guidance.
    1. TEFL certification classes are available in different combinations and options. But candidates can be biased towards online TEFL courses. TEFL certification classes taken in a face-to-face classroom environment are guaranteed to be better or are more accepted and respected TEFL courses. However, this is simply not the case. Several Online TEFL classes meet accepted international standards.
    1. You owe it to yourself to contact the training school offering the TEFL course. This helps to establish that the TEFL Certification you get meets all of your set criteria. So, opting for a TEFL course without speaking to the school representative is entirely unacceptable.
    1. Were you worried about the cost? And then you saw that super cheap course on the group selling website and decided on buying the cheap TEFL Courses available online. It is simply not worth the risk to skimp on something critical to your new life. 
  1. There are too many choices of TEFL Certification providers. Hence you are correct in Presuming all TEFL Courses are the same? Please don’t assume that they are all run or accredited by the same organization even that they all offer the same TEFL courses and have the same modules of study

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1 Comment

  1. Akhil Gupta Reply

    This is great insight into English learning journey and to avoid costly mistakes. It helped me a lot.

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