The bottom line is it is still possible in some areas to get an English language teaching job without any relevant qualifications at all. The question you really need to ask is what type of qualification do I need to get a teaching job that pays a fair wage and provides comfortable working conditions? By completing an online TEFL course you will be eligible for a whole range of good quality jobs all over the world, although you should choose an internationally recognized course that provides all the basic knowledge and skills required.
Are online TEFL certificates more accepted in certain countries?
It is true that the expectations of employers do vary in different areas. In general, schools in the Middle East region and in some countries in Western Europe set their standards relatively high which can mean that job applicants with an online TEFL certificate and no classroom experience often find their applications at the bottom of the pile. This is also true of any school worldwide that considers itself to be a high-end or prestigious school.
In contrast, employers in many countries across Asia and Latin America are typically less concerned about the TEFL course you have completed or whether you have any previous classroom experience. In the largest TEFL markets in Asia where the demand for teachers is particularly high, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, employers are generally looking to fill their vacancies with reliable teachers, regardless of the type of TEFL certificate they have on their CV/resume.
Are all online TEFL courses the same?
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for when choosing an online TEFL certification. Online TEFL courses can come in many shapes and sizes, but the simple fact is that the more expensive ones will usually offer a higher standard of training than the cut-price alternatives. The cheapest options often involve nothing more than reading through some text and answering a few multiple choice questions. While most people will breeze through this type of course without much trouble, you are likely to find it incredibly boring and you will forget most of what you have read by the time you enter the classroom on your first day of work.
What should higher-quality online TEFL courses include?
Essentially, an online TEFL certification course should provide a range of knowledge and practical skills that all new teachers require when starting out in the classroom. One way that higher-end courses do this is by providing video lessons that give you a good insight into how experienced teachers deliver their lessons in real life classrooms. Another very important area that is often overlooked by cheap courses is lesson planning. No experienced teacher would ever set foot in a classroom of excitable young learners or professional business executives without having a well prepared lesson ready. Having access to an experienced online tutor is also an option with most quality online TEFL courses. The constructive feedback and insight into your strengths and weaknesses that they can provide can make a huge difference to the overall learning experience.