As an aspiring online English teacher, completing an online TESOL course might be necessary based on your educational background.
So what the heck is a TESOL course? Are they different from TEFL courses? Which one should you take?
In this post, I dive into the top TESOL courses for online English teachers. Get the best details and suggestions from an experienced online English teacher with extensive knowledge about legitimate TESOL courses.
TESOL vs. TEFL: What is the Difference?
One of the most common questions that surround teaching English is, “what is the difference between TESOL and TEFL online courses?”
To be completely honest, these two acronyms are used interchangeably in almost every scenario. Both of these acronyms refer to teaching English as a foreign language.
TEFL stands for Teach English as a Foreign Language while TESOL stands for Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages.
The difference mainly lies within the wording of each acronym.
Which Certification Do I Need?
As an online English teacher, you will need to acquire some kind of teaching certificate. Up until 2019, the rules for online English teachers were quite lax; a Bachelor’s degree in any subject was all anyone needed.
But, due to changes in these countries’ legislation, requirements have become much more strict. A teaching certificate is now mandatory.
So what qualifies as a teaching certificate? A teaching license in your country of residence OR an online TEFL/TESOL course will suffice. This means that you do not have to have a Bachelor’s degree in teaching to teach English online.
Important: Before you invest in any online TEFL/TESOL courses, I highly recommend checking with the online teaching company you intend to work with to see if a TEFL/TESOL course is necessary.
For example, if you teach online with VIPKID, they offer their own FREE TEFL/TESOL course. Unfortunately, their TESOL course is only valid for VIPKID, so you cannot use it to teach with any other online English teaching company.
The Best 120 Hour Online TESOL Course
After teaching English abroad in Thailand and working as an online English teacher, I’ve become familiar with many TEFL/TESOL courses.
The truth is, many of these courses don’t meet the necessary universal standards. The majority of them aren’t accredited and aren’t recognized by English teaching companies.
With that said, it’s important to know that you’re investing in a quality TESOL course. If you’re looking for the best online TESOL course, I highly recommend the 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course by Premier TEFL.
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Premier TEFL is accredited and recognized worldwide. Not only is this course affordable, but it is completely online. You can work at your own pace and complete it whenever it fits into your schedule.
I chose this TESOL course because based on the modules that it offered, it was providing everything I needed to know in order to become a successful online English teacher.
If you’re planning on teaching English online, a 120 hour TESOL course is an excellent choice.
A 120-hour course is usually the minimum, so if you want to really wow the company, you could consider taking a more intensive course.
However, I personally believe that investing in an intensive course is only necessary if you plan on teaching abroad and want to earn more money. As an online English teacher, the slight pay increase from having a more intensive TESOL course under your belt won’t be worth your time, money, and effort.
The Best TESOL Intensive Course
As I mentioned, it isn’t necessary to complete an intensive TESOL course in order to teach English online. A basic 120-hour course will do.
For many online English teaching companies, the small increase in pay might not be worth it. However, there are some companies that might compensate teachers handsomely for having completed intensive TESOL courses. These companies might include Whales English and BlingABC.
This fast-track course offers several different certifications in one, which include International English Language Testing System, Teaching Business English, and Teaching Young Learners. You’ll also have a personal TESOL tutor to help you through the course.
If you want to stand out against the competition, I suggest taking this course.
Are Online TESOL Courses Valid?
There are many TESOL courses that are taught in-person, which makes a lot of people wonder, are online TESOL courses valid?
As I mentioned above, many online TESOL courses are not valid or accredited. You must be sure to select an online TESOL course that is accredited and accepted worldwide.
One of the many reasons I recommend Premier TEFL is that their courses are accredited and completely valid.
Is the TESOL Course Difficult?
To be quite honest, TESOL courses can be difficult; there is a lot of information to soak in.
I recommend taking your time through the course that you select. Read the information thoroughly and take notes throughout the course. There is so much valuable information packed into each of these courses that you won’t want to miss anything.
I also highly suggest reaching out to your personal tutor for support if you decide to take your TESOL course through Premier TEFL. If you’re having trouble understanding a concept, your tutor can help!
The Wrap-Up: The Top TESOL Online Courses for Online English Teachers
Although the coursework can be demanding at times, taking a TESOL course is necessary for most online English teaching companies.
I highly recommend doing your research before investing in any online TESOL course. Accreditation is extremely important when selecting the best course.
After years of working in the field and investing in TESOL courses, I can safely suggest any Premier TEFL course for online English teachers.