How much does a TEFL course cost?
As there is no standard content or fixed length required for a TEFL certification course, individual providers are free to design their own courses and set whatever fees they see fit. The best advice is not to choose a course simply because it is the cheapest one available. Yes, you can find TEFL courses on discount websites for as little US$ 49 but will they be accepted by employers in the region that you want to work in? And will they properly prepare you for life in a real classroom? If you want to ensure that the answer to these questions is YES then you should look a little deeper than just the price.
In-class TEFL courses usually involve 4-weeks of intensive training that comprehensively covers the most important aspects of English language teaching. During the course you will learn about teaching methodologies, lesson planning, classroom management and many other theoretical issues, as well as grammar structures and how best to teach them. Most importantly you will have plenty of opportunity to practice what you have learnt in front of real language learners in a genuine classroom environment. These practical lessons are guided by an experienced teacher trainer who will provide feedback after every lesson. In-class TEFL courses undoubtedly offer the best preparation for new teachers, however, because of their intensive nature they are not the cheapest option. A high-quality in-class course from a reputable provider such as ITTT starts at around US$ 1500 depending on the location.
Although an in-class course is highly recommended, the overall cost can be an issue for many new teachers. The next best thing is an online TEFL course. Online courses do not include a teaching practice component but they should still address all the theory components that are covered in the in-class version. It is worth remembering that some countries and individual employers insist on an in-class TEFL certificate, however, there are still plenty of job opportunities around the world for teachers with an online qualification. Introductory level courses from ITTT start at US$ 190 which is a great option for volunteer teachers, while a full 120-hour online TEFL certificate course starts at US$ 240.
Before you make a decision it is a good idea to research the region where you plan to work as regulations vary greatly. For example, many employers in Western Europe and the Middle East will expect an in-class certificate, while many in Asia and Latin America will be happy with an online certificate. However, as long as you choose an experienced and well respected course provider such as ITTT, you will be in a great position to start teaching English abroad.