When is the best time to take an online TEFL course? This is a question that I don’t actually see people ask often or consider. Most people take courses whether they are online or onsite BEFORE they start.
But is this actually the best time?
Well, it improves your resume as it gives you a qualification, but as far as the training goes I don’t think it is for a couple of reasons.
The first reason why is because you haven’t started teaching yet and you have nothing to work with or compare it to. At this point teaching is still an abstract concept.
The second reason why is that there’s going to be a gap in between the time when you complete the course and when you start your job. So that is not going to help your memory of the course material.
If the online TEFL course wasn’t any good then that’s also not going to help your memory.
On average it will probably be at least a couple of months in between when you finish the course and start working.
How long do courses allow access to the courses?
Well, it depends on the course. Most online courses allow less than 6 months. Here are a couple of examples.
- i-to-i allows 3 months access.
- MyTEFL allows 3 months access.
- ESLinsider’s advanced course allows unlimited access.
So when is the best time to take an online TEFL course?
Now contrary to popular belief which is you take a course before you start teaching I would say that if you are going to take a course just one time then I would take it after you start.
Because you will have context. The material will seem less abstract to you. It will probably be more helpful too because you will remember more of it.
But don’t I need the certification to get a job?
You can get a job with an online TEFL certificate, but you can also get a job without any TEFL course.
But won’t my job be difficult if I don’t know what to do on the first day?
Sure, but I think it’s going to be a bit difficult either way. Ideally you should take a course before you start and then after again for review. Research shows that repetition and spaced intervals between studying leads to better memory and retention.
I don’t think your first week or so will be that easy regardless so yes, taking it before should help, but I think it will be much more helpful if you start after you start your job for the reasons mentioned above.
So now you know more about the best time. But what is the best online TEFL course?