First, I’ll share that some years ago, I had the opportunity to teach English through AmeriCorps. I loved the experience (click here to learn more) but it was not my chosen career path, I work in the sciences. Recently, taking into account my upcoming travels, I decided to focus again on English teaching. This time I wanted to get certified.
The availability of online and in-class TEFL certification programs is overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in the various program offerings: CELTA, DELTA, TEFL, TESOL, ESOL and the list goes on. The prices range from $75 USD to the thousands of dollars depending on the program and location.
After all my research, I narrowed my choices down to LOVE TEFL and i-to-i TEFL, both companies offer online programs. I did not want to spend thousands for an online course. I ultimately enrolled in i-to-i TEFL. I don’t have a strong reason for choosing one over the other. Both had good reviews on TEFL Course Review. Both appeared to reputable. Both were based in the United Kingdom and internationally accredited. I needed to make a decision and I liked that I-to-I offered various other extensions to the TEFL Certification and I enrolled.
I work full-time (40hrs week) and I was able to complete the course in less than a month. The course (120 hr) is set up with two sections: Online TEFL Course (Part A) and Online TEFL Course (Part B). Part A and Part B both had 9 sections each. The section topics include grammar, lesson planning, teaching, vocabulary and finding TEFL jobs and others. Each section/lesson has a test that must be completed before continuing to further lessons and there are other tasks/checkpoints that tutors grade/evaluate.
Source: My I-to-I Course Dashboard
Pros (Things I liked):
- I thought the class was well organized and user friendly.
- The course worked well on my laptop, ipad, and it worked ok on the iphone.
- Although the course eventually closes after a time period (I think 3 months), you can work at your own pace to complete the tasks.
- The class is completely online but there is no requirement for real-time web based classes/interactions. However, there are previously recorded web courses that can be watched that relates to the lesson material.
- I like that the lessons are interactive (mini quizzes, questions, videos, etc).
- There are tutors available to check the work in your checkpoint activities (mostly lesson plan creations).
- There are lessons that provide information about finding and preparing for TEFL jobs and interviews.
- There are less expensive courses but for $329 (I purchased during a promotion) I think the cost:value ratio is reasonable.
- I love that they mail out a hard copy of your certification (professional). I got mine in the mail unexpectedly, a few weeks after completing the course.
Cons (Improvements can be made)
- The tests after each lesson is computer graded and results are given immediately after submitting. This is great but sometimes the answer is marked wrong when I think credit should be given.
- I’m from The States and there is a few differences in spelling of some words that lead to wrong answers (example: standardisation and standardization).
- Sometimes the answer, is just not found in the lesson material provided (I didn’t find it anyway).
- Some of the feedback received from the tutors seem to be a bit generic/general.
- There is no teaching practice with this online program but I-to-I offers practical courses and internship programs that can be purchased.
The course is good if you are looking for a reasonably priced online course.
You will learn if you take the effort to go through each lesson, listen to webinars, and engage with the resources that are provided after each lesson.
I would recommend it to someone looking for a less expensive alternative to the in-class courses.
I like that there is a feature that allows you to create/build a resume (I did not use it) to assist with finding TEFL employment and I-to-I has a job board to explore available jobs.
I enjoyed the course!!!
I now have 4 degrees and a Professional TEFL Certification (120HRS)!!!!
*Professional Student Status…I know…
I’ll be reviewing a in-class TEFL program-stay tuned!!!
What I Learned Teach English in AmeriCorps (This was prior to my I-to-I course)