Blurred Lines: Is There Really a Difference Between Online and Onsite TEFL Certification?

October 30, 2013

When you’re making plans to teach English abroad and looking into the different TEFL course options, it soon becomes clear you’ve got a decision to make: will you choose online teacher training, or training in a traditional classroom?

It’s pretty easy to see the value of a traditional, hands-on TEFL course that includes teaching practice, such as the well-known Cambridge CELTA or the Bridge IDELT courses, but does that mean online course options should be ruled out entirely? Definitely not! There are many great online course options out there – read our tips for finding a good one.

Schools worldwide that hire teachers know that not everyone can make the financial or time investment to attend 4-week, full-time TEFL course. More and more, virtual training is viewed as the next best option by employers in regions like Asia, Latin America, Europe and even the highly paid Middle East. Below is a quick-view chart to help learn about the different options, and help you decide which one might be right for you!

Traditional Classroom Virtual Classroom
120-140 hours 140 hours
Can be taken at locations worldwide Can be taken from anywhere
$1,995- $2,495 $1,295
Lifetime job placement assistance Lifetime job placement assistance
4 weeks 12 weeks
Full-time schedule (M-F from 9-6) Part-time (no specific class times)
6 Graduate-level credits optional (IDELT) 3 Graduate-level credits optional
Teaching practice included Teaching practice optional

While there may never truly be a replacement for in-class TEFL training with teaching practice, the differences between onsite and online courses are definitely diminishing. When it comes to choosing your training, the blurred lines between virtual and traditional training put teaching English abroad within in everyone’s reach!