TESOL Course Guide

TESOL Course Guide

Working Online

Many of those who read this blog or who are serving in another country know that teaching English is one of best ways to support yourself when abroad. Before we moved to Spain one of us was already teaching English. We had planned to both support ourselves while serving by teaching. We are happy that this has been able to work out for us. One issue that we had to overcome was understanding what certificate course we needed and what to look for. So here are some things that we learned.


When it comes to teaching English abroad just because you know how to speak English, doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to teach it or that you’re necessarily qualified. This is why most reputable schools will require native English speakers, a college degree, and a TESOL certificate at the minimum. Sometimes when we tell people that we teach English they kind of look at us like it’s a hobby and don’t really consider it a real job. But the truth is that it’s hard work and this is why we are grateful for the training we received in our TESOL course.

Questions to Consider

Here are some questions to consider when looking at a course.

  • Do you want to get certified online or on-site?
  • How much time can you dedicate to earning your certificate? Can you do a full week intensive course (or longer), or do you need to take your time and study part-time?
  • Does the school have a practicum teaching component?
  • How many hours of instruction does the school provide?
  • Is the school accredited and recognized internationally?

Online or Onsite Certification

Lately we’ve received a lot of emails about TESOL certificates. One commonly asked question is whether someone should take an online course or an onsite course. We have experience with both and it really comes down to flexibility. Both courses will be able to train you on the basic methods and theories of teaching English while the onsite course may be more hands-on and intensive while the online course will provide more flexibility and let you learn at your own pace. Another thing to keep in mind is the cost. Onsite courses tend to be more expensive than online courses. You also want to consider your own learning style. Some people may be disciplined enough to learn online whereas others need in-person instruction.


Another important factor is what is known as the practicum component. This is a section of the course where you practice teaching in front of an experienced teacher and get feedback. Many online courses are starting to provide this, usually around twenty hours. Some courses will even provide internships so that new teachers will be able to come away with experience and maybe even a job after obtaining their certificate. The practicum component is very important for newbie teachers because it helps them to put into practice what they’ve learned and feel more confident.


Many of the better courses will provide job assistance after graduating. This is useful because you can take advantage of the network that the school has and possibly land a job in your desired location.


Generally it is better to have a course that offers more hours. The best would be 120 hours (typically 100 instruction and 20 hours of practicum). However this is not required for everyone and the hours you choose depend on your goals and what you want to do with your certificate. Both my wife and I did not take courses that offered 120 hours but we have been able to work in multiple academies and for online companies just fine.


When choosing a TESOL program it can be viewed as an investment. Sometimes we hear about really cheap TESOL courses on discount sites for $59 or $90 with a really low amount of hours. More times than not these courses may not provide any practicum, job placement assistance or accreditation. Granted these courses will provide you with some benefit, but will they really be able to provide you with the skills and guidance you will need to be prepared to teach in a real classroom? Or will they provide you with assistance after you get your certificate to find a job?


This is huge. If the course that you are looking at is not accredited or internationally recognized it will do you little good when you are looking to find work. You will want to do your research to make sure that the organization providing the course is accredited by a respected independent body or that it is affiliated with a reputable university.


We hope that this information has been helpful to those who are weighing their options with deciding on a course. We are excited to be able to offer a TESOL course that we believe in with an organization that we have partnered with so that hopefully more can achieve their goal of serving in another country. You can click here to learn more about our Online TESOL Course. If you have any questions about this article or the course feel free to send us an email at [email protected]

Antoine & Kanicia

We are serving where the need is great in southern Spain and are actively involved in the TESOL community. We enjoy helping people learn how to teach English and support themselves in another country.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. This information is good for anyone who wants to serve. If anyone is interested in an online course now before you begin offering courses, I got mine from https://www.teflonline.net/. It’s accredited. I took the couse for $350 or so 2 years ago. It’s awesome that you both are going to start offering courses. I will be waiting to hear more about it.

    1. Candace, We’re glad that you found the information useful. It’s sometimes hard to know where to start in the world of Teaching English so we’re glad that we are able to share this information.

  2. As far as accreditation…..how can you tell that the company that accredits the course is legit and reputable? The course that I am looking at is accredited by ACTDEC Accreditation. Thanks!

    1. Hi Beth, that’s a great question. Here are a few questions that you could ask to see if the accreditation is legitimate. How long has the accreditation body has been operating? A few years, a dozen years or a hundred years? Who is providing the oversight or endorsement of this accrediting body? Is it the state or federal government or a long-established nonprofit with decades of experience and a recognized reputation? If there isn’t another entity overseeing an accreditation organization it may not hold much weight. How many other schools and professional certifications (not just TEFL) are accredited by this organization? Is it 10 or is it 100, 1,000? Like anything else it pays to do your homework and use common sense. A quick google search on ACTDEC should be able to provide you the answers that your looking for.

      1. Thank You! Now I have some research to do 🙂

  3. Thanks so much! I’ve always to get some sort of certification to teach English but just never had the money or couldn’t find the right school. We’re currently serving in the DR and are travel agents but that’s not always steady. I’d like to know more about the company you are using and how much it would be.

    1. Hi, that’s nice to hear that you are currently serving in the DR. I’m sure it must be a very rewarding assignment. All the information that you need can be found in the section titled TESOL Course on our blog. You can find it at the top-left corner.

Comments are closed.