Are you thinking of teaching abroad or teaching online but you don’t know how to get a teaching certificate?

Do you think that to get your teaching certificate will take a lot of your time?

5 years ago, I decided that I finally will move to China and one way to do it was to teach English abroad. So, like you, I wondered how to get a teaching certificate.

I wanted a certificate which would be internationally recognized/accredited, with a real training, could be done online and at a acceptable cost.

My choice was OnTesol. The training was good and flexible, I am very satisfied with it.

My coach was nice and helped me go from one assessment to the other. I got grammatical and phonetics training + teaching training.

Let me go into more details how to get such a teaching certificate

1- Terminology of Teaching Certificate

For most of you, as English speakers you will want to look for a TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or a teaching ESL (English Second Language) certificate.

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All those terms are interchangeable and means the same: you get a certificate to teach English.

The only difference is that TESOL would be more used when you are teaching in an English speaking country and TEFL will be used when teaching abroad in Korea for instance.

For Spanish natives, it’s called teaching ELE (Español como lengua extranjera ) or for French, it’s called FLE (Français Langue Etrangère).

2- Find the right offer for you

Which criteria should you look at?

  • how many hours is it? you will need at least 100 hours of training to get an accredited certificate to teach online.
  • some assessments should be required: assessing your teaching skills with non-native students or at least written lesson plans
    • note: some say that if the institution doesn’t ask you to do some hours of practice, then you might not be accepted to teach. In my experience, I never did the practice and I had no problem to teach online or in China. However, check beforehand.
  • accredited institution to be accepted internationally
  • taught by a Master-degree-holder teacher
  • get the certificate with an institute which can help you get a job afterwards
  • how flexible is it? if you can’t do it full-time, there are a lot of offers to do it part-time
  • on-site or online? I did it online and I loved the flexibility of it. if you prefer to have more accountability from other students and a teacher, on-site might be a better option for you
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  • how much does it cost? I paid CA$120 5 years ago to get my teaching certificate online for 100 hours of training. Some are much more expensive.
  • how quickly will I get the certificate? To get the teaching certificate, if it’s online, it will depend on you as you will have the flexibility to choose your studying hours. I completed the training in 1 month myself.

3- Set some time to study

If you are a mom, finding time for yourself is quite tough. So don’t be too harsh on yourself, if some days, you just can’t find the time for it.

You can set small goals for yourself each week to help you move forward at your pace.

4- Complete the assessment / practice

If you are doing it with OnTesol as I did, I had a Multiple Choice Questions Quiz for the Grammar / Pronunciation part at the end of each module.

For the teaching training, I had to submit after each module a lesson plan. Then, my assigned teacher and coach would review it.

If I had passed the test, then I could move on to the next module. If not, I had to redo it. I passed the 4 assessments directly but a friend had to redo them. You have up to 3 revisions possible, otherwise you won’t get the certificate.

5- Get the certificate

Once you completed the 100-hour minimum training, passed all the tests and maybe did a practice with students, then you will get your certificate.

To teach online, some websites might not ask for a certificate but you will usually be paid better if you have one.

Over to you, let me know in the comments why you are thinking of getting a teaching certificate? Do you want to teach online or abroad?

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