Are intensive TEFL courses better than longer ones?

The key differences

Our honest answer here is no, intensive TEFL courses are not necessarily better to get qualified than a longer one or an online only one.

And vice versa, longer TEFL course are not necessarily better to get qualified than intensive TEFL courses.

With an intensive course typically we mean the 4-week full-time TEFL courses and with a longer course typically we mean the part-time TEFL courses and/or online courses. A weekend course is also an intensive TEFL course but only provides 20 hours of instruction, as opposed to the 120 hours most employers are looking for.

Both intensive and longer courses give you the same information about techniques, methodology, pedagogy and ideas for creating interesting lessons. On successful completion of the course both will give you a certificate confirming the number of hours you have studied. The difference is which one would suit your circumstances the best.

Four-week full-time courses are incredibly intense and you won’t be able to get anything else done during that time, but at least you should be able to put your life on hold and/or move away for that period and so be able to concentrate. They are also good preparation for the pressures of your first teaching job. So if you have the time and are one of these people who like to focus on one thing at a time then an intensive course may be the best option for you.

However, like many people, you may find it difficult to juggle work, family and course, and to concentrate for the whole three- to six-month period that the course takes. Part-time courses are less hectic and give you time to absorb the feedback and information that you get, as well as to do extra reading. With an online course you can study at your own pace at a time that is most convenient for you. One thing to bear in mind with a longer course is just that they do take longer and so you need to be prepared to manage your time effectively for several weeks, or even months.

We suggest you look at your personal circumstances to help you decide which method would work best for you. Also think about you as a student, when you have studied previously are you able to manage several things at one time, or do you need to throw everything at it to get it done?

Keen to become a TEFL teacher? We can help! View all our TEFL courses here.

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