Which TESOL is best for me?

Which TESOL is best for me?

120? Master? Live Zoom course?  Add a specialism?

Feeling confused? I don't blame you. It can be daunting from the outside looking in and the "which course for me?" email tops our list of frequently asked questions.

Why is there so much choice?
If you’re baffled as to why there’s so much choice, then quite simply, the TESOL market made it that way. What private language schools want from their teachers will vary according to local demand.  So, the course generally recommended for a tiny, neighbourhood school in rural Mexico is not what we’d generally suggest for central Paris. It may depend on where you are in terms of your skills and background, too. Hence, the variety of courses reflects the world TESOL job market in all its rich and varied form. 

Great, so where do I start?
It’s best to work backwards. Where do you want to go? As I write we are in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic so there is a high demand is for online English teachers. We expect this to continue.  However, as the pandemic subsides we expect travel to open up and demand for in-class teachers to rocket again so it is a good time to get ready with the right qualification. Find out more below:

Far East: being a native English speaker with a degree will be the most important qualifications you possess and demand has always been highest in China and South Korea.  A 120 hour TESOL is usually a minimum qualification and as a result, our most popular course for Asia is the 120 hour TESOL Premier course. 

Teaching English online: Many of the big Chinese companies that dominate the online teaching market now insist on a 120 hour course so I would not go for anything less. Our savvy trainees who want to stand out on application are also adding on our 20 hour online teaching course

Southern Europe: Our 150 hour TESOL Premier Plus course is popular as it has always been a little more competitive than Asia and if you really want to stand out, add on a specialisation in Teaching English to Young Learners.

Elsewhere in Europe: to teach English in France, Germany and Sweden in particular, our TESOL Premier Plus with an additional specialisation in Teaching Business English are our most popular courses and are highly recommended.  

I want to stand out - which course should I take?
If everyone else has a 120 hour course, how can you ensure your qualification stands out above the competition?

Our 300 hour TESOL professional course could be the answer. As one of the most advanced level 5 TESOL qualifications online, it includes teaching English online and business English and advanced concepts like phonetics and linguistics to take your English knowledge to the next level. Best of all, it shows potential employers how committed you are to perfecting your teaching craft.

Which course should I take if I’m already a teacher?
Continuing professional development helps you learn new skills and impresses employers Even a short 20-30 hour courses in grammar phonetics, teaching business English or teaching English online can upgrade your teaching CV.

Our new live, short Zoom courses give you interactive, hands-on practise in areas like teaching English to beginners, Zoom skills for online teaching and engagement activities that work.  They are also a lot of fun and come with take-away resources and certification. These days, it pays to keep on learning, improving and showing employers you are a teaching English professional. 

And if I’m not a native English teacher?
There is no denying strong bias towards native English teachers in the TESOL job market. To stand out, you may have to be better qualified and ‘bring something else to the table.’ This might be your ability to speak (and maybe teach) other languages, your empathy with learners, or even your strong grasp of English grammar, as we natives have often only formally learned our own grammar on TESOL courses. When we asked our non-native TEFL teachers about how they were making their qualification work for them, we were surprised at how many continued to learn and take courses. If you are non-native English teacher, the advice seems to be to get as qualified as you can.

I can only afford a short course
Sometimes our course choice is constrained by budget. That’s fine but highlight your other skills to give you as many options as possible especially if you have worked in business, with young people or have a specialist background. If you are already in the country where you want to teach, apply for jobs by dropping in. You will have a huge advantage over those applying from abroad and access many jobs that aren’t advertised on the internet. So see our advice on this here and check out our guidance on creating a top TEFL CV

If you would like more individual advice about your particular situation, contact us and we would be more than happy to help.

If you’re still not sure about which course is for you, the best advice we can give you is to invest in the most advanced TESOL qualification you can afford; it will stand you in good stead and, let’s face it, no-one ever regretted being too qualified!


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  • Author: William
  • Date: 29/12/2020

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Which TESOL is best for me?