How beneficial is the TEFL Trainer Online Course?

How beneficial is the TEFL Trainer Online Course?

Diary submitted by Matthew M. Madrid

TEFL / TEFL Certification / TEFL Courses

How beneficial is the TEFL Trainer Online Course?

Completing an online course is an effective way of obtaining the theoretical knowledge required when teaching EFL, and it complements the practical skills learned from working in a school or in an academy. This diary will reflect on the benefits of such a course, and on my own experience completing the TEFL Trainer course alongside a 3-month internship in Madrid.

Studying an online course serves as “a good introduction to grammar and phonology of the English language, which you may not have touched on in-depth since your school days” (Golden, 2017). Having a solid knowledge of the grammatical rules and phonology of English is vital to respond to questions or doubts of the students. Of course, it is inevitable than there will occasionally be questions that the teacher cannot answer; however, EFL students will quickly become frustrated and lose confidence in a teacher who is consistently unable to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the English language. This sort of knowledge can only be studied through practice and examples, and in this way, the online course is an invaluable resource.

Not only will an online course offer knowledge about the English language itself, but equally about topics such as English exams and the CEFR, which is necessary for assessing a student’s level. Students seeking an English qualification will often ask a teacher for advice on which exams would be most suitable for someone of their ability, and it is important for the teacher to be able to offer sufficient guidance in this area.

The TEFL Trainer online course was thorough and concise. The material covered was very relevant to teaching EFL; I was immediately able to pass the knowledge onto the students, and I felt much more confident when answering the students’ questions, which in turn left the students more satisfied. The quizzes at the end of each chapter were useful in consolidating the material covered, and the videos gave an interactive feel to the course, which was much more effective than reading dense texts.
One issue I encountered with the TEFL online course was simply the hours that it demanded. Whilst this might not be a problem for people who have the time to spread out the online course over the maximum placement length of nine months, it is not so suitable for people doing shorter internships. This was also an issue for those like myself who needed to complete the internship as part of an Erasmus year; students on their year abroad must balance a 30-hour working week with the 140-hour course, various degree studies, improve their Spanish and simultaneously experience the culture of the city they are working in. When time is limited, interns may have to choose some of these elements to the detriment of others; thus, it might be better for those on shorter placements to be able to use some of the hours of their working week to dedicate to the TEFL course, or alternatively to complete a slightly more condensed version of the course; this would provide a more rounded experience and ultimately increase their productivity.

Overall, it is clear that an online course is a useful resource when teaching English; it provides an in-depth understanding of essential grammar and phonology, and other useful information, which can immediately be passed on from teacher to student. Although I felt as an Erasmus student that the course did take time out of my time in Madrid that I had hoped to dedicate to improving my own Spanish and experiencing a new culture, I certainly have gained a great deal of knowledge from the course that will benefit my teaching in the future.


  • Golden, Gyl, ‘Pros and Cons of Online TEFL Courses vs Onsite TEFL Courses’, https://www.goabroad.com/articles/tefl-courses/pros-cons-of-online-vs-on-site-tefl-courses (accessed 20 August 2017)