12 July 2013 / by Radmila Gurkova

Doing a TEFL course by videoconference: Worth it?


Upon beginning to research TEFL, you will see that there are a huge amount of courses out there, and it's worth taking a look at every aspect of them to make sure that the certificate you will receive at the end of your hard work will be considered valid by employers. There is nothing worse than investing both your money and your time and energy into something which at the end will leave you fruitless. 

"Surely on-line courses are just a modern version of the old correspondence courses which proved their worth in the past." So why then, do we shy away from completing a TEFL course over videoconference? 

It seems that generally there is a discomfort with the idea of doing an online TEFL course, with many wrinkling their noses in disgust at the concept of not doing a course in the classroom.

This could be for a number of reasons:

  1. Possible connection issues

  2. No teaching practice rendering the TEFL certificate invalid

  3. Not getting the "full experience"

Here we will address each of these issues.

1) Here is a video of an online course in action where it is visible that 'connection issues' have no effect on the class dynamic and how the course runs. Connection issues can be avoided so long as all parties have a good internet connection, a headset and a webcam. This is our trainer in Madrid talking tenses with 3 trainees across Europe!


2) This is a genuine issue when it comes to online courses. All courses, both online and in person, become 'valid' so long as they meet criteria set by the British Council:

Demonstrating that the candidate has completed a course of at least 100 hours duration and demonstrating that the candidate has completed at least 6 hours of observed and graded teaching practice. 

As a product of this, we advise doing a course online over videoconference with at least a week of teaching practice. At OxbridgeTEFL, we offer a week jam-packed with teaching practice that can be done at any point when the candidate is able in our centres in Barcelona or Madrid. This way, the candidates can begin their training by observing senior teachers, then co-teaching until they have gained enough confidence to take on the full class. While doing the course online, we also run a videoconference session with an absolute beginner so trainees can practice while at home.

3) By the "full experience", we refer to human contact, person-to-person interaction. Videoconference sessions, it must be specified, are not online self-study courses, instead classes with a teacher and students who don’t share the same physical space, but meet in cyber space using a computer or a mobile device, the internet and a web camera.

So what are the benefits of a course by videoconference over a classroom course?

The first and foremost is the fact that you can study in your own time, using the online material provided to take the course into a further depth, and then use videoconference to discuss and debate what you have found with the TEFL trainer and fellow students. Also:

  • They offer the same quality of teaching as in-person classes. There is always a teacher on the other side of the line helping and guiding you.

  • The price. They are more economic as no travelling expenses are involved for both learners and teachers.

  • Flexible.

  • Learners can be in touch with good teachers from areas that lack good in-person class offers, such as distant areas, small towns or villages or isolated places with no good transport. As long as they have a good internet connection, learners will be able to choose the best option for them.

  • No matter where they are located in a particular moment, learners can access their web classes globally and won’t miss a session even if they are on a trip.

  • Less stress and more preparation time having lost travel time.

  • Sessions can vary from 1 to 1 to groups with up to 3 students. This reduced group size makes learning more effective.



October 2017
The teachers are in the epicentre of the Oxinity growth model
by Jonatan Buxeda
Today I'd like to share what we have...


October 2017
Frustration of Students: Common Scenarios and How to Manage Them
by Jushua Cutts
‘’Mistakes are he portals to discovery’’ Frustration is defined as the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something. This is a common feeling that ...


October 2017
Teaching kids: challenges and winning strategies
by Gabriel Ekoe González
In an increasing demand for English classes,  important points to consider when teaching kids are how to teach also what makes a good kids’ activity. Perhaps the most important thing to consider when teaching kids is their attenti...


July 2017
10 Real Reasons to do a TEFL Course in Spain
by Radmila Gurkova
TEFL Course in Spain - The time is now! July and August are the best months to decide to make the step into sunshine by signing yourself up to a TEFL course in September here in Spain. It's the perfect time to start something new. If you are a native English speaker or bilingual and you have an upbeat,...


July 2017
7 Tips on Giving Feedback to ESL Teachers
by Peter Nesbitt
Giving feedback to ESL teachers can be tricky, particularly when you have something critical to say. But yet it is also important, as without it, how can people learn? Sure, they can rely on their own self-evaluation of how they are doing, but if you have ever watched any TV talent show, you will see that a lot of people just aren't very good...


June 2017
Teacher Talks - Sharing expertise and experience
by Ryan Beaudelaire
Teacher Talks - Sharing expertise and experiences Things worth sharing We´ve had something up our sleeve for the last few weeks and we´re ready to do what we love and sha...


June 2017
Level testing: How to test a student's level?
by Ryan Beaudelaire
Level testing: How do you do it? Level testing...... Ooooh, lets talk! Unless you've been asked that awkward question outright: 'What level am I?' You won't know what's it like to to be a deer in the headlights and respond with something really daft in a high pitched voice like.... 'Yeah, really good!' Li...


June 2017
Teaching beginners: is translating really necessary?
by Radmila Gurkova
A big debate around teaching beginners has always been whether it is necessary or not to translate into the learners' mother tongue. Opinions are split and vary from definitely not to maybe sometimes yes or, in the other extreme, of course yes, translating is fast and effective. Translating seems straightforward and historically it has bee...


May 2017
Masterclass in ESL at Oxbridge to share and learn about expertise areas
by Gracia Guzmán
The Oxbridge English Teaching System (OETS) is made out of a wide and wide community of teachers from different countries and backgrounds. Offering a masterclass in ESL for different areas of expertise was necessary and easy at the same time, having in mind the richness of profiles of our community members. This is why we are currently devoti...


May 2017
Move to Spain - Have my life! It´s easy
by Ryan Beaudelaire
Move to Spain - Have my life! It´s easy! Last Sunday, this is how we spent our Sunday afternoon, chillin' up the Mountain at Montserrat! Just another mountaintop Benedictine monastery you know! ...