I have just completed the 120 Hour Online Course, as I am going on the Thailand TEFL Experience in January.
This course was good, really good.
Although nervous to start (I have previously been a Teaching Assistant, but have no experience planning a lesson and teaching an entire class), I now feel fairly confident that I'll be okay out in Thailand. The course provides content in four main areas- Planning a Lesson, Lesson Content, Making It Work In The Classroom, and Course Assessment. Don't get me wrong; these sections aren't easy. Involved is A LOT of note taking, content understanding, and tests- and it isn't easy. However, I managed to complete the course in three weeks (baring in mind I work full-time), I worked every. single. evening. from 5.30pm to past 12am, but i did it! With a bit of hard work, I think anybody could do it. It is very useful and has helpful tests throughout the sections, in order for you to make sure you're on the right track.
There are some elements of the course that I think could be improved, they aren't big things, but it would be great if they were considered. The first point would be to PLEASE HAVE A PROGRESS TRACKER! I can't say this enough. When it's late in the night and you've just completed whatever section- you want to see where you're at! You need to know that that you're on the right track and making sufficient progress. As theres a lot of note taking, some people may work slower than others- and how many hours you've spent on the course, doesn't necessarily mean you've completed that many hours. Luckily I have a fantastic partner who is a whizz on Microsoft Excel and he managed to make a progress chart for me, so I had a rough idea where I was in the course. It helped a lot when my motivation was down.
Another not-so-great part of the course, was the information I was given about it. The Customer Service team are great, however I've found that some of the information they gave me was a little bit contradictory. I didn't join onto the course until the 17th November 16 and as it's three months long- my course ran out in February 17 (but I was going on the Thailand Experience in January). I was very concerned that I wouldn't complete the course in time for going as I only had a month and a half, rather than three). However, I was reassured on the phone that it didn't matter and I could complete it whilst in Thailand and if I need an extension, I could get one out there. Once I got my welcome pack for the course- it said that my course must be finished at least 14 days before departure to Thailand, or I can't teach. On separate occasions I emailed, called, and spoke on the live chat to try and get answers and I was again reassured that I don't need to complete it before departure. Although, the Terms and Conditions stated otherwise, and said again that it must be completed before departure. I also got an email through, reminding everybody to send all their documents off and a note saying "complete your TEFL course 2 weeks before departure – We must have a copy of your certificate before you can teach."
So in the end, I just made sure it was completed, because after all, whether the team say I would be okay to finish it out in Thailand, I would rather be safe than sorry. So please, just give clear answers next time!
For all other questions and concerns that I've had, the customer service team have been great (especially those on the live chat, they are very helpful and if they don't know the answer, they'll get somebody who does).
The course is really worth doing- I am now qualified and very much looking forward to going to Thailand in the new year! I'll be back to let you know how that went. Thank you to the TEFL team for making this all possible.