I have been asked to write a follow up post on my experience using International Open Academy to do my TEFL course. This was by far the cheapest TELF course out there, thanks to a deal on Living Social (only £24). However, it was not the best option. I paid for what I got.
The course took me under 10 hours to complete and I learnt near to nothing. Okay, yes I cheated a little, by not reading everything properly and just answering the questions but nonetheless the layout did not encourage me to sit down and participate fully. I did not read the lessons thoroughly because a) they were dull and b) they covered things I already knew.
Unlike other courses, The International Open Academy did not ask me to write lessons plans, something which the longer courses ask you to do. While it may seem like a faf to do a 120 hour course and numerous tasks. It will be worth it in the long term.
If you are serious about teaching English abroad I would recommend doing a TEFL course with a well known company with good reviews such as i-to-i. These courses get you to fully engage with videos, tasks and questions. There are also options to buy a TEFL course and a secure placement in a school (package costing around £500).
Make sure to do your research. Also keep in mind that different regions will pay differing wages. At the moment China is desperate for teachers and pays much more than places such as Spain. Think about if you want to live in China for a year. Lots of people have done and have loved it. Watch some YouTube videos to get an idea about what is involved: A day in a life working as a TEFL teacher in China.
You will probably feel nervous jetting off to teach English abroad where ever you may be going. So you want to feel like you are as prepared as you can be. You do not need a crummy course making you feel unqualified. The courses which include training days will help you feel more confident. Simple reading off a screen will not get you set up to be a teacher. You need to learn the theory and then attend practical days and mingle with others. So in conclusion I would not take the International Open Academy‘s TEFL course.
I hope this helps. What courses have you considered or taken?