Want to learn more about TEFL certification and teaching English abroad? You’ve come to the right place!
Confused about TEFL (that’s Teaching English as a Foreign Language for you newbies)? That’s not exactly a shocker. We just jumped onto Google and did a quick search for “TEFL” and what did we see? Over 7 million hits...and then some!
If TEFL info overload is currently making your head explode, we don’t blame you. But there’s no need to panic. At Teach Away, we happen to know a thing or two about qualifying for awesome teaching jobs abroad. Not only do we offer online TEFL courses alongside University of Toronto OISE and International House UC Berkeley, but we’ve spent over 10 years training and placing thousands of teachers across more than 50 countries.
It’s safe to say we’ve picked up some nuggets of TEFL-related wisdom along the way. That’s why, with a little help from hiring experts and real teachers who’ve taught abroad, we’ve created The Ultimate Guide to TEFL Certification.
This handy guide runs through everything you need to know about TEFL, the qualifications you need to land that dream job teaching English abroad.
We’ve tackled four major TEFL topics below that you can explore in any particular order:
Table of Contents
Is all about the fundamentals of TEFL certification, i.e. what it is, why it matters and what it’s needed for - as well as the different alternatives to TEFL that are out there.
Dives deep into what you can do and where you can teach with your TEFL, in addition to the requirements you’ll need to meet in order to enroll in a TEFL course.
Covers common FAQs about TEFL accreditation, costs and some killer advice on choosing the right TEFL course to fit your needs.
Gives key insight into all the things you need to know about getting your TEFL certificate online - one of the most popular and flexible options available (we may be a little biased, but it’s also our favorite TEFL course option for college graduates AND qualified teachers!). It also gives you a heads up about what life after TEFL is like!
Whew, lots to get through! But don’t worry - you can choose to scroll through the entire guide at your leisure or jump forward to the section that’s most useful for you. If you like what you read, feel free to go ahead and share it with a friend or colleague.
So, let’s get right to it. Where would you like to start?
- What is TEFL?
- Are there alternatives to TEFL?
- Why should I get TEFL certified?
- How can I use my TEFL?
- What are the requirements to enroll in TEFL?
- Where can I teach with my TEFL?
- How much does TEFL certification cost?
- What’s the deal with TEFL accreditation?
- How do I choose the right TEFL course for me?
- Should I get TEFL certified online?
- I’m TEFL certified, so what’s next?
What does TEFL certification mean?
TEFL is a four-letter acronym, short for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
You’ve probably seen TEFL pop up a time or two when researching teaching abroad, along with other popular in-person and online ESL certifications like TESL, TESOL and CELTA.
When it comes to researching the different requirements and qualifications for teaching jobs abroad, you might see all of these terms used interchangeably. That’s a big no-no, though.
They’re really quite different from each other.
Let’s get into how and why they’re not one and the same:
A beginner’s guide to TEFL (and other common ESL acronyms)
Before we dive in any further, it’s probably helpful to review some of the common acronyms that are tied to TEFL and teaching English abroad. Here’s what each one stands for:
|ESL||English as a Second Language|
|EFL||English as a Foreign Language|
|TEFL||Teaching English as a Foreign Language|
|TEFL Certification||An internationally-recognized qualification to teach English abroad, that can be online or classroom-based|
|TESL||Teaching English as a Second Language|
|TESL Certification||TESL is the qualification you need to teach English to foreign-language speakers living in a native-English speaking country.|
|TESOL||Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages|
|TESOL Certification||A TESOL certification is for anyone looking to teach in both non-native and English speaking countries.|
|CELTA||Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults|
English as a Second Language (ESL) is English taught to non-native speakers who live in an English-speaking country.
A Chinese student studying English in Canada.
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is English taught to non-native speakers who live in a non-English-speaking country.
A Brazilian student taking business English classes in their home country.
TEFL, TESL, TESOL: How they’re different
Despite what you might have read online, TESOL and TESL are not equivalent qualifications to TEFL for anyone looking to teach English abroad.
Depending on where in the world you want to teach, one type of ESL certification may be a better fit than another.
A TEFL (English as a Foreign Language) certification is the globally accepted qualification to teach English abroad to students (both children and adults) whose first language isn't English.
A TEFL is what most hiring schools are looking for on a teach abroad application. That’s why you’ll see it crop up time and time again as a requirement on most overseas teaching job posts.
Here’s why you need a TEFL if you’ve got a bachelor's degree:
You need it to teach abroad
A TEFL and your bachelor's degree (any major!) is all you need.
You’ll land a teaching job abroad quicker.
ESL and language schools all over the world are looking for English-speaking university graduates with a TEFL.
A TEFL gives you the skills to actually teach in the first place.
You’ll learn essential stuff like how to teach English grammar, plan lessons and manage a classroom!
And here’s why getting a TEFL certificate is still worth the investment, even if you’re a certified teacher:
You’ll beat out the competition.
Top international schools are looking for certified teachers who are also TEFL qualified.
You’ll earn a higher salary.
With your teaching background and TEFL in hand, you’ll qualify for the best paying teaching jobs abroad.
You’ll learn must-have skills for teaching English language learners (ELLs).
You’ll learn strategies for tailoring your lessons more effectively for ESL students in your classroom!
I didn’t have the knowledge to properly get my ideas and lessons across to foreign language learners. A TEFL certificate would have helped me learn strategies for teaching normal subjects, like math and social studies to ESL learners.
Katie, taught high school students in India
Who is TEFL for?
All college graduates looking to teach abroad
If you’re a recent or soon-to-be graduate, you’re probably sick of being asked about your plans for the future. Before starting out in their long-term careers, more and more college graduates are looking to spend some time living and traveling abroad after finishing their studies.
Not only does getting TEFL certified and teaching English abroad help fund your travels, it’s also a great way to pay down student debt and avoid having to move back in with your parents after graduation.
New (and experienced) teachers
Faced with teaching job shortages in their home countries, more and more recent teacher graduates and experienced educators are getting the urge to take off and explore the world by teaching English abroad.
If you’re officially over the 9-to-5 grind, you’re in luck. Hiring schools around the world are clambering to hire TEFL-qualified English teachers with life and professional work experience!
Some other lingering TEFL questions you might have:
Looking to teach English abroad? Our ESL job abroad has
new English teaching jobs posted daily!
Do I need a TEFL to teach abroad?
Are you really serious about teaching English abroad? If you are, then you need to invest in a TEFL certificate. You might find select ESL jobs abroad out there that state they’re just looking for a bachelor’s degree but most will require you to have taken a TEFL course, too.
While demand for English teachers abroad is on the up and up, requirements are getting stricter and the competition is getting tougher, especially at reputable, great-paying schools abroad, making TEFL a crucial component of your job application.
Teaching English is a specialized skill that requires specialized training in the form of an internationally recognized TEFL certification, such as one from University of Toronto OISE or International House UC Berkeley . Any school worth its salt won’t consider you for the job without it.
Here’s a quick rundown of some specific instances where you need a TEFL certificate in order to land a job:
I’m a native English speaker, surely I don’t really need a TEFL certificate?
Not so fast - speaking English doesn’t automatically mean that you’re qualified or indeed able to teach it. Hiring schools and language institutes require candidates to have relevant training on how to teach English as a foreign language - native English speaker or otherwise.
For teaching jobs abroad, you'll typically see ESL schools and recruiters require applicants to be native English speakers, hold a bachelor's degree and have a TEFL certificate. Even if having a TEFL certificate isn't a requirement for the job you’ve honed in on, you might still want to consider it as a worthy investment.
Simply put, A TEFL certification is your key to traveling and working all around the world as an English teacher.
With your TEFL certificate in hand, you’ll be eligible for teaching jobs in non-English speaking countries across Europe, Asia and Central and South America.
For more insight into what you could learn in a TEFL course, check out our University of Toronto OISE TEFL course curriculum and International House UC Berkeley TEFL course curriculum.
Where can I find work with a TEFL certification?
Anywhere where English isn’t the native language - there are great teaching positions spanning most continents in the world, including Asia, Europe, Central and South America and the Middle East.
What kinds of teaching jobs can I qualify for with a TEFL certification?
Within the global ESL industry there are a lot of options for teaching jobs, so you will have to put some thought into the type of job you want and the age group you’d like to teach. There are opportunities to teach young learners, elementary and high school students - even adults!
There are also pros and cons to each - it’s really down to your personal preference!
How do I get a TEFL certificate?
This part’s really up to you! There are plenty of TEFL certification programs to suit your unique preferences and finances, ranging from:
- Online TEFL courses
- In-person TEFL courses
- TEFL courses abroad
To help you figure out the best option for you, we’ve dug deeper into the differences and pros and cons of each option, below.
How much money can I make with my TEFL?
That really depends where you want to teach abroad. In Europe, most English teaching jobs for TEFL graduates can be as high as $1,950 USD a month, depending on the country as well as how many hours you teach in a given week.
In South America, you could expect to earn as much as $1,500 USD a month teaching English.
And in Asia, where TEFL certification job opportunities are most plentiful, you can earn as much as $3,170 USD a month!
Top countries to earn big bucks teaching English abroad
Here’s a taster of what to expect when teaching English in countries around the world, including the average monthly salary, start-up costs, cost of living and the best cities to find teaching jobs.
|Country||ESL teaching salary||Job benefits||Start-up costs||Cost of living||Best cities for English teaching jobs|
|China||10,000 - 13,000 RMB (approx. $1,500 - 2,500 USD)||Airfare, housing allowance, vacation time, health insurance||TEFL certificate, initial daily expenses||Low||Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen|
|Japan||¥250,000 - ¥300,000 (approx. $2,200 - 2,625 USD)||Airfare, health insurance, end-of-contract bonus||TEFL certificate, initial daily expenses||Low in rural areas||Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, as well as rural areas|
|Spain||€700 - 1,800 (approx. $750 - 1,950 USD)||Paid vacation||TEFL certificate, Airfare, initial daily expenses, travel insurance||Lower in rural areas||Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid|
|Czech Republic||18,000 - 24,000 KC||Housing allowance||TEFL certificate, Airfare, initial daily expenses, travel insurance||Very low||Prague|
|Mexico||12,000 MXN||Housing allowance, health insurance||TEFL certificate, airfare, initial daily expenses, housing||Very low||Mexico City|
|Argentina||2,600 - 10,400 ARS||Assistance with finding housing||TEFL certificate, airfare, housing, initial daily expenses||Very low||Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, Mendoza, Mar de Plata, as well as rural areas|
|UAE (United Arab Emirates)||$2,400 - 5,500 USD||Airfare, health insurance, housing, tuition, end of contract bonus||None||Housing costs are high||Abu Dhabi, Dubai|
|Qatar||9,000 - 14,000 QR (approx. $2,400 to 3,700 USD) tax free||Airfare, housing allowance, health insurance||None||High in urban areas||Doha and other rural areas|
Short on time? To make your research easier, we’ve scoped out some popular ESL teaching destinations and compiled a handy calculator to help you figure out how much you can earn teaching English abroad:
Teaching English online with your TEFL certificate
Honorable mention to one of the best place to teach English: your couch!
You don’t have to physically relocate overseas to land a job teaching English language learners abroad. Right now, there’s a shortage of English teachers in China, meaning thousands of Chinese students are now taking English lessons online on a daily basis.
And, as luck would have it, plenty of ELLs are looking to learn English from native English speaking college graduates with a TEFL certificate. If you’re looking for a home-based job, part or full-time, teaching English online could be just the gig for you!
Get paid to teach English online with your TEFL certificate!
There are different reasons for getting TEFL certified and more than a few ways to use your TEFL certification!
Here are a few of the most popular ways you can use a TEFL certification:
You can use your TEFL certification to travel the world.
Ding, ding, ding! The most popular way to use your TEFL certification is to teach English abroad. In fact, slap a TEFL certificate on your resume alongside your bachelor’s degree and you’ll qualify for entry-level ESL teaching jobs in countries all over the world.
With the international ESL teaching certification of choice in your hands, you’ve never been more ready to make one of the 100,000+ English teaching jobs expected to open this year yours.
Start browsing TEFL certification job opportunities today.
You can use a TEFL certificate to teach English online.
Jump on the online English teaching bandwagon and start earning extra money from the comfort of your home!
Using your TEFL certification to land an online English teaching job is one of the easiest, most flexible ways to teach English without leaving the country, or why not leave the country? After all, all you need to become an online ESL teacher is a computer and a reliable internet connection (and your TEFL).
With the online English teaching job market booming (heads up, the online ESL job market in China alone is projected to grow by around 50% every year over the next several years), experience teaching English to students online is a competitive addition to any teaching resume, domestic or international.
Disclaimer: Teaching online is not just for English teachers!
So, for all you licensed teachers out there, teaching English online is not only a great way to supplement your income, it’s an opportunity to dip your toes into a potential new career path - teaching your subjects online at a K12 virtual school!
Feeling inspired, but not sure how to get started? Find out exactly how to teach English online in our helpful articles.
If you’re ready to explore your options in the world of online TEFL teaching, start browsing our online English teaching jobs today!
You can use it to launch a long-term career at home.
If after a stint teaching abroad, or teaching online, you decide you want to put your TEFL experience to good use in your home country, you aren’t alone! Many first-time TEFL teachers end up in long-term teaching careers after they return home.
Do I need a college degree to get TEFL certified?
Nope! A college degree is not required to enroll in a TEFL course.
Although a college/university degree is not required to enroll in TEFL, the golden ticket to teaching abroad is a TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree in any area.
If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and investing four years to get one just isn’t in the cards, don’t be discouraged. Many teachers are still able to find employment teaching English abroad as native English speakers with a TEFL certificate.
Top tips for landing a teaching job abroad without a college degree:
- Get TEFL certified - show schools abroad you have the skills (and confidence) to teach English.
- Research countries that are more likely to hire ESL teachers without a degree.
- Try your hand at getting hired in-country.✈️
- Consider volunteer teaching. ❤️
Find out exactly how adding a TEFL certificate to your (degree-less) resume will increase your chances of landing a teaching job abroad.
TEFL enrollment requirements for non-native speakers
If you’re not a native English speaker and want to teach English abroad, here’s exactly what you need to know:
- Being a non-native English speaker will not affect your TEFL certification eligibility (for the majority of TEFL courses).
- You should expect to experience some difficulty landing a teaching job (competition can be stiff when up against native English speakers with a comparable level of teaching experience).
Feel discouraged? Don’t be! As a non-native English speaker, you’ll want to make yourself stand out in your teaching job applications. Here are a few essential tips for building your best resume:
- List your TEFL certification front and center
- Highlight previous teaching and teaching-related experience
- Showcase a high English proficiency score (such as IELTS)
If you’re a non-native English speaker on a quest to landing your dream English teaching job, we’ve got you covered with more info on:
How do enrollment requirements differ across ESL certifications?
Although there are generally no prerequisites to enroll in a TEFL certification course, the same doesn’t ring true for ESL certification requirements for other courses like TESL, TESOL and CELTA.
What are the requirements for TESL and CELTA?
Courses that grant a diploma, like accredited TESL and CELTA courses, will require you to have completed a bachelor’s degree before applying.
Additional requirements could include a short interview or written application.
Enrollment timeline: Acceptance into legitimate TESL and CELTA courses could be as short as a few days with the right prerequisites. As these courses are usually offered in person, or at the very least have an in-person component, there will be scheduled start dates, which can affect how soon you can start your ESL certification.
What are the requirements to enroll in TESOL?
University TESOL programs that award postgraduate credit on completion will require a bachelor’s degree. Admission and intake for TESOL programs will align with the academic calendar, which can mean pretty strict start dates.
Tip: While TEFL and TESOL courses are different, be prepared to find these terms used interchangeably when you’re researching courses on the interwebs. Verify exactly what type of qualification you will receive after you finish - will it be a postgraduate certification in TESOL or a professional certificate, as with TEFL?
When you're done, head on over to our ESL job board, where you can find your dream job teaching English abroad.
We won’t go into the nuts and bolts of the best places to teach English for TEFL certified peeps here. For that info, we’ll direct you to the following posts and resources:
Be the first to hear about special offers, including discounts on TEFL courses from University of Toronto OISE and International House at UC Berkeley.
With all the options out there, how can you be sure whether any given TEFL certification course you’ve stumbled across will give you the right training and qualification you need to land a great job teaching English abroad?
You might assume that once you see a TEFL course claiming some sort of accreditation, that that automatically means that it will have the golden seal of approval by the thousands of employers hiring English teachers from overseas. But that assumption is incorrect.
Are TEFL courses accredited?
While this might come as a bit of a surprise to you, there is no one recognized accrediting body for TEFL certification anywhere in the world. As of yet, anyway.
TEFL accreditation is a bit of a misnomer - to put it mildly, the whole TEFL industry is rife with empty claims of accreditation. And, due to the large demand for TEFL training, course providers of questionable origin. In theory, you could even set up a TEFL course in the morning and start handing out your very own TEFL “certifications” (not that we recommend you do that!)
There is, however, one key internationally recognized standard, as agreed upon by international employers worldwide, that your chosen TEFL course should meet:
At least 100 hours of TEFL coursework
And that’s it, really! A teaching practicum, while sometimes touted as a critical component of any TEFL course, is not actually required as it doesn’t count as actual teaching experience by hiring schools abroad.
Aside from that non-negotiable 100-hour minimum requirement, employers will also typically look for TEFL training delivered by an educational organization with global recognition, such as a university that specializes in English language instruction.
TEFL courses created by university faculty with specific expertise in foreign language instruction are fairly safe bets in the eyes of most, if not all, hiring schools overseas.
A handy list of TEFL course accrediting bodies
Some select independent accrediting bodies in the world of TEFL include the following:
- WTEFLAC (The World TEFL Accrediting Commission)
- ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe)
- British Council
- OFQUAL (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation)
- ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training)
- ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Council)
- ACTDEC (Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education Courses)
You can confirm the accreditation status of any TEFL course provider claiming to be accredited TEFL courses directly through the above accrediting bodies.
While an accredited TEFL course offers some level of quality assurance and external validation, the most reputable TEFL certification programs - online or otherwise - are always designed and delivered by a university with international name recognition in the eyes of established, well-paying schools abroad.
For any TEFL courses claiming accreditation outside of these, do your homework on what exactly that accrediting body is before you make the purchase. They might have some official-sounding name but they could be a totally bogus organization - or will accredit any TEFL course for a fee.
Technically speaking, you can buy a so-called "accredited" course on Groupon for as little as $69, but that won’t get you very far in your job application.
Tips for weeding out fake TEFL course accreditations
If you see a TEFL course claiming to be externally accredited, it’s time to put your detective hat on (we know you all have one!)
- First stop - and kind of an obvious one - is to check that the accreditation’s website link isn’t broken.
- Secondly, while a professional-looking website doesn't automatically mean it's legitimate, a really unprofessional website is a strong warning sign that it could be a scam.
- Lastly, we sometimes see TEFL course providers claiming an external accreditation that, on further investigation, appears to be owned by themselves. Needless to say, this a huge red flag.
Choosing the right TEFL certification will play a critical role in providing you with the training and qualification you need to get hired to teach English abroad.
Currently trying to decide which TEFL course best fits your goals? Feeling lost after reading a ton of TEFL course reviews?
Let us step in and help out - we've outlined some major tips on choosing the right TEFL for you on this handy infographic, which summarizes everything you need to know about picking the right TEFL course at a glance.
And for even more explanation watch this brief video.
Find a TEFL option that works with your personal schedule.
Which TEFL course option you want to go for really depends on you! Quite honestly, the best TEFL course is the one that fits your current schedule, location and budget. Any reputable online or in-person TEFL course will teach the same quality core curriculum that meets international ESL industry standards.
The main difference really boils down to this: online courses are more affordable and flexible and can let you learn at your own pace, whereas onsite courses are more time intensive and can be quite cost prohibitive. Online TEFL courses make it easier for aspiring ESL teachers from all backgrounds, locations and working situations to qualify for teaching jobs abroad.
Online vs. in-person TEFL certification
Onsite TEFL courses
Online TEFL courses
|Reputable onsite TEFL courses start at $2,500+||Reputable online TEFL courses start at $900+|
|Accommodation and living expenses are extra||No travel/accommodation expenses|
|Often full time||Can be completed at your own pace|
|Usually offer job search guidance||Usually offer job search guidance|
Know what matters to hiring schools abroad.
Onsite (and some online) TEFL courses will often have a teaching practicum component. While this is a nice introduction to the classroom for newbie teachers, it’s worth bearing in mind that a teaching practicum doesn’t count as actual teaching experience on your teach abroad resume.
Choose your TEFL course provider.
As we already mentioned, no official accrediting body for TEFL courses exists as of the time of writing. This means anyone can create and sell a TEFL course!
Accreditation can really only be applied to an educational institution - not a TEFL course. The reputation of your TEFL course provider is what matters.
If an international employer doesn’t know a TEFL course provider from a hole in the ground, it’s not going to be of much use to you in your application for teaching jobs abroad.
While TEFL certification is the most highly regarded ESL teaching qualification, not all course providers are created equal. Choose a TEFL course that has a strong reputation in the international education community, ideally from a leading institution with expertise in the area of ESL education, such as University of Toronto OISE or International House UC Berkeley.
|OISE University of Toronto TEFL||International House UC Berkeley TEFL||International TEFL Academy||Oxford Seminars||myTEFL||I-to-i TEFL|
|Meets minimum requirements to teach abroad||✔||✔||✔||✔||✘||✔|
|Course Length||100, 120 or 150-hour||120-hour||170, 190 or 200-hour||100-hour||40, 60, 80 or 120-hour||120 or 180-hour|
|Course Format||100% online||100% online||In-person (with online components)||In-person||100% online||100% online or Combined (in-person with online components)|
|Self-paced||✔||✔||✘ *In-person work required on scheduled dates & times||✘ *In-person work required 3 consecutive weekends||✘ *In-person work required on scheduled dates & times||✘ *In-person work required on scheduled dates & times|
|Start date||Anytime||Anytime||2x per month(limited spots available)||Depends on region||Anytime||Anytime|
|Location||All countries||All countries||All countries(practicum restrictions apply)||US/Canada||All countries||All countries|
|Price||$995 - 1,495||$1095||$1,395 - 2,795||$995||$199 - $399||$499 - $1,995|
|Designed by university faculty||✔||✔||✘||✘||✘||✘|
Have questions about which TEFL course is right for you? Book a time to chat with Teach Away TEFL course advisor today!
Tight on time for a chat? Shoot us an email instead!
What’s the best online TEFL course for a graduate?
If you’re a soon-to-be (or recent) university graduate researching TEFL courses, you’re not alone. Teaching English abroad is a popular choice among university students looking to travel after graduation, and for good reason: travel the world while earning a paycheck? Sign me up!
The best online TEFL course for recent university graduates with very little (if any) teaching experience is a 120-hour TEFL, like the one you can get from Teach Away. A 120-hour TEFL certificate will qualify you for most teaching jobs. While 100 hours is the minimum requirement, it can be 20 hours shy of the TEFL training desired by hiring schools internationally.
Are you an adventurous recent grad who's short on cash and looking for a way to fuel your wanderlust? Grab your free copy of Beyond magazine. It’s jam-packed with everything you need to know to land your first teaching job abroad.
Online TEFL courses teach pretty similar (if not the exact same) curriculum as in-person TEFL courses, but adopt a more theoretical approach to teaching ESL. This does not, however, make online TEFL courses less reputable than their in-person counterparts.
Are online TEFL courses authentic?
Whether you choose to get certified in person or online, you will end up with the same qualification on the other side: a TEFL.
That being said, not all online TEFL courses are created equal. For this reason, it’s paramount to do your research to understand the credibility of online TEFL course providers.
Feeling suspicious of a fake TEFL course or suspected scam? You should be able to confidently provide these answer to the following questions:
How to choose a legitimate online TEFL course:
Q: Can you find online reviews for the course?
A: Yes, I’ve read 10+ positive reviews from course alumni.
Q: Is the course provided by an internationally-recognized institution or university/college?
Q: Is the price to good to be true?
A: No, it’s around $1,000.
Q: Have you been able to successfully contact a representative of the course? Were they genuinely helpful without being pushy?
A: Yes and yes!
Note: The majority of online courses issues certificates online in pdf format which you can print out if required. While receiving your certificate digitally online isn’t an indication of a fake TEFL course or scam, some courses may still mail you a physical copy.
- Choose a course that fits how you learn best. After all, getting TEFL certified is an investment in you.
- Find out how online credentials are viewed in the country where you’re likely to teach. Completing your training online vs. in person is most often only a concern for higher degrees (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD) rather than professional certificates like TEFL, but do your research.
Choosing to complete your TEFL certification online has many benefits, including being able to complete your course from anywhere in the world, setting your own study schedule (meaning you can complete your certification faster than most on-site alternatives!) and a lower course price tag.
Read this: How quickly can I get TEFL certified?
A quick Google search reveals heaps of different online TEFL courses out there. So, how do you begin to choose a reputable online TEFL course that ticks all the right boxes? Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping around for an online TEFL course:
Earning your TEFL certification online from a university
Earning your TEFL certificate from a university is a surefire way to guarantee you’re getting top-notch TEFL training. There are very few TEFL courses that have been designed by universities or offered at the university level - and even fewer available online.
But this doesn’t mean they’re not out there. An online university-level TEFL course is for you if you’re looking for:
- High-quality training, developed by academic experts in second language acquisition.
- 100% flexibility to complete your studies anytime, anywhere.
Got your bank balance on your mind?
Earning your TEFL certificate from a university will set you back around $1,000 USD, which, if you’re a recent university graduate, can be a good chunk of cash. Although designed and/or offered by a university, university TEFL courses do not typically qualify for financial aid. Like any investment, you’ll want to start saving before you decide to pull the trigger.
With a TEFL certification from University of Toronto OISE or International House UC Berkeley, schools around the world will recognize your TEFL certification as being backed by a top-ranked faculty of education.
100% online and self-paced
You can complete the OISE or International House TEFL course 100% online at your own pace. All aspects of the courses are done online, so you can finish your TEFL certification from anywhere in the world, and you can enroll at anytime – seriously, you can start today!
Since Teach Away helps schools around the world recruit teachers, we have incredible insight into what hiring schools want and access to countless job opportunities available to our TEFL graduates. At no extra cost, you’ll be able to create a Teach Away profile and apply to open positions on our job board.
Your OISE TEFL course options:
The TEFL course from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) comes in three customizable course options, which range from 100–150 hours of online study. Teachers in the 120- and 150-hour OISE TEFL courses can customize their course with specializations like Teaching English to Young Learners and Teaching English to Arabic Speakers.
How to get started with OISE TEFL:
To enroll in the course, visit the OISE TEFL website and hit the enroll button (yes, it’s that easy!) Once you’ve enrolled in the course, you can get started on the first course module whenever you like.
The International House UC Berkeley TEFL
We developed this 120-hour, online and self-paced course in partnership with International House (I-House) at the world-renowned University of California (UC), Berkeley.
The core curriculum is made up of 13 modules, which cover such topics as English teaching fundamentals and classroom management skills. This is followed by a six-module extended curriculum on International Teaching and Global Effectiveness.
This course is the best option for anyone planning to teach English abroad who wants a TEFL certification from an internationally recognized, top-20 university.
How to get started with I-House UC Berkeley TEFL
To enroll in the course, visit the International House UC Berkeley TEFL page and hit the enroll now button. (Yes, it’s that easy!) Once you’ve enrolled in the course, you can get started on the first course module whenever you like.
I’m TEFL certified, so what’s next?
Congrats! You’ve put in your 100+ hours of TEFL and you’re ready to break into the international teaching job scene to change lives and travel the world!
Before you know it, it’ll be time to apply what you’ve used in your TEFL course in the classroom abroad.
Nervous? Don’t be.
To complement what you’ve learned in your TEFL course, we’ve got you covered with a collection of articles, designed to help you started on the right foot from day one as a newly-minted English teacher overseas.
955 ESL vacancies live right now for TEFL graduates.
Qualify to teach English abroad
Stand out to international employers with an industry-leading TEFL certification.