If you want to teach English online or teach English abroad, you’ve probably considered getting a TEFL certification. This post will review some of the best TEFL certification programs online to help you choose the best online TEFL course for you!
What is a TEFL certification?
Teaching English as a foreign language while traveling is a great way to see the world and immerse yourself in a new culture. One of the first step to start teaching English abroad is to get a TEFL Certification.
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It’s one of the main qualifications required to teach English in a different country.
You can get a TEFL certificate by participating in a TEFL training program. In the program, you’ll learn how to teach English speaking skills and grammar. You’ll also learn about making lesson plans and effective classroom management.
Many programs also offer extra courses where you can learn about teaching young learners, teaching business English, or teaching English online.
Why do I need a TEFL Certification?
Having a TEFL certification will make you more qualified to teach English abroad many places around the world, even if you don’t have a background in teaching.
The requirements to teach vary with every country, but most in-person teaching jobs require at least an accredited 120 hour TEFL certification. Having your TEFL will make your application stand out and improve your job placement options.
You can get your certification online or by taking an in-person class. I’ll talk about the benefits of getting your TEFL qualification online in just a minute.
Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach English online?
For most online English companies, a TEFL is required.
While there are some options that don’t require a TEFL certificate, having it means you’ll have more options when you start applying for teaching jobs.
Having TEFL training makes your application look more appealing which could result in a higher starting pay rate. It could also mean more bookings since you have more experience.
The skills you learn in your TEFL course will improve your teaching abilities, making you more likely to get booked again and again by adoring students.
Another perk of having a TEFL certificate when teaching online is that if you ever did want to pick up an in-person teaching job while traveling, you could. It’s nice to have the option of teaching English abroad in a traditional classroom too.
What’s the benefit of doing a TEFL certification online as opposed to in-person?
For most people, it’s more convenient to get TEFL certified online instead of in-person.
You can complete your TEFL training online while still working your normal job, which means you can save more money for travel. You can work at a pace that compliments your schedule and have more flexibility than with an in-person course.
Online ESL certification programs are often less expensive than in-person ones. You’ll save money by taking an online course and by not having to commute or travel to attend your in-person class.
Best TEFL Certification Program Reviews
If you’re wondering how to get TEFL certified online, don’t sweat it! There are tons of companies where you can complete your TEFL training online on a schedule that works well for you.
Choosing the best online TEFL course for you depends on your needs. There are many great options for all budgets and all desired levels.
Below you’ll find several accredited online TEFL certification programs with of different lengths, formats, and price-ranges. I’ll share my review of the course I took first, followed by several solid alternatives.
|International TEFL Academy||Yes||Ranked #1 Best USA TEFL Course, 25K Alumni, Job search assistance||11 weeks||$1399|
|MyTEFL||Yes||Designed for new teachers, job search assistance||Approx. 3-6 weeks||$299|
|i-to-i TEFL||Yes||Lots of course options, online only or online/in-person combo classes, check their website for discounted prices||Approx. 8-15 weeks||$500-$1695|
|Premier TEFL||Yes||6 different TEFL course offerings, fast track and advanced courses||Access for 6 months||$350-$750|
|TEFL Institute of Ireland||Yes||Based in Ireland, recognized by UK government, online only courses or blended online/in-person courses||Approx. 2-10 weeks||$350-$600|
|TEFLPros||Yes||120 hour digital TEFL course with live coaching calls and video classroom observations||Approx. 2-3 months||Book a strategy call|
|The TEFL Academy||Yes||Approved by USA and UK government, 168 hour online TEFL course and job assistance after completion||Approx. 4-10 weeks||$500|
|ITTT||Yes||Lots of course options with and without tutor support, ongoing job assistance||Access for 6 months||$240-$350|
International TEFL Academy
The International TEFL Academy (ITA) offered the best TEFL online certification for my needs since I wanted to find something that would give me lots of job options and that had a large community around the world. I also wanted something that was flexible since I still had a normal job and needed to balance both.
I loved my experience with the International TEFL Academy. Here’s the lowdown:
- About: ITA has been ranked #1 Best USA TEFL Course and Best Online TEFL Course by GoAbroad. It has a huge community of over 25,000 alumni.
- Options: ITA offers a 170 hour online TEFL certification course on a rolling start schedule. Usually, a new online course starts every few weeks. Classes are limited to 20 students and are taught by university-level instructors. ITA also has options for in-person TEFL training in North America and abroad.
- Job assistance: After completing the course, you get a lifetime of job search guidance and access to an active community of alumni around the world.
- Length: The online course lasts 11 weeks (Students usually spend 10-12 hours on the course per week.)
- Cost: $1399
I know this course comes at a higher price tag, but for me, it was worth it. One of the biggest perks of ITA has been the continued support and community atmosphere.
Even years after completing my course, I use special ITA facebook groups to find friends wherever I’m traveling around the world.
I’ve met some of my best travel friends through official ITA meet-ups and events. They do a great job of making you feel welcome and well connected, no matter where in the world you’re traveling. Learn more about my experience with International TEFL Academy here.
MyTEFL offers accredited TEFL courses designed for new teachers. You’ll finish the course with an internationally recognized TEFL certificate and letter of recommendation.
They offer 40, 60, 80, and 120 hour TEFL courses to fit all needs. Remember that if you want to teach English abroad or online, you should do the 120-hour option. Anything less might not be accepted by your future employer.
- Job Assistance: You get free job placement assistance after course completion
- Length: You have about three months to complete the course and most students finish in 3-6 weeks. Students have lifetime access to course materials.
- Cost: $139 – $299
i-to-i TEFL courses are accredited and recognized by the English government.
You can choose between a Level 3 (basic) certification or Level 5 (advanced) certification. They offer online-only courses and combined online/classroom courses. If you choose the combined course check their website to make sure they have classroom training available in your area before signing up.
- Length: The course usually takes 8 weeks – 15 weeks. Students get 6-month access to course materials
- Cost: $500 – $1695 (though they appear to be heavily discounted on their site)
Premier TEFL is accredited and recognized by the English government. When you finish the course you’ll receive a certificate and letter of reference.
Premier TEFL has 6 TEFL courses. You get to choose the number of hours and level of advancement you need. They have fast track options and more comprehensive options, plus specialist training courses in young learners, teaching online, and business English.
- Length: Approx. 6 months
- Cost: Approx $350 to $750
TEFL Institute of Ireland
The TEFL Institute of Ireland is accredited and recognized by the English government. It’s based out of Ireland and offers online TEFL courses and blended online/in-person courses.
The TEFL Institute of Ireland offers TEFL courses from 120 – 240 hours and Level 5 advanced TEFL options.
- Length: The course can take 2-10 weeks depending on which one you choose. Students have access to the course material for 6 months.
- Cost: Approx $350 – $600
TEFLPros is a 120 hour online TEFL course with 12 in-depth modules. You’ll learn how to lesson plan, manage classroom scenarios, create materials, and create meaningful learning experiences for your students.
TEFLPros also includes weekly live coaching calls so you can connect with your course mates and get live feedback. Additionally, you’ll get access to 17 hours of classroom observation videos so you can see how things run in a real classroom.
Upon completion, you’ll receive training resources to use in the future and you’ll leave with a portfolio you can use to help you land your dream job.
- How to join: To sign up, you’ll first need to book a free one-on-one strategy session. There, you’ll get more information about the price and next steps.
The TEFL Academy
The TEFL Academy is internationally recognized and approved by the USA Department of Education and the UK government.
- Options: Online level 5 TEFL course, 168 hours, Combined in person and online courses offered as well.
- Job Assistance: Job assistance is provided after course completion
- Length: 4-10 weeks self-paced course work, students get 6 months of access
- Cost: $500
International TEFL and TESOL Training
Online TEFL courses with ITTT are fully accredited by the Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency.
ITTT offers several options for TEFL Training. On their main website, you can scroll down to see their courses which range from 60 hours to 220-hour masterclasses. You can also choose to complete your course with or without tutor support and videos. These courses are self-paced.
- Job Assistance: Students receive ongoing job assistance
- Length: You have 6 months to complete the course
- Cost – Approx $240 – $350 for the 120 hour TEFL class (with and without video tutor)
Make sure to use this link to get 20% off your online course with ITTT! Get 20% off here!
Cheap online TEFL courses
Two of the companies above offer cheap TEFL courses online that will give you the minimum you need to get started. Again, make sure you take a course with at least 120 hours.
- International TEFL and TESOL Training – The 120-hour course with no video tutor is one of the most budget-friendly choices on this list and you can use this link for an additional 20% off!
- MyTEFL – The 120-hour course is available for $299
Is it possible to find a free online TEFL course with a certificate?
To my knowledge, it is not possible to get an accredited, recognized TEFL certificate for free. I know there are discount websites and Groupon deals that make it seem like you can get a TEFL certification for pennies.
But keep these things in mind when you see a too-good-to-be-true TEFL course online. Free courses probably aren’t accredited. This would mean the certification isn’t much use when applying to jobs abroad.
Also, free online TEFL courses probably won’t give you much actual training since they tend to be quite thin. If your goal is to start a new job teaching English abroad or online, you’ll want to feel confident and have the necessary skills to do a good job.
A TEFL certification online that comes with a good track record is worth spending a bit of money since it means you’ll be better equipped to start your new ESL teaching job.
Conclusion: What is the best online TEFL course?
- Best All-Around: International TEFL Academy
- Great comprehensive courses: TEFLPros or TEFL Institute or Ireland
- Best for people who want lots of options: Premier TEFL or i-to-i TEFL
- Best for people who want qualification based in the USA: The TEFL Academy or International TEFL Academy
- Cheapest: MyTEFL or International TEFL and TESOL Training
With so many great options out there, you should have no problem finding an online TEFL course that fits your needs. Use the online TEFL certification reviews in this post to guide your search, and congratulations on taking the first step to your teaching and traveling adventure.
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