How to choose a TEFL course


Do you want to get certified to teach abroad, but aren’t sure how to choose a TEFL course?

In this   article we’ll explain how to choose a TEFL certification that’s right for you and everything you need to know about getting TEFL certified in 5 minutes.


The basics

What is TEFL? Well, TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language and it is a certificate that qualifies you to teach English in any non-English speaking country. It is by far the most commonly requested and most well known English teaching certificate worldwide.

There are other ESL certifications out there that might seem similar to the TEFL certification, but TESL & TESOL serve different purposes. TESL stands for teaching English as a second language and qualifies you to teach within an English-speaking country. TESOL will qualify you to teach both within an English-speaking country and a non-English-speaking country. But be careful! This is a term that is often misused. In general, your TESOL certificate will need to be over 250 hours in order for you to teach within a country like Canada or the United States. Anything less will only qualify you to teach overseas.

Teaching English online

When it comes to teaching English online, you’ll also need a TEFL certificate. On top of this, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree for most online teaching jobs. You’ll work as an independent contractor which means you can have flexible work hours and can set your own schedule. You’ll earn between 18 and 25 dollars per hour and the type of students can vary. But the best part is that you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a steady internet connection and a webcam!

Do I really need a TEFL?

Who is a TEFL certificate for? Everyone! A TEFL certificate is always a good idea. Whether you’re already an experienced or licensed teacher or new to teaching, a TEFL will help you learn the basics of teaching ESL. TEFL is beneficial for:

  • Individuals seeking an English teaching position online or in a foreign country.

  • Individuals with little to no teaching experience who want to learn the basics.

  • Teachers who want to learn skills to teach English Language Learners (ELLs).

  • Licensed teachers who would like to add English teaching to their repertoire.

A TEFL course will teach you how to:

  • Teach English language skills.

  • Simplify English grammar.

  • Plan a lesson.

  • Manage a classroom.

  • Build effective learning materials.

How to choose the right course for you

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about choosing the right TEFL course for you.

So, how do I find a reputable TEFL course? Here are top tips from our TEFL Course Advisors on choosing the right TEFL course for you.

1. Choose a course with great reviews. Check out sites like GoAbroad.com or GoOverseas.com to find out what other students thought about the course and whether or not it got them hired!

BONUS: Be wary of any TEFL course that offers a guaranteed job!

2. Ensure the instructors have the right credentials. There is no global standard for TEFL meaning anyone can make and sell a TEFL course. That’s why you want to make sure the instructors know a thing or two about teaching.

BONUS: Accreditation does not guarantee quality.

3. Choose a course that suits your learning style. Nowadays, both online and on-site or in-person TEFL courses will land you an English teaching job. Choose a course that has an engaging curriculum and that fits your lifestyle.

BONUS: A TEFL practicum is not a requirement for landing a teaching job. Teaching experience is measured in years – not hours.

Whatever course you choose, make sure you select the right number of hours of TEFL training (100+ hours). The number of hours of TEFL training will impact the types of job for which you qualify. For instance, you’ll need a 120-hour course for online teaching. Be sure your certificate states the correct number of hours – additional modules can be great, but may not always count towards your TEFL certificate.

Where can I teach abroad?

There are different regional requirements that should be taken into consideration when you’re deciding on the right length of TEFL course for you.   This chart is an excerpt from Teach Away’s TEFL country comparison chart that outlines some of the basic requirements for popular destinations. Make sure that you’re choosing a destination and taking a TEFL course that’s right for you.

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