Which online TEFL certification is the best for teaching online?

Deciding on the best online TEFL certification involves considering your main objectives, what you plan to use the qualification for, and your aspirations post-certification. Let's delve into the primary online course options.

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Types of online TEFL certification

Uses of these qualifications

Types of online TEFL certification

Online TEFL courses can be easily distinguished based on the average completion time.

Weekend Courses: Often promoted as "introductory courses," these are primarily conducted over weekends to accommodate those already employed, providing an insight into TEFL. Given their time limitation (approximately 10 hours), they offer limited content on teaching and learning, yet they can be beneficial in determining whether undertaking a comprehensive course is really for you.

Short Introductory Courses: These extend beyond weekend courses, typically requiring 20-50 hours. They aim to cover a broad range of content in a concise manner, offering a solid perspective on whether investing in a comprehensive course is worthwhile. Occasionally, they might offer a certificate, which could be accepted by a limited number of employers.

Specialist Courses: Generally pursued after completing a 120-hour course, these focus on specific areas such as teaching young learners, teaching business English, and teaching English online. Typically taking around 50 hours to complete, they are beneficial if you are targeting a specialized teaching area.

120-hour TEFL certificate: As a standard entry requirement for most TEFL jobs, this is the most popular course we offer. It can be completed both onsite and online, with onsite versions typically lasting four weeks and online versions allowing six months for self-paced completion.

Teaching practice certificate: Onsite TEFL courses usually include a teaching practice component (around 6 hours). Some online versions also offer remote teaching practice through platforms like Zoom.

Diploma Certificate: This advanced course is designed for those who already possess a 120-hour certificate. Typically, these courses span around 250 hours, focusing more on the 'why' of educational theory and practice rather than the 'what'. These courses are stepping stones to Masters programs and are useful when applying for higher teaching roles like Director of Studies or Head of ESL.

Package Certificates: A relatively new concept adopted by a few companies, these courses consolidate multiple individual certificates into one comprehensive award. Instead of completing a 120-hour certificate, followed by a couple of 50-hour specialized courses and then a Diploma, you can opt for a package that combines all of these with either individual or one final certification.

Also read: How Should I Prepare for a TEFL Course?

Uses of these qualifications

Under 120 hours of Study: Useful in certain scenarios, particularly if you already possess some teaching experience. However, most jobs demand a minimum of 120 hours.

120-hours of Study: This is the typical global requirement for TEFL certification, which could be completed onsite, online, or using a mix of both. Some employers also prefer the inclusion of a teaching practice component. For online teaching, this is the main requirement, with being a native speaker or possessing a degree not being mandatory for many employers.

Over 120-hours of Study: These qualifications are often sought for teaching positions in schools where higher skill levels are expected, such as in the Middle East. They are also useful for higher positions with managerial responsibilities like Director of Studies or Program Manager, and can be applicable to administrative roles within the industry.

Also read: What are TEFL course hours?