What is TEFL?

If you are bored with the everyday grind and want a new life that is full of travel and adventure, TEFL could be the perfect option for you. First you need to choose the right TEFL course to suit your situation and then work your way through the training. Once you have completed the course and you have your TEFL certificate in hand you will be ready to head overseas to start work as an English language teacher in the country of your choice.

What does TEFL and TESOL stand for?

These acronyms are used when referring to training courses that English language teachers undertake, as well as the certification they receive upon completion. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. As these terms are essentially the same, they are often used interchangeably, however, TEFL is most commonly used within the UK and TESOL is usually preferred in the USA. Although some countries may favor one acronym over the other, it is important to remember that a TEFL certification and a TESOL certification are exactly the same thing as the training involved is identical.

What are the technical differences between TEFL and TESOL?

Although TEFL and TESOL training courses are identical and the acronyms are generally used interchangeably, there is a technical difference between the two. The general perception is that speakers of English as a foreign language live in a non-English speaking country, meaning they don?t need to speak English on a daily basis and are usually learning the language for travel, business or simply as a hobby. In contrast, speakers of English as a second language live in an English speaking country, meaning they need to speak English on a daily basis for work, socializing, shopping etc.

What qualifications do I need to teach EFL?

In order to secure a position as an EFL teacher most employers require their job applicants to possess a relevant qualification known as a TEFL or TESOL certificate. However, as there is no official standard when it comes to certification, it can be hard to know which course to choose from the many options available. A quick internet search for TEFL certification will reveal a huge number of different companies offering all manner of courses that vary enormously in the level of commitment required in terms of both time and finances. So how do you decide which course is right for you?

How do TEFL courses differ?

TEFL courses are generally categorized by the amount of hours they should take to complete. Online courses start at as little as 40 hours and in-class courses can be completed over a single weekend. If you are looking for a simple introduction to language teaching or are considering volunteering as an EFL teacher then these courses may be sufficient, however, it is worth considering that many teaching jobs that offer the best working conditions and an attractive salary will require a TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours.

Which TEFL course provides the most comprehensive training?

If you want the best possible start to your teaching career and really want to hit the ground running, we would recommend you complete an in-class TEFL course at one of our international training centers. The main benefit of this form of certification is the inclusion of extensive teaching practice with genuine language learners under the guidance of a professional teacher trainer. On completion of this four- week intensive training you will be ready to walk into your first teaching job fully confident in your ability to plan and deliver lessons to a high standard.

Is an online TEFL course sufficient for teaching English abroad?

For many people the in-class course can prove to be too time consuming and simply out of their price range. Luckily this is not a major problem as ITTT offers an online alternative that leads to a 120-hour TEFL certificate that is widely accepted by international employers. Although the online option doesn?t include teaching practice, it does include a wide selection of videos that provide a great insight into what to expect when you enter your very own classroom for the first time.

Do I really need a TEFL certificate to teach abroad?

Strictly speaking the answer is no, you do not have to possess a TEFL certificate in order to find work as an English language teacher. In some countries around the world it is still possible to secure employment simply by being a native English speaker. However, there are several reasons why we would strongly recommend that you complete a TEFL training course before you set off to teach English abroad.

Why has a TEFL certificate become more important?

In recent years many popular destinations have begun to tighten the requirements necessary for teaching English in schools and language centers. A recognized TEFL certificate is now required in order to secure a work permit in many countries, whilst the ever growing number of teachers with a TEFL qualification means that employers in the majority of countries will no longer accept unqualified teachers. Put simply, if you want to live and work in any popular destination across the world, you are more than likely to need a TEFL qualification. Another important factor to consider is the salary, benefits and overall working conditions that each job has to offer. This varies considerably from one country to the next but one fact remains consistent, the jobs that offer the best packages in most situations will require a TEFL certification.

As well as official requirements and personal benefits, there is one other very important reason why we consider it necessary to earn a TEFL qualification before you enter the world of English language teaching. The ability to speak a language does not mean you are equipped to teach it!

What will I learn from a TEFL certificate course?

Teaching a language requires certain specialist skills and knowledge which allow you to pass on what you know to your students. Completing a reputable TEFL course will ensure you are clear on the structures of English grammar such as the tense system, conditionals, modals and passive voice, and how to teach them effectively. You will also learn essential teaching skills including how to plan your lessons, methodologies for effective teaching and how to manage your students. Not only will this knowledge help you to secure a good teaching position, it will also ensure that your students have the best chance of improving their English abilities.

How is a TEFL teacher different for a foreign language teacher?

TEFL teachers should not be confused with foreign language teachers. A TEFL qualified teacher does not typically share the same native language as their students and are specifically trained to offer explanations and directed teaching methods to non-English speakers. This teaching style is mainly focused on repetition, drills, demonstrations, and visuals.

What age groups do TEFL teachers work with?

Often wrongfully interpreted, a TEFL teacher does not necessarily work with children. In fact, the student age group can cover all ages, from kindergarten through university level and beyond. You often encounter English language academies that specialize in a certain age group, for example, an institution specifically for children or another designed to help business executives improve their English skills for international business communication. Therefore, the role of the teacher can vary from case to case which requires instructors to be flexible and adaptable to new situations.

Where do TEFL teachers work?

In general, you can find opportunities to work as a TEFL teacher anywhere on the map, even in your home country where groups of learners whose native language is not English may include migrants or refugees. However, the majority of teachers work in countries around the globe where English is not the official language. Popular countries include China, South Korea and Thailand in Asia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and South American countries such as Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. TEFL teachers might work in classrooms as main instructors or they may cooperate with other primary teachers in a supporting role. On the other hand, teachers might have local supporting teachers who are able to help the students in their native language to ensure smooth communication.

What are the benefits of being a TEFL teacher?

When asking teachers why they pursue a career teaching English abroad, the responses usually come down to similar reasons: Huge money saving opportunities, living a comfortable lifestyle, being able to explore foreign cultures, being able to pay off (college) debt, and to improve skills for further career opportunities

What does CELTA mean?

Short for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA is essentially an individual brand of TEFL certification that is awarded by Cambridge English Language Assessment which is a part of the University of Cambridge in the U.K. The course is an intensive 4-week program that is offered by a variety of schools and training centers in countries all over the world. As the name suggests it is primarily aimed at those looking to teach adult students.

Is CELTA the best course option?

When it comes to choosing the best course you should not be too concerned about which acronym you end up with on your certificate. Whether it is TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA is not the most important factor, what matters is whether the course meets the accepted international standard for English language teaching. These standards require:

  • A minimum course length of 120 hours (4-week in-class course or equivalent)
  • A minimum of six hours of observed teaching practice (OTP) with genuine language students
  • The course should be conducted by instructors who possess a high level of relevant qualifications and extensive teaching experience
  • The curriculum should be externally accredited and monitored by an independent body

What if a course doesn't meet the criteria?

There are many short-format/low priced course options on the market that do not meet the above criteria. If you are looking for a professional certification that is welcomed by employers all over the world then these are best avoided. Any course that does meet the criteria, whether TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA, should give you the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to start your new career teaching English abroad.

Does the quality of an in-class training course vary by location?

When making a final decision on which course to take it is worth remembering that the quality of each course may vary from one training center to the next. You might read on blogs or forums that the CELTA course is superior to any other TEFL course. This is simply not true as the course is operated by a wide array of training centers in different parts of the world, some of which are good and some not so good. It is also worth considering that many TEFL or TESOL certificate courses are now equal to or exceeding the standards set by the University of Cambridge for CELTA certification. The bottom line is that the quality and effectiveness of any teacher training course is not set by the acronym on the certificate, but the overall standard of the individual training center that provides it.

Do TEFL certificates expire?

No, TEFL certificates do not expire, they are valid for life. Once you have completed your course, either online or by attending a training center, you will be able to start work straight away or set off on your travels and use it later when your funds starts to get low. A TEFL certificate really is a great qualification to have in your backpack or briefcase as you can use it to earn a good income at any time, in any part of the world.

Should I complete additional TEFL qualifications?

Although your certification will never expire, we do recommend that you continue to develop your skills and knowledge as you progress in your teaching career. Additional courses such as an advanced TEFL Diploma or a specialized certificate in teaching business English or teaching young learners will build on your existing skills, allowing you to deliver even better lessons in the classroom. These extra qualifications will also look good on your CV/resume and open up further job opportunities that may not have previously been open to you.

Should I consider a TEFL refresher course?

During your TEFL course you will receive instruction in a wide range of specific skills such as lesson planning, classroom management and correction techniques, as well as learn about various English grammar subjects and phonology. Much of what you learn will stay with you for the long term, however, if you spend an extended period away from the classroom you may well benefit from a refresher course before you start a new teaching job. Keeping your teaching skills up-to-date will not only allow you to enter an unfamiliar classroom full of confidence in your ability, but will also ensure that your students receive a high level of instruction that allows them to successfully progress in their language studies.

Can I teach English abroad?

Almost anyone who has the desire to teach English abroad can make their dream come true. Although you will find some restrictions regarding teaching experience and academic qualifications in some countries, there are plenty of great destinations around the world where a TEFL certificate is all that is required. Whatever your background, work history, or age, there is the perfect teaching job waiting for you somewhere in the world.

Can I teach English abroad without any teaching experience?

Yes, you can start a new career teaching English abroad without any form of teaching experience. Due to a huge demand for English language teachers in countries all over the world, tens of thousands of English speakers head overseas every year to work in a variety of different classrooms. Of this number, approximately 90% will have never worked in any kind of teaching role before.

How do I teach English without knowing my student's language?

Wherever you find yourself living and working as an English language teacher, you will most likely teach your students using a method known as total immersion, whereby no other language is used in the classroom besides English. As most learners are not in a position to move to an English speaking country in order to be surrounded by the language, it is the teacher's job to bring this immersion to the student in the classroom.

How will a TEFL certificate help me in the classroom?

Although experience is not necessary, it is not the case that simply being an English speaker qualifies you to become a language teacher. To be successful in the classroom, a teacher needs to possess a range of specific skills and knowledge that need to be learnt and practiced. By completing a high-quality TEFL certification course before you start your first teaching job, you will gain all the specialist skills you need, such as lesson planning, grammar awareness and classroom management. Once TEFL certified, you will be able to confidently apply for a wide range of jobs in countries all over the world.

Do I need a degree to teach English abroad?

If you have a four year college degree, the world really is your oyster when it comes to teaching English abroad. For those without a degree the options are more limited but it is by no means impossible.

Where do you need a degree to teach English abroad?

In recent years some of the traditional hot spots for EFL teaching have tightened their visa restrictions to include the requirement of holding a formal degree. Developed Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan generally require a degree to secure a work visa, whilst the lucrative markets of the Middle East are also hard to access without formal qualifications. However, the good news is that there are still plenty of options around the world for non-degree holders who are flexible and willing to go the extra mile to secure their dream job.

Why do TEFL employers require a degree in some areas?

Although some countries have a legal requirement for teachers to hold a degree, in many others it is simply down to the individual employer to set their own standards. In many of the most popular destinations the competition for jobs is so fierce that employers can set the bar as high as they like, making it difficult for non-degree holders. But do not despair as there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of landing a job.

How can I improve my TEFL job prospects if I don't have a degree?

Possibly the most important thing you can do to make yourself more employable is to complete an internationally recognized TEFL certification course. With a TEFL certificate in hand, you are able to show an employer that you have received some level of instruction in language teaching. The time and expense you have put into the course will also demonstrate your commitment to your new teaching career. Another great way to improve your employment options is to gain some teaching experience to put in your CV/resume. A short stint volunteering at a local language center or teaching private lessons to individuals in your community will go a long way when looking for paid work.

Where should I look for TEFL jobs if I don't have a degree?

Even with a TEFL certificate and some classroom experience you may still need to be a bit flexible when choosing where you would like to work. There are many fascinating countries around the world that are open to employing teachers without a degree. Latin America, Southeast Asia and much of Eastern Europe are all good places to start your search, and if you are in the country and available for an interview in person your chances of landing a job are extremely high. While it is true that a degree does give you more options in the international teaching market, having a TEFL certification and a strong desire to teach English abroad can also be all you need to start an exciting new career as an EFL teacher.

Do TEFL teachers need a second language?

The simple answer is no, you do not need to have any knowledge or experience of languages other than English to take a TEFL course or to become an EFL teacher. The ability to speak other languages is not required as the vast majority of TEFL classrooms around the world rely on the communicative approach to English teaching that specifies that English is the only language used in the classroom.

How can I teach English if I don't speak the student's language?

In multilingual classrooms where the students could have a dozen or more different first languages, being able to communicate in one or two of them would obviously be of no particular advantage. In monolingual classrooms you may also find that students are more inclined to revert to their mother tongue during the lesson if they are aware that the teacher can understand what is being said. Whatever the classroom environment, one of the basic principles of EFL teaching is for students to only communicate in English, from the very beginning to the very end of every lesson.

Does it help if a teacher has learnt a foreign language?

Although it is not necessary to speak other languages to be an effective EFL teacher, there are certainly advantages to having some experience in learning and using a foreign language. Firstly, it allows you to experience what it is like to be a language learner, which should help you to empathize with your students and therefore improve the effectiveness of your lessons. It can also change the way you look at your own language and can lead to a greater understanding of the fundamentals of English such as grammar structures etc.

Should I learn the local language while teaching English abroad?

If you find yourself living and working in a foreign country you are more than likely to pick up the local language to some degree during your stay. Being able to communicate with the local people can certainly make your life much easier on a day to day basis, and it can also significantly enhance your overall experience of teaching English abroad. However, as long as you have completed a good quality TEFL course and therefore learnt the skills and techniques needed to plan and deliver effective lessons, knowledge of the local language is by no means essential.

Are there any age limits for TEFL teaching?

The good news is that there is no real age restriction on who can take a TEFL course and then go on to teach English abroad. At ITTT we do require you to be at least 18 years old to enroll in our courses but there are certainly no upper age limits. Over the years we have successfully trained people of all ages, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers as English language teachers. As long as you are a native or near-native English speaker who is keen to learn new skills and is open to new ideas, then your age should be no barrier to your success.

Can older teachers find jobs teaching English abroad?

Although a large number of new TEFL graduates are in their 20s, it doesn't mean they are always the most sought after by employers. Yes, there are many employers around the world who are only interested in recruiting younger teachers for various different reasons. However, there are plenty of situations where more mature teachers are equally popular. If you have any previous experience in teaching or training related employment, then you will have little problem landing a teaching job. In fact, simply having plenty of general life experience can often go in your favor. One factor worth remembering is that roughly half of all EFL classes are for adult language learners, with the business English sector being one of the fastest growing. Many employers in these areas prefer their teachers to be more mature to help create a good rapport in the classroom, whilst any history in the world of business will also go strongly in your favor.

Are some regions better than others for older EFL teachers?

Age can be an issue in certain countries where visa requirements include an upper age restriction. When choosing where to teach it is advisable to thoroughly research any visa or work permit restrictions that may apply to your age range. A certain level of flexibility in where you look for work will also help you to find the right job. Certain regions are more likely to offer opportunities for all ages, with Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East all being particularly good areas to explore.

How can I level the playing field as an older EFL teacher?

When looking to teach English abroad it is worth noting that more than half the jobs available worldwide require candidates to conduct an interview in person. This creates a great opportunity for teachers of all ages, as you get to meet the employer in person and show them that you are fit, healthy and professional in your approach, regardless of the age on your passport. The bottom line is, if you are keen to teach English abroad then there are jobs out there for everyone.

Can I teach English abroad if I have children?

It is certainly possible to travel overseas and work as an English language teacher if you have children. However, there are several things to consider before deciding whether it is the right option for you and your family.

What are the financial implications of teaching English abroad with children?

Wherever you are in the world raising children can be an expensive proposition, so before you head off to teach English abroad you need to be sure that it is financially viable. As pay levels vary greatly from one region to the next, where you plan to teach is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Europe and Latin America are both very popular destinations for ESL teachers, but it is not easy to earn enough to support more than one person in these regions. In contrast, across Asia there are several countries such as China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan where a mix of high salaries and a lower cost of living make it possible to comfortably support a child on a single teacher's pay.

What options do I have for my children's education?

If your child is preschool age you will need to consider the cost of daycare or the services of a nanny while you are at work. Once again, these are likely to be much more affordable in Asia than in Europe. Those with school age children also need to thoroughly research the options available in the country they are heading for. In some it is feasible to enroll a child in a local public school, while in others it is not. If it is possible to enroll your child in a local school, you still need to consider whether it is a suitable environment. Those who speak the local language should find it relatively easy to adapt, however, for most children it will mean rapidly learning the language in order to fit into unfamiliar surroundings. This might be realistic for young children who often find it easy to pick up a foreign language, but for teenagers it could be much more difficult. In countries where local schools are not an option, a British or American based international school is generally the only alternative. While these offer a high standard of education, the cost is likely to be beyond an average teacher's salary.

What about medical insurance and access to healthcare?

Many of the most affordable destinations for teaching English abroad are in developing nations where local health care options may not be of the standard you are used to back home. However, in many cases local medical facilities are of a good standard and very affordable so it is up to you to research your chosen area. In certain countries it is standard practice to provide health insurance as part of a teacher's contract, and some employers also provide insurance for dependents. If you successfully apply for a job that has you and your family covered, it could make a big difference financially and provide great peace of mind.

What about visas for my children?

If you are able to secure a job that includes a work visa then you should find that your child is eligible for some form of dependent visa. In countries where work visas are hard to secure, teachers often work on a simple tourist visa that needs to be renewed every three months. While this is common practice for many, teachers with children need to check with the authorities to confirm whether their child is eligible to attend public school without a long-term visa.

Is it safe for single women to teach English abroad?

Yes, not only is it safe for women to teach English abroad, it is also extremely popular. Every year there are somewhere in the region of 150,000 women working as ESL teachers in countries all over the world. Of these, the majority will find themselves living in modern, thriving cities across Europe, Asia and Latin America that have a similar level of infrastructure and amenities to what they are used to back home. Whether in Rome, Beijing, or Santiago, new teachers will almost certainly find there is an expat community of English speakers who are more than happy to provide local knowledge and information to help them settle into their new life overseas. Unfortunately, nowhere is 100% safe all of the time, but with a few simple precautions single women can head off to teach English abroad with little need for concern.

Where should I teach English abroad as a single woman?

Before you make a final decision on your destination for teaching English abroad, it is a good idea to do some research to ensure you choose a suitable location. For example, the role of women in society varies across different cultures, as does what is seen as acceptable interaction between the sexes. To decide whether you would feel comfortable living long term in any particular country, it is important to be familiar with the cultural norms so you can make an educated decision. A simple question you can ask yourself is: would I be happy to go to this location on vacation? If so, it is reasonable to assume that you would feel safe living and working there. Bear in mind that most of the biggest markets for ESL teachers are located in peaceful countries with well developed economies, rather than in war-torn and impoverished regions. Once you have decided on a city, the final thing to do before heading off is to research its different neighborhoods to find out which area is best to live in.

Where can I get advice on the local area?

Whatever your choice of destination, you are certain to find other like minded teachers who have also made the decision to live and work abroad. These colleagues can be a great source of local knowledge when finding your feet in your new home, particularly when it comes to staying safe. From how to safely use local transport, to contacting the police and emergency services, your new colleague's knowledge is invaluable. If they suggest there are certain parts of town or particular establishments that are best avoided, it is wise to assume they know what they are talking about. It is not only your new colleagues that will want to look out for you, as most people worldwide are happy to welcome foreign teachers into their communities. By making a conscious effort to engage with local people, you should find that you become accepted into the community and are therefore safer living within it.

What else can I do to stay safe?

Common sense is also an important part of staying safe while living and working abroad. By following a few simple rules you can dramatically reduce the chances of getting into any kind of trouble. Always avoid any areas that are seen as unsafe, particularly at night. When socializing, never accept drinks from strangers, and avoid getting drunk in public. Avoid flaunting any sign of wealth such as jewelry, electronic gadgets, or wads of cash. Finally, be clear on how to contact the police and other emergency services.

Should I teach English abroad?

Whether you are just looking to earn some extra cash during a gap-year or are planning a more serious move into the world of education, teaching English as a foreign language has many benefits. The demand for TEFL qualified teachers is continually growing in many parts of the world and opportunities for making teaching a career are abundant. Also, if you decide that it is time to head back home, there are many directions in which your overseas teaching experience can take you.

Are TEFL teachers in demand in English speaking countries?

Although for many TEFL course graduates the aim is to head overseas to experience living and working in a foreign culture, it is not the only option. Plenty of people use their teaching qualification within their home country as increasing levels of immigration have led to a rapid increase in demand for ESL teachers in English speaking countries, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. While there are teaching opportunities in most parts of the world, if you are newly qualified and short on experience it might make sense to look at countries that have the strongest demand.

Are TEFL teachers in demand in China?

As it has the world's largest population it is no surprise that China offers the single largest market for foreign English language teachers. However, you should be aware that foreign teachers technically require a degree to qualify for a work permit. While the two big cities of Beijing and Shanghai do tend to adhere to this policy, you will find that the rules are often less strictly enforced in many other areas.

Are TEFL teachers in demand elsewhere in Asia?

Outside of China there are plenty of other countries where there is a strong demand for foreign teachers. Highly developed countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all have a long history of employing large numbers of foreign teachers. There is potential to earn a high salary in all of these locations, although the competition is likely to be stronger and the requirements more stringent than in China. Southeast Asia is another hotbed for those looking to teach English. Although salaries are unlikely to match those of the countries above, the laidback lifestyle and low cost of living is a major plus side for many. The countries with the most numerous opportunities in this region are Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Are TEFL teachers in demand in Europe?

The demand for foreign teachers is generally very high across Europe. Countries such as Italy, France and Spain have been attracting teachers from all over the world for decades. However, you will find that competition is strong for jobs in the most popular areas. In recent years countries further east, such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, have also become more popular as demand has grown rapidly and the cost of living is considerably lower.

Are TEFL teachers in demand in Latin America?

Most countries in Central and South America have some level of demand for foreign teachers and few requirements for experience and qualifications other than a TEFL certificate. Traditional hotspots for employment include Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Costa Rica. In recent years other countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have also seen a steady increase in demand.

Can I make a long-term career out of TEFL?

YES, you absolutely can have a long-term career as an EFL teacher. For the majority of people who head overseas to teach English, it all starts with a small idea to see a bit of the world while earning some money. After a while, many people realise that teaching is something that they enjoy doing and are actually quite good at, so why not continue developing the skills and knowledge needed to make it something more long-term?

What qualifications do I need to make a career out of TEFL?

If you want to teach overseas in the long-term, a TEFL certification is a must. While jobs can be found in some countries without any qualifications, the better paying jobs that offer the best benefits and working conditions will always be out of reach without any teaching credentials on your CV/resume. Once you have a TEFL certificate and have found your feet in the classroom, the next step up the career ladder will generally be made more realistic by adding a higher level qualification to your paperwork, such as a TESOL Diploma or even a teaching related degree.

What other TEFL related jobs are available in the long term?

There are many thousands of people worldwide who originally set off to teach for a year, but found they loved the lifestyle so much that they have carried on teaching in the classroom year after year. However, some teachers find that they want to look at other avenues in the teaching profession that offer greater responsibility, a higher salary, or simply a change from the classroom. Jobs such as teacher training, writing teaching materials, educational consultancy, or various management positions in schools or language centers are all possibilities for a successful career.

What are the benefits of a long-term career in TEFL?

While it is not all about money for many teachers, it is true that you can earn a very good living by teaching English overseas. The hottest destination for teaching salaries is the Middle East where employers in countries such as the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, pay very large salaries that are tax free! Asia also has some great options for earning top dollar, including China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. However, in order to qualify for positions in these countries you will generally need a university degree and the best paid positions will also require a year or two of classroom experience.

Many of the better paid jobs in these regions also come with extra benefits that can really bump up your income and saving power. Housing is often the most expensive outlay for teachers abroad, but if you have gained the qualifications and experience necessary to land jobs in the hottest regions for teaching then you will often get free accommodation included in your contract. Other typical benefits offered by the top TEFL jobs include airfares in and out of the country, health insurance, signing on and end of contract bonuses, and transport subsidies.

Another well known benefit of teaching is the amount of annual leave that you get as standard. While your friends back home might get up to four weeks vacation a year, most teachers will have two or three times as much paid leave. Some teachers take the time to visit family and friends, while others head off to explore the wider region. With the amount of time you have and the money you should save during term time, there are no limits to where you can go or what you can experience.

What skills will I need to make a career out of TEFL?

Many of the skills you need can be learned during your initial TEFL course, by experience in the classroom, or by taking higher level teaching qualifications. One of the most important skills is written and spoken communication. As a large part of teaching involves talking in front of the class, it is important that you are a confident speaker who is able to be informative and approachable. You also need to be a good listener and know when to take a back seat and let the students do the talking.

How you communicate the subject of the lesson is also a vital skill. As your students are non-native English speakers, you need to use simple sentences and clear instructions to avoid unnecessary confusion in the classroom. Avoid using difficult words that they haven?t learned yet and always speak in a slow clear voice to ensure you get your message across. Cultural sensitivity is also something you need to be aware of. It is important to avoid any subjects that are controversial and to adhere to local customs and culture.

What can I do after teaching English abroad?

Some people who head overseas to teach English grow to love the lifestyle so much that they never return to work in their home country. However, for the majority, the move back home will come at some stage, whether after a single year or much longer. For some it can be a difficult experience as you are no longer the person you were when you first left home. Everything can feel different, from the everyday language to the time zone, from the climate to the cuisine. Reverse culture shock can be genuinely unsettling. One way you can combat this, and continue the international focus of your new found way of life, is to find a job that allows you to use the new skills and knowledge that your time abroad has given you.

Can I carry on teaching English in my home country?

One obvious step for many teachers is to simply continue working as an English language tutor. If you live in or near any relatively large city you are likely to find language schools and community colleges that offer English lessons to foreign students, immigrants or refugees etc. With overseas experience and a TEFL qualification, the chances of finding a suitable job are high. In recent years the demand for online English lessons has really boomed meaning you can also work from home teaching students from all over the world. Some teachers even go on to set up their own language school or online teaching business.

Can I join a non-profit or volunteer organization?

Depending on where your overseas teaching took you, you may have experienced life in environments that are less advantaged than your home country. This personal insight is highly sought after by a wide variety of organizations that work in developing nations across the world. If you have experience working in a diverse, multicultural environment and are keen to give something back to the wider society, this could be a very fulfilling option for you. Many of the skills learnt while teaching abroad are highly transferable which opens up all sorts of possibilities in this field.

Can I work in the travel industry?

If you found that your favourite part of your teaching adventure was the adventure rather than the teaching, you could consider the travel industry. If you wrote a blog during your travels, or simply have a way with words, then travel writing is a career that comes in many different forms. You might have to start off contributing work for free initially, but with hard work and a bit of patience you could well find the perfect job. Another option is to look towards travel agency work. There are plenty of high street and online agencies that are looking for experienced travellers to fill a variety of positions.

Will my cultural awareness & language skills help me find a job?

If you have spent a considerable time in one country you might find opportunities for work with organizations that have a connection to it. Embassies, consulates and international companies are often looking for people who have a good understanding of their culture and experience of living in it. If you also picked up a good standard of the local language during your stay then your options are even greater in this field. Potential opportunities include translation and interpretation, foreign language instruction, support roles for international students, recruitment and many more.

Should I go back to school?

Your time away from home might well have changed the way that you see the world and your future within it. Heading back to education to gain higher qualifications that allow you to widen your job opportunities is certainly a viable option. If teaching is now in your blood, gaining a Masters or Phd in TESOL, linguistics, or something similar will open the door to higher paying education jobs at home or abroad. If you have had enough of teaching, there are plenty of other educational avenues available where your international experience will stand you in good stead.

Can teaching English abroad be a long term career?

It is not unusual for returning teachers to quickly have a rethink and decide that they aren?t ready to stop just yet. Every qualified teacher with previous overseas teaching experience is in a great position to land another job in the country of their choice. You could head back to the familiarity of where you have already been, or even better, try somewhere new that will further broaden your experience and offer a whole new set of adventures. A long-term career in overseas teaching is entirely possible, particularly if you invest in higher level teaching qualifications such as a Diploma in TESOL or a DELTA certification course. Another good option is to use your experience and move into teacher training or writing teaching materials etc.

What are TEFL courses?

TEFL courses are designed to give you all the skills and knowledge you need to start a new career teaching English as a foreign language. Once you have completed a TEFL course and received your TEFL certificate you will be able to apply for a wide range of jobs in countries across the world. Before you choose a TEFL course you should be fully aware of all the course options available to ensure you make the right choice to suit your future plans.

How to choose the right TEFL course?

Deciding which TEFL course suits your individual learning style, your current situation and your future plans can be difficult as there is no standard length of training or a fixed syllabus that providers have to adhere to. The best advice we can give is don?t simply choose the cheapest or the first option you come across as it may not be suitable for your needs. You should spend time researching what employers expect from job applicants in the countries where you would like to work, as well as any official requirements for work permits and visas etc. Finally you should also research the course provider to ensure they have a good reputation amongst their graduates.

What should I look for when choosing a TEFL course?

The overall length of the course is a good place to start. There are many providers who offer short format online courses of 40 hours or even less, as well as in-class courses that can be completed in one weekend visit. Whilst these courses will give you an introduction to EFL teaching, they are unlikely to provide enough depth to satisfy the majority of employers. It is worth noting that most English language teaching jobs will stipulate a minimum of 100 hours of instruction. Unless you are simply looking for an insight into language teaching or are planning to work in a voluntary capacity, these courses are probably not for you.

How long should an online TEFL course be?

Online courses that include 100 or 120 hours of instruction are a good option for many people as they are generally affordable and should provide a solid grounding in areas such as teaching methodologies, classroom management and grammar structures. If you choose this option you should look for a course that is designed to be as practically focused as possible. For example, ITTT?s 120-hour TEFL certificate course with tutor & videos provides all the theoretical knowledge required by a novice teacher, as well as a selection of videos that includes real teachers delivering lessons in a genuine classroom environment. A course such as this also requires the completion of multiple lesson plans that are submitted to a professional teacher trainer for assessment.

What are the differences between an online TEFL course and an in-class TEFL course?

Probably the most significant difference is the inclusion of Observed Teaching Practice (OTP) in classroom based courses. Throughout the four-week course you will spend many hours practicing your teaching skills in a real classroom with genuine English language learners. These practice lessons are observed by an experienced course trainer who will provide instant feedback and tips for improvement following each lesson. OTP allows you to hone your teaching skills and gain confidence in your ability before you start teaching in your own classroom, something that is not possible with a standard online course.

Classroom based courses also include daily lessons on grammar and other subjects delivered by qualified teacher trainers. Many students find this classroom based approach preferable to learning on their own as the subject matter is explained by a professional and any questions will be answered immediately rather than via email. Learning within a group setting can also be advantageous as input and ideas from multiple sources can often lead to a more rounded understanding of the subject. The social aspect of an in-class course is one other area that should be acknowledged as making new friends in an interesting and unfamiliar environment should ensure that the overall experience is far more stimulating than distance learning.

What are the advantages of an online TEFL course?

The big advantage of an online course is that you are free to study in the comfort of your own home at whatever pace suits you. Many people also find they are simply unable to take a month away from their commitments to attend a training center, making distance learning the only realistic option. Another big difference that can?t be ignored is the cost. This is often the most important factor as an in-class TEFL course costs in the region of $1500 or more, with accommodation, travel and entertainment not included, whilst a good quality 120-hour online TEFL course can be completed for around $250 - $350.

Are online and in-class TEFL courses both viable options?

There are several significant differences between the course options but it is clear that the in-class TEFL courses focus on practical teaching skills offers a solid foundation from which to start a teaching career. However, if the cost or time needed to complete the in-class course is prohibitive then an online TEFL course from a reputable company can still provide a convenient and affordable route to TEFL certification.

What is a combined TEFL course?

One further option is the combined TEFL course which blends different aspects of both the online and in-class courses. With the combined course you complete all the theoretical components via distance learning at any pace you are happy with. Once complete you then attend a training center for two weeks to complete the course and the observed teaching practice sessions. This third option is popular as it requires less time commitment but still results in a full TEFL certification.

Which TEFL course is the quickest to complete?

Online courses are often the quickest route towards TEFL certification. If you are in a real hurry a course such as our 60-hour introduction to TEFL may be a good choice as you can conceivably complete it in as little as five days. Even those who prefer to study at a slower rate should find they can complete the course within one month. However, it is worth remembering that the majority of employers worldwide insist on job applicants having a TEFL certificate of at least 100 hours.

Are longer online TEFL courses more beneficial?

If you want to ensure you meet the criteria of these employers and therefore open the door to jobs offering a competitive salary, a 120-hour TEFL certificate may be more suitable. The 120-hour TEFL course includes more than enough content to satisfy the majority of employers, and is therefore a very popular choice. This course can be completed in as little as two weeks if you are extremely motivated and have few other commitments, however, most trainees should expect to spend around six to eight weeks on this course.

How long does an in-class TEFL course take?

As the online courses are designed as self study options, the time they take to complete is really down to the individual trainee. In contrast, the in-class TEFL certification course is a full-time course that runs for a set time period. If you choose this option you will attend the training center of your choice for a period of four weeks. During this time you will complete all the theory lessons and have extensive teaching practice with authentic English language students to ensure you are ready to start work as soon as the four-week course is complete.

How long do specialized and advanced TEFL courses take?

As well as standard TEFL certification courses, we also offer specialized and advanced online courses that allow you to expand your CV/resume. Our specialized courses in teaching young learners and teaching business English are both 50-hour courses that can be completed in as little as one week, with an average completion time of around four weeks. The online diploma course is an advanced qualification that will take a minimum of one month to complete, with an average completion time of around eight months.

Is there a maximum time limit for completing a TEFL course?

Unless you choose the in-class TEFL course which has a fixed timetable of four weeks, the speed at which you complete your training really comes down to how much time you choose to spend on it. The good news is that all our standard online courses have a time limit of up to six months which should be plenty of time to complete your certification and start out on your new career as an English language teacher.

Can you fail a TEFL course?

If you have done your research and are serious about becoming an EFL teacher, either at home or in a foreign country, there is no reason why you should not successfully complete your TEFL certification course. However, you do need to be aware that our training courses require a high level of commitment in terms of time and effort and if you do not complete all aspects of the course in the time given it is possible to fail the course.

How does ITTT maintain a high pass rate for its TEFL courses?

Although failing to complete the course is possible, the vast majority of our students successfully complete their training and go on to start a new career as an EFL teacher. As part of our commitment to our students we provide all the assistance we can to help each and every one to reach their full potential. Our unique combination of high-quality study materials, experienced trainers and dedicated support staff all combine to provide everything you need for a successful training experience.

How hard is the in-class TEFL course?

While many of our in-class centers are located in exotic and exciting locations, you should be aware that the course involves full-time study that includes coursework, practical teaching experience and an end of course exam. Daily attendance is required so it is unwise to view the course as a spring break or vacation. However, it is not all about study as you will have time on the weekends to explore the area and to relax with your classmates. Due to the support and dedication of our training staff, most students who arrive with an open mind and a willingness to learn are able to successfully complete the in-class TEFL course.

How hard is an online TEFL course?

If you choose one of our online courses you will not have the benefit of face to face tuition, but you can choose to take any of our courses with the guidance of an online tutor. Our highly experienced online tutors can provide assistance with any aspect of the training and are available to guide you through your studies from start to finish. In order to gauge your progress, our online courses are continually assessed via automated multiple choice tests as you work through the materials. Thanks to this convenient method there is no final exam to worry about, although you will need to submit a final essay writing task to complete the course. Our online courses are also designed to be as flexible as possible and you will be given enough time to complete all aspects of your training, working at whatever pace you choose. As long as you are prepared to put in the required hours you should have little trouble successfully completing an online TEFL course.

What are short-format TEFL courses and who are they aimed at?

One ever-growing opportunity is to spend some time helping others in a developing part of the world by volunteering as an EFL teacher. In many areas there is a huge demand for qualified teachers to provide English language instruction that will allow people to move out of poverty by entering tourism based job markets. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for these positions a short-format TEFL course is usually sufficient. At ITTT we offer a 60-hour introductory TEFL course that is specifically designed for this purpose.

What are standard length TEFL courses and who are they aimed at?

Although there is no definitive length, the general consensus of employers worldwide is that a TEFL certificate of at least 100 hours is desirable for teaching jobs that offer a good salary. Our 120-hour-tefl-certification is designed to cover all the most important areas of teaching theory which should enable you to confidently apply for jobs all over the world. If you want to widen your options even further you can undertake an in-class TEFL certification course that also includes observed teaching practice. ITTT operates in-class courses in dozens of worldwide locations which provide a minimum of 120 hours of face-to-face training on the theory of teaching, as well as 6 to 10 hours of teaching practice with genuine language learners in an authentic classroom environment.

What are advanced and specialized TEFL courses and who are they aimed at?

If you have already completed a standard certification course and want to extend your qualifications, a diploma certificate is the logical next step. The addition of a diploma to your CV/resume is a sure-fire way to expand your job prospects and increase your salary and responsibilities. Our 240-hour TESOL Diploma is a great choice for anyone looking to move their teaching career forward. Another way to move your career forward is to branch out into specialized areas of EFL teaching. The two main areas that have grown considerably in recent years are in the fields of teaching business English and teaching young learners. To break into these fields you can complete one or both of our 50-hour specialized TEFL courses that are designed to build on the knowledge covered in the standard certification course.

Can a TEFL course be completed quicker than advertised?

It is worth noting that while most courses have a specific label that represents the typical hours of study required this figure is by no means absolute. The amount of time it takes to complete a specific course is largely down to each individual student. If you are fully dedicated to your studies and determined to finish as quickly as possible, it is certainly possible to complete the training in considerably less time than stated in the course literature.

Who can take a TEFL course?

Demand for TEFL qualified teachers is very strong in many parts of the world, which is why our TEFL courses are open to anyone who has a solid grasp of the English language. However, in order to successfully complete the course and go on to find a good quality teaching job you will need to put in some hard work and be willing to embrace new ideas and techniques.

How important is a student's attitude when taking a TEFL course?

First and foremost, anyone thinking about earning their TEFL certification with ITTT needs to be enthusiastic, motivated and determined as every course requires a considerable amount of commitment in terms of both time and effort. If you are fully committed to becoming an English language teacher, either at home or abroad, then you should have little trouble successfully completing the course and becoming a qualified EFL teacher.

How important are English language skills when taking a TEFL course?

In order to be an effective English language teacher you do need to have a thorough understanding of the language. In some countries employers actually have a preference for native English speakers, but there are also plenty of places in the world where non-native English speakers with a TEFL certification are sought after in the workplace. Essentially, as long as you are a fluent English speaker, you are eligible to take our courses and are also eligible to apply for teaching jobs worldwide.

How important are academic qualifications when taking a TEFL course?

While some TEFL course providers insist that their trainees possess certain qualifications, including a degree in some cases, at ITTT we have no such criteria. As many employers do not insist on their teachers holding a degree or any similar certification, we feel there is no need for us to require it. As long as you are prepared to put in the work, we have no interest in your previous academic background.

Are there any age restrictions when taking a TEFL course?

The only age restriction we have for our range of TEFL certification is you must be at least 18 years old at the start of your course. Crucially, we have absolutely no upper age limit. Over the years we have successfully trained people of all ages, many of whom have gone on to enjoy exciting new careers in countries all over the world. While more mature teachers might find it harder to gain employment in the most crowded teaching markets, there are always plenty of other great options open to qualified EFL teachers of all ages.

Are there any restrictions to consider when looking for TEFL jobs?

Although we have few restrictions on who can take our TEFL courses, you do need to be aware of the potential restrictions put in place by foreign governments or individual employers. While there are tens of thousands of TEFL qualified teachers working throughout the world without a formal degree, there are some countries where this is not possible. In recent years certain countries, including China, have made it law that teachers require a degree to qualify for a work permit. Also, there are similar restrictions in place in some countries where only native English speakers can work legally. The bottom line is, before making any firm plans it is essential that you check the latest visa situation in the country that you are interested in. Even if your first choice is not possible, don't lose heart as there are many other great options all over the world where a TEFL qualification is all that is required to land an exciting new job.

Can non-native English speakers take a TEFL course?

Absolutely YES! Large numbers of non-native English speakers complete our TEFL courses each year and go on to have successful careers teaching English either in their home country or further afield. In order to successfully complete the course you will need to demonstrate a high standard of English, but it is certainly not a barrier that will stop you from becoming a fully qualified EFL teacher.

Are there any advantages to being a non-native English language teacher?

In many cases being a non-native English speaker can actually be an advantage in the classroom as you have already been through the same experience that your students are currently facing. This can help to build a good rapport between the students and the teacher as they are often less afraid of making mistakes in this situation. It can also provide the students with a real incentive to succeed when taught by a teacher who has started from the same position as every other person in the room. Another common advantage that non-native speakers have is that their understanding of English grammar is generally better than that of native speakers simply because they have had to learn it from scratch.

Where do non-native English language teachers teach?

A large percentage of non-native English speakers complete a TEFL course with the intention of teaching in their country of origin. This has many advantages for both the teacher and the students. For the teacher it means they do not have to compete for work with native English speakers in an unfamiliar country. The students also benefit from the mutual understanding of cultural and language issues. Qualified teachers will also find that their services are welcomed by employers in many fascinating countries all around the world. Whether you plan on staying in your home country or want to travel and teach your way across the globe, as long as you are a fluent speaker of English there is no reason why you cannot make your dreams a reality.

Do qualified teachers need a TEFL certificate?

While searching for jobs online you will likely come across a TEFL certificate among the requirements for many overseas teaching jobs. You are probably asking yourself why, as a qualified teacher, you would need another qualification to apply for these jobs. It is a fair assumption that after several years of work and/or study you should be in a good position to teach overseas as it is surely much the same as working at home. The truth is, there are many differences to teaching in your home country and teaching abroad and there are several reasons why qualified teachers can benefit from completing a TEFL certification course.

What are the benefits of having a TEFL certificate?

If you land a job teaching in an international school where all the students are native or fluent English speakers, then there are probably few benefits to completing a TEFL course. However, this scenario is rare on the international teaching scene. The majority of teaching jobs will involve students that are non-native English speakers of varying abilities, many who are still at the beginner stage.

As a trained teacher you already know how difficult the job can sometimes be, so why make it harder by not having the specific skills required to teach effectively in an international environment? And it is not only you that you need to consider. If you haven?t learnt the skills that are specific to a non-native English environment then you are doing your students a disservice as their studies will be much more difficult.

Will a TEFL certificate get my CV/resume to the top of the pile?

As a qualified teacher you are a top candidate for many of the best schools around the world, but many of these will only consider applicants who also have a TEFL certification on their CV/resume. Once you add a TEFL qualification to your credentials there really is nothing standing between you and applying for the best paying jobs in all of your dream destinations. As you probably already have some classroom experience, an online TEFL certification should be perfectly adequate for most employers. Just make sure that you choose one that consists of a minimum 100 hours and is internationally recognized.

The interview stage of the recruitment process is when you will first feel the benefit of your TEFL training. Employers will be looking to dig into your personal approach to teaching in an international environment, something you are unlikely to have the answers to before you take the course. In these situations, candidates with only a TEFL certificate can often run rings around an experienced teacher who might struggle to answer questions relating to overseas teaching scenarios.

Whatever job you are applying for, if you can prove you have done everything you can to prepare for the experience, as a qualified teacher you are in a great position. By adding a TEFL qualification to your toolbox you can prove your dedication to your profession and that you have all the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high quality results for your students.

How Should I Prepare for a TEFL Course?

Although it is natural to be a little apprehensive before taking a TEFL course, there is no need to get overly anxious or concerned. As long as you are enthusiastic, prepared to put in the hours and are open to new ideas, you should have no problem successfully completing the training. However, there are a few things you can do in the run up to your training course to ensure that it is a smooth process that ends with that all important certificate in your hand.

Should I plan a schedule for my TEFL studies?

If you take an online course, you will be able to set your own amount of study hours and choose when you do them. In this case, it is important to plan a study schedule and keep to it if you want to complete the course in the time frame you need. Write up a calendar with weekly goals that you can realistically stick to. Don?t forget that your TEFL course is an investment in your future that promises a new career, adventure and excitement, so don?t let it slip away due to poor organization or a lack of commitment.

If you have chosen an intensive in-class course, you need to be prepared to miss out on time with friends and family, and to spend weekends and/or evenings studying your course materials. Just tell yourself that it is only a one-month commitment that will be more than worth it once you start your new career teaching English abroad.

Should I review English grammar rules before my TEFL course?

Just uttering the phrase ?English Grammar? is enough to cause mass panic among many classes of TEFL trainees. Most native English speakers know the main grammar rules but explaining them to others is a whole different thing. The fact is, teaching English grammar is an unavoidable part of being an English language teacher and you will need to know what you are talking about when you start work in your own classroom. However, there is no need to panic as a large part of any good TEFL training course is dedicated to explaining the ins and outs of the language and how to teach it to your students. If you want to get a head start on this important part of the course, it is a great idea to read up on the basics of English grammar before you start.

Will I get any pre-TEFL course materials?

You can also get a head start on your training by reviewing any pre-course materials that are available from your provider. Many courses offer some guidelines and reading materials that you can look over in advance to gain confidence in what you will be learning. If your chosen course doesn?t provide any pre-course materials or you would like to know more about the subject than you have received, take a look online as there are a huge amount of useful resources out there. You can read articles and blogs, watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts that cover all sorts of topics relating to your course. Even a small amount of time doing some pre-course research can really help to set you up in knowledge and confidence.

Will I need any equipment for my TEFL course?

Depending on the format of the course, you will probably only need a notebook and a pen to get started, but it is worth checking in advance to ensure you have everything you need. Some in-class courses may require you to bring your own laptop and maybe some stationary or other classroom aids. Make sure you check with the provider and read the small print to avoid any mishaps.

Should I practice public speaking before my TEFL course?

Speaking in front of a group of students can be a scary prospect for some trainees. However, as with grammar, by the time you have your own class to teach you will have learnt all the skills you need to confidently deliver your lessons. However, before the course it can really help to practice speaking in front of an audience, be it your family, friends or work colleagues. Practicing things like voice projection and making eye contact should go some way to reducing the nerves that you might feel when you step into the class on your first day.

Should I join online TEFL groups?

During your pre-course online research you are likely to come across TEFL groups where people share their experiences and give tips and advice for new trainees. By joining these groups you will also find useful reviews of different courses and you might even find someone who you can share your experience with either online or in person. Many of these groups have information on job hunting as well, so you can start to look into where you might want to live and work once you have completed the course.

Finally, just relax!

Try not to be overwhelmed by all the information and contradictory stories you might find online, just stay calm and be genuinely excited by the adventure that awaits you. A TEFL course is a serious qualification that can open the door to employment all over the world, but it should also be a fun and interesting experience that you will remember for a long time to come. Go into it with a positive and relaxed attitude and you should find that you sail through the training with flying colors.

How much is it to do a TEFL course?

Within the TEFL world there is no standardized content or set course length, which allows providers to offer any style of course they want at whatever price they see fit. When choosing the right option to suit you it is best not to simply go for the cheapest one available as it may not be of sufficient quality or depth to satisfy potential employers in the country you wish to work in. Also, cheap courses are unlikely to provide suitable preparation for starting a new career as an EFL teacher. To give yourself the best start to a new life teaching English abroad it is recommended that you consider more than just the initial cost of the TEFL certification course.

What is the cost of an in-class TEFL course?

In-class TEFL courses usually involve 4-weeks of intensive training that comprehensively covers the most important aspects of English language teaching. During the course you will learn about teaching methodologies, lesson planning, classroom management and many other theoretical issues, as well as grammar structures and how best to teach them. Most importantly you will have plenty of opportunity to practice what you have learnt in front of real language learners in a genuine classroom environment. These practical lessons are guided by an experienced teacher trainer who will provide feedback after every lesson. In-class TEFL courses undoubtedly offer the best preparation for new teachers, however, because of their intensive nature they are not the cheapest option. A high-quality in-class course from a reputable provider such as ITTT starts at around $1500 depending on the location.

What is the cost of an online TEFL course?

Although an in-class course is highly recommended, the overall cost can be an issue for many new teachers. The next best thing is an online TEFL course. Online courses do not include a teaching practice component, but they should still address all the theory components that are covered in the in-class version. It is worth remembering that some countries and individual employers insist on an in-class TEFL certificate, however, there are still plenty of job opportunities around the world for teachers with an online qualification. Introductory level courses from ITTT start at $190 which is a great option for volunteer teachers, while a full 120-hour online TEFL certificate course starts at $240.

Is an online TEFL course or an in-class TEFL course the best option?

Before you make a decision it is a good idea to research the region where you plan to work as regulations vary greatly. For example, many employers in Western Europe and the Middle East will expect an in-class certificate, while many in Asia and Latin America will be happy with an online certificate. However, as long as you choose an experienced and well respected course provider such as ITTT, you will be in a great position to start teaching English abroad.

How do I pay for my TEFL course?

There are several ways for you to complete your course payment. The quickest and easiest method is to use a credit or debit card. Card transactions are completed via our online payment page which is both secure and hassle-free. We are also happy to accept course payments via Western Union, PayPal, and bank transfer, although this option can take up to seven days to process and may include extra bank charges.

Can someone else pay for my TEFL course?

Yes. If a friend, colleague or family member wishes to pay for your course, simply let us know their name via email once the transaction has been completed.

Do you offer any discounts on TEFL courses?

Yes. We do have regular discounts on many of our courses. Please visit the 'Special Offers' page for information on our current deals. If you have a group of friends or colleagues who are interested in signing-up together, simply email us at [email protected] for details regarding our special group rates.

Do you offer any financial aid for TEFL courses?

Unfortunately we are not able to offer any scholarships or other financial aid for our training courses.

Are there any additional fees at any time during the TEFL course?

No. The course fees that we advertise on our website are inclusive of all materials, as well as other costs such as assessment and certification. You will not be asked for any other payment at any time during your course.

Are there any deadlines for making a TEFL course payment?

We do not have any specific deadlines for online course payments. However, seats on our in-class certification courses cannot be guaranteed until we have received your course deposit. To ensure a course place on the dates of your choice it is advisable to book as early as possible.

Are online TEFL courses worth it?

Online TEFL courses come in many shapes and sizes and their popularity continues to grow year after year. The convenience of being able to study in your own time from wherever you are in the world is one of the biggest attractions of this form of study, as is the relatively low cost. However, before you make a final decision on which type of course suits you best, it is advisable to have all the facts to hand.

Are online TEFL courses as good as in-class TEFL courses?

The subjects covered in our 120-hour online TEFL course and our in-class TEFL courses are virtually identical. The one area that clearly separates the two versions is observed teaching practice (OTP). Our in-class courses include extensive time in a real classroom where you can practice your teaching skills under the guidance of experienced trainers. As a consequence, in-class courses are generally held in a higher regard by employers. While we would recommend the in-class course as the ideal preparation for teaching English abroad, our online courses are still a great alternative for those who lack the sufficient time or funds to complete a four-week residential course.

If I choose an online TEFL course, will I still be issued a full TEFL certificate?

Yes. If you complete our 120-hour online certification course you will receive an internationally recognized TEFL qualification that will open the door to thousands of potential jobs in countries all over the world. However, as the widely accepted international standard for TEFL certification dictates that trainees must complete a minimum of 100 hours of study, short format courses do not result in full certification. Our 60-hour online TEFL course provides a great introduction for anyone looking to volunteer as a language teacher, but it is unlikely to be sufficient for many employers.

Who accredits the online TEFL course certificates?

Our range of online courses are externally validated and moderated by OTTSA (The Online TEFL and TESOL Standards Agency). To ensure we maintain a high standard of service, a moderator regularly visits us to inspect all aspects of the course content and delivery.

How will I receive the online TEFL course study materials?

All the materials you need to complete our online courses are accessed via our online training system. The materials are in PDF format and can be printed off if you wish.

How will I be assessed during an online TEFL course?

The online courses are divided into units that each conclude with a short multi-choice test. You do not need to achieve a specific score in each unit; however, you do need to achieve an average of 75% across all the units to reach the required pass rate. Once you have worked through the units you will then submit an essay for assessment. Once you have completed all the units and your essay has been assessed, you will graduate from the course and receive your certification.

How quickly can I finish an online TEFL course?

All our online courses have a maximum time limit of six months, within which you are free to work at any pace you prefer. On average most students are able to finish the 60-hour course within four weeks and the 120-hour course within 8 weeks. However, if you are in a hurry, the 60-hour course can realistically be completed in as little as five days, while the 120-hour course can be completed in ten days.

How will I receive my online TEFL certification and how long will it take?

All online certificates are sent via registered post upon successful completion of all aspects of the course. Each certificate comes with a cover letter and a unique ID number that employers can use to check its authenticity. Your certificate will be posted within five working days and you should allow two to three weeks for delivery. If you are in a hurry, we can provide a scanned PDF copy via email, as well as an express delivery option via DHL. This service takes three to four days and has a flat rate of $50 regardless of destination.

Do online TEFL certificates say 'online' on them?

No, our certificates do not indicate that they were completed online. All our courses result in a specific certification that states the number of study hours involved but not the method of study.

Are online TEFL courses valid?

When it comes to the validity of an individual course it is not really the method of study that is the main issue, it is the overall quality of the course itself. Whether you complete your TEFL training online or via an in-class course is in many ways unimportant. What is really important is the quality of the training that leads to the TEFL qualification awarded. Essentially, the validity of a TEFL qualification is based on the standard of the course and not the method of study.

What should a good TEFL course include?

A good quality TEFL course should include a number of essential topics relating to the theory of language teaching, teaching methodology, classroom management techniques, as well as a range of grammar subjects. However, as it is almost impossible to judge an individual course by its syllabus alone, how can you decide which courses are the best?

What does TEFL course accreditation mean?

One important thing you can do to check the quality of an online TEFL course is to find out if it is accredited. This simply means that an independent body has evaluated the course and concluded that it is worthy of their accreditation. By visiting the website of a course provider you should easily be able to find any accreditation they have been awarded. Of course, unscrupulous providers can advertise accreditation that they don't actually possess or simply make up an accreditation body, so it is a good idea to do some research into any accreditation advertised if you are unsure of its authenticity.

What else can I do to check the quality of an online TEFL course?

Another simple yet effective thing you can do is to research the reputation of any course you are interested in. Online searches for the course and its provider should bring up reviews and opinions from individuals who have completed the course. If the majority is less than favorable then it is probably best avoided, while mainly positive feedback should indicate that the course is indeed valid. As an online TEFL course represents a considerable financial investment in your future, whether you plan to have a long career within the teaching profession or you simply want to earn some spending money during a gap year, it is clearly a good idea to do some research before you part with your hard-earned cash. A bit of time spent on research should ensure you pick a valid course that will get you the job that you want, when you want it.

Are ITTT's online TEFL courses valid?

At ITTT we are equally as proud of our online TEFL courses as we are of our in-class version. Crucially, our courses are fully accredited and we are also affiliated with a number of important bodies within the world of English language teaching. For further information please visit our accreditations and affiliations page. We are also proud of the positive feedback that we receive from the many thousands of graduates who have completed our courses. Why not visit our TEFL graduates testimonial page to see what they have to say about their course experience?

What is the combined TEFL course?

The combined TEFL course incorporates both the convenience of an online course and the practical experience of in-class training. You begin the course by completing 120 hours of online study. You then attend a training center where you will be guided through an extensive program of teaching practice.

Is the combined TEFL course as good as the 4-week in-class TEFL course?

Yes. The combined course covers all the same content as the full in-class course. However, if you are not comfortable with the idea of distance learning or would prefer more interaction with your tutors and other trainees, then the in-class TEFL course might be the better option.

If I choose the combined TEFL course, will I still receive a full TEFL certificate?

Yes. If you complete the combined course you will be issued with the exact same certificate as those who complete the 4-week, in-class training course.

How does the online section of the combined TEFL course work?

The online section consists of 20 individual units that cover a wide variety of important subjects such as teaching methodology, grammar awareness, and lesson planning. At the end of each unit you will complete a short assessment before moving on to the next section. After completing all 20 units you must submit a lesson plan for assessment by a tutor.

How will I receive the combined TEFL course materials?

Everything you need to complete the online section of the course can be accessed via our online training system. You are also free to download and print the materials if you wish. Further materials will be provided on arrival at your chosen in-class training center.

Do I have to finish the online section before I attend the in-class section?

Yes. The online section must be completed before you can start your teaching practice.

Where can I complete the in-class section of the combined TEFL course?

The in-class section can be completed at a variety of international training centers. Our centers in Phuket, Barcelona, and Rome, offer the training over a two week period (Monday to Friday, with weekends off). At our Paris and New York centers the course is completed in a slightly different format over eight days. There are also five day options available at over a dozen different centers across North America.

What are my accommodation options and how much do they cost?

Accommodation for the in-class section of the combined course varies depending on which location you choose to attend. For a guide to the options available and their cost, please click on the individual pages for the training location of your choice.

How long will I have to complete the entire combined TEFL course?

In total you are given up to ten months to complete the combined course. The online section can be completed at your own pace in any period of up to six months. Once completed, you will have a further four months to start your in-class training.

How will I receive my TEFL certification and how long will it take?

Most graduates receive their certificates via registered post, with the exception of those who attend our Phuket location where the certificate is presented at the end of the course. Delivery can take up to two or three weeks, so we also offer an express option via DHL. Express delivery takes three to four days and is charged at a flat rate of $50, regardless of the delivery address.

What are specialized TEFL courses?

We offer two specialized courses that provide a higher level of knowledge and qualifications for teachers who are already TEFL certified. Our Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners (CTEYL) and Certificate in Teaching Business English (CTBE) are completed online. The completion of these qualifications will greatly enhance your CV/resume.

Can I take a specialized TEFL course without prior TEFL certification?

As our specialized courses are designed to build on the topics covered in a standard TEFL certification course, prior certification is usually required. Exceptions might be made if you have extensive experience in English language teaching. However, if you are not TEFL certified, we are currently offering our CTEYL or CTBE course for free when you sign up for our 120-hour TEFL certification course with tutor support.

How will I receive the specialized TEFL course study materials?

Everything you need to complete a specialized course is provided via our online training system.

How are the specialized TEFL courses assessed?

Both courses are divided into six individual units. Once you have worked through the materials for each unit your understanding will be assessed via a short online test. On completion of all six units and their corresponding tests, you then submit an essay for assessment. Once all sections are complete you will receive your CTEYL or CTBE certification.

How quickly can I finish the specialized TEFL courses?

Both courses have a maximum time limit of six months. The average completion time is between three and five weeks, although it is theoretically possible to complete either course in as little as one week.

What is the TESOL Diploma course?

Our TESOL Diploma is an advanced online course that is aimed at practicing ESL teachers who are looking to increase their knowledge and qualifications. By completing this research based course you will be in a position to apply for jobs that offer greater responsibility and an increased salary.

Can I take the TESOL Diploma course without prior TEFL certification?

As the course is of an advanced level and has been designed to build on the subjects covered in a standard TEFL certification course, prior TEFL certification is usually required. Exceptions might be made for practicing teachers who have extensive experience in an English language classroom. However, if you sign-up for the Diploma course now, we are currently offering our 120-hour online TEFL certification course for free.

Does the TESOL Diploma course come with tutor support?

You can choose to take the Diploma course either with or without the support of an online tutor. Our online tutors are highly experienced teacher trainers who are available to answer your questions and to offer tips and advice for improving your understanding of the course topics. If you are unfamiliar with distance learning and higher levels of academic study, then we strongly recommend you consider the tutored version of the course. Taking the course without a tutor requires a significant amount of independent motivation and academic aptitude.

How will I receive the TESOL Diploma course study materials?

The course is completed entirely online and all necessary materials are accessed via our online training system. Bear in mind that the Diploma course requires a large amount of independent research through the internet and other media.

How is the TESOL Diploma course assessed?

The course is broken down into 12 separate modules. The first step is to work through modules 1 to 6 which are then followed by a test based on the subjects covered up to that point. Next you work through modules 7 to 11 which are also followed by a test. Finally, for module 12 you will need to produce a research project. Once you have successfully completed both tests and the research project, you will receive your TESOL Diploma certification.

How quickly can I finish the TESOL Diploma course?

You are given a maximum of twelve months to finish all aspects of the course. If you are in a particular hurry it is theoretically possible to finish the course in as little as one month, although the average completion time is somewhere between eight and ten months.



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