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TEFL certification

What is TEFL?

The acronym TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and it can be used in any situation where the English language is being taught to non-native English speakers. Other acronyms are also used to describe the same scenario in different countries and settings, such as TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), and ELT (English Language Teaching). In the context of teaching English abroad, these terms are often used interchangeably as they essentially mean the same thing.

The number of people across the world who have a need or desire to learn the English language increases significantly every year and therefore the demand for qualified teachers also grows substantially year-on-year. With the help of an ITTT accredited TEFL course you too can acquire all the specialist skills and knowledge required to become a qualified teaching professional in your home country or almost any other country in the world.

What does TEFL mean?

TEFL certification

The globally recognized standard qualification for teaching English to non-native speakers is known as either a TEFL or TESOL certificate.

As mentioned, these terms are often used interchangeably, but technically speaking TEFL refers to teaching English in countries where English is not the native language and TESOL refers to teaching English in countries where English is the native language.

While there was a time when simply speaking English was qualification enough to secure a teaching position, those days have largely gone as the vast majority of employers now expect their teachers to have received some level of professional training. Many of the most popular countries for teaching English abroad also now require teachers to hold a TEFL certification in order to qualify for a work permit or visa.

Infographic Why take a TEFL Course?

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Am I eligible to take a TEFL course?

The most important quality required to teach EFL is the desire to embrace new experiences, other than that there are few limitations. In order to gain a TEFL certification with ITTT you need to be at least 18 years old, however, there are no upper age limits.

As long as you are fit and healthy and open to new ideas, you are welcome to join the many thousands of trainees of all ages and backgrounds who have gained their TEFL certification through us.

As it is not necessary to possess a university degree to teach EFL in many areas of the world, we do not require our trainees to have completed any specific level of education. While there are some countries where foreign teachers do require a degree to meet the criteria for a work permit or visa, there are plenty of other options worldwide for those without a degree.

Infographic Teaching English without a Degree

All our TEFL certification programs are open to native English speakers and non-native speakers alike and there is no requirement to speak any language other than English. While there are some countries that have restrictions that prevent employers from hiring non-native English speakers, there are many other fascinating countries throughout the world that do not.

Regardless of which country you would prefer to live and work in, you do not need to be familiar with any other language as our courses are all based on the communicative approach to language teaching that ensures that only English is used in the classroom.

What kind of people become EFL teachers?

There is no single demographic that sums up EFL teachers worldwide as the profession is open to a wide range of people who have an equally wide range of reasons for doing so.

Many are driven by a passion for exploring the world in more depth than simple tourism allows, while for others it is a means of leaving behind the humdrum of the modern world for the excitement and adventure of foreign shores.

Whatever your own personal motivation, ITTT is dedicated to making your dream of a new teaching career become a reality.

Infographic Lifestyle of a teacher

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Where can I teach EFL?

One of the main benefits of gaining a TEFL certification is that it opens up job opportunities in almost every country in the world.

For some graduates it provides the chance to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their employment prospects by volunteer teaching in parts of Africa, Asia or Latin America. For others it can represent the first step towards a lucrative career teaching in international schools, within private businesses or even by setting up their own language school.

Upon completion of their training course, TEFL graduates might find that there is plenty of work available within their own country, but for others it is necessary or preferable to look further afield.
Check out this graphic for ten of the most popular international destinations for teaching English abroad:

Infographic Popular TEFL Destinations

How to get TEFL certification

When choosing a TEFL certification course the most important thing is to ensure that the one you choose is adequate for your own individual plans.

Many course providers, including ITTT, offer short-format TEFL certification online that can be completed in 60 study hours or even less. Essentially these courses are designed to provide an insight into EFL teaching, which is perfectly adequate if you plan to teach on a short-term voluntary basis.

There are many worthy causes all over the world who are in need of knowledgeable voluntary teachers and these opportunities can often provide an amazing cultural experience. However, if you are planning on a longer-term adventure that provides a solid income, then you should seriously consider a more in-depth qualification.

The internationally accepted minimum qualification is an online TEFL certification of at least 100 hours duration. These distance learning courses typically cover a range of important topics, including classroom management, assessment strategies and English grammar. Although these courses do not provide any actual teaching practice, they are still enough to secure a good teaching position in many countries.

If you want to have as many options as possible, including the opportunity to teach in countries that offer the best salaries and other benefits, then you should take a serious look at an in-class TEFL certification program.

In-class courses are usually run full-time over a four week period and include teaching practice with genuine language learners. Alternatively, ITTT also offers a combined course option that is split between a period of distance learning and a shorter on-site attendance.

Whichever course you decide fits your needs, you should ensure that the provider you choose meets all the following internationally recognized standards set down by the leading bodies in the field of English language teaching:

  • All courses should meet international standards for the regulation of acceptable English language teaching certification.
  • They should offer online courses that include at least 100 hours of training and input.
  • They should offer in-class courses that include a minimum of 6 hours of observed teaching practice with real English language students.
  • Training materials should cover vital teaching skills, classroom management, language awareness (grammar), phonology subjects, as well as how to apply these effectively in the classroom.
  • All in-class trainers and online tutors must be highly-experienced and qualified professionals.
  • Every course must be moderated and inspected by an independent teaching body or professional.
  • All teaching materials and training methods should be updated regularly to reflect developments in language teaching.
  • The end certificate should be of a high-quality and internationally recognized by employers.

Of the many TEFL course providers available, ITTT is one of the few who can confidently say they meet all of the above criteria. In fact, we aim to go above and beyond the minimum requirements expected by employers and TEFL organizations to ensure we equip our course graduates with all the tools they need to confidently embark on a new career as an English language teacher in whatever location they choose.

How do I choose the right TEFL course?

TEFL course options

To ensure we provide the perfect option to suit all situations, we offer a range of courses that vary in duration, cost and method of study. However, regardless of the course you choose you will receive the same high-level of study materials and first-class instruction.

Our accredited TEFL courses come in two main formats: online certification and in-class certification. Both formats have advantages and disadvantages but whichever you choose you can rest assured that you will receive the best TEFL certification currently available.

Should I take a TEFL course online or in a classroom?

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In-class TEFL courses

If you are looking for the most comprehensive way to start your TEFL career, our in-class course might be perfect for you. This intensive course option is held over a four-week period at one of our international training centers. The major benefits of this course option are:

  • Direct classroom-based instruction by experienced, professional teacher trainers
  • The opportunity to practice your teaching skills with genuine language learners in an authentic classroom environment
  • Immediate feedback and constructive criticism on your lessons
  • Training in-class can often lead to job opportunities in the local area
  • When not in the classroom you are free to explore the local culture and to make new friendships with your fellow classmates.

In order to provide as much choice as possible, we offer our in-class course in dozens of locations around the world. We have many options throughout the USA, plus training centers in some of the most popular destinations for teaching EFL, including China, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy, Spain, France, and Costa Rica. For more information, please visit our in-class TEFL course page or click on the interactive map below.

inclass course map

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Online TEFL courses

Although there are many benefits to our in-class course, the extra expense and the time away from home required to complete it mean that our flexible online course options continue to grow in popularity. Obtaining a TEFL certification online has many advantages:

  • As they are studied via 100% distance learning the overall TEFL certification cost is considerably less than for an in-class course.
  • They can be completed in your own time from any location with an internet connection.
  • All our online courses come with online tutor support.
  • Most of our online courses also include a range of informative videos to complement the written materials.

For further information, please visit our online TEFL course page.

120-hour online TEFL certification course

Our 120-hour online TEFL course provides you with a comprehensive introduction to the world of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Upon completion of the course you should have developed a good working knowledge of the English grammar system, as well as a variety of useful skills and techniques that will help you to deliver interesting and well constructed lessons in the classroom.

The ITTT 120-hour online TEFL course focuses on two different areas. Around half of the course looks at subjects related to the teaching skills that you will need in the classroom, including teaching theories and methodologies, classroom management, lesson planning and how to test and evaluate your students’ progress. The rest of the materials focus on the subject of language awareness; this includes the most important areas of English grammar such as the parts of speech and the tense system, as well as other subjects such as pronunciation.

With Tutor Support
and Video
Continuous Assessment
Internationally Accredited
Embossed Certificate
Letter of Recommendation
Supplementary Materials
Free Lesson Plan Access
Teaching Skills Units
Grammar Units
Phonology Units
Video Lessons
Full Tutor Support
20 Course Units
Free Course CTBE or CTEYL
Technical Support
Job Guidance Lifetime
US$ 599
US$ 249
more infoRegister now

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Teaching English Online with a 170-hour TEO Certificate from ITTT

A TEFL certificate is also a great way to start a lifestyle of teaching online. Whether you want to teach online full-time or earn some money on the side, a TEFL certificate from ITTT will allow you to make this a reality.

Consisting of our 120-hour certification course plus the 50-hour course in teaching English online, the ITTT 170-hour Teaching English as a Foreign Language Course with Online Specialization has been specifically designed for people who would like to gain a qualification to enter the TEFL employment market - online and offline.

Our network of renowned TEFL recruiters also includes online teaching positions ready to be filled. Register today and start teaching online in a matter of weeks.

170-hour TEFL Course
with online specialization
with tutor support & videos
Continuous Assessment
Internationally Accredited
Embossed Certificate
Letter of Recommendation
Supplementary Materials
Free Lesson Plan Access
Teaching Skills Units
Grammar Units
Phonology Units
Video Lessons
26 Course Units
Full Tutor Support
Free Course
Technical Support
Job Guidance
US$ 520
US$ 299
more infoRegister now

Register now & get certified to teach english abroad!

Advanced TEFL courses

250-hour Diploma course in TESOL (DipTESOL)

If you are already TEFL certified and looking for a higher level of qualification, you might want to consider our 370-hour TESOL Diploma course.

There are several reasons why people enrol on our online TESOL diploma course including:

  • This is an advanced level course.
  • To enhance their development and knowledge as an EFL teacher.
  • The potential to earn a higher income.
  • The opportunity to obtain a more prestigious teaching position.
  • A qualification that will open up new avenues of employment within the EFL teaching world.

Our advanced online TESOL Diploma course includes a wide variety of subjects, from material design to different learning theories, all of which are designed to give you a clearer understanding of your role as an EFL teacher.

As you make your way through the course you should find that many of your existing skills gradually improve, such as your research skills and writing ability. The course should also help you to develop many other transferable skills that you will find useful both inside and outside of the classroom.

With the accompanying 120-hour course the total study time is 370 hours.

370-Hour TESOL
Diploma Certification
With Tutor Support
11 Certification Modules
11 Research Study Sheets
11 Self Study Worksheets
Internationally Accredited
Embossed Certificate
Letter of Recommendation
Technical Support
Job Guidance
Free Lesson Plan Access
Full Tutor Support
Course Assessment Modular Tests
Complimentary Course Free 120-hr TESOL Course
with Tutor
US$ 1390
US$ 499
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TEFL course packages

In order to provide the best TEFL certification options possible, we have put together two exclusive course packages that offer a great value for money opportunity to gain an extensive level of expertise in EFL teaching.

Our two course packages are:

  • 220-hour Master Package Course
  • 550-hour Expert Package Course

Both course packages include the 120-hour online TEFL certification course, the 50-hour course in teaching business English (CTBE) and the 50-hour course in teaching English to young learners (CTEYL). The Expert Package also includes the 50-hour course in teaching English online (CTEO), the 250-hour Diploma in TESOL, and an optional teaching practice component. Our top of the range course package also comes with one-on-one live job consultancy with a TEFL job expert.

Course graduates can choose between receiving an individual certificate for each section completed or a single certificate that encompasses all components of the course package.

  220-hour Master
Package Coursewith tutor support & videos
550-hour Expert
Package Course with tutor support & videos
120-hour TEFL course with tutor support and videos
50-hour course in teaching business English
50-hour course in teaching English to young learners
250-hour Diploma course in TESOL (DipTESOL)
50-hour course in teaching English online
30-hour optional teaching practice
One-on-One Job Consultancy
$ 599
$ 349
more infoRegister now
$ 1690
$ 599
more infoRegister now

Other TEFL course options

Combined TEFL courses

Another popular option that offers a compromise between the in-class and online course options is to take a combined TEFL certification course. With this option you can study the theories and principles of EFL teaching via distance learning at whatever pace suits you. Once complete, you can then attend one of our training centers to gain valuable classroom experience before starting your first teaching job. The in-class section of the combined course is available in a variety of exciting locations, including:

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • New York City, USA
  • Paris, France
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Rome, Italy

The in-class section of the combined TEFL course requires attendance at a training center for 5, 8 or 10 days depending on the location. Completion of both sections of the course results in the same certification as the full in-class training course.

How does the Combined course work?

For more information, please visit our combined TEFL course page.

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Once you complete your certification course you will be in a great position to start applying for teaching jobs in your home country or anywhere else in the world that interests you.

The demand for teachers in China is so high that you should be able to choose from a range of options, while other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam all have a strong demand year-round. If Latin America is your preference, you should have little trouble finding employment in most countries across Central and South America. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico are all popular destinations, but there are many others to consider in the region.

For many of our graduates, gaining a TEFL certification is the first step on the road to living and working in Europe. Western European countries such as France, Italy and Spain are among the most popular locations, while Eastern Europe also attracts many teachers due to the lower cost of living.

EFL teachers who are looking to earn as much as possible often head to the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates traditionally offer the highest salaries to be found anywhere in the world, however, a high level of qualifications and experience are often required to secure the best jobs in this region.

For more information on the international TEFL job market, please visit our TEFL Jobs page or click on the interactive world map below to see where ITTT’s TEFL & TESOL training centers are located.

Combined Course map

If you already know where in the world you want to teach or if you are undecided and looking for inspiration, you can also check out our tips for teaching abroad page where you will find a wide range of information on dozens of possible teaching destinations. Each country’s page offers a varied selection of guides, including useful travel tips, guides to the local culture, cuisine and popular attractions, as well as some light-hearted facts that you never knew you wanted to know.

Why choose ITTT?

With so many different companies offering TEFL certification, why should you choose ITTT for your studies? There are many reasons why we believe that ITTT offer the very best TEFL certification solutions on the market:

  • We have a wide range of high-quality courses that are designed to address the needs of every individual student.
  • Whichever course you choose you can rest assured that you will receive the same high-level of study materials, tuition and support.
  • Our courses are open to anyone over the age of 18 who has a good standard of English language comprehension, regardless of their educational background.
  • We pride ourselves on our effective support services that are available to every trainee before, during and after their training with us.
  • Every graduate will have access to our post-course job support services for as long as they continue teaching EFL.
  • We regularly offer exclusive special offers that include additional free TEFL certification courses when you sign up for our most popular course programs.
  • Our in-class course offers a wide choice of exotic and exciting locations around the world ensuring there is an option to suit everyone.
  • Our in-class course also includes extensive teaching practice with genuine local language learners under the guidance of a highly experienced and dedicated trainer.
  • Our online courses offer the utmost convenience as they can be studied from any location at the pace of your choosing.
  • Our range of online TEFL certification programs are assessed via automated tests so there are no formal exams to sit.
  • At ITTT we are affiliated to and accredited by some of the leading individuals, institutes and schools in the language teaching field.


Lamar University (in-class courses)

All TEFL International courses are validated and credit-bearing by Lamar University in the USA. Lamar University is a public university in Beaumont, Texas. Part of the Texas State University system, Lamar University is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Paris University of International Education (in-class courses)

Each in-class graduate receives an official transcript from the Paris University of International Education with their TEFL International Certificate. Paris University of International Education is approved as a higher education establishment and is recognized by the Paris Academy as degree-granting.

Paris University of International Education (online courses)

The certificates gained by completing an online course with ITTT are the only 100% online TEFL/TESOL certificates available that are validated, accredited and credit bearing from an internationally-recognized university.

The credits earned from PUIE have been transferred successfully to universities all over the world. In the US, credit evaluation services consider PUIE to be in the same bracket as a US regionally-accredited university.

Teacher Training Council (five-day combined courses)

Five-day combined courses are moderated by the Teacher Training Council, an international learning and development body.

IATEFL - International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

ITTT is an institutional member of IATEFL. IATEFL is one of the most thriving communities of ELT teachers in the world. Its mission is to "Link, develop and support English Language Teaching professionals worldwide". With its global reach, IATEFL encourages teachers of English around the globe to share ideas and philosophies via regular newsletters and conferences. Our IATEFL membership number is 16020. For more information on IATEFL, please visit:

Paris University of International Education Lamar University iatefl Teachers training council


While we are confident that ITTT offers the very best TEFL certification programs currently available, don’t just take our word for it. Why not visit our TEFL certification reviews page to see what our graduates think about us, our courses and their own unique experience earning a qualification with ITTT?

You can also take a look at this video which features newly qualified EFL teachers from all corners of the world speaking about their training experience and how gaining a qualification with ITTT has had a positive impact on their lives and teaching careers.

 Be part of the ITTT success story

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