What is TEFL Certification?

TEFL certification is the qualification that new English language teachers require to be eligible to apply for most teaching jobs, no matter where they are located. However, as there are no official guidelines governing TEFL certification, it can be a difficult task sifting through the many options available. An internet search will bring up a wide array of courses with huge variations in study time and cost, making the choice even harder.

Do I need a TEFL Certificate to teach abroad?

How many study hours should I look for when researching TEFL certification?

One simple way to categorize different TEFL certification courses is to look at the average amount of study hours, which are usually stated in the course title. At the lower end of the scale you will find cheap courses that take from as little as 20 hours to complete. These might seem like a bargain as they allow you to gain a TEFL certification in a very short space of time. However, these short-format courses are generally not sufficient when applying for most mainstream TEFL jobs. They are perfectly adequate if you intend to teach on a voluntary basis, but in order to secure a well-paid teaching job you will need to set your sights a little higher.

If you want to be eligible for the majority of EFL teaching jobs, the unofficial but commonly accepted minimum is a TEFL certification of at least 120 hours. At ITTT we provide three basic routes towards this level of certification, as well as several other packages and individual courses that can take your qualifications above and beyond this entry-level benchmark.

From Student to Teacher!

In-class TEFL certification

This route towards TEFL certification is taken over a four-week period at a training center run by experienced teacher trainers. Trainees generally stay in nearby accommodation and study from Monday to Friday, with weekends free to socialize and explore the local area. One major advantage of this course is that it includes several hours of practice lessons in a real English language classroom. These practice sessions are supervised by a course trainer who will give plenty of advice during the planning stage and then follow the lesson with a full debrief.

Another major benefit of an in-class TEFL course is that they are often run in areas where there is a strong demand for qualified teachers. If you want to stay on in the area our staff will be able to help you find potential openings, as well as provide help with your CV/resume and interview preparation. The social side of the course should also not be overlooked. Spending time with your fellow trainees outside of the classroom can lead to life-long friendships and the chance to compare notes and provide encouragement throughout the training process. An in-class TEFL course includes:

  • In-person instruction
  • Genuine teaching practice
  • Excellent employment prospects
  • A fun, sociable environment

How Long does a TEFL Course Take?

Online TEFL certification

Online courses offer a relatively quick and convenient route towards TEFL certification as they can be taken from anywhere in the world with a reliable internet connection. This type of study is open to almost anyone, including those who would struggle to fund a residential in-class course. Due to low overheads, providers can offer courses at very reasonable prices and once qualified you can apply for teaching jobs in any country you like the look of. As long as your TEFL certification meets the expected minimum of 120 hours and is provided by an internationally recognised company such as ITTT, you should have little trouble finding a suitable position.

Our best-selling online option is the 120-hour TEFL certification course which covers all the same material as our in-class course. This qualification is recognised and accepted by employers worldwide, providing countless opportunities for every course graduate. Although this approach does not include teaching practice within the course itself, we do offer every online trainee the chance to complete optional teaching practice without having to attend a training center. Being able to practice your new skills in a real classroom before heading off to your first teaching job should allow you to start work full of confidence in your abilities as a professional educator.

How do online TEFL Course work?

Combined TEFL certification

Our third option for TEFL certification is a combined TEFL course that brings together elements from the two previous methods. Essentially, the course is broken down into two distinct parts, an online section and an in-class section. You start your training with the online portion of the course which covers theory related to the English language and how you should teach it. This section can be completed at any pace you choose as it includes no fixed timetable. Once the theory is out of the way you can then turn your attention to the in-class portion of the course.

Here you will need to attend one of our training centers for between eight and ten days, depending on the location you choose. During your visit you will complete your teaching practice sessions and get to attend a range of classes run by our highly-experience trainers. The in-class section of the combined course is available over eight days at are centers in:

  • New York City, USA
  • Paris, France

Or over ten days at our centers in:

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Rome, Italy

How do online TEFL Course work?

Other types of TEFL certification

All three of the options above result in a TEFL certification that is enough to land a good teaching job in all the most popular locations, including:

  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America

However, if you want even more job options and the chance to apply for higher-level positions, you might want to consider adding additional TEFL certification to your portfolio. One popular option is an advanced-level Diploma in TESOL that can be purchased at the same time as the initial 120-hour course and then completed back to back. Upon completion you will have gained a serious qualification that should help you stand out from the crowd when applying for teaching jobs of all types.

What is the Diploma in TESOL Course?

TEFL course packages

Another increasingly popular option is to buy a package of courses that allow you to build on your initial TEFL qualification with other courses at a discounted rate. All our packages begin with the initial 120-hour online TEFL certification course. You can then work through the other courses in your package in any order and at any pace you choose. If you plan to teach English online you should definitely take a look at our 170-hour TEFL course with online specialization. This popular option covers all the teaching basics as well as the unique environment of online teaching.

We also have a 220-hour Master Package and a 550-hour Expert Package, both of which include multiple courses that will give you a real head start on the competition. As well as the initial 120-hour TEFL course, the Master Package includes two 50-hour courses in teaching English to young learners and teaching business English. The Expert Package contains the same courses, plus the 250-hour Diploma in TESOL and the 50-hour course in teaching English online.

Can you fail a TEFL course?

Register now & get certified to teach english abroad!