If you want to teach English abroad then the two basic qualifications you need are a degree* and a TEFL certificate.
Twenty years ago if you wanted a TEFL certificate this meant spending several weeks at bricks-and-mortar school, attending class in the traditional way, taking your exam and then hopefully coming away with your certificate at the end of that time.
Nowadays thanks to online learning things are much easier and much more streamlined. And this article looks at exactly how you can get a TEFL certificate online and start teaching English around the world.
* if you don’t have a degree, you can still find work teaching however; see the links below
Quite simply, if you take a TEFL course online:
- you can work at your own pace and take as long or as little time as you need to finish the course. If you’re working or looking after a family or studying then taking a course online is the perfect way to find time to get this extra qualification.
- you have access to far more resources than before. As a quick example, if you take the ICAL TEFL certificate you’ll find here over 1,600 articles on all aspects of teaching English as a foreign language – something in the past only available to lucky students who happened to live near a well-stocked university library!
- you have a wider range of tutors. If you take a traditional course you have to use the one or two tutors who work in that school; if you take a good online course the provider will have tutors all over the world and so you can work with a tutor more suitable to your individual needs.
- it’s cheaper! Courses in traditional schools start from about $1000 USD (€791, £636) and those in online schools from about $265 (€200, £155).
So yes, there are compelling reasons to go online instead of down the traditional route.
Get your TEFL Certificate Online
But let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it all; here’s exactly how to get an online TEFL certificate.
choose a good course provider
Not all course providers (online schools) are the same so make sure you do your research and you choose a reliable provider..
ICAL TEFL, for example, were pioneers and have been providing courses online since 1998 not to mention that we were the very first fully online school. But no matter who you choose, check them out thoroughly on online forums and chatrooms and make sure you choose the best you can to get you qualified.
register and start
Payment is usually by credit card. After this you’ll have access to an online student center where you can begin to work your way through the material.
During this time you can meet other students and also start working with your personal tutor.
Note, make sure you choose a course which offers a personal tutor as you really need a well qualified tutor to answer your questions and go over any points you need help with.
take your time & learn
How long you take to complete an online TEFL course is up to you. If you have the time to work at it full time then you can complete it in as little as a couple of weeks. If you have other commitments then you can take a couple of months… a year…. however long you need.
And while you’re taking the course, be sure to ask your personal tutor questions, not just about the material but also about teaching. You have in front of your a well experienced and qualified teacher who has traveled the world and taught so make sure you take advantage of that and use them!
And then you complete the course. Most TEFL courses involve continual assessment (i.e. they don’t have a final exam) and once you’ve finished the final module you’ll receive your certificate, marksheet, recommendation letter (from your personal tutor) in the regular mail.
And then it’s time to find a job!
So taking a TEFL course online is really very simple and straightforward. It’s designed to fit around your lifestyle and other commitments so you can get qualified and start a new life teaching in as hassle-free a way as possible.
ICAL TEFL Course 120hr – the most popular TEFL course
How To Become a TEFL Teacher – a guide to getting into teaching around the world
How to Choose a Good TEFL Course – tips on getting the best course
Taking a Teacher Training Course – all about actually taking a TEFL course and what it’s like
Teaching English without a Degree – if you don’t have a degree you can still teach English