A Review of BridgeTEFL's Master Certificate in TEFL/TESOL
BridgeTEFL offers an excellent range of TEFL certificates that are modular in nature. This enables trainees to take a specialized course or a general TEFL course that serves a combination of its core and specialized modules. The 120-hour Master Certificate is just that. A combination of BridgeTEFL’s Core Curriculum, Grammar Advisor, and its Young Learners and Business English specialized courses.
Perhaps the most attractive aspect about the Master TEFL Certificate (and other TEFL courses offered by BridgeTEFL) is that course graduates can earn college credits for their hours of study. This makes the Master Certificate an ideal choice if you are considering a professional career in TEFL and a pathway to pursuing a MA degree in TESOL.
About Bridge Education Group
Established in 1986 and based in Denver, Colorado, Bridge Education Group has neatly segmented its product offering into business divisions.
The company offers educational courses and programs, mostly specializing in language learning. Bridge has a long track record of providing language education, not only to language learners, but also to educators seeking a professional qualification.
As ESL teachers, we are primarily interested in BridgeTEFL, which is the company’s TEFL certification division. BridgeTEFL offers both online as well as blended learning TEFL courses, including the Cambridge CELTA.
BridgeTEFL is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), which is a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Consequently, BridgeTEFL is listed as an accredited educational institution in the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
Anyone pursuing a career in TEFL can feel assured that earning a TEFL certification through BridgeTEFL will be a legitimate TEFL qualification. Gaining this type of accreditation is no easy feat. The institute must undergo rigorous audits to satisfy requirements to receive a U.S. Department of Education recognized accreditation.
ACCET has established and listed its Principles of Ethics for ACCET Accredited Institutions as follows:
In support of the Standards for Accreditation, ACCET members will uphold the following principles of professional ethics:
- To provide programs of study that are educationally sound, up-to-date, of high quality and are demonstrably effective.
- To maintain fair, ethical, and clearly stated advertising, admission, and enrollment practices by accurately and fairly representing the ACCET – accredited institution and its service to its constituency.
- To provide effective student counseling and motivational programs that recognize individual differences and ensure successful student retention, graduation and, where applicable, employability.
- To demonstrate the ultimate benefit of private educational training programs through satisfied participants.
- To maintain an effective peer review system that ensures proper and ethical administration of all financial operations of the institution.
- To promote the concept of voluntary self-regulation inherent in the accreditation process.
- To demonstrate a commitment to educational services through community involvement and participation.
- To demonstrate the effectiveness of private education and training, thereby providing essential skills to support a productive American work force.
- To promote continuing education and training programs of the highest quality and integrity.
Earn College Credits for Completing Your TEFL Certification
What sets BridgeTEFL apart from many other TEFL certification providers is that its TEFL courses have received college credit recommendation by the American Council on Education (ACE CREDIT). By completing a Bridge TEFL certification, you may earn credits which can be applied towards a Masters in TESOL.
Continuing Education Credits
For every 10 hours of study, you will earn 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU).
For example, if you successfully complete the BridgeTEFL 120 Hour Masters in TEFL/TESOL Certificate, you will earn 12 CEUs. To successfully complete the course, you must finish with a passing grade of 70% or higher.
You can earn up to six semester hours of undergraduate college credit for the Master Certificate if you have already completed a bachelor degree or are currently enrolled in a bachelor degree program.
Courses Offered by BridgeTEFL
BridgeTEFL offers a range of TEFL certification courses, but one way it has differentiated itself is by developed a 60-hour core curriculum which can be completed on its own, but is also at the heart of each of its more comprehensive TEFL certification courses. Let’s have a look at BridgeTEFL’s range of course options:
Online TEFL Courses
- 40-hour Basic TEFL/TESOL Certificate
- 60-hour Educator TEFL/TESOL Certificate
- 100-hour Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificate
- 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL Certificate
- 150-hour Bridge IDELTOnline™ TEFL/TESOL Diploma
Specialized Online TEFL Courses
- 20-hour TEFL Certificate: Guided Teaching Practicum
- 60-hour TEFL Certificate: Teaching English to Young Learners
- 60-hour TEFL Certificate: Teaching English to Teenagers
- 40-hour TEFL Certificate: Teaching English Grammar
- 40-hour TEFL Certificate: Teaching Business English
- 40-hour TEFL Certificate: Designing Custom Courses
- 60-hour TEFL Certificate: Foundations in Teaching English Online
- 60-hour TEFL Certificate: Advanced Methods in Teaching English Online
Classroom Based TEFL Courses
- 140-hour Bridge IDELT
- 120-hour Cambridge CELTA
All of the above certifications, including the CELTA, provide 1 CEU for every 10 hours of study.
Currently, BridgeTEFL offers classroom based TEFL courses at its training center in Denver, Colorado. It also offers TEFL courses in Argentina and Chile. While the courses in Argentina and Chile are accredited and regulated locally, they are not accredited by ACCET.
A Closer Look Inside the BridgeTEFL 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL Certificate
As with other TEFL certifications we recommend, we are primarily focused on equipping ESL teachers with adequate, legitimate qualifications. BridgeTEFL offers a legitimate option for ESL teachers who want or need a U.S. based qualification, or who intend to pursue a Masters degree in TESOL in the U.S. at a later stage.
Completing the 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL Certificate will help you accomplish these goals. As mentioned, course graduates will earn an internationally-recognized TEFL qualification with a U.S. Department of Education recognized accreditation, as well as 12 CEUs.
This is a multi-faceted course, comprised of the following course components:
- 60-hour Core Curriculum (13 modules)
- 40-hour Grammar Advisor
- 10-hour Young Learners Endorsement
- 10-hour Business English Endorsement
Course Assignments and Assessment
As with any legitimate TEFL qualification, trainees are given tasks and assignments to complete.
Firstly, trainees must demonstrate they have acquired the knowledge imparted in each module by accurately completing the quizzes at the end of each module. Each module quiz contains 15 questions, and the quiz score represents 30% of the final module grade. The quiz in each section must be completed before trainees can submit their written assignments.
There are also assignments within each module, which must be completed with a successful grade in order to proceed to the next module. trainees must choose two essay topics from the assignment information presented in each module. Once both essays are submitted via the online course platform, they will receive a written evaluation of their assignment by a BridgeTEFL tutor within one business day. trainees must attain a total score for both essays of 49 or higher in order to proceed to the next module. The written assignments represent 70% of the final module grade.
It is important to note that BridgeTEFL views its courses with a high level of professionalism, and has a zero tolerance policy for plagiarism. This is a good thing, as the purpose for taking a course should be to acquire specific knowledge and skills, and not just a paper qualification.
Passing the 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL Certificate Course
To earn the TEFL certification, trainees must complete all coursework with a passing grade of 70% or higher. BridgeTEFL provides trainees up to 3 months to complete the course. trainees can purchase a 3 month extension within one year after the course has expired, if they need more time to complete it.
If you fail a module quiz, you cannot retake the quiz, and your quiz score is final. If you fail a written assignment, BridgeTEFL allows you one opportunity to resubmit the assignment for a passing grade.
Guidance and Support
Trainees are assigned to tutors who assess their written assignments. In addition to the extensive resource and FAQ sections in the learning platform, trainees also have direct access to their tutors via email. Trainees can communicate with their tutors about any questions they have, and they must submit their written assignments directly to their tutors, who will grade the assignments provide trainees with detailed feedback.
All tutors are experienced TEFL professionals, holding at least a bachelor degree and two years or more of teaching experience. Many tutors have a MA in TESOL.
Who Can Enroll in this Course
Naturally, this course has been designed for anyone who intends to teach English to speakers of other languages. Therefore, trainees must be highly fluent in English. There are no prerequisites or screening tests to complete prior to enrolling in the course, but BridgeTEFL recommends non-native speakers to have at least a B1 level on the European Framework, or a score of at least 5 on the IELTS.
A university or college degree is also not required to enroll in the course and earn a TEFL certificate.
Thus, practically any proficient English speaker who is at least 18 years of age can enroll in the course.
What's Good about the Master TEFL/TESOL Certification
Relatively Easy to Navigate
After enrolling, you will be given access to the learning platform. Once logged in, all courses you are enrolled in will be presented to you on the dashboard page. Remember that the Master TEFL/TESOL course consists of the Core Curriculum (Basic Certificate (6 modules) and Educator’s Certificate (7 modules), Grammar Advisor, Business English Endorsement and Young Learners Endorsement. All of these courses will be displayed on the dashboard when you login.
Technically, you can start and complete any of these courses in any order, because they are in fact standalone courses. However, you will want to start with the Basic Certificate course, then move on to the Educator’s Certificate course. Once you have completed these Core Curriculum courses, you can complete the Grammar Adviser, Business English and Young Learners courses.
You can easily track your progress through any of the courses, as the dashboard contains shortcuts to your learning progress, and a separate area where you can monitor your progress through each course in detail.
In-depth Content About TEFL Teaching Methodologies and Best Practices
Like most online TEFL certifications, the BridgeTEFL Master TEFL/TESOL certification is delivered through a combination of reading and video-based instruction.
The course provides broad but detailed content covering a range of theorem and methodologies for teaching English to speakers of other languages. trainees will learn strategies for teaching ESL learners in a traditional classroom in countries where English is not primarily spoken. The course also offers guidance related to living in a foreign country and varied cultural contexts.
Examples of methodologies covered in this course include Communicative Language Teaching, Audio-Lingual Method, and Direct Method. Other techniques provided in the lesson show trainees how to encourage student interaction through role-play, and how to test students, including awareness of current placement and proficiency standardized tests
The knowledge conveyed through this TEFL certification course equips new teachers with the skills to produce plans, analyze and demonstrate understanding of the various principles covered.
Guidance from Qualified ESL Professionals
BridgeTEFL Tutors are qualified ESL professionals, many of whom hold Masters Degrees in TESOL or related qualifications such as Applied Linguistics. All tutors have a bachelor degree, at least two years of online teacher training experience, and two or more years of ESL classroom teaching experience.
Trainees will be assigned a tutor who they will communicate with throughout the course, and who will assess their written assignments. Communication between trainees and their assigned tutor happens within the online learning platform messaging feature, and via email.
Optional 20-hour Guided Teaching Practicum
Many reputable ESL employers require teachers to have earned a TEFL qualification which includes at least 20 hours of practical teaching experience (often referred to as practicum). BridgeTEFL offers this as a specialized course called 20-hour Specialized Certificate: Guided Teaching Practicum. You can complete the Guided Teaching Practicum within 3 months of enrolling, from anywhere in the world.
If you need it, the practicum extension should be taken after completing the 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL certification.
It is important to note that non-native English speakers will need to show proof of English fluency, either by producing a recently completed IETLS test score of 7.0 or higher, or by completing an English language fluency test administered by BridgeTEFL itself.
Job Placement Assistance
Many TEFL course providers also include job placement assistance to their graduates, though we recommend searching for ESL teaching jobs on several job sites, including this one, to broaden your list of available job opportunities.
What can be Improved
BridgeTEFL really has put together a solid 120-hour online TEFL certification course that rivals other legitimate and internationally recognized TEFL certifications, not to mention comes with accreditation from highly reputed accrediting bodies. It stands among a select group of TEFL providers committed to excellence and professionalism in the TEFL industry.
Still, we believe some improvements can be made. Here are some aspects of the course we feel can be improved.
More Intuitive Arrangement of Enrolled Courses
We understand BridgeTEFL’s modular design of its courses – each course included in the 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL certification is also a standalone course. However, it can be a bit confusing for trainees to know where to begin, just looking at the array of courses in the online learning portal. It would be ideal to organize the courses in the order they ought to be taken, so trainees
More Time to Complete the Course
Admittedly, it should not take more than 3 months to complete a 120 hour online TEFL certification, and most trainees should be able to complete the course within one month with consistent effort.
Everyone has unique circumstances though, and may require more time to complete the course. We do feel the 3 month window to complete the course is adequate for most trainees, and BridgeTEFL does offer a 3-month extension for an additional fee. However, some of its top competitors offer up to 6 months to complete the TEFL certification without any additional charges. If we could suggest an improvement here, we would suggest a window of 6 months for trainees to complete the course.
The 3-month window is not a showstopper. Seriously. BridgeTEFL has been recognized as one of the top TEFL providers in the industry. And anyone who is sincere about earning a TEFL qualification should have no difficulty completing the course within the allotted time. So this is merely a suggestion rather than a qualm, to bring parity with reputable competitors in the TEFL training industry.
Who is this Course for?
Classroom Based ESL Instruction
BridgeTEFL has developed the 120-hour Master TEFL/TESOL certification with classroom-based ESL teaching in mind. Therefore, this course is ideal for aspiring ESL teachers who intend to teach in the classroom in countries where English is not widely spoken.
If your employer requires you to demonstrate that you have completed a teaching practicum as part of your TEFL qualification, then you can take the 20-hour Guided Teaching Practicum specialized certificate in addition to the Master TEFL/TESOL online course.
Alternatively, BridgeTEFL and Metropolitan State University of Denver jointly offer a 140-hour International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELT), which includes 6 hours of teaching practicum with real ESL students. We recommend choosing this option if you intend to pursue a Masters in TESOL or related degree.
Online ESL Instruction
If your aim is to teach English online, you will also need a TEFL certification to be considered by most online ESL employers. BridgeTEFL has specifically designed a 120-hour Teaching English Online Certification. We recommend you to choose this option if you intend to only teach ESL online. If you want to keep your options open, choose the Master TEFL/TESOL certificate instead, as brick and mortar institutes are more selective about teaching qualifications than online employers are, and will appreciate knowledge of teaching theory and methodologies acquired from a the Master TEFL certification.
The 120-hour BridgeTEFL Master TEFL/TESOL certificate is reasonably priced at under $400. For most ESL teachers, we recommend not spending more than $500 for an online TEFL qualification, and this certification falls neatly inside this price range. Compare this with the Cambridge CELTA, which is also 120 hours of instruction, but costs near or above $2,000, and does not include the Young Learners endorsement. If you choose the CELTA route, you would need to enroll in the Young Learners extension course and pay more. Young learners represent the majority of ESL learners and thus most job opportunities cater to this segment.
As you can see from the above snapshot of the BridgeTEFL site, the Master Certificate is reasonably priced at under $400, although listed at a regular price of $710. Most online TEFL providers offer immense discounts on their course fees throughout the year.