A Complete Review of the International TEFL Academy 170 Hour Online TEFL Certification
Note: We personally audit every TEFL course that we recommend. For this review, we have audited the International TEFL Academy 170 hour Online TEFL Certification to help you decide if this course is the best choice for you.
About International TEFL Academy
International TEFL Academy is based in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. They are one of the largest TEFL certification providers with over 5,000 students completing their program each year. According to their mission statement, their primary focus is to “Improve the world through international education & cultural exchange”. They offer both online certifications as well as blended learning and onsite certifications. The majority of teachers who complete their course go through their blended learning program which can be completed in multiple countries throughout Asia, Latin America, the United States, and Europe.
International TEFL Academy Accreditation
International TEFL Academy is accredited by Training Qualifications UK (TQUK). This is an accreditation body which is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulations (Ofqual). Ofqual is known as the exam watchdog of the United Kingdom. This means that the International TEFL Academy has been put through a more rigorous accreditation process than many other TEFL certification providers. It also means that a certification from International TEFL Academy counts as a level 5 certification under Ofqual which means that it meets the requirements to qualify as a professional level certification.
Aside from TQUK, different International TEFL Academy courses in different parts of the world are accredited and recognized by different organizations. This includes the International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying Organizations (IATQuO), which has recognized partner courses in France, the Czech Republic, and Spain.
Fort Hayes University, in Kansas, has recognized the Buenos Aires program and counts this program as three credits in their English as a Second Language program.
Some of the courses in Peru, Greece, Mexico, Italy, Russia, and Turkey have been accredited through the Learning Resource Network (LRN). Each of these programs also has partnerships with other organizations in the respective country.
The International TEFL Academy course in Chang Mai, Thailand has been recognized by both TQUK as well as the Thai Ministry of Education.
Courses in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Hanoi, Vietnam as well as Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have all been accredited by the Australian International College of Language.
Courses Offered by International TEFL Academy
- 170 Hour Online TEFL Course (150 hours online + 20 hours practicum)
Blended/Hybrid Learning Courses
- New York TEFL Hybrid (150 hours online + 20 hours live practicum in NYC)
- Spain TEFL Hybrid (150 hours online + 20 hours live practicum in Madrid or Barcelona)
In-Person TEFL Courses
- United States In-Person Courses (Chicago, Illinois/ New York, New York/ Honolulu, Hawaii) 4 weeks
- Asia In-Person Courses (Phnom Penh, Cambodia/ Chang Mai, Thailand/ Krabi, Thailand/ Hanoi, Vietnam/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 4 weeks
- Europe In-Person Courses (Prague, Czech Republic/ Toulouse, France/ Crete, Greece/ Florence, Italy/ Rome, Italy/ Sardinia, Italy/ St. Petersburg, Russia/ Barcelona, Spain/ Madrid, Spain/ Istanbul, Turkey) 4 weeks
- Latin America In-Person Courses (Buenos Aires, Argentina/ Heredia, Costa Rica/ Quito, Ecuador/ Ciudad Guzman, Mexico/ Guadalajara, Mexico/ Puerto Vallarta, Mexico/ Arequipa, Peru)
Which International TEFL Academy Course do we Recommend?
International TEFL Academy primarily focuses on blended learning and in-person certifications. For this reason, the course I would recommend is going to be largely dependent on where you want to teach. If you want to teach abroad in Asia, for example, it may be wise to take your certification course in one of the Asian countries so that you can more easily find a job immediately upon graduation as you will already be there. So, before selecting a course that you would like to attend, take a moment to think about your end goals and what you want out of your certification.
What I like about the course
The International TEFL Academy 150 hour online certification program is perhaps the most thorough that I have come across. The material is designed to fully prepare you for a career in teaching English abroad. While many other certification programs that I have come across (especially lower end programs) provide sparse information and primarily focus on lesson planning and grammar and activities for the classroom, International TEFL Academy has created a certification program that takes a holistic approach.
Their course looks at the realities of teaching and the unique challenges that you will face teaching English abroad. This can be extremely helpful to first-time teachers or experienced teachers who have never worked in a foreign country. Each module in the course is designed to build on the previous so that by the end of the program you have a complete picture of what it will be like to teach abroad and exactly how to do it. This includes classroom management, creating lessons, understanding the culture you are in, understanding the role of a teacher in your student’s lives, different teaching methods and approaches, and more.
Each module in their program is in-depth and all of the information is well articulated so as to be easily digestible. It should be noted, however, that this is by far one of the most challenging courses which I have gone through. Even though the information is straight forward, there is a lot of it and it will take time for you to get through this course.
The International TEFL Academy certification program has truly been designed by experienced teachers with new teachers in mind. This means that you aren’t just getting a bunch of theory that you may or may not be able to use when you enter the classroom. Each module has been designed so that the information in it can be applied before you ever step foot in the classroom. You are being primed on exactly what to expect and are being given the exact knowledge you need to succeed as a teacher so that you can feel confident before you even begin teaching.
Whether you have chosen to go through the online program or an in-person certification program, you will be going through a live practicum at the end which will allow you to see exactly how to put into practice the information that you have learned.
Oftentimes, the first day of teaching can be one of the most stressful aspects of becoming a teacher. This is partially due to the fact that much of what you learn in school is theory about how to teach and is not practical or actionable, especially in a foreign classroom. The fact that you can go through the International TEFL Academy certification program and come out on the other side fully prepared makes their program a cut above the rest.
Easy to Navigate
A big problem that I have seen in many TEFL certification programs is that they are hard to navigate. Even courses that I feel are top notch and have great information sometimes suffer from these issues. This can make getting your certification a frustrating experience when you are continually having to search out the resources you need or if you can’t figure out how to get started because it isn’t clearly labeled.
The international TEFL Academy online course is one of the better programs as far as layout is concerned. Everything is very clearly labeled and it doesn’t suffer from information overload in the way that some other online certification programs do. The layout is clean and each resource is clearly labeled and placed in a way that makes sense.
While the layout of the course may not seem like it’s that important, remember that you are going to be spending many hours each day for weeks on the site. So, a poorly laid out certification program can quickly become a nightmare and make the process of obtaining a TEFL certification frustrating and unpleasant. The last thing you should have to worry about when obtaining a certification is how to navigate the site, so, the fact that finding things on the ITA course is so easy is a major plus.
What I feel could be improved in the course
The International TEFL Academy certification program is primarily designed with teachers who will be going abroad in mind. For this reason, most of the information in the program outside of the teaching theory and grammar lessons is designed for teachers who will be in a physical classroom.
With the proliferation of technology in the area of education, more and more teachers are beginning to move to teach English online whether for a company or privately. For this reason, it would be nice to see a separate course, or additions to the current course, that take into consideration the online aspect of teaching English.
Who do I recommend this course for?
The International TEFL Academy certification programs, both online and in-person, are perfect for teachers who are going to teach abroad. As I mentioned above, these courses have been designed specifically with the classroom teacher in mind. Especially, if you have never taught a class of any kind before, this is a great certification program to make sure you are prepared for challenges you will encounter as a teacher.
For teachers who are looking to work in the Middle East, the ITA certification is a great option as it will satisfy many schools requirements for a live practicum as opposed to just an online certification. Also, experienced ESL teachers who are looking to get a certification may even find benefit in taking this course as it is continually updated with the latest information.
The 170-hour online program normally is priced at $1,399. We have partnered with International TEFL Academy to offer a discount to ESL Job Exchange users. Simply use the discount code “ESLJobExchange” to receive an additional $50 off the program.
You can find out more about International TEFL Academy from our interview with Erin, an ITA admissions representative. She answers many of the questions you may have about the benefits of the program outside of the course itself.
How do I enroll?
International TEFL Academy differs from many other TEFL certification providers in that you don’t just sign up and get started. Instead, each student who goes through the ITA program must first speak to an advisor who will help to create a plan for getting through the program successfully and then finding work as an ESL teacher. This also ensures that you aren’t wasting money on a certification that isn’t right for you. To speak to an advisor and find out more about enrolling in the International TEFL Academy certification program you can click the button below: