TEFL Certification

If you plan to teach English as a foreign language having a TEFL certification is important. Increasingly, countries and employers demand teachers who have both a university degree and a TEFL certification. Without a TEFL certification, your chances of landing a quality job are limited.

There are different ways to get TEFL qualified:

  • An online TEFL certification
  • A blended learning TEFL certification
  • An in-class TEFL certification
  • A Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Online TEFL Certification

A woman taking notes from the computer about an online TEFL certification.

An online TEFL certification is one where the entire course is completed online. It does not have an in-person practicum. There will usually be multiple sections which are broken up into various texts and videos. There will also usually be a final exam and potentially other required assignments such as a lesson planning assignment. All work is completed and submitted online and most programs can be completed at your own pace.


Who It's ForWho It's Not For
Teachers who want to work onlineTeachers looking to work in the Middle East or East Asia
Teachers who want to work in Latin America or South East Asia

Things to Pay Attention to

There are many different kinds of programs including 70-hour, 120-hour, 140-hour, and more. You will need a 120-hour certification. If you choose the online option we don’t recommend spending more on a higher level class as it will have little to no effect on your income. A 120-hour online only certification will be sufficient for working online and in some countries.

We Recommend

Premier TEFL is a great option for teachers looking to obtain an online TEFL certification that isn’t going to break the bank. They offer an internationally recognized online only certification that meets the 120-hour requirement that many companies and schools are going to be looking for. Other options are also available for teachers looking for more specialized training.

What we like about Premier TEFL

  •  They are competitively priced when compared to other programs which can be significantly more expensive without a return on the investment.
  • Premier TEFL offers paid internships in countries throughout Asia, Europe, and South America to teachers who have successfully completed their TEFL training. Some of these internships even provide opportunities to teachers who do not have a degree to get their foot in the door.
  •  The 290-hour certification proivdes instruction in teaching business English, IELTS prep teaching, young learner teaching, and TOEIC prep teaching. This can be beneficial in helping teachers to find higher paying jobs as well as private tutoring opportunities.

Visit the Premier TEFL website to sign up for your online TEFL certification course.

Get Your Certification

Blended Learning TEFL Certification

Young ESL students in a classroom taught by a teacher with a blended learning TEFL certification.

Blended learning TEFL certification courses have two components:

  • A theoretical component covering the fundamentals of teaching English as a foreign language.
  • A practical component where a number of hours are spent applying the theory in the classroom with real students.

It is a good medium between online learning and an onsite program. You will study the material and take the tests online and complete any other assignments. This is similar to the online TEFL certification. You will then be required to complete a number of hours in the classroom working with experienced instructors and putting to use what you learned in the online portion.

Who It's ForWho It's Not For
Teachers who want to work almost anywhere abroadTeachers who want to work in the Middle East

Things to Pay Attention to

We recommend you take a 120-hour blended learning TEFL certification course. You will need to look at the reputation of the course provider. Ask the provider about the qualification of their teachers to make sure you are learning from well-qualified people. Finally, you want to ask what job placement assistance you will receive as well as the likelihood of employment upon graduation.

We Recommend

International TEFL Academy is one of the largest TEFL providers in the world. Their alumni group is over 25,000 strong and growing at a rate of 5,000 new graduates each year. Located in Chicago, ITA provides certifications in over 25 locations around the world including throughout Asia, Europe, and Central and South America.

What we like about International TEFL academy:

  • Lifetime job search assistance means that no matter when it is you are searching for employment ITA will be there to help. This includes helping you with your resume, cover letters, connecting with schools, and looking for any red flags to help you avoid scams. Since this is not job placement you are able to apply at any school you desire and still receive help from ITA professionals.
  • As they provide training in over 25 locations you can easily find a country to train in that suits you and your goals best.
  • Having an extensive and well-connected alumni network means that you will more easily be able to connect with other ITA graduates in the country you choose to work in. This makes finding friends and settling in much easier.

To find out more about International TEFL Academy you can read our interview with their student affairs department. Or, you can visit their website and request a meeting with an admissions representative.

Get Your Certification

MA TESOL (also M.Ed Tesol)

University building that has a MA in TESOL course.

The Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is one of the highest levels of TESOL qualifications. This will show that you have an extensive and in-depth understanding of teaching. The course will differ depending on which institution you choose. Most programs last from 1 to 2 years and can be labor intensive due to the level of reading and coursework.

Who It's ForWho It's Not For
Teachers who want to work in the Middle EastTeachers who want to work online
Teachers who want to work at high level universities

Things to Pay Attention to

Do your due diligence checking the reputation of any institution you are looking at getting your MA TESOL from. See what past students have to say if possible. Make sure before you enter into the program that your career goals are in line with a high-level certification such as this. Also, be aware that many Middle Eastern countries will not accept an online-only MA TESOL.

Outside of the above options teachers can also obtain a CELTA certification or a DipTESOL. The CELTA and DipTESOL are expensive compared to the other TEFL qualification options listed and won’t translate into higher earnings than a blended learning or in-class TEFL. For this reason, the CELTA and DipTESOL are recommended for teachers in the Middle East where salaries are higher and the governments are looking for teachers with a CELTA, DipTesol, or MA TESOL (not online).