A Complete Guide to choose the Best Online TEFL Programs in 2021

If you are looking to do an internationally accredited TEFL certification program for teachers, online TEFL programs are the right choice. Any accredited TEFL certification program builds necessary skills in individuals that help them become effective teachers who can create their own teaching methodologies.

With the number of English teaching jobs opening up globally every day, there is an increase in the number of people learning the English language. These accredited TEFL certification programs hence are not only considered an ideal qualification for teaching the English language in a foreign land but also opens up international career opportunities for you.

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The best is that one does not need a college degree or any previous teaching experience to be an English teacher abroad. However, most government programs, schools, private institutes, and online teaching companies today want to recruit teachers with proper professional training. Undertaking anyone accredited TEFL certification programs will always give you an added edge.  

What are accredited TEFL certification programs?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. One might be a qualified professional or a college graduate but accredited TEFL certification programs are necessary if one wants to get qualified to teach English online, abroad or from home. The TEFL fragment is growing fast and has infinite opportunities. It focuses on teaching English to both native English speakers and to others who want to pursue further education or seek job opportunities world-wide.

Few other certifications equivalent to TEFL are:

TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)

ELT– English Language Teaching.

ESL– English as a Second Language.

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There are countless accredited TEFL certification programs available online and in in-person learning institutes. All these courses claim that they will train you to teach English like a professional. The availability of uncountable TEFL institutes in the market make it harder for aspirants to decide about the institute they should choose to take their accredited TEFL certification program. There are four important things one should keep in mind while choosing the best online TEFL programs. Figure out if any of the accredited TEFL certification programs match your goals and expectations, how many hours do can you dedicate to complete this course, what is the cost of this course, does it meet the market standards like accreditation and recognition.

Why Get TEFL Certified?

English, as we all know is established as our international language. Most countries around the world introduce it in schools as their second language. Thus, knowing English opens up multiple English teaching jobs throughout the globe. Teachers with English expertise and professional training are in huge demand. 

If one is a non-native English speaker then they must consider taking up accredited TEFL certification programs seriously as this course will improve their accent, language comprehensibility, and clarity. Even if one is a native English speaker, it is essential to undergo professional teacher’s training to equip oneself with the mechanics of English language to teach English Language Learners (ELL). TEFL prepares one to become a teacher of strong fundamental background and provides an all-around hands-on experience. You might be an English teacher for years but accredited TEFL Certification programs can definitely help you get a good job with a handsome salary. Many countries today have made TEFL certification mandatory for those who wants to seek an overseas English teaching opportunity.

Online accredited TEFL certification programs

Convenience is what every consumer is looking for these days. This is one of the main reasons why online accredited TEFL certification programs have become popular. The best online TEFL programs benefit anyone who intends to be an EFL teacher as they can at their own suitable pace become TEFL certified too. Also with the worldwide accessibility of the online courses, one can easily become TEFL certified from any of their preferred institute around the world.

Best Online TEFL Programs. Best Online accredited TEFL Certification Programs.

Benefits of Online accredited TEFL certification programs

Online accredited TEFL certification programs are quite comparable to the on-campus learning accredited TEFL certification programs. One major advantage of the online course version is that one can decide to learn about a place and its culture by living there before completion of the course too. These online accredited TEFL certification programs give many more general benefits. Let us take a look at these

Flexible and Convenient

One of the biggest benefits of undertaking any online accredited TEFL certification programs is that it lets one have a flexible schedule. One can work on the course material as per their convenience when one is free. Though one needs to allocate some time to study, online TEFL course does not cause inconvenience in normal daily activities. 

Affordable

Some of the best online TEFL programs are more affordable as compared to attending in-person classes. Since you have the flexibility of joining an online class from anywhere, one actually save on any transport or monetary expenses incurred to attend in-person costs. As most of the study material are made available online by institutes free of cost for their online students. Apart from this the tuition fees for online accredited TEFL certification programs are lower as compared to in-person accredited TEFL certification programs.

English grammar refresher

Online accredited TEFL certification programs are a good way to brush up one’s English language phonology and grammar knowledge in-depth.

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Online accredited TEFL certification programs are the best way to figure out if one is actually ready to go abroad for teaching English. Online training also lets you try to gain a qualification from a foreign country where you want to teach before actually travelling there.

Interact with Tutors Easily

Undertaking an accredited TEFL certification program online means that one can interact with the tutors easily. One can ask questions or carry out discussions effectively over different apps online. Video chats give one a face-to-face tutor-student experience.

Personalized Learning Experience

This is one of the best benefits online accredited TEFL certification programs offer. Learn at your own pace. All one needs to do is hit the pause button anytime for going back to any important topic for clarifying doubts, reviewing or for reference. One can easily check for alternative sources online for more information.

Tips to Choose the Best Online TEFL programs

The TEFL industry is in great demand and quite vast. With so many institutes offering online accredited TEFL certification programs, choosing the right TEFL online institute has become a daunting affair. Let us try to get a better understanding of the best online TEFL programs one should enrol in.

It is important to focus on two primary areas while doing your research to consider which TEFL institutes are the best. Let us take a look at these primary research focus areas in detail:

1. Academics

Research to know more about the academic standards that the TEFL institute offers and the accreditation of their TEFL certification offered. Focus on what the duration of the course is, their accreditation, the qualification of the course trainers and if the accredited TEFL certification programs include hand-on teaching practices for the students.

Duration of the TEFL Course Offered by the Institute: 

Avoid cheap and short TEFL courses. They are quick to complete but do not meet TEFL industry requirements like 100+ hours and 6 hours+ of practicum. One can acquire a TEFL affiliated course from a university but one needs to be aware of the length of the program. A basic budgeted program of the 100-hours lesson plan is mostly for new English teachers. A 120-hours lesson plan that includes practical teaching is designed for graduates seeking jobs abroad and for smooth clearing of visa. A more comprehensive course of 150-hours is designed to accelerate one’s career growth. It is therefore a good idea to talk to your career advisor before undertaking a TEFL program.

Know if the TEFL course is Accreditation or not

It is important to find out if these online accredited TEFL certification programs you are planning to enroll into are accredited and recognized internationally or no. Many TEFL institutes set up their own faux accrediting bodies by trapping students with their attracting names and impressive websites. Unfortunately, it is often too late before one realizes that the accreditation of these TEFL institutes are recognized in the TEFL world.

Accreditation

Accreditation involves a rigorous and formal procedure of evaluation by a recognized accrediting body. There are many recognized accrediting bodies and also memberships. These accrediting bodies are third party independent groups that examine a TEFL institute’s academic and professional and academic standards. Online accredited TEFL certification programs offer quality assurance, external authentication and are designed and delivered by an internationally recognized university. Below are listed a few independent accrediting bodies recognized in the TEFL industry. Most of these listed bodies have online accreditation too.

Best Online TEFL Programs. Best Online accredited TEFL Certification Programs.

One can easily check the accreditation of any TEFL certification course claiming to be accredited directly contacting these above accrediting bodies. For any other TEFL certification programs claiming accreditation outside of these, find out what that accrediting body is before signing up with them.

Taking memberships in an academic association does not require any criteria.  Therefore, one should be aware that memberships cannot be mistaken to be a substitute for or equivalent accreditation. Most TEFL providers can simply take memberships with these academic associations by paying an annual fee. There are no independent reviews conducted on their professional and educational standards.

Qualification of TEFL Certification Course Trainer

\Another important area to focus on is the qualification of the course trainer or instructor. What is the experience of the instructors who will be conducting the sessions of the claimed accredited TEFL certification programs? TEFL being a professional and university-level high qualification definitely needs to be taught by highly experienced, qualified and professional instructors having  a master’s degree in TESOL or an equivalent degree in the related field. They should also have taught English as a foreign language for a significant number of years or have done equivalent training like an ESL endorsement or degree in Education etc.

Many TEFL courses do not specify the qualification of their instructors Beware of such courses. They might look more affordable but they do not impart the required knowledge to their student and often are not recognized.

Practicum (Live Practical Student Teaching training)

“Practicum” refers to the twenty hours of hands-on or practical teaching/tutoring that one needs to complete in an EFL or ESL classroom scenario to earn one’s accredited TEFL certification. Practicum is necessary as it helps one to gain actual experience and the necessary skill set to become an efficient teacher. Most organizations looking to recruit English teachers do not recognize TEFL certification courses that have not included practicum as a part of the course. The 20-hour hands-on training ensures that potential employers globally recognize your TEFL certification. 

Best Online TEFL Programs. Best Online accredited TEFL Certification Programs.

2. Job support after completion of certification:

Also, find out if the institute assists its students to actually get employment overseas or online as a qualified English teacher.

Support from Professional TEFL Advisors before Registration

Investing one’s money and time in any of these accredited TEFL certification programs to go overseas is not a small thing. One needs to not only be aware but also understand certain important areas like Where are good prospects available for teaching abroad?, When is the main hiring seasons?, How much start-up money one needs to go abroad, The qualifications required to work in different markets, What is the pay-package one can expect? Etc.

Getting the assistance of a professional advisor will definitely help to cover all of these doubts and provide information about working abroad and about online courses available. This helps one take better decisions before committing their money and time to any specific accredited TEFL certification programs.

Free Job Search Support

Most institutes these days offer a lifetime free job support guidance. Check before enrolling if the TEFL institute provides you career advice from proficient career advisors that should include giving an insight and knowledge regarding matters related to finding an appropriate job. Eg.  How to write an international resume and a professional cover letter, How to negotiate a contract and understanding visa regulations. It is also good to enquire if the TEFL institute provides job search and placement guidance. Also find out if this service is paid and its term before enrolling for the course.

Reviews and Testimonials

Consider taking a look at the online accredited TEFL certification programs testimonials and reviews to differentiate the good online TEFL certification courses from the not so good ones. Shortlist courses with good reviews. A course with no reviews or poor reviews automatically proves that the course has not got any rave about it. As an online learner, it is important to do one’s research well about the country that one plans to move into. Try to read impartial online reviews that give one fact that one might have missed out while researching. One can read specific TEFL review sites like GoAbroad, TEFL Course Review, OISE University of Toronto TEFL Online Facebook page and GoOverseas.

Financial aid for TEFL certification

Best Online TEFL Programs. Best Online accredited TEFL Certification Programs.

Scholarships and Grants: TEFL grants and scholarships mean free money. Some of these scholarships are given on merit while some other grants are given to need-based students. These scholarships and grants do not usually cover the full cost of the TEFL certification (which ranges anywhere between $1100- $2000), but they definitely help a lot. One can sometimes get TEFL certification scholarships/grants directly from the TEFL certification organization or by enrolling oneself in a government-sponsored teach abroad program.

If you are looking at earning a fully-accredited online TEFL certification and want to apply for TEFL grants and scholarships that can help you have comfortable teaching start overseas, it’s a good idea to directly enquire with the TEFL certification institute about the TEFL scholarships they offer. Many TEFL certification companies offer seasonal scholarships as a raffle or challenge. Check out for their recent announcements on their website or Facebook page. If you happen to have a military background or have been a volunteer, you can ask about any discounts offered by the International TEFL Academy towards both online TEFL and in-person Chicago-based TEFL course.

Some Best Online TEFL Programs

1. Henry Harvin

Henry Harvin offers one of the best online TEFL programs. Their online TEFL certification program is affiliated by AAEFL (American Association of EFL) and is designed in a way that one qualifies their exams at first go itself.

Henry Harvin’s TEFL certification programs incorporate the best teaching methodologies that are crucial for effective teaching. Most candidates need 8 – 12 weeks to complete their TEFL certification. However, if one is not able to find time, they have the flexibility to complete the same within 52 weeks.

Henry Harvin also offers job support to their students. Doing a Henry Harvin TEFL certification course means getting qualified for 12000+ jobs world-wide automatically with a handsome starting pay package of around $ 3000 /month package.

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TEFL Certification Course in South Africa

2. MyTEFL 

MyTEFL offers the most affordable online and in-person TEFL courses from where one can choose the best possible option that meets their needs. MyTEFL is a member of the IATEFL and their certification is accredited by OTTSA, which is globally recognized.

They provide multiple courses of 40, 60, 80, and 120 hours of Online TEFL certification programs. They also give their students 24/7 Tutor Assistance. The course is informative and well planned. Most students complete their online classes within 3-6 weeks. Free job assistance and placements are also given to the students after completion of their course.

MyTEFL has admirable student ratings and reviews. If one is tight on budget, one can avail discounts offered by them on a regular basis by checking their website.

3. TEFLPros

TEFLPros is a newbie to the TEFL industry. Their certification is accredited by ACCREDITAT. TEFLpros courses are affordable. They offer a complete online TEFL program of 120 hours. The course includes 10 modules related to lesson planning for reading, writing, speaking and grammar. They also focus classroom management and encourage student participation.

TEFLPros curriculum teaches new teachers how to analyze and also criticize their own performance as a teacher so that they can improve and succeed in different educational environments world-wide. Most students complete this certification in 3 to 6 weeks. Students are given job assistance after completing their certification.

4. Bridge TEFL

BridgeTEFL is a well-known TEFL certification provider. Bridge TEFL is accredited by ACCET.  They have 30+ years of experience in the field of TEFL and have assisted thousands to achieve their teaching English goals. Bridge TEFL give one the option to choose from their shorter 40 or 60-hour online certifications. One can also select for more in-depth online TEFL certification options of 100, 120 or 150 hours. 

All their TEFL courses over 100 hours of learning includes tutor feedback, job placement and assistance. Their TEFLOnline.com certification courses are 100% online and can be completed from anywhere. They focus on imparting high-quality education through enjoyable interactive assignments. These courses are highly flexible and affordable.

5. i-To-i TEFL 

i-To-I TEFL is a popular TEFL certification provider since 1994 offering both online and in-classroom course options. i-To-i TEFL courses are fully accredited and regulated by the government of UK (Ofqual).  They offers a wide selection of courses like 120-hour introductory TEFL courses to 300-hour online TEFL diplomas. They also offer a 320 hours combined TEFL Diploma which is a blend of both online classes and 20 hours of additional classroom-based learning.

Their course materials include a study guide. One can also purchase grammar eBooks and lesson plans from them. i-to-i TEFL has partnered with 300 institutions and schools which ensures a strong network base for the aspiring candidates for teaching English abroad. After completion of the program one also gets access to i-To-i job board that helps new aspirants in finding teaching opportunities overseas.

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