Looking for a free TEFL Certification Online in 2021? Well, you are not alone! Given the value and the knowledge it offers, the course is in great demand among prospective teachers. The certification opens great job opportunities to “Teach English as a Foreign Language,” abroad.

Nevertheless, making the first move to joining a TEFL course online can be pretty pricey. A decent course can cost you anywhere between $300 to $5,00. That’s a lot of money to spend at once, especially if you have limited resources. 

Most of the students or young professionals live on a shoestring budget. Knowing that TEFL certification can add great value to your teaching career, it will only be stressful to choose an expensive course if you keep wondering how you will pay for it. 

So what can you do in such circumstances? Search for a Free TEFL certification online. Simple. Sadly, there is no such thing as free in the world.  You can find a lot of FREE courses online but the majority of them are scams.

When you start looking for cost-effective opportunities, you will find some wonderful options that can be explored. You just need to be practical and specific with your requirements and you can find a course that suits your budget. 

Why do you need a TEFL Certificate?

If you have always wanted to travel and teach abroad but didn’t have the resources to do it, the TEFL certificate could be your passport to the global teaching opportunities. The certificate fulfills your basic visa requirements to work abroad as well as trains you to better understand the learning needs of the foreign students. 


The course connects you with students across the world looking for qualified native English speakers to teach online. You can also travel and live abroad. You can earn enough money to pay your loans, enjoy a new culture, and pursue your passion all at the same time!

TEFL can help you to earn a supplemental income by teaching online through various online teaching platforms such as VIPKID, Magic Ears, and so on. If you are ready to start your EFL adventure, this is the certification for you. 

1. Henry Harvin TEFL Academy

“The institutes that offer paid TEFL courses make sure that their course is accredited and holds great value in the employment market. Henry Harvin is one of the world-renowned institutes that offers TEFL courses of supreme standard, thus, opening exciting job opportunities in several countries.”

–Shivam Taneja, ESL trainer

Henry Harvin offers an online self-governed AAEFL (American Association of EFL) approved TEFL course. The 120-hours program must be completed within the specified period of time. The trainers at Henry Harvin have experienced domain specialists who cover the course time and support students’ learning. 

The TEFL course online is recognized by the American Association of EFL, the world’s most distinguished autonomous organization for TEFL training. The 120-hours TEFL certification offered by Henry Harvin comprises 14 modules. The course is taught by subject experts having extensive knowledge and great ratings.

The students receive certificates with global validation on the completion of the course. Henry Harvin assists students in getting placement opportunities from online teaching platforms. 

The course usually requires 8-12 weeks to complete. The students pursuing graduation or young professionals can easily complete the course as it doesn’t require any advanced qualification or teaching skills.

In less than 14 days of completing the course, the students receive their AAEFL accredited certificate through email. The certificate endorses students capability as a ESL teacher. The certificate has a global approval and doesn’t need any renewal.

Henry Harvin also offers placement support to their TEFL students . Till date, more than 1200 students have been successfully placed in ESL teaching jobs around the world through Henry Harvin.  

2. Full Circle

Full Circle TEFL course is one of the top-rated courses available online. The 160-hour course enjoys global recognition and qualifies you to work as an ESL teacher in 7 mainlands. The TEFL certificate enables you to meet employment requirements as well as to comprehend the language requirements of non-native learners.

3. EF English First 

This is a renowned organization that hires qualified English teachers and assists them in finding jobs in China and other countries. English First is one of the trusted educational institutions and has been successfully placing teaching for years now.

Once you are hired to teach with EF, you can get your TEFL certification for free. The company sponsors online TEFL courses for their selected candidates through their training partners. You just need to get through their selection process to get your TEFL sponsorship. This is a legitimate way to get your TEFL certificate that is accredited and also saves your expense on the valuable course.

The only setback is that only natives from specific countries can apply for work through EF because of the overseas visa requirements. These countries include Canada, the US, UK, Russia, New Zealand,  Australia, China, South Africa, Indonesia. If you’re a citizen of these countries, you are eligible for employment and a free tefl course online.

4. Learn TEFL

This is a 120-hour course that meets standard Chinese regulations to work as an ESL teacher. This course offers access to placement support besides personalized tutoring. The students can apply online for the course and avail of great discounts. 

5. Via Lingua 

The company has been in the teaching training business for more than 25 years. Needless to say, it has helped thousands of teachers to get their TEFL certification. Via Lingua certified teachers have got placed abroad in ESL jobs through well-known employers. Though it is a small company, they have great online reviews that show how popular they are among students looking for free tefl certification.  

The company offers an annual scholarship that can cover your 4-week tuition fee at your chosen Via Lingua centers in Sardinia, St. Petersburg, Florence, Istanbul, Crete, Budapest, Arequipa. The only problem is that you have to pay for your accommodation. 

You can apply by filling out an application form and submitting a 300-500 word essay on any topic based on the scholarship you’re applying for.

You also have to make an initial deposit. In case you get the scholarship, your money is refunded. If you don’t get the scholarship, that money will go towards your chosen course.

6. International Open Academy

With more than  25,000 students, the International Academy provides a TESOL certificate which is an equivalent of TEFL. TESOL is an abbreviation for “Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages”.  It is designed to assist native English speakers to teach the language to immigrants whereas TEFL is intended to teach English as a foreign language. Although there is a slight distinction between the two, the course is still accepted by many employers. 

7. The International TEFL Academy 

The company is ranked as the one of the best TEFL certificate providers in the industry. They enjoy an exceptional great reputation for high-quality training and valuable placement assistance to their TEFL students. In addition, you get plenty of resources to find the job and country that suits you most. 

These excellent services come with a hefty price. However, if you are serving in the U.S. military or a veteran, the company offers $500 scholarships all year round in return for your service. In addition, personnel employed in the AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, or City Year, can also apply for scholarships with the International TEFL Academy.

Even if you don’t belong to any of the listed government agencies, you can still get your TEFL certification for free through other scholarships or prize opportunities that the academy offers International TEFL Academy periodically. They organize various competitions and events that can win you a scholarship. Make sure you carefully follow their Facebook page or their website for these scholarship offerings.

8. Premier TEFL

Premier TEFL enjoys a prominent reputation in the online teaching industry. They offer fully accredited TEFL certification that can be yours for almost free. All you need is to get their  teaching training scholarship that is offered in various countries in Europe. 

The scholarship covers 97% of your fees and gives you access to their 120 hour online TEFL program. In addition, you get up to 3 weeks of active teaching experience in countries like Poland, England, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Malta.

The students have to make an initial payment and after successfully completing the course, nearly all of it is refunded. Only a fraction of the fees is deducted, making it one of the cheapest TEFL certifications. If you want to get the traditional teaching certification for less than $25, Premier TEFL is the place to be. 

While your in-person teaching in the country, the company covers your accommodation and transportation costs, but you have to pay for your round trip flight. So, on one hand this course is practically free, you have to shell out some money for the experience.

A Word of Caution on Free Online TEFL Courses

With all sincerity, you need to pay attention when you come across some “free online TEFL certification.” More often than not, these advertisements are not trustworthy as they don’t offer accredited or authentic certification. 

A free certificate is a MYTH. Even if some company advertises their course as free, they usually have some hidden cost, whether in the form of money or a requirement. 

But before we get down to the nitty, let’s see what a free TEFL or a paid TEFL course holds.

Without a doubt, TEFL courses are expensive. Some of them are truly unaffordable, making the cash-strapped students look for free TEFL certification. 

No matter how much you search, you won’t find any 100% free TEFL training.  And even if you do come across a free course, know that the certification will not be valued globally, which is the most important thing to get hired. 

“Only accredited TEFL certificates have global recognition. Truly, and there are no free options as developing, teaching, managing, and TEFL courses require cost and effort. Instead of praying to find something for free, you need to look for a reliable course that is easy on the pocket and is approved by the employment industry.”

— Claire, ESL Teacher

If you are looking for a valuable course such as a Free TEFL Certification, make sure you don’t jump the gun. Always double-check everything you find such as the duration of the course, whether their certificate is accredited, the accreditation body, mode of teaching, cost involved, placements offered, etc. Check the rating and reviews of the course. Also, check whether your chosen “FREE” TEFL certificate is recognized by the companies you’re applying to.

You certainly don’t want to waste your time and effort on some fake course that has no worth in the employment market. Even if it didn’t cost you a dime, it robbed you of your precious time that could have been well spent on earning a legitimate certification.  

Where to find TEFL certifications online?

TEFL stands for “Teach English as a Foreign Language”. The certification is intended to assist native English speakers understand how to teach English language to foreign speakers. Standard TEFL certificates are accredited by some governing bodies like the AAEFL for America or the OFQUAL for the UK.

Some companies like VIPKID offer an in-house TEFL certification option upon being hired. However, most employers prefer candidates that already have the certificate. If you haven’t had any luck finding online TEFL courses that don’t break your bank, we have listed out some options that might work out for you. Here are a few affordable options that you can consider for your TEFL certification:


“Beware of those cheap TEFL certificates that are probably not accredited and global employers don’t accept them anyway. Please conduct thorough research into every program that you find before making a decision. You won’t regret spending a few dollars if that money earns you your peace of mind and ensures well-paid teaching opportunities.”

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  1. bhaggat singh Reply

    This is one of the best quality posts about why to choose a TEFL career option. The post conveys the writer’s information very well.

  2. elisha khan Reply

    This blog shows your writing skills. It is written in a way that however it is a big blog post. But equally interesting and informative also.

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