What is TEFL?

Teaching English as a Foreign Language to students who have different first languages, is also referred to as TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). 

TEFL certification is vital for qualifying to teach English abroad, online, or at home whether you are a college graduate or a qualified professional.

Is Certification Needed?

Yes. If you are serious about starting to teach English and make a reliable income and live abroad, then certification is crucial. Employers prefer certification with practical teaching experience. 


You stand out from the crowd in line, with certification, teaching English to non-native students. It adds to your credentials for sure. Increases your chances of getting hired and obtain solid pay.

Everyone who speaks English need not necessarily know how to teach it. Teaching is a whole different thing. Since English is a widespread language, it cradles many opportunities to find work online and abroad.

By the time you are reading this, I hope you have made a firm choice in your mind to take TEFL non callously. As it requires investment, a good amount of quality time in learning, and the most fundamental aspects focus, dedication, and passion.

Teaching English to non-natives needs an exuberant personality and it also calls for a change of lifestyle for most. Once you are a certified, full-pledged trainer, plans can be made to go abroad, depending on the company you work for.  

What Are The Requirements for TEFL?

Although generally no prerequisites are required for enrolling in TEFL, does not ring the same for other ESL certification courses like TESOL, CELTA, and TEFL. 

Accredited TEFL grants a diploma with the course completion, hence they require you to have completed a bachelor’s degree before applying.

Additionally, an interview or written test could be included. 

Otherwise, anyone serious about having to teach English as a career can take up the course. 

Why Should You Get TEFL Certified?

English is an established international language. Most nations are introducing it as a second language. It opens us to a versatile choice of teaching jobs that can be undertaken. 

Teachers with sound training and expertise are in high demand. 

TEFL certification is a must. It is also compulsory in certain countries and placement companies also need it. Even though you come from a native English speaking country, it is necessary to undergo teacher training to be equipped yourself with mechanics of language, to teach English Language Learners (ELL).

You may be a teacher already and know English, but Certification can get you higher pay. It is more of an entry requirement to even apply for jobs abroad which demand dynamic professionals and experience.

If you are looking to teach in a school or an organization, TEFL is it then. It prepares you to be a teacher with strong fundamentals and gives you all-round practical experience. Certification also can get you a job easily.

For beginners to start teaching, certification is not essential. TEFL is an in-depth education curriculum to prepare you to match the raising standards. That is because international English learners growing in number every day. China alone has millions of learners. Means more jobs. Certification makes things seamlessly easy. Helps you stay ahead of the curve.

What to consider before choosing an Online TEFL program?

An online program is much affordable than regular classroom sessions which cost thousands of dollars and other expenses like traveling abroad, accommodation, tuition fees. 

Nowadays online full time certified programs are being offered by universities and are no longer considered a second tier.

Let’s make one thing clear, there is no one official accrediting body to recognize your certification. An ocean of waters to pick your bottled water from.

Mainly TEFL goes with your chosen country to teach in and your plans in life. Where do you want to go? Which part of the world?

Every different choice you make has different options to be considered. I mean if accreditation bodies are different for different countries, then choose the one that is integral to your options.

Accreditation is a quality assurance. Course providers are bound by these standards set by an external organization and asses these providers to have met the conditions set.

The catch here is, in this industry, there is a lack of regulation. Anybody with little knowledge can create a course and sell it. If a course can be created, so does the accreditation body. While most say internationally accredited. 

Some programs can mislead you with fewer training hours and fake accreditation bodies. Exploiting potential students knowing it’s a highly growing industry is not uncommon. Care to be taken while in pursuit of the course best suited to you. 

Do look for official websites of the accrediting bodies. An official website can be easily distinguishable from an urgently made website.  Quality matters.

The best sites to research more about TEFL are gooverseas.com, teachaway.com, goabroad.com.

Also Check: Top 15  free tefl course in 2021

A list of TEFL/TESL/TESOL accrediting bodies are:

  • ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe)
  • TQUK (Training Qualifications UK)
  • ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Control)
  • OFQUAL (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation)
  • ACTDEC (Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education System)
  • WTEFLAC (The World TEFL Accrediting Commission)
  • IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as Foreign language)
  • IATQUO (International Accreditation of TESOL Qualifying Organisations)

All these bodies are not exactly for online accreditation, while most of them have online accreditation too.

Choose wisely. Well, employers look beyond certificates and organizations. 

Simply put, the tougher the better, the more you season the bat, the better the performance. Hence look for an all-round development program with additional practical teaching options and placement guidance.

Placement is a crucial part of this industry. Always look for a course that gives strong guidance in finding jobs overseas or online. 

If you want online work, there are some platforms with a difference like VIPKids, Skooli, Whales English to name a few. Requirements differ for each, but mostly a bachelor’s degree and accredited TEFL/TESOL certifications are required 

A Few Tips

Seems convenient for native English speakers to land on a good job than non-native speakers. If you are a non-native speaker then you must consider 

  • Your fluency
  • Your accent 
  • Your training or prior teaching experience
  • Clarity and comprehensibility
  • TEFL certification

European citizens find it fairly simpler to land a teaching job. Latin America does not specifically ask for native speakers whereas China, Japan probe preference for native speakers first.

Earning online is simple if you have the above-mentioned skills. Usually, 16-25 $ per hour is the basic pay provided by companies. Added incentives vary with your performance, rating by students. 

Choose to go abroad after training? Avoid Groupon TEFL courses which are cheap and short. Able to complete quickly but does not meet requirements such as 100 hours courses + 6 hours of practicum.

Since you preferred to go for online certification, a reputable best TEFL certification starting at 900$ can be an option for you. You have the advantage to complete the course at your own pace.

You can obtain a TEFL affiliated course from a university. Be wary of the length of the program. 

A 100-hour lesson is like a basic program mostly for new English teachers on a budget. 

A 120-hour program with practical teaching classes is for graduates looking for a job abroad and easy to clear visa requirements.

 A 150-hour long course is a comprehensive course to accelerate your career growth.

To summarize, keep in mind the length of the course, talk to your advisor, make sure it works well in your comfort zone. Do not be hasty. 

Decide well beforehand. All the other technicalities involved are discussed above.

An online course is no less than on-campus learning. The only advantage is you get is to stay in the place, learn about the culture, get involved, live and learn. When compared to online, which does not offer such intricacies. 

Since you are an online learner, research well about the country that you want to move to. Read unbiased online reviews. Gives you facts that you missed in your search. 

Well, after all, it’s just teaching the English language. Do not scratch your head. Breathe in and out deeply. Keep all these points in mind and you will find the course of your choice.

Also Check this Video

Happy teaching!!

Recommended Read:
What is TEFL Certification
Top 10 TEFL Certification Program in 2021
Top 5 Programs to Get Your TEFL Certification in South Africa
Top 50 Best TEFL Certification Courses


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