Best Online TEFL Courses 2022

Best Online TEFL Courses 2022

Which Universities Offer TEFL Courses?

While there are many options for you to study your TEFL course, choosing a university ensures that your certification is of the highest standard and is internationally recognized.

As TEFL courses are short, you can take one to supplement your bachelor's or master's degree.

Due to COVID-19, all courses have distance-learning options.

US Universities Offering TEFL Courses

1. University of Arizona

  • TESOL certification
  • Accredited by Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA)
  • In-person with six-hour practicum
  • Full-time, 100 hours
  • $1,045

Visit University of Arizona

2. University of Arkansas

  • TEFL certification
  • Accredited by CEA
  • In-person with practicum
  • 120 hours plus an optional, additional 30 hours
  • $2,300

Visit University of Arkansas

3. Columbia University

  • TESOL certification
  • Accreditation is unclear, but the website states the course meets international standards
  • Full-time over summer or part-time over fall or spring
  • 120 hours+
  • $6,800

Visit Columbia University

UK Universities Offering TEFL Courses

4. University of Birmingham

  • MSc TESOL education
  • In-person
  • Full-time one year or part-time two years
  • £9,000 for UK residents, £21,240 for international students

Visit University of Birmingham

5. University of Sheffield

  • CELTA certification
  • University of Cambridge accreditation
  • In-person with six-hour practicum
  • Full-time 120 hours
  • £1,353

Visit University of Sheffield

What Are the Best Online TEFL Courses?

6. Premier TEFL

Accrediting body: TQUK
Length: 120 hours
Cost: Starting at £115

Pros

  • Premier TEFL offers a range of certifications, so students have the option to enroll in the basic course or choose a specialization
  • They also offer blended courses and paid internships across South America, Asia and Europe
  • Premier TEFL will write you a letter of recommendation

Cons

  • There are no in-person learning options

Visit Premier TEFL

7. International TEFL Academy

Accrediting body: TQUK and Ofqual
Length: 170 hours and 11 weeks, part-time self-paced with weekly deadlines
Cost: $1,399

Pros

  • International TEFL Academy has 25 learning locations and is one of the most recognized TEFL courses in the world
  • It is a highly interactive course that delivers content on a collegiate level. It also offers in-class teaching.
  • All courses are taught by university-level professors

Cons

  • While there are 25 locations, most Asian locations are in the southeast. For those wanting to work in other areas, this course is not so accessible.

Visit International TEFL Academy

Best Online TEFL Courses
Best Online TEFL Courses

8. The TEFL Institute

Accrediting body: Ofqual and TQUK
Length: From 30 to 150+ hours across 2–8 weeks, depending on the course you take
Cost: £329 for the 120-hour advanced TEFL course

Pros

  • The TEFL Institute offers various courses depending on your career goals
  • The tutors have over 20 years of teaching experience
  • There is an option to take part in a TEFL internship for extra experience
  • 10-hour practicum course

Visit The TEFL Institute

9. The TEFL Academy

Accrediting body: Qualifi, Ofqual and DEAC
Length: 120 or 168 hours
Cost: $330+

Pros

  • The TEFL Academy is an excellent online course, but there are plenty of in-person classes across Europe and North America if you prefer
  • 10-hour practicum
  • 30-hour top-up course included in the 168-hour course
  • Additional six months of access

Visit The TEFL Academy

10. International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)

Accrediting body: OTTSA
Length: 120 hours for online TEFL
Cost: $239

Pros

  • ITTT offers a variety of courses, including a 60-minute essential and a 470-hour comprehensive
  • They have an impressive list of global education centers, including Guatemala and Vietnam

Cons

  • It costs $111 for additional tutor support
  • They have a jobs board but offer no additional support, such as writing a resume or applying for visa

Visit International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)

11. i-to-i

Accrediting body: ODLQC, AQC, DEAC and Ofqual
Length: 120 hours
Cost: $139

Pros

  • i-to-i has an excellent price point for those on a budget or who are unsure if teaching is the route for them
  • There is a more comprehensive 180-hour and 300-hour course
  • The school has internships and supports job opportunities
  • Your practicum feedback is from DELTA-qualified tutors

Cons

  • This school is not accredited in as many countries as other establishments

Visit i-to-i

12. TEFLPros

Accrediting body: ACCREDITAT
Length: 120 hours flexible learning
Cost: Not stated on the website. Some websites claim the cost is 1,600,othersstate1,600, others state 200–$300.

Pros

  • Two-day free trial
  • Upon graduation, you get a professional portfolio to support your job search
  • Lifetime job assistance

Cons

  • The price is not clear
  • No mention of practicum elements

Visit TEFLPros

What Is a TEFL Course?

TEFL is an acronym for ‘Teach English as a Foreign Language’. A TEFL course is an entry-level qualification that is globally recognized and respected.

This certification qualifies you to teach English in countries where English is not the first language.

A TEFL course gives you the skills to:

  • Teach English language skills
  • Plan lessons
  • Improve your understanding of the English language (especially grammar)

Having this on your resume will make you stand out when applying for teaching roles and may even help you get a higher salary.

Who Can Take a TEFL Course?

A TEFL course can be taken by anyone interested in teaching English. It is a common route for those wanting to travel abroad for a long period. TEFL courses are particularly popular with college students looking to take a gap year.

As you will be teaching, this course is ideal if you have the following skills:

What Are the Requirements for a TEFL Course?

The entry requirements may differ between providers, but as a rule, they are:

  • Age 18 or over
  • High school diploma/GCSEs
  • Good level of English language skills (this will be assessed)
  • Ability to pay for the course

Why Is TEFL Certification and Accreditation Important?

As you will be in a teaching environment, students will be trusting you to deliver the right information with the right techniques. TEFL certification and accreditation give you this.

TEFL courses are very popular, so there are plenty of fake providers online. However, it also means there are a lot of legitimate providers so you can shop around for the best program at the lowest cost. You want to be able to deliver the best teaching experience to your students.

Choosing an accredited course ensures:

  • You are getting a high standard of training
  • The course content is up to standard and in line with the accrediting body
  • Potential employers recognize the course and know they can trust you

Where Can You Take TEFL Courses?

TEFL courses are available in person and online.

Online courses have not always been respected in the same way that in-person courses are. However, as there are so many advantages to taking an online course, more people are doing so, therefore the stigma surrounding them is falling.

An increased move to online learning during the pandemic has also reduced this stigma. Many students can now take virtual internships and work remotely, so the online classroom is becoming the preferred choice.

Online TEFL courses give you the freedom to study in your own time and at your own pace. They are typically cheaper than in-person learning, yet offer the same curriculum.

The demand for online classes and better technology has allowed TEFL course providers to solve one of their biggest problems: the practicum component.

This is the part of the course where you practice teaching with an experienced teacher to test your skills and receive feedback. Now that online courses offer this, there is no reason for prospective employers or students to doubt the credibility of your certification.

However, not everyone is a natural independent learner. If you need support and encouragement to study, an in-person course might be the better option. While these courses are usually more hands-on and intensive, they do encourage you to focus.

Taking a TEFL course in the country you want to teach is also a viable option. Choosing this route will allow you to build connections and network for jobs.

It also gives you time to familiarize yourself with the area, so you aren't too overwhelmed when starting your job. If you are considering this option, be mindful that:

  • You will have to fund yourself until you start working
  • You might not get a job

Are the Language Courses Different?

While searching for a TEFL course, you will come across several other acronyms:

  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)
  • CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)
  • DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults)

These courses are similar as they all qualify you to teach English to other adults. However, there are some differences.

TESOL courses often have the same curriculum as the TEFL and are sometimes marketed together. There is no real difference between the two, and both are highly respected.

CELTA is Cambridge University's version of TESOL and is one of the most expensive courses on the market. These courses are also targeted at those who plan to teach English to adults as a long-term career choice.

Unless your goal is to pursue a career in teaching, a TEFL course is more than enough. You can always take a CELTA course at a later date if you decide to teach long-term.

DELTA is an advanced diploma for teachers who already have experience and wish to progress to senior positions.

How to Choose a TEFL Course

Before investing in a TEFL course, consider the following:

Accreditation

TEFL accreditation is essential if you want to be taken seriously and stand the best chance of being employed to teach English as a foreign language.

The internationally recognized accrediting bodies are:

Accreditation ensures the courses follow a strict standard and meet international expectations.

Some course providers have gone as far as to set up their own accrediting body and web presence. Steer clear of courses not accredited by the governing bodies listed above.

Equally, membership is not the same as accreditation. Schools can pay a membership fee to join the academic association without having their courses reviewed.

Course Length

TEFL courses should be at least 100 hours long to meet EFL standards. The most reputable courses are at least 120 hours with 6–20 hours of live practice teaching.

Be wary of those courses that promote 120 hours of learning, but mention nothing about the live-practice element.

Cost

Cost is the primary deciding factor for most people. But when it comes to TEFL courses, you usually get what you pay for.

The average cost of a TEFL course is anything from 150to150 to 3,000, depending on the school and type of accreditation.

You really have to consider if any course below that price provides high-quality service and delivers a university-level curriculum.

Tutoring

The course should be delivered by highly experienced and qualified tutors with a master's degree in TESOL or a related field.

They should also have extensive teaching experience and be transparent about their qualifications. Avoid courses where these details are vague or hidden.

The course should also offer hands-on tutoring to practice your skills with an experienced tutor who will provide you with feedback. This is one of the key features of a TEFL course.

Be warned that some schools will state that they offer a practicum component, but in reality, it is role-playing with other students. While this is a useful activity, it does not meet international standards for a TEFL course.

Additional Features

Additional benefits you should look out for are:

  • Support before you enroll – This is where an admissions advisor will have a conversation with you to ensure this is the right route for you
  • Access to professional advisors – These advisors will help you decide where to move, how to move there, how much money you'll need, and where to find the best jobs
  • Job search services – Not only will this service help you find work and network, but advice is also provided on writing your resume and cover letters, negotiating contracts and applying for visas

Frequently Asked Questions

The first thing to look for when searching for an online TEFL course is the qualification or certificate they offer. An official TEFL certification will offer practice online English lessons to students across the world. Some of the best courses that offer this certificate are MyTEFL, Bridge TEFL and the International TEFL Academy.

One of the most reputable places to study online for a TEFL qualification is the International TEFL Academy. They offer students a great online prospectus for a reasonable price. TeachAway offers great specializations in case you are looking to teach one specific area of English. If you are concerned about cost, then ITT offers a good TEFL education package for a very suitable price.

At 120 hours you can expect to be at level three of the TEFL teaching grade. This is equivalent to what is expected of an English A-Level. Many ESL schools also expect that their teachers have had classroom experience or at least experience tutoring with individuals.

CELTA is what you will need if you are planning on teaching English to adults. It is more classroom-based and you will be expected to have a strong knowledge of how to teach in this environment.

CELTA courses offer more first-hand experience with teaching and will provide you with a better teaching methodology than a TEFL course.

However, CELTA is very specific and costly. Before taking a CELTA qualification, outline your aims and who you intend on teaching.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a teacher of English as a foreign language is rewarding. However, it takes time, dedication and effort to become a good one.

Before committing to a course, decide:

  • If teaching English is a short-time job or long-term profession for you
  • Where in the world you want to teach

These two factors will help you narrow down your search options and find the best course for you.

Each course mentioned in this article has excellent benefits and different price points. As they are all accredited, the modules are almost the same.

If you are thinking long term, choose a school with several course options that will allow you to build and develop your knowledge.

For those considering TEFL for the short term, opt for a school that will support you in getting a job overseas.


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