TEFL certification – What is it and why do I need it?

Sarah Online Teacher Advice

If you’re thinking of joining the online ESL community by teaching English online, a TEFL certification is something you should seriously consider. TEFL stands for teaching English as a foreign language and is a certification that says you are qualified to teach English to nonnative speakers. A TEFL certification is a course that you work your way through, either in person or online, that will give you the tools you need to navigate the ESL classroom.

TEFL certification is an investment into your future!
TEFL Certification will take 40 – 120 hours depending on the course you take.

Why do I need more education?

It’s simple: you need this certification to teach English online or abroad. Not only will the TEFL certification help you land a job quicker, but it will give you the skills you need to be successful in the job in the first place. Pro tip, you’ll also get a higher salary with this training. You can’t argue that logic! By March of this year, there will be 2 billion English language learners, which means there is a boatload of teaching jobs. The only obstacle is that pesky TEFL certification.

Where do I even begin?

The gold standard of the online teaching community is for instructors to have a 100-hour TEFL certification. However, if you really want that job, go for 120, which is what most people have. If you want to make a great impression, shoot for the stars and do 160. Once you have the type of course you want, do some digging into the company itself. You will want to read a few reviews, look into their instructor backgrounds, and see what type of course you are given. Employers can very easily look at where you got your TEFL, which can make or break a job offer.

How do I know it’s legit?

There are so many cheap and sketchy TEFL courses, that it can be overwhelming to find a legit one. Since this is a completely unregulated industry you need to do your due diligence on potential courses. When you find a course, do your research and make sure that the company you are homing in on is accredited through a legit independent body. You can confirm whether a course has accreditation status by searching the company through one of these main accreditation bodies:

WTEFLAC (World TEFL Accrediting Commission)

ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe)

ACCET (Accreditation Council for Continuing Education & Training)

Seems reasonable. How long will it take?

100-160 hours sounds like a long time when you are just trying to make some extra cash and fast. However, most of these courses can take as little as three weeks to complete. You just need to carve out time for them in your day.

TEFL certification can cost as little as $5!
TEFL certification is a small investment into a future of opportunity!

But will it put me in the poor house?

I am all about those bargains, but, in this case, cheapest isn’t best. How much you spend will depend on what you want to get out of your certification. If you are looking to make teaching online a career move, or are thinking of teaching aboard, then you should spring for an in-person course through a University. If, however, this is going to be a side hustle, then you can make do with one through Groupon.  Don’t go for the $5 course, though, you still need to do your research. It is a pain to put money out while looking for a job, but your return on investment will make this well worth it.

Legit courses that won’t break the bank

I’ve done the research, and have found some legit courses that won’t break the bank:

TEFL Full Circle
Cost: $39
Hours: 150

Learn TEFL
Cost: $39
Hours: 150

Global Language Training
Cost: $39
Hours: 150

All these courses have ample reviews that are, generally, high. Teachers found these courses easy to navigate and found meaningful employment after through online teaching companies. That said, you should still do your research to make sure the course is right for you.

Don’t waste a minute more once you are TEFL certified. Find the right online teaching company, and start earning some extra cash in days!