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TEFL Certification: Explained

The home of everything you ever needed to know about TEFL certification! Whether you’re brand new to teaching English as a foreign language and need to get TEFL certified or already have a TEFL certificate you’re wondering how to use, we’ve got all the answers! Check out our FAQs, handy tips and advice on where to get your TEFL certification (hint, right here!)


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What is TEFL certification?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and there are a few similar acronyms that essentially mean the same thing such as TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languagest), EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and ESL (English as a Second Language).

The good news is that anyone who is fluent in English can take a TEFL/TESOL course to get a TEFL certification.

TEFL certification is the qualification you get from successfully completing a TEFL course. Equally, you could complete a TESOL course to become TESOL certified and these qualifications would be for the most part, interchangeable.

Technically, the slight difference between the two is that the term TESOL can also be used to describe teaching English to non-native speakers within a native English-speaking country. So, for example, English teachers who work within countries such as the UK, Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa would use the term TESOL rather than TEFL. The term TEFL is generally used for teaching English to non-native English speakers in non-native English-speaking countries.

The main thing to remember is that you can use your TEFL certification or TESOL certification to teach English abroad! Phew!

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When will you need TEFL certification?

If you want to teach English in a foreign country, you will usually need TEFL certification to do so. This is so that the school or language company who are hiring you know that you’ve been properly trained and so that you can obtain the correct visa to allow you to work there.

You don’t need any prior qualifications to get TEFL certification or to teach English as a foreign language, however, you may need a Batchelor’s Degree (in any subject) to obtain a working visa for countries such as Vietnam, China and Thailand. Your TEFL certificate and / or degree may also need to be legalised (notarized) by a solicitor or embassy to prove it’s legitimate.

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5 things to look out for when booking a TEFL course

  • 1: Accreditation/Regulation

    If you’re looking to get your TEFL certification, don’t be fooled into buying the first or the cheapest course that you come across. You will firstly need to find out whether the course is legitimate and accredited or, even better, regulated. This information should be displayed clearly on the course provider’s website and can also be verified directly through the accrediting/regulating body’s website too.

  • 2: The number of hours

    If you’re new to TEFL, you will need a course that provides at least 120 hours of training to meet the industry standard. Anything less could be considered insufficient by most employers and you may find that you’re overshadowed by other applicants holding a 120+ hour certificate.

  • 3: Classroom vs. online training

    Most TEFL courses are mainly online-based but often there is the option to participate in some classroom-based training alongside this. Consider your location and whether you are physically able to attend the classroom course. If you can attend, this is generally more desirable for employers so try and go for the combined training wherever possible.

  • 4: Tutor support

    Just like any other course, throughout your TEFL certification, you should be able to have (remote) access to Level 7 / DELTA qualified tutors throughout your TEFL course. This makes a huge difference with online courses because you won’t have access to face-to-face tutoring, so it really helps to be able to speak to someone for support over the phone or via email.

  • 5: User ratings

    Finally, it doesn’t hurt to review the course ratings provided by current/past users. For obvious reasons, this can give an insight into the usability, legitimacy and/or potential issues with the course and these can be compared with other course providers’ ratings to help you make a more informed decision. Read ours here.

Why choose i-to-i?

So now you’re fully informed on TEFL certification, all that’s left is for you to pick a TEFL course and get booked – hurray! Here are a few reasons why i-to-i should be your first choice when deciding on a place to get your TEFL certification. If we do say so ourselves…

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We’re the longest running TEFL provider in the world

Yes, you heard us right! We’ve been providing top quality TEFL courses since 1994 and we don’t intend to stop any time soon.

We’re English-government regulated

This means that the official body, Ofqual, have been through with a fine-tooth comb and made sure that we’re giving you the best preparation for teaching English abroad. Oh, and your certificate will be recognised all over the world!

We have over 182,000 graduates and they’ve rated us 4.5 stars

If you don’t want to take our word it, listen to our students! It’s no accident that 182,000 people trusted us to help them achieve their dreams.

We’ve got flexible online courses

You can start your course whenever you’re ready and with 24/7 access, you can work around your own schedule and from any device – you name it!

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Great Wall of China scene

Our tutors are the crème de la crème

Every single last one of them is either DELTA (or equivalent) qualified so when you ask for help, you’re going to get the best support possible either over the phone, via email or via our live WebChat service.

We’ve got stacks of courses

Whichever combination works for you, we’ve got it covered. With one of the widest range of courses on the market, we can work with you to ensure you’re getting all the training that you want and need.

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i-to-i TEFL
Suite 2, Chantry House, Victoria Road,
Leeds,West Yorkshire, LS5 3JB,
United Kingdom

i-to-i TEFL is a part of Teach and Travel Group Ltd.
Registered Company No. 7935847.