How do I get a TEFL certificate?

Your TEFL certificate is your proof to schools and potential employers that you have been trained in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

TEFL is basically where a fluent English speaker travels to a non-native English speaking country to teach English, or they can teach English online from the comfort of their home. Here’s the great bit; anyone can get a TEFL certificate if they take a TEFL Course and are a) fluent in English and b) they have access to the internet. It’s that simple!

Once you’ve got an accredited TEFL certificate, it will be valid for life, so you’re free to start using it immediately or whenever you’re ready to travel.

To get a TEFL certificate you need to successfully complete an accredited TEFL certification course, click here to i-to-i’s full range of TEFL courses.

There are three main types of TEFL courses that lead to a TEFL certificate:

  • Fully online TEFL certification courses are the cheapest and most flexible way to get your TEFL certificate. They’re great for covering TEFL theory in depth and studying at your own pace.
  • Classroom based TEFL certification courses are more expensive than online courses – but can be a good way to get your TEFL certificate if you want to study with a group of fellow TEFL certificate students and get lots of practical experience.
  • Combined TEFL certification courses offer a blend of online and classroom learning. Combined TEFL courses are a fantastic option for getting your TEFL certificate if you want the flexibility of online learning but with added practical sessions in the classroom.

When would I need TEFL certificate?

If you’re thinking about teaching English abroad or online, you would need TEFL certificates to prove that you have had proper training in this area. Your TEFL certificate/s would also allow you to obtain a working visa in your country of choice (for many countries).

The good news is that you don’t need any other qualifications or previous teaching experience in order to take a TEFL course or teach English abroad. Although, there are some specific countries where you would be required to hold a Bachelor’s Degree to teach there (e.g. China, Thailand, Vietnam).

There is also sometimes a requirement for you to get documents such as your TEFL certificates and / or degree certificate legalised prior to starting work.

See TEFL internships >>

How do I get my TEFL certificate legalised?

There isn’t a simple answer to this as laws are constantly fluctuating and there’s different procedures for different countries / employers. In general, you can find out from your local embassy or the embassy of the country where you’d like to work, if you’ll need to get your TEFL certificate (and any other documents) legalised. If you do, you’ll usually need to get it / them legalised in the country they were obtained.

For example, i-to-i is a UK based company so you would need to get your i-to-i TEFL certificate legalised in the UK. However, there are exceptions to this. Some foreign embassies will offer a service where they can legalise documents on behalf of the UK. You can check this information by contacting your local embassy.

Legalising a document to be used abroad is usually a threefold process. It will need to be legalised by the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office), the country’s embassy where you obtained the certificate and the country’s embassy where you’ll be teaching. The cost for this varies but we recommend using Vital Consular for UK legalisation. If you quote i-to-i when you first contact them, a discounted rate will be offered.

More on Legalising TEFL Certificates >>

What to look for in TEFL certificates / courses:

1. The institution you use has been accredited or regulated

For your TEFL certificates to be recognised internationally, you’ll need to make sure that your TEFL course provider has been accredited or, even better, regulated by a recognised body (such as Ofqual in the UK). This means that their TEFL courses have been checked to ensure they meet specific guidelines and are suitable for preparing students to be TEFL teachers.

2. You’re completing enough TEFL training hours

The minimum number of hours you’ll need to complete in the industry of TEFL is widely regarded as 120. For this reason, many TEFL course providers offer a 120 hour course. It is also possible and more desirable to complete more than 120 hours as this will put you in a more competitive position when applying for TEFL jobs.

3. Whether you’re doing online or classroom TEFL training

The majority of TEFL courses can be completed online, however, most providers will offer a classroom option to add-on to the online training. If you can attend a classroom course near to you, it is more desirable for employers to show that you’ve had some practical face-to-face training.

4. Whether you’ll have access to a professional tutor for support

Especially when you’re studying online, it’ very important to have access to qualified tutors for help and support whenever you may need it. This gives you the best chance of passing your TEFL course and obtaining your TEFL certification.

5. Always check user reviews

Last on the list is checking unbiased review sites to highlight any specific problems with a TEFL course provider. If it sounds like they’re illegitimate or your TEFL certificates may not be accepted by employers, steer clear.

What type of TEFL certificates are right for me?

Choosing your TEFL course should be based on a few different factors:

– Where you’re currently based

– Where you want to teach

– What type of teaching you want to do

For example, if you’re based in a city or large town, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to attend a Classroom Course which means that you should focus your search on Combined TEFL Courses.  Combined TEFL Courses are a mixture of online and classroom training and these are the best for those who want to get the most out of their TEFL training.

It can also depend on where you want to teach. For example, if you’re looking to teach in South Korea, many programmes will ask for some classroom training so again it may be best for you to complete a Combined TEFL Course.

Lastly, if you want to teach English online, for example, you could take a Specialist TEFL Course based on Teaching English Online plus the standard 120 Hour Online TEFL Course. Often, TEFL course providers will offer course bundles so you can choose which one is most suitable for your needs.
Which TEFL Course is right for me? >>

How would I use a TEFL certificate to teach English online?

Teaching English online is becoming increasingly popular due to the flexibility and the opportunity to travel while you work. If you’d like to teach English online, you’ll still need at least 120 hours of TEFL training under your belt. It would also be beneficial to take a Specialist TEFL Course based around teaching online to get yourself better prepared for the role.
Teaching English Online Course >>
If you choose to teach online, you’ve got the choice of working freelance which consists of setting up your own website or advertising online for students. This way, you can also set your own rates, choose your own working hours and basically have a lot of freedom. Alternatively, you could opt to work for an online language school. They would find students for you, set your rates and give you set working hours (or thereabouts).

Here’s what you can expect to earn teaching English online:

General or conversational English – £8+ per lesson
Business English – From £20+ per lesson
Examination preparation – Around £20 per lesson
Job interview coaching – Around £15 per lesson
English lessons for specific nationalities – £10+ per lesson

Why choose i-to-i for your TEFL certificates?

Now that we’ve given you everything you need to know about TEFL certificates, it’s time for some bragging!

1. Our TEFL certificates are English-government regulated which means that Ofqual have confirmed that our TEFL Courses are fit for purpose so you can rest assured that your TEFL certificates will be recognised internationally.

2. We’ve been providing TEFL Courses longer than anyone else in the world! That’s right, we’re the longest-running provider of top quality TEFL Courses so you’ll be in good hands if you stick with i-to-i!

3. Our graduates number over 210,000 and they love us! It’s no accident that we’ve got 4.5 star reviews on from our happy graduates – take their word for it!

4. Each and every one of our tutors are DELTA qualified (or equivalent) so they can provide you with the best advice and support to pass your TEFL Course

5. We’ve got any TEFL Course you could possibly need, including ranges of Online TEFL Courses, Combined TEFL Courses and Specialist TEFL Courses so whatever you want to use your qualification for, we’ve got you covered.

6. Plus, you’ll benefit from flexible online studying 24/7 from any device!

Check out our  TEFL Courses >>

Regardless of which option you select to get your TEFL certificate, make sure you choose an accredited TEFL certification course that:

  • Lasts 120 hours or more (the entry-level TEFL certificate for most paid TEFL jobs around the world)
  • Is delivered by a reputable TEFL provider
  • Is regulated by an official body, such as Ofqual in England
  • Gets good reviews
  • Offers ongoing support with job searches and career development.
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