Our handy guide designed to answer all of your burning questions about TESOL certificates – we’ve left no stone uncovered! So, whether you’re new to TESOL or a seasoned TESOL traveller with a couple of niggling questions about your TESOL certificate, you’ve come to the right place.
First things first, TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and there are a few similar acronyms that essentially mean the same thing such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Languages), 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 TESOL/TEFL course to become a teacher of English to non-native speakers (students who don’t speak English as their first language).
A TESOL certificate is the qualification you get from successfully completing a TESOL course. Equally, you could complete a TEFL course to become TEFL 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.
If you want to teach English in a foreign country, you will usually need a TESOL certificate 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 take a TESOL course or to teach English as a foreign language, however, you may need a Bachelor’s Degree (in any subject) to obtain a working visa for countries such as Vietnam, China and Thailand. Your TESOL certificate and / or degree may also need to be notarised by a solicitor or embassy to prove it’s legitimate.
If you’re looking to get a TESOL certificate, don’t be fooled into buying the first or the cheapest TESOL 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.
If you’re new to TESOL/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.
Most TESOL certificates are mainly gained by an online-based course, 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.
Just like any other course, you should be able to have (remote) access to Level 7 / DELTA qualified tutors throughout your TESOL 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.
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.
So now you’re fully informed on TESOL certificates, all that’s left is for you to pick a course and get booked – hurray! Here are a few reasons why i-to-i should be your first choice (if we do say so ourselves):
Yes, you heard us right! We’ve been providing top quality TESOL courses since 1994 and we don’t intend to stop any time soon.
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!
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.
You can start you course whenever you’re ready and with 24/7 access, you can work around your own schedule and from any device – you name it!
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.
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.