There is no doubt a TEFL certification is one of the most valuable qualifications an English speaker can have today.
The English language becomes more important every day and many countries are in need of teachers.
If you have decided to obtain your TEFL you have made the right choice!
Online certifications are best for those who need a flexible experience to properly fit their schedule.
Despite the rumors, online TEFL certifications are just as good as their in-class counterparts and are accepted widely.
Although in-class teaching experience, like that offered by many in-class certifications, is extremely valuable — you don’t need the experience to get a job!
To help you choose the right online TEFL program for you, we have reviewed the most popular TEFL courses online, their pros and cons and compared the programs listed below.
For this overview, we have chosen 7 best online TEFL courses with an accredited certificate:
- International TEFL Academy
- International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)
- Premier TEFL
- UNI-Prep Institute
- University of Toronto TEFL Online
- Bridge TEFL
Read on for review snippets and highlights from the 7 best online TEFL courses, and what makes each one so great.
Certifying over 5,500 English educators in over 25 locations around the world and online in 2018 alone, International TEFL Academy is certainly no stranger to managing TEFL certifications.
In addition to being internationally accredited by several respected organizations in the field (street cred!), courses are all taught by experienced university instructors.
A small class size per instructor and interactive curriculum ensures that all online TEFL candidates receive nothing but the finest instruction.
Perhaps one of International TEFL Academy’s greatest perk is career guidance and placement assistance for online certification holders so that your investment will start paying off pronto!
$1199 (April 2020)
Not only will you be bettering yourself and your job prospects in China with an online TEFL certification, but your enrollment in a myTEFL course also gives back to a good cause.
With every new participant, a donation is made to several causes, such as buying livestock for a rural community or sponsoring a child’s education.
So what do you get out of this tempting deal?
MyTEFL’s courses lean more toward practical classroom application, rather than theory, so that you’ll have no problem stepping off a screen and into a live classroom.
Enrollment fees are also price matched with competitors and graduates receive job placement guidance.
Set off a chain of good deeds and sign up for an online myTEFL course!
$299 USD (April 2020)
Although a mouthful to say, International TEFL and TESOL Training, or ITTT, provides quality online TEFL courses that will leave you knowing all the latest and greatest ESL instruction methods to a (yet another) T.
Choose to add on tutor support to enhance your course’s feedback and interaction, or even opt for a combined online/onsite course that combines the best of both worlds.
ITTT boasts accreditation from the Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency to guarantee you’re receiving a top-notch education.
$349 USD (April 2020)
4. Premier TEFL
Score your lifelong, internationally recognized TEFL certification online with Premier TEFL’s engaging and flexible courses.
All course options are well over 100 hours, ensuring that you’ll receive a fruitful return on investment that will stay with you as you fly around the world for your stellar new teaching job.
Courses can be completed in as little as six to eight weeks, on any electronic device, and around the clock.
Premier TEFL is a perfect fit regardless of if you’re looking for a full-time job, internship, or short-term teaching experiences because you’ll get career guidance for all.
You can even choose to combine your online TEFL course with additional onsite, location-specific development to specialize in your target region.
€119.50 (April 2020)
This Canada-based online TEFL program is accredited by several international bodies and is open to students around the world, regardless of citizenship and place of residence.
All you need is a computer and reliable internet access, and you’ll be well on your way to being TEFL certified in as little as two weeks or all the way up to a year if you really like taking your sweet time!
In addition to being self-paced, UNI-Prep’s courses also save you the stress of cumulative bulky exams, because you’ll just be taking periodic quizzes instead.
Because UNI-Prep Institute’s online courses cover both TEFL and TESOL curriculum, you can choose whether to receive a TEFL or TESOL certification upon completion of the course.
If you’re still on the fence about which certification is right for you, you’ll have plenty of time to decide while not wasting a second.
$195 USD (April 2020)
Nothing screams “prestige” more than having Canada’s largest and world-leading university administering your TEFL certification.
Work at your own pace from anywhere in the world, with an experienced tutor supporting you along the way.
All certification options are over the suggested 100 hours and equip aspiring ESL teaching and seasoned educators alike with the know-how to structure lessons and manage classrooms in China.
$1295 USD (April 2020)
7. Bridge TEFL
Build a bridge between your dream to teach English in China and reality by obtaining an online TEFL certification through BridgeTEFL!
With over 25 years of experience in the teacher training and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, BridgeTEFL knows its stuff.
With their online courses, you have the freedom and flexibility to work from any one of your electronic devices, so you can even review pronunciation activities from your phone while you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
Whether you’re just looking to get your feet wet in the field or become a full-fledged ESL teacher in China, you can choose from 40-150 hour courses, even specializing in teaching business English, young learners, and the like.
$391 USD (April 2020)
How to Get Started & Get a TEFL Certificate Online
The sheer number of online TEFL certification providers floating around is undoubtedly overwhelming, but once you narrow down the accredited, high-quality programs (like CIEE!) that include live tutor support, career coaching, and a well-rounded curriculum, you can’t go wrong!
While the thought of online TEFL courses conjures images of a cozy evening in bed drinking hot chocolate in PJs, hard work is still required to do well and ace your TEFL course.
Your TEFL course is just the introduction to a promising, rewarding career teaching English in China, so don’t expect to have the grind behind you once you receive your TEFL certification in the mail.
As a bonus, we’ve even thrown in all the answers to your burning questions about online TEFL courses too.
6 FAQs About Online TEFL Certifications
1. Why does TEFL certification matter at all?
Maybe you are still asking: “Why should I get a TEFL certification before teaching in China?”
Teaching English in China is a fantastically unique and paid way to live like a local in another part of the world. Without prior teaching experience, your first few months on the job may be a nightmarish series of obstacles only overcome through repeated trial and error.
The virtual classroom will equip you with the proper know-how on how to effectively drill new vocabulary, get students to correctly pronounce the dreaded “th,” and encourage even the shyest English scholars to speak up.
2. What’s the difference between a TEFL and TESOL certification?
If you’re new to the ESL teaching world, you may have noticed a few acronyms popping up in your research.
Although very similar in nature, there are in fact a few key differences between the TEFL and TESOL certifications.
The biggest dividing factor is that Teaching English as a Second Language (TEFL) certification prepares you to instruct students whose first language isn’t English in non-native English speaking countries.
On the other hand, the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification is broader and encompasses teaching methodology for students in both non-native English speaking and English speaking countries.
To put it simply:
- TEFL will specifically prepare you to teach English in China.
- TESOL provides you with the general skills to teach ESL at home and in China.
Deciding on whether the TEFL or TESOL is better for you will depend on your career goals and employers’ certification requirements.
Before rushing to obtain either certification, make sure you know what the end goal is!
3. Is an online TEFL certification less valid than in-person programs?
The short answer is that the credibility of a TEFL certification won’t be sacrificed if you decide to take the online route.
There are certification providers (legit accredited universities included!) that even provide both options.
Of course, there are many pros and cons to weigh before making your final decision.
In-person TEFL courses get you that hands-on classroom experience and can be even more helpful if they take place in the country where you’ll ideally want to teach.
If scheduling flexibility and affordability of TEFL certifications are your biggest concerns, online TEFL courses are the way to go.
4. How do I choose the right online TEFL Program?
With so many well-marketed programs on the virtual market, how do you decide on the best online TEFL program for you?
It can be a bit overwhelming, but here are a few key points you should consider:
- Opt for a program that’s over 120 hours. It’s tempting to take the easy way out and squeeze by with a 40-hour course, but your chances of getting hired will also drastically drop.
- Look for program reputation and accreditation. Thoroughly research each program and be on the lookout for reviews, instructor qualifications, and external measurements of quality. Not only will you receive a better education, but employers will also give a thumbs up.
- The more living, breathing instructors, the merrier. Having a live tutor on the other side of the computer will give you feedback and answer questions about lessons. Try to stray from the 100% automated models that just having you reading and taking quizzes.
- BONUS! Job resources are a plus. Because online TEFL courses typically come bundled with less job support than onsite or in-person courses, you’ll have to do a little more legwork to score that dream job. Search for online courses that make a point of getting your hired.
5. Where can I teach with an online TEFL certification?
The country is up to you and your other qualifications! China, in particular, gets you the highest salaries compared to other countries where you can teach English as a second language.
Check out our list of reasons why it is worth teaching English in China:
6. What are the requirements for online TEFL courses?
Apart from having a passion to teach and adventure in China, online TEFL courses typically require candidates to be high school graduates and over 18 years old.
Although it is important to keep in mind that China may require at least a bachelor’s degree apart from the TEFL certification.
You also don’t have to be a native English speaker to qualify, as long as you have proof of proficiency.
If there are still some itching online TEFL course questions you need to be answered, try looking through some of our best online TEFL programs for specific information.
If you’ve already got your adventurous educator heart set on obtaining an online TEFL certification, read and click away!
Whether you want to further your career prospects in teaching English in China or you’re just getting started, ANYONE can squeeze an online TEFL course into their crazy schedule!