Wednesday 2 January 2008

How to Choose a TEFL course

Updated 13 January 2015

What's the Best TEFL Course?
There are hundreds of TEFL courses to choose from so how do you know which one is the right one for you? Wall Street Institute has some tips on choosing a TEFL course. Cactus TEFL allows you to compare programmes. Other good sites for choosing TEFL courses are TEFL Review, ATCC, TESL Canada, and TESOL.

The big three TEFL courses for teaching adults are: SIT, CELTA, and Trinity. CELTA and Trinity are the only TEFL certs out there that are externally and internally moderated. You can also study online. CCELT is a 100-hour online TEFL certificate. The University of Toronto online TEFL certs with 100, 120, or 150 hours.

Short Courses

TEFL Diplomas

Management Diplomas

Teacher Training Certificates
  • IH London also might offer one if there is enough interest.
  • International House offers one in Barcelona and it's only a week.
  • SIT offers an intensive course that takes a couple of months.

Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) / Teaching Licenses

Free Online TEFL Certs and Courses

Discounted TEFL Courses for UK graduates
The British Council has a graduate scheme for unemployed UK graduates to take the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL that cover 50% of the tuition. See the British Council for more info.

TEFL Course Basics
The following information has been taken from Wall Street Institute.
  • At least 120 hours over at least 4 weeks
  • At least 6 hours teaching practice with real students
  • Exams should be oral, written, and teaching
  • The curriculum should cover: grammar, methods, phonetics, classroom management, activities, use at least 3 different textbooks, practice with audio and visual aids, introduce international exams or Business English.
Before You Take a Course
I wrote an article called learning about TEFL and training which is a good place to start finding out about how to teach English abroad. Another thing you could do is observe some classes. You could also look at sample lesson plans to help you get an idea of what you're going to have to do. Know that that it will be stressful and difficult at times, but remember that it's only a month.

Some teachers bring supplies with them like MP3 players, voice recorders, speakers, and a USB to the TEFL training programme. Others start to learn the local language. Take a look at Fluent in 3 Months for language learning tips. If you want to learn Spanish, Synergy Spanish is a great programme. Brushing up on your grammar will help since many courses focus heavily on grammar tenses. Books by Raymond Murphy or Michael Swan are good. Knowing the International Phonetic Alphabet is also good especially since many students use it.

Look into what you'll need to move overseas. Packing your whole life into one or two suitcases can be very difficult, but if you plan ahead, it makes it that much easier. Look at 30 days to move abroad to see what you should do.  

On-site vs. Online
On-site courses usually take about four weeks. Read should I do a tefl course at home or abroad? to find the pros and cons of each one. Online courses can be they have a practical teaching section. They should also offer lots of support and tutor feedback if you need it. Cambridge has recently come out with the online CELTA.This article has also been featured in the ELT Times.



  1. HI,

    really good blog however the peace corps teaching site link is broken you may want to have that checked or just delete the link...

  2. The Peace Corps moved it, here it is

  3. This came just on time as I am looking to complete a TEFL course. There's so many out there that I didn't know which was legitimate. Thank you so much, this really helps.


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