TEFL Certification: Things You Need To Know About ESL Teaching Certificate


The Growing Demand For TEFL Certification For ESL Teachers

English is the primary language of the ever-expanding global business world; as a result, English teachers are in high demand in many different parts of the world. Surprisingly, however, requirements to teach English are relatively low, especially abroad and online.

To meet the increased need for English as a Second Language (ESL), online certification companies have jumped on the bandwagon to train aspiring English teachers and offer two types of credentials: Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Teaching ESL online has become a profitable side gig for teachers looking to set their own schedules and work with students around the world. TELF certification can enhance an ESL teacher’s marketability and open up more teaching opportunities; with the certification, teachers can expect to make about $25 per hour.

How To Become TEFL-Certified

Most TELF certification programs require that you be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma. That’s about it. Surprisingly, native English fluency isn’t a requirement; TELF certifications are often sought by foreign English teachers as well.

Program specifics can vary, but quality programs usually include at least 120 hours of coursework, including 20 hours of hands-on teaching to foreign-language-speaking students.

How Much Does TELF Certification Cost

Costs for TELF vary widely; in other words, it can be cheap or costly, depending on which program you choose and what your goals are as a teacher. Plan on spending only $9 for an online certification offered on Groupon, but be aware that the program is unaccredited. But this type of program does allow you to add a certification code to job applications, which could help boost your hourly pay rate.

Most accredited TEFL programs cost around $1,100. Brand TEFL certifications such as CELTA and Trinity can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000. Both programs are internationally recognized and best suited for career ESL teachers.

Online TEFL certification providers are plentiful, and many of them aren’t accredited. A good rule of thumb: The cheaper the price, the more likely the program is unaccredited. It’s always best to confirm that a TELF program you’re considering is run by an experienced professor and that the company holds recognized accreditation from a TEFL program such as the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), Chartered College of Teaching (formerly College of Teachers), and The World TEFL Accrediting Commission.


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Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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