TEFL certifications are growing in popularity, though there is still some confusion over what they are. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The certification is designed for those who want to teach English in other countries or to students online- no teaching background required. For most online courses, no more than a high school diploma, proficiency in English, and a government ID is necessary.
There are variations of a TEFL certification to know before choosing your program. For anyone wanting to be qualified to teach English in both non-native and English speaking countries, a TESOL certification is required. A TESL certification is for those wishing to teach English in English-speaking countries to those who speak foreign languages.
English teachers are wanted around the world, so a TEFL certification puts you in high demand. These internationally-recognized certificates open many high-paying doors to the recipients. And while a good job is a popular desire, a TEFL certification provides something else: The ability to live in other countries and make a difference in lives around the globe.
Obtaining a TEFL Certification
When you are ready to dive in, you have many options available. There are in-person classes, but you can also receive a TEFL certification online and a TESOL certification online. The organizations listed here are some of the best organizations to attend, both online and in-person.
**Please note that prices listed here are standard prices. Special discounts are available for most of these programs at different times throughout the year.
Top 11 TEFL and TESOL Online Certification Programs
1. Premier TEFL
Premier TEFL is one of the most affordable TEFL certification courses available. They have a high reputation around the world and a network spanning the globe. This ensures that you have high chances of success being placed in a job after completion. In fact, more than 54,000 Premier graduates are now working in nearly 90 different countries. With several different program options, you can easily find a timeline and price that suits your needs best.
Program Length: 120 hours, 190 hours, 240 hours, 250 hours
Tuition: $199.50 – $359.50
International TEFL and TESOL Training, or ITTT, has been in the teacher training business since 1993. They provide online and in-class options with the ability to add on tutoring if you need extra training. They have both 60-hour courses and 120-hour courses, both of which are internationally credited. They also provide ongoing job search assistance after completing your certificate.
Program Length: 60 – 120 hours, depending on your requirements
Tuition: $299 – $495
3. UNI-Prep Institute
UNI-Prep Institute is a San Diego based organization which strives to provide quality education to teachers so that they can pass it along to their students. Every course is created by experts in that particular field, ensuring you are taught relevant information. They provide a basic 120 hour TESOL certification, or a 250-hour certification along with each specialization. If you want to extend your education, they also offer a yearly price to access every course they have available.
Program Length: 120 hours – 250 hours
Tuition: $300 – $800; $2000 per year for all UNI-Prep courses
4. Bridge TEFL
Bridge TEFL is a great place to start whether you are unsure of your teaching career plans or know exactly where you want to go. They offer multiple certification options, from a basic 40-hour course to an advanced 150-hour course to accommodate your needs. Bridge TEFL provides educational videos, tutoring, and much more to help you pass your certification successfully.
Program Length: 40 hours, 120 hours, or 150 hours
Tuition: $560 – $1495
5. Center for English as a Second Language from the University of Arizona College of Humanities
The University of Arizona’s Center for English as a Second Language, also known as CESL, has been providing teacher education since 1968. Their TEFL certification courses are widely-recognized as entry-level courses around the world. There are both in-person and online courses, ranging from 100 hours to 150 hours. Upon completion, CESL helps students obtain the notarization and authentication services needed to work in other countries.
Program Length: 100 hours – 150 hours
Tuition: $635 – $1335
6. Greenheart Travel
Greenheart Travel is a nonprofit organization created to equip educators to teach around the world. Greenheart Travel’s certification program is taught over 11 weeks, which breaks down into about 12 to 15 hours each week, for a total of 170 hours. The course is fully interactive and class size is kept at a maximum of 20 students, allowing instructors to focus more on each student’s needs.
Program Length: 170 hours
7. International TEFL Academy
International TEFL Academy, or ITA, is made up of a team experienced in living, working, teaching, and traveling internationally. All instructors are university-level professors, ensuring you get a high-quality education. ITA provides both online and in-person classes, and you register for both part-time and full-time courses to fit your schedule. The academy also gives every graduate access to job search guidance throughout their lives.
Program Length: Part-time- 4 weeks, Full time- 11 weeks
Tuition: $1399 – $1899
ITTO, or International Teacher Training Organization, is an exclusive facility that offers locations all around the world, including the United States. The educators believe in providing real-life experience, so they include real, local students in their programs. ITTO provides its graduates with job guidance and has successfully placed and certified nearly 5,000 teachers.
Program Length: 4 weeks
9. San Diego State University
San Diego State University’s American Language Institute provides an on-campus and online TEFL certification program with a large portion of hands-on experience. This certification course is a very in-depth educational experience, with specialized training on everything from lesson preparation and classroom management to language acquisition theory. In addition to other features, students receive worldwide job placement assistance after completing the certificate.
Program Length: Day Classes – 4 weeks, Night Classes – 11 weeks
10. Rennert New York TESOL Center
The Rennert New York TESOL Center is a teacher training center based in Manhattan. It trains both new and current teachers from around the world. It consists of a group of highly experienced educators who provide regular courses during the week, weekend-only classes, and specialty courses to further build upon your education.
Program Length: Regular- 4 weeks, Weekends- 14 weeks
11. Hamline University
Hamline University offers a comprehensive TEFL certification course, which can be finished in a four-month period. Through lectures, workshops, and group work, you will learn how to teach the language as well as how to manage your classroom, use teaching aids, analyze your students’ needs, plan lessons, and more. Hamline’s course is a good choice for working adults as they offer daytime, evening, and weekend courses.
Program Length: 4 months
Tuition: $4100 (includes fees and books)
The programs listed here were ranked based on a combination of three simple but vital criteria. The affordability of the program was the first factor. It was compared to the quality of education and experience provided through the course. And though the required completion time is similar throughout the list, this was also factored into our rankings.
If you are looking for a TEFL program, this list gives you several great options to start with. For those who have participated in any of them, please tell us what you think. If you are part of one of the organizations above, feel free to reach out to us with any corrections or updates.