TEFL / TESOL Training Courses
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Teach English Worldwide strives to provide clear, comprehensive, and objective advice to anyone interested in teaching English overseas.

The man who can make hard things easy is the educator

R.W. Emerson (American poet and essayist)

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The increasing demand for native English teachers has also increased the demand for TEFL-TESOLTraining Courses and programs. As a result, there are now hundreds of different schools offering TEFL-TESOL Courses in dozens of different countries. These institutions offer a wide range of course formats, prices, and support services. Some are offered as part of degree programs at accredited colleges, universities, and community colleges in the US, UK, Canada, and other English speaking countries. The majority, however, are run by specialized TEFL-TESOL Training schools.

However, not all TEFL-TESOL Courses are created equal! Because of the huge number of options available, you need do research before investing your time and money in a TEFL-TESOL Course. The wrong choice could mean that you receive sub-par training, a non-accredited certification not recognized by potential employers, or little assistance finding a job after your course has finished.

Minimum Requirements:

There are no universal standards for TESOL Training. However, a standard course should meet the following minimum requirements.

  • Minimum 120 hours in length
  • Accredited by an external educational body (see “Course Accreditations”)
  • Contains a component of observed teaching practice

Courses failing to meet these base requirements should be approached with caution. (See the note on Other Course Formats below)


Typical prices for a TESOL Certificate Course are currently between $800-$2,500 (excluding housing, transportation, and other additional costs), A number of factors contribute to this large price range, including: the company offering the course; the course format; and the country and city in which the course is conducted.

Course Formats:

In addition to assessing if a course meets the minimum requirements above, you must also decide which type of course format is right for you. The most common TESOL Course formats are:
  • Onsite Intensive: Onsite Intensive TEFL-TESOL courses are probably the most common. They are generally 4-5 weeks in length. The course is full-time and very intensive, so trainees have little time for outside commitments while the course is in session. However, this will allow you to obtain a TEFL-TESOL Certificate much faster than in other course formats. Many TEFL-TESOL schools that offer Onsite Intensive courses also have housing packages that you can purchase in addition to your course tuition fees. Many students choose to take the course in the country or region where they intend to teach. This often makes getting a job after the course a bit easier, and also helps you adjust to the new area.
  • Part Time: If you have outside commitments that prevent you from taking an Intensive Course, you may want to consider a Part-Time course. They can last anywhere between several months up to 1 year. They take much longer to complete, but in the interim you can continue working, studying, etc.
  • Distance/Online Courses: Online and distance learning has become increasingly popular within the TEFL-TESOL industry in recent years. Distance/Online TEFL-TESOL Courses allow you to work through the course on your own time and at your own pace. They are the most flexible formats available, and are typically less expensive than other types of courses. However, you should make sure that they still meet the base requirements for TEFL-TESOL Courses listed above. In particular, some Distance Courses do not offer an observed teaching component. If you are considering enrolling in a distance course, make sure that it provides some element of observed teaching practice, and that you will be teaching actual non-English speaking students (and not just role-playing with other trainees).

A Word on Other Course Formats:

If you have already spent some time searching the internet for TEFL-TESOL Courses, you may have come across other types of formats. Two of the most common are “Introductory TEFL-TESOL Courses” (which are very short courses, typically conducted over 1 weekend), and “In-House Training Courses” (which language schools or teacher placement programs give directly to their employees). While these and other non-standard course may be a good fit for your specific circumstance, you should be aware that their benefits are limited. In general, non-standard courses like these will not provide you with the same level of training. Even more importantly, the certification you receive will not be recognized by most employers or advanced TEFL-TESOL degree programs. This means that if you decide to teach somewhere else, or continue your studies in TEFL-TESOL, these courses will not be sufficient.