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Best TEFL Certification Programs

International TEFL Academy offers the highest-quality TEFL certification courses

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Earning your certification in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) can be a great way to see the world while pursuing a career as an educator. TEFL certification programs can help you gain the skills and qualifications you need to begin your teaching career abroad. 

Reputable TEFL programs are accredited by government agencies or external bodies, such as the International TEFL Accreditation Council. The best programs are academically rigorous, employ highly qualified instructors, and help students secure TEFL teaching jobs.

Best TEFL Certification Programs of 2022

Best Overall : International TEFL Academy


International TEFL Academy

International TEFL Academy

  • Cost: $1,499 to $1,999
  • Program Length: 170 hours
  • Course Format: Online, in-person
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Most instructors hold master's or doctorate degrees

  • Many overseas locations

  • Strong international reputation

Cons
  • Challenging courses

  • Expensive

Why We Chose It 

International TEFL Academy (ITA) courses are consistently rated highly by both students and independent reviewers. ITA's academic rigor and international reputation are why it earned our top spot overall.

ITA offers an 11-week, part-time, online course for $1,499 and a four-week, intensive, online course following the same curriculum for $1,999. Both are level 5 TEFL courses, which means the United Kingdom's Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has recognized them as meeting a high standard of academic rigor. 

ITA also offers classroom courses available in select cities across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Qualified instructors teach all ITA courses, and all certification courses include opportunities for students to practice teaching in-person or online. Online courses feature live lectures, webinars, and chats. ITA also provides students with lifetime TEFL job search assistance.

Best Online Program : Premier TEFL


Premier TEFL

Premier TEFL

  • Cost: $439 to $1,699 with discounts available
  • Program Length: 120 to 310 hours
  • Course Format: Online, hybrid
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Good selection of specialization courses

Cons
  • Teaching practice only with 310-hour hybrid course

Why We Chose It

Premier TEFL was one of the first companies to offer online and hybrid TEFL courses. The program's wide range of online classes earned it our spot for the best online program.

Premier TEFL's online fast-track courses are great for beginners and take 120 to 310 hours to complete. The 120-hour course includes personal tutor support and 24/7 access to study materials. The 250-hour hybrid course includes several additional features, including 10 hours of virtual teaching practice. Premier TEFL's 120-hour course is regularly priced at $439, and its 250-hour hybrid course is available for $1,199, though there are steep discounts often available.ar

Premier TEFL also offers level 5 courses. Like its fast-track courses, these Ofqual-regulated courses are appropriate for beginners but are more challenging. However, earning a level 5 TEFL certification may make you a more competitive applicant during your job search. Premier TEFL's 310-hour course includes online teaching practice and costs $1,439, though again, discounts are available. 

Students use Premier TEFL's app to study online. Each lesson is divided into short blocks and includes video lectures and short quizzes. Premier TEFL provides letters of reference and other forms of support to students during their job search.

Best Budget-Friendly Option : ITT


International TEFL and TESOL LTD

International TEFL and TESOL LTD

  • Cost: $299 to $799
  • Program Length: 120 to 200 hours
  • Course Format: Online
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable pricing

  • Earn your certification in less time

Cons
  • Online teaching practice only

  • Teaching practice only included in Professional Plus

Why We Chose It 

If you want to get paid to travel the world, becoming TEFL-certified can be a great way to do it. However, the cost of enrolling in a reputable course can be a little daunting. For would-be TEFL teachers on a budget, International TEFL and TESOL LTD (ITT) offers quality courses at affordable prices. 

ITT's basic class includes 120 hours of course content and usually costs $299. However, it is frequently marked down when on sale.

Each ITT course module features assignments, quizzes, and videos. Students receive personalized tutor feedback and can reach out for help via email or online chat. Most ITT classes do not include a final exam.

Those who graduate from ITT courses will have lifetime job placement support. Former students say ITT's job placement services are excellent, and several reviewers say they earned their certifications quickly. However, students can take as long as they need to finish their coursework.

Best for Student Support : TEFL Org


TEFL Org

TEFL Org

  • Cost: $209 to $879
  • Program Length: 120 to 188 hours
  • Course Format: Online, hybrid
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Provides detailed information about TEFL certification process

Cons
  • Some classroom sessions only available online

Why We Chose It

All TEFL Org courses include full tutor support and lifetime access to the program's job center. Additionally, TEFL Org's website provides detailed information about the TEFL certification process, helping students make informed decisions about which programs to choose. 

TEFL Org offers both online and hybrid TEFL certification courses. Its online, 120-hour course is TEFL Org's most popular and covers standard TEFL subjects, such as English grammar and teaching methodologies. The course starts at $529. The program also offers a 188-hour online level 5 class featuring a 79-hour English language teaching methodology module. It costs $879 for the course, but TEFL Org frequently runs sales.

U.S.-based students interested in classroom training can attend class in Los Angeles, California. Students enroll in the 140-hour hybrid course, complete the first phase of the course online, and then attend in-person class sessions. TEFL Org doesn't have any upcoming courses in Los Angeles at this time but students can access select classroom sessions online.

TEFL Org's instructors are all qualified EFL teachers with hands-on experience teaching English abroad. Online courses include access to the TEFL Org learning platform and downloadable PDF resources, and every student receives personalized tutor support.

Best Hybrid Program : ITTT


 ITTT

 ITTT

  • Cost: $340 to $1,690
  • Program Length: 120 to 550 hours
  • Course Format: Online, in-person, hybrid
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Many in-person classes in the U.S.

  • Courses are moderately priced

Cons
  • Fewer overseas locations for hybrid courses

Why We Chose It

International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT) combined TEFL courses offer both the flexibility of online learning and the immersive experience of in-person teaching. ITTT's courses allow students to gain overseas teaching experience without spending several weeks abroad.

Students enrolled in ITTT's hybrid courses complete phase one of their training online and then begin phase two of the class at a training facility in the U.S. or abroad. They can choose among five-day, eight-day, and 10-day on-site course options. 

Those interested in observed teaching training can complete their studies in 10 days in Phuket, Barcelona, Rome, or Bangkok. Alternatively, they can complete the program in eight days in New York or Paris. Those who want to complete the second stage of their course in five days can attend classes at one of several locations across the U.S. The five-day option does not include observed teaching practice. 

Students can access ITTT's course materials online, or they can be downloaded. ITTT offers graduates lifetime job assistance, including help preparing for interviews, downloadable lesson plans, and information on TEFL vacancies. Although ITTT's hybrid courses cost $340 to $1,690, its online-only certificate courses start at $299.

Best for Specializations : Teach Away


TeachAway

 TeachAway

  • Cost: $995 to $1,495 with discounts available
  • Program Length: 100 to 150 hours
  • Course Format: Online
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Prestigious

  • Unique specializations

Cons
  • Expensive

  • No standalone specialization courses

Why We Chose It 

Teach Away/University of Toronto's international reputation and unique specialization modules can help students take their TEFL skills to the next level.

The University of Toronto OISE/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education teamed up with Teach Away to offer 100-, 120-, and 150-hour TEFL courses. Students who enroll in either the 120- or 150-hour course must complete two specialization modules. Teaching English to young learners and teaching business English are among the most popular specializations. However, Teach Away also offers modules in teaching English to Arabic speakers and teaching English to Mandarin (Chinese) speakers, which few other programs provide. 

Teach Away/University of Toronto's online courses are self-paced. However, students who study two to three hours a day typically finish in 6 to 12 weeks. Teach Away/University of Toronto provides graduates with assistance during the job search, and over half of the program's graduates receive job offers within three months of completing coursework.

Best for Overseas Job Placement : TEFLPros


TEFLPros

TEFLPros

  • Cost: Not listed online
  • Program Length: 120 hours
  • Course Format: Online
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free trial available

  • Lifetime job assistance

Cons
  • Only one course option

  • Online only

  • No teaching practice

Why We Chose It 

TEFLPros does more than help students refine their resumes and prepare for interviews. Graduates leave the program with a portfolio of lesson plans, which can help them during their job search.

Unlike some other TEFL programs, TEFLPros includes instructional material on how to prepare for the job search. The program's interview and resume guide offers tips on crafting resumes and details what students can expect during job interviews. 

TEFLPros offers one 120-hour online course. The course's 11 modules cover lesson planning, student interaction, grammar, and more. At the end of the course students take a final exam and submit a portfolio of the lesson plans they developed. Students can then use their professionally vetted portfolio as evidence of their teaching skills when applying for jobs.

TEFLPros course modules include discussion sessions, video slides, and 17 hours of in-class observation videos recorded in real EFL classrooms. Instructors grade students based on quizzes, final exams, and final portfolios.

Best for Online Teaching : i-to-i


i-to-i

i-to-i

  • Cost: $429 to $1,599 with discounts available
  • Program Length: 120 to 420 hours
  • Course Format: Online, in-person, hybrid
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Different course options for online teaching

  • Affordable online courses

Cons
  • Significant time commitment for TEFL-plus courses

  • Expensive specialization courses

Why We Chose It 

TEFL certification provider i-to-i offers several different course options for students who want to hone their teaching skills.

Students might consider i-to-i's 300-hour online TEFL course. This course is available for $1,129 with frequently running discounts. It includes three specialist modules, one of which focuses on teaching English online. The other specialist modules cover teaching business English, which is a skill in high demand and teaching young learners. 

i-to-i offers TEFL study support, jobseeker support, and a job interview guarantee for students who enroll in its 300-hour course. Online course materials include e-books, e-flashcards, lesson plans, and more.

Final Verdict

International TEFL Academy is one of the world's most respected TEFL certification providers. Students enrolled in the program's in-person and hybrid courses can develop their teaching skills in classrooms worldwide. International TEFL Academy stands out among other certification providers for the rigor of its courses and the expertise of its instructors, which is why it is the best TEFL certification program on the market.

Compare the Best TEFL Certification Programs

Company Locations Program Format Cost Program Length
International TEFL Academy Best Overall New York City and Chicago (also in Asia, Europe, Latin America) Online, in-person $1,499-$1,999 170 hours
Premier TEFL Best Online Program  Online, U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, South America Online, hybrid $439-$1,699 120-310 hours 
ITT Best Budget-Friendly Option  Online  Online  $299-$799  120-200 hours 
TEFL Org Best for Student Support  1 location in the U.S.  Online or hybrid  $209-$879  120-188 hours
ITTT Best Hybrid Program  New York City Locations (also in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, U.K.)  Online, in-person, or hybrid  $340-$1,690  120-550 hours 
Teach Away Best for Specializations  Online  Online  $995-$1495  100-150 hours 
TEFLPros Best for Overseas Job Placement  Online  Online  Not listed online  120 hours 
i-to-i Best for Online Teaching  7 cities in the U.S. (also in Africa, Australia, China, Europe, U.K.)  Online, in-person, or hybrid  $429-$1,599  120-420 hours 

How to Choose the Best TEFL Certification Program

When choosing a TEFL certification program, determine your budget, career goals, and the amount of time you can invest in coursework. If you hope to get a job teaching English abroad, consider a course that lets you try out your skills in a classroom in another country. If you instead plan to teach English as a foreign language online, find a course that provides training in using online educational platforms. 

Be sure to choose a reputable TEFL program that is independently accredited and internationally recognized. Programs that offer job placement assistance can help you secure your first teaching position, either abroad or online. 

TEFL vs. TESOL vs. CELTA: What’s the Difference?

TEFL instructors typically teach English-language courses in non-English-speaking countries. A certificate of English language teaching to adults (CELTA) is a type of TEFL certification. It qualifies instructors to teach English to adult, non-native English speakers. 

The University of Cambridge moderates all CELTA courses that provide graduates with level 5 TEFL certification. CELTA courses are more intensive than other TEFL courses, and some overseas employers require teachers to be CELTA-certified. However, you may not need to pursue this typically more costly and challenging credential, especially if you want to teach children. 

While TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages, employers and programs sometimes use TESOL and TEFL interchangeably. However, TESOL is an umbrella term that encompasses TEFL, CELTA, and TESL (teaching English as a second language). Earning a TESOL certification may be a good idea if you are interested in teaching English to non-native speakers in an English-speaking country.

Certification Purpose Length Average Cost
TEFL Teach English to speakers of other languages in a non-English-speaking country Minimum 100 hours for certification $200-$2,000
TESOL Teach English to speakers of other languages, either in an English-speaking or non-English-speaking country Minimum 100 hours for certification $100-$2,000
CELTA Teach English to adult learners who speak other languages 120 hours + 6-hour teaching practicum $1,500-$4,000

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Learn in a TEFL Certification Program?

Most TEFL certification programs provide instruction in three areas: English language grammar and syntax, teaching methods and lesson planning, and classroom management skills. Many programs include opportunities for students to teach an EFL class and receive feedback from instructors. Some programs provide additional training in specialty areas, such as teaching English online and teaching English to young learners. 

Is It Worth Getting a TEFL Certificate?

Earning your TEFL certification qualifies you to teach English language courses around the world. Some programs do not require instructors to be TEFL-certified. However, earning your certification will likely make it easier to find a well-paying teaching position in the country of your choice. It can also help you develop the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective teacher.

How Much Do TEFL Certification Programs Cost?

TEFL certification programs generally cost $200 to $2,000. Online courses are usually more affordable than in-person classes. Some programs offer TEFL courses that cost less and include fewer hours of training. However, courses with fewer than 100 hours of instruction do not provide TEFL certification.

How Long Do TEFL Certification Programs Take to Complete?

TEFL certification courses provide at least 100 hours of training, and the best programs offer students opportunities for observed teaching practice. Usually, full-time students can complete these courses in 4-6 weeks, but some programs take longer to finish.

Methodology

We reviewed over a dozen TEFL certification programs to identify the best in each of the above categories. The programs we chose have been accredited by government bodies, such as Ofqual in the United Kingdom, or by independent organizations, such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Employers generally require TEFL instructors to have completed 100 to 120 hours of training. For this reason, we only considered programs with courses that met this requirement. 

All of the TEFL certification programs on our list have strong international reputations, employ knowledgeable and experienced instructors, support students in their studies, and help graduates find jobs after earning their certification.

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Article Sources
  1. The TEFL Organization. "TEFL Hours and Levels Explained."

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