A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is an excellent investment. Not only does it open up doors to higher salaries, but it gives you the preparation to lead a classroom of students of all languages and cultures.

Before you decide to take an online TEFL course, ask yourself a few questions. Do you want to teach English long-term (several years or more)? Are you just looking for some training before a brief stint overseas? Or are you interested in a flexible online teaching career?

Depending on what your goals are, an online program could be a great option since you can become certified without having to leave the comfort of your home. Online programs can also be quite affordable, with prices ranging from $500 - $1,800.

Read more about what you'll learn in an online TEFL course.

Before signing up for an online course, make sure to ask yourself these questions to assess the quality and find a program that fits your needs:

How many training hours do I need?

Many employers require that their teachers have a minimum number of TEFL training hours. Take this into consideration when looking at courses and be sure to sign up for an online class that meets your school’s requirements. Many schools will require a minimum of 120 training hours.

Often, you’ll be able to find courses that balance theoretical training with in-person practicums. While practicums are more common with on-site TEFL programs, it’s also possible to find online programs with this option. Do your research and make sure you’re signing up for a program that offers a balanced and comprehensive training program, since it’s important to make sure it will prepare you for the jobs you want to apply to.

What is the program’s reputation?

There is no single, international accreditation body that evaluates the world’s TEFL courses. Reputable online TEFL programs will instead be accredited by an independent or national organization.

Aside from accreditation, you’ll want to want to vet the program by doing some research. Things to look at when considering a program include: Does the company list their email and physical address on the website? Can you find an outline of the course syllabus with specifics of what the course will cover? Are there ways to contact past alumni? In general, it’s a good sign when information is readily available and given.

Finally, keep in mind that while TEFL schools can be members of an international TEFL organization (by paying a fee), it does not mean that their courses are evaluated by these organizations.

And remember: always read reviews! See what others are saying about the program and how it’s helped them achieve their goals.

What should I look for in a program?

What you’re looking for in a program will depend on what you’re hoping to do with a TEFL certification.

If you want to get certified to further a long-term teaching career, you’ll want to think about the value and prestige of the program. University-accredited programs hold the most international value. For example, the Cambridge CELTA is by far the industry’s gold standard of TEFL certificates. Developed and accredited by Cambridge University, this prestigious program is available worldwide and online.

On the other hand, if you are interested in English teaching as a shorter-term gig, the prestige of a program may be less of a factor. While it’s still important to make sure you’ll be getting enough training hours and meeting the requirements of the places you are hoping to get hired, you may want to make cost a significant factor in choosing a program.

If you’re ready to start researching programs, start by checking out these 9 best online TEFL courses!

Pro's of Online TEFL Courses

Lower Cost: Online classes generally cost a lot less than on-site programs. The prices of online courses are determined by the number of hours and the value of the certificate. For example, a prestigious university’s TEFL program will cost more than a private company’s program.

More Flexibility: Online classes allow you to read, complete assignments, and take the tests around your own schedule. If you work full-time or don’t have consistent blocks of free time to dedicate to on-site programs, then an online course is a great option. Unlike on-site programs (which run for about 4 weeks), online programs usually run for 2-3 months. As long as you have an Internet connection and a way to type your assignments, you can work from anywhere.

Con's of Online TEFL Courses

Little classroom experience: When learning how to teach, the chance to observe professionals and receive feedback on your own teaching is extremely valuable. Practicing in a classroom also gives you a chance to adjust to a classroom environment before moving abroad. Many online programs will not include practical experience in classrooms as part of their curriculum, so it’s important you look for programs that include this component. Practical experience in this setting will often involve completing a certain number of practicum hours in a school within your own community.

Harder to connect with peers: Another perk to a classroom course is the camaraderie with your group of fellow teachers-in-training. Learning online can be a solitary experience. However, some online courses make a big effort to create a strong community through the use of student forums and peer reviews of assignments.

Limited employment opportunities: The TEFL world is booming, and with the vast amount of certificates available, some employers are highly selective of their new hires. For that reason, some will not hire teachers who only have online certification due to their lack of classroom-based training. Again, think about your goals and what you’re hoping to accomplish. If you are hoping to be a highly competitive candidate, then you may want to look at an on-site alternative.

When signing up for an online TEFL program it’s helpful to have a sense of what to expect. Here are a few things to be aware of:

Cost

Online TEFL courses are generally less expensive than on-site courses, since there are fewer overhead costs for the programs to be administered. Some online classes run for as little as $500, but the majority of 120-hour TEFL courses from private companies will range from $1,200 - $1,800. Be cautious if you notice fees that drastically stray from this range, and be sure to ask a lot of questions about quality, recognition, and teaching methods.

The 4 steps to getting your online TEFL certification
  1. Select a program and enroll directly through their website. You will often pay tuition at this stage.
  2. Keep up with the reading, assignments, and enjoy asking questions and learning. Most courses will last for about 2-3 months.
  3. After completing the theoretic part, the final step for some programs is completing several hours of “in-classroom” experience.
  4. After receiving a passing grade, you will be issued your TEFL certificate.
Other TEFL options

While most employers will only be looking for a TEFL certification, if you are interested in pursuing TEFL as a long-term career you may want to enroll in an online masters program in TEFL. Many accredited universities, such as USC Rossier now offer these programs online.

What’s Next?

Now that you’re certified, it’s time to look for teaching jobs abroad!

Staying Connected

In the age of COVID-19, many of us are feeling disconnected from the global community. Here at Go Overseas, we think intercultural connection is all the more important in the face of a global pandemic. New technologies and digital learning can allow us all to virtually experience new cultures, learn new languages, and connect with new people. We’d like to encourage our Go Overseas community to explore digital opportunities and continue to embrace our global interconnectedness.

Last Updated:
May 7, 2020

Online TEFL Courses

Displaying 16 - 30 of 53 programs
Let's TEFL
Ultimate 120-hour Online TEFL course with Let's TEFL
Online
65 reviews3 interviews

At Let's TEFL we set out to create the ultimate accredited online TEFL...

World TESOL Academy
120-hour Online TESOL/TEFL Course
Online
12 reviews

To effectively teach the English language, you’ll need to have a...

Destination TEFL
Virtual Online TEFL Course
Online
4 reviews

We have set up a VIRTUAL CLASSROOM with our team in Siem Reap. Follow...

Teacher Link
Instructor-led Online TEFL Course
Online
2 reviews

While we are all navigating the novel health crisis, we would like to...

OnTESOL
120-hr Advanced TESOL Course: Online TESOL
Online
8 reviews

Get internationally recognized TESOL training and certification! Our...

OnTESOL
250-hour TESOL Diploma: Online TESOL with Optional Practicum
Online
7 reviews1 interview

The 250-hour TESOL Diploma is perfect for those who love teaching and...

BridgeTEFL
BridgeTEFL Online Certification Courses (40 - 120 Hour Options)
Online
14 reviews1 interview

Bridge, with 30 years’ experience and Department of Education...

BridgeTEFL
BridgeTEFL Graduate Level Online Course (150 Hours)
Online
11 reviews

The Bridge IDELT Online (International Diploma in English Language...

Penn GSE TESOL Essentials Series
The 135-hour PennGSE TESOL Certificate
Online
1 review1 interview

Earn your TESOL Certificate online with a real-time instructor from...

i-to-i TEFL
Level 5 TEFL Diploma: Teach English Online & Abroad
Online
New Program

i-to-i's prestigious Level 5 300 Hour Online TEFL Diploma will provide...

TEFL Training College
Master Diploma in TEFL TESOL 300 Hour Course
Multiple Countries
1 review

This program is designed for teachers who wish to achieve an advanced...

Buenos Aires TEFL Institute
190 hour Online TEFL Course With Job Placement
Online
New Program

How to teach English online and get paid. Start your Online TEFL...

Gold Star TEFL Recruitment
Internationally Recognized TESOL Program to Start Your Career
Online

Online English teaching certification has become one of the most in...

Abridge Academy
Accredited Online Au Pair / Homestay Tutor TEFL Course
Online
New Program

Do you want to travel abroad on a tight budget? Becoming an au pair is...

Western International English College
Internationally Recognized TESOL/TEFL Courses Accepted Globally
Online
New Program

Your Western International English College certification becomes your...

New Jobs

What People Are Saying

Certified TESOL, Certified Project Manager (PMP), College Diploma (Comp Sci)

I thoroughly enjoyed the material in the TESOL certificate course. The lectures and reading material were engaging and informative. I devoured the content, from start to finish, at a rapid rate, over...

World TESOL Academy

It is totally worth your time and money if you want to teach English to non-native students. I recommend you to get your Tesol certification as it not only saves money but also let your complete your...

on the boarder between Austria and Germany

Hello Everyone! I would like to recommend this wonderful course for people who likes teaching and travelling. It opens great possibilities to work abroad. Don't wait for opportunities, create it...

Popular TEFL Courses Articles

Related TEFL Courses Articles