9 Best Online TEFL Courses To Live & Teach Overseas (2023)
- Written byBrandy Wells
- Read time19 mins
With more than 1.35 billion English speakers worldwide, there is no shortage of demand for native English speakers willing to teach the language abroad.
Learning English opens doors for people from all walks of life, whether they’re immigrating to an English-speaking country or looking to broaden their career prospects.
And the best part is: teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) benefits you as the teacher as well.
It’s a chance to travel the world, experience new cultures, and maybe even pick up a new language yourself.
There are plenty of online courses available to help you get TEFL certified from the comfort of your home.
To help you explore this option, I’ve compiled a list of the best online TEFL courses to help you start your journey of teaching English abroad.
We’ll cover accreditation, the coursework involved, where you can work when you have your certificate, and more. ✅
If you’re interested in studying a language to prepare for living abroad, check out our collection of language learning tools and resources. (We’ve test-driven them ourselves!)
Table of Contents:
But wait… is CELTA the same as TEFL? What about TESOL?
If you’re interested in getting certified to teach English abroad, you may come across other acronyms related to TEFL, including:
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
- Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)
- Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA)
Now, TEFL and TESOL are broader terms referring to a qualification you need to teach English. They’re sometimes used interchangeably, however:
TEFL often signifies teaching English in non-English-speaking countries abroad.
And TESOL commonly refers to teaching English to non-native speakers in native English-speaking countries.
Meanwhile, CELTA and DELTA are specific credentials that would meet the TEFL qualification and allow you to teach English in some capacity.
In this article, we’re generally focusing on the TEFL certification required for teaching in non-native English-speaking countries. 🧑🏫
Best online TEFL course options
Here are nine of the best online TEFL courses to help you get a job fast and start traveling the world.
i-to-i offers four options for TEFL training and certification. These are 120, 180, 300, and 420-hour courses.
The 120-hour course is $429. It includes 10 weeks of access to five training modules.
This course is approved at level 3, making it suitable for volunteer or entry-level English teaching jobs.
i-to-i’s 180-hour course is $759. It includes 17 weeks of access to 10 course modules.
This course covers all the core areas of TEFL and includes a specialist course for teaching young learners.
Upon completing the full 180 hours, you’ll receive a foundation degree and CELTA qualification.
This company’s courses from 180 hours and above are approved at level 5.
The 300-hour course is $1129. It includes 27 weeks of access to lessons divided into three parts: fundamentals of teaching, teaching one on one and online, and teaching business English.
Lessons cover all core areas of TEFL plus three specialist courses, including teaching English to young learners.
A unique benefit of this course is that you’ll receive a TEFL diploma after successfully completing the program.
i-to-i’s 420-hour course costs $1599. This is the most popular of the company’s course options.
It includes five specialist courses in young learners, business English, teaching online and one to one, teaching other subjects in English, and teaching for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
If you choose this program, you’ll have access to course materials for 37 weeks after purchase.
All courses are self-directed and include access to a support team and academics if you need help throughout the program.
There are no formal exams, but you do need to submit and pass written assignments.
All of i-to-i’s courses are approved by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and Ofqual regulated. They each come with a guarantee that you’ll pass or get your money back.
If you go with i-to-i, you’ll be paired with a personal jobs counselor and enjoy a lifetime membership to their TEFL jobs board.
- Unique specialist courses available
- Pass or get your money back
- Work with a personal jobs counselor
2. International TEFL Academy
The International TEFL Academy offers online TEFL courses that follow the same curriculum as their in-person programs.
Their two online TEFL course options are a part-time 11-week program and a 4-week intensive program.
The 11-week program is 170 hours of training. Of those, 150 hours are academic coursework, and 20 hours are practicum.
International TEFL Academy’s practicum component includes live practice teaching sessions, tutoring, and observation with non-native English speakers.
This is a significant benefit of training with this company: their courses are more interactive than other options.
Practicum can help you implement the concepts you learn and feel more confident heading into a classroom for the first time.
Sessions are taught live, and you’ll work through other coursework, including reading materials, assignments, and quizzes.
You’ll learn everything from teaching English grammar to classroom management and effective teaching methods for group classes.
The 170-hour course is $1499, with payment plans available as needed.
International TEFL Academy’s courses are approved at a level 5 by the British government’s Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) through TQUK (an authorized accreditor of Ofqual).
And you’ll receive lifetime access to job search guidance after full payment of your course tuition.
The company recommends enrolling in your course at least two weeks in advance.
That’s because there are specific start dates and waiting lists given the live nature of the courses. There are also limited spots available.
The 170-hour course is capped at 20 students, meaning you get more individualized attention.
The intensive program is a full-time university-level course capped at 12 students.
International TEFL Academy’s courses take place via Zoom and Moodle.
You’ll need to make sure your tech setup can accommodate these programs, along with PDF downloads and other requirements for accessing course materials.
- Practicum with live practice teaching sessions
- More interactive than other TEFL programs
- Lifetime access to job search guidance
TEFLPros offers a 120-hour TEFL course accredited through ACCREDITAT, an international accreditation body based in Scotland.
This course is made up of 12 modules, which are broken into 36 units.
Along with the course, you receive:
- Weekly coaching calls with an expert
- 17 hours of in-classroom observation
- Explanatory videos
- Lesson planning video tutorials
You’ll also develop a professional portfolio that you can share as you apply and interview for English teaching jobs.
The 120-hour TEFLPros course includes training on everything from lesson planning for speaking lessons to grammar review and student interaction.
Course materials include an English activity book and guide. You’ll also get downloadable teaching resources to help you learn and implement lessons in your classroom.
Plus, TEFLPros graduates receive lifetime TEFL job assistance.
Your student portal remains active for 18 months after purchase. And when you graduate, you’ll receive a graduate packet with your TEFL certificate. 🎓
This company doesn’t list pricing and invites you to reach out to learn more about their programs.
- Weekly coaching calls
- In-classroom observation hours
- Lifetime job assistance included
4. Premier TEFL
Premier TEFL offers four different online TEFL courses for students looking to teach English abroad.
The options are 120, 180, 240, and 300 hours of TEFL training. All of these courses are English government-regulated at Ofqual level 5.
These courses include a range of useful lessons, from language acquisition to using social media as a tool for learning English. 👨💻
These courses contain video lessons with progress tests along the way. You’ll submit tests to your personal tutor, along with three assignments required to complete the course.
Plus, you’ll get live tutor support sessions to ask any questions and make sure you understand the material.
Pricing for each of these courses is as follows:
- 120 hours: $439
- 180 hours: $659
- 240 hours: $899
- 300 hours: $1199
For courses above 120 hours, you have the option of paying in two interest-free payments.
Your purchase gives you access to course materials for six months, live TEFL job coaching seminars, and lifetime membership to their TEFL jobs website.
Additionally, the company will supply you with a letter of reference for TEFL job applications.
One reassuring aspect of choosing Premier TEFL is their guarantee: pass your course or get your money back.
- Live tutor support sessions
- Pass or get your money back
- Lifetime membership to TEFL jobs website
myTEFL offers four TEFL course options: Basic, Advanced, Professional, and Master.
Each of these courses comes with lifetime access to the TEFL course materials and resource library.
Your purchase also includes tutor support with personalized feedback on your progress.
The Basic course is $139 for 40 hours of training. This course comes with introductory modules on topics like basic classroom management skills, planning your curriculum, and managing a classroom.
The Advanced course is $249 for 80 hours of training. This course goes more in-depth on English language topics like grammar, lexis, and phonology.
The Professional level is $299 for 120 hours. This length is one of the most popular options for TEFL training.
The 120-hour course includes free TEFL job placement assistance for life.
It also comes with an internationally accredited TEFL certificate, which will help you get a work permit for teaching abroad.
The final myTEFL option is the Master course. It’s $349 for 140 hours of training.
This option combines everything the 120-hour course offers with an additional 20-hour online teaching component.
Plus, both the Professional and Master courses include an official letter of recommendation to help you get a job abroad.
Each of these courses is self-directed with tutor feedback. Courses are accredited by Ottsa, an organization focused on ensuring online training course standards.
- Tutor support and personalized feedback
- Lifetime course and library access
- Official recommendation letter for courses 120 hours and above
6. Bridge TEFL
Bridge TEFL offers a wide variety of online TEFL courses broken down into four categories: Professional, Foundational, Specialized, and Micro-credentials.
The Professional category is likely where you’ll want to look for your TEFL certification program.
This category contains two online TEFL courses: a 120-hour master certificate program and a 150-Hour IDELTOnline™ Diploma.
The most popular is the 120-hour master certificate. It has 13 modules divided into two parts: theory and application.
This course is self-directed, and the company says it usually takes around six weeks to finish.
The 120-hour course will cost you $710. This includes an additional certification in teaching English grammar, an intro to teaching young learners, and an intro to teaching business English.
You’ll have three months to complete your Bridge TEFL course, but you can purchase a three-month extension if needed.
The training process involves course materials like quizzes and supplemental videos, and feedback from your personal tutor.
You’ll also gain access to a discussion board where you can chat with other students working to become TEFL certified.
A benefit of choosing Bridge TEFL is their special focus on the job-hunting process.
Your TEFL course will include a job advising module and digital badges to share on your LinkedIn profile.
You’ll also have the option to earn six college credits through ACE credit and up to 12 continuing education units (CEU).
These courses are accredited by a US Department of Education-recognized agency called the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
Bridge TEFL also provides job placement assistance for students who complete their courses and receive TEFL certification.
Interested in teaching English to young learners?
Explore our list of the best resources for teaching children a second language. 😃
- Wide variety of course options
- Option to earn college credit
- Personal tutoring sessions
7. International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)
International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT) has online TEFL and TESOL training programs ranging from 170 to 550 hours in length.
Their most popular option is a 120-hour online TEFL course.
It’s made up of 20 units divided into two sections: teaching methodology and theory and English language and grammar.
This program is self-guided and available with or without tutor support. So, you can work at your own pace and receive the help you need along the way.
Once you’ve completed the lessons in the course, you’ll need to submit a final writing task.
Then, one of ITTT’s tutors will assess your work and determine whether you’ve passed the course.
A great thing about this company is that they offer courses as a part of various packages.
For example, the 220-hour master package bundles TEFL with a certificate for teaching business English (CTBE) and a course for teaching English for young learners (CTEYL).
ITTT also offers career support services for the length of your teaching career.
After purchasing your online TEFL course, you can access this feature in a restricted personal area. These support services include:
- TEFL resume writing
- Help with preparing for job interviews
- Assistance with finding and applying for TEFL jobs
- Access to free downloadable teaching materials and lesson plans
ITTT’s 120-hour TEFL course costs $249 without tutor support. With a tutor, it’s $339, and they’ll throw in a TESOL course for free.
You can also add an optional practicum component to your course to help develop important teaching skills.
When you add this component to your TEFL training, you receive a certificate of teaching practice recognition (CTPR).
- Courses from 170 to 550 hours
- Available with or without tutor support
- Lifetime access to career support services
8. UNI-Prep Institute
UNI-Prep Institute offers a 120-hour, certified TEFL course, a 250-hour TEFL diploma course, and a weekend live online TEFL program.
The 120-hour TEFL certificate course costs $300 and includes 10 self-paced units.
This course covers everything from classroom management to lesson planning. You’ll be expected to pass a quiz at the end of each unit, but there is no final exam.
Plus, UNI-Prep Institute’s 120-hour course comes with a bonus teaching English online course.
The 250-hour TEFL diploma course is $800. If you choose this course, you get a letter of recommendation, an eight-hour practicum series, and 10 additional specialization courses.
One of UNI-Prep Institute’s unique offers is their weekend live online TEFL program.
This program costs $2000 for 20 hours of live instruction in an online classroom with a maximum of 10 students.
It includes 10 specializations and 10 hours of practicum, with live teaching and interaction with teachers and classmates.
These intensive classes take place over one weekend and come with three certificates: the 250-hour diploma, the 120-hour certificate, and a practicum certificate.
Each of UNI-Prep Institute’s courses comes with 24/7 tutor support, activities to use in your classroom, and a downloadable PDF of your certificate or diploma.
All courses are accredited by ACCREDITAT and come with lifetime job search support.
- 24/7 tutor support
- Specialization courses available
- Live weekend TEFL training available
9. The TEFL Org
The TEFL Org offers several TEFL programs, including virtual classroom TEFL courses, specialist courses, level 5 and advanced TEFL courses.
One of their most popular offerings is a 120-hour premier online TEFL/TESOL course.
This course costs $479 and includes downloadable materials, self-paced lessons, and tutor support throughout the program.
The five modules you’ll work through in this program are English language teaching methodology, telephone teaching, teaching large classes, video observation, and grammar and language awareness.
You’ll complete assignments as you work through lessons and enjoy guaranteed assignment marking within 48 hours.
Your purchase gives you access to course materials for six months and a course discussion forum where you can chat with other students.
The TEFL Org’s courses include text and video materials, assignments, and interactive quizzes.
And upon successful completion, you’ll get a PDF and hard copy TEFL certificate with free international shipping.
One perk of choosing The TEFL Org is that the company has more accreditations than any other TEFL provider.
Their programs are accredited by the following bodies:
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- The British Accreditation Council (BAC)
- The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
- The Open and Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC)
- The UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP)
Another benefit of choosing this company is that you get lifetime access to their TEFL job center.
This online hub is updated weekly with TEFL teaching positions available around the world.
You can filter by keywords, country, education and TEFL requirements, whether accommodation is provided, and more to find a job that fits your needs.
Plus, TEFL Org says 80 percent of their graduates find work within two months of completing their course.
So, it’s a great option if you want to **get your TEFL career off the ground fast. **✈️
- Fast job acquisition among graduates
- More accreditations than other providers
- Lifetime access to TEFL job center
Does it matter where I get TEFL-certified?
Before choosing which online TEFL course you take to get your TEFL certificate, you’ll want to research the requirements for the countries you’re interested in.
For example, many countries require at least 120 hours of TEFL training to work in their language schools.
In Europe, requirements will depend on the country. Some require 120 hours of training, while others don’t ask for a TEFL certificate.
For instance, Spain has a program for teaching English in the public school system called the Language and Culture Assistants Program. You need a degree to participate, but they don’t require TEFL training.
However, having a TEFL certificate certainly helps regardless of the English teaching job you pursue.
On the other hand, in the Middle East, North, Central, and South America, around 120 hours of TEFL training are generally required.
Now, if you have an open mind about where you teach English abroad, you may want to find a course that is recognized in many different countries.
Usually, an accredited, 120-hour TEFL program is a safe bet. But always do your own research to make sure the online TEFL course you choose will work for your specific goals.
Where can I work with a TEFL certificate?
With a TEFL certificate, you can work in language schools, academies, public schools, or as a private tutor in countries across the globe. 🌎
Of course, the options available to you will depend on the country you choose.
Additionally, some countries and programs have specific requirements for your educational background, experience level, age, or country of origin.
So, it’s worth tracking down these requirements to determine the best fit for your circumstances.
To give you an idea of the options, here are a few countries with plenty of jobs available for TEFL-certified native English speakers.
- South Korea
- Costa Rica
- United Arab Emirates
- And many more!
While you’re researching, check out some of our best advice for avoiding negative situations as an ESL teacher abroad.
How to apply for TEFL jobs
Generally, after earning your TEFL certificate, you’ll want to update your CV to reflect your skills and any relevant teaching experience.
You can also turn to your TEFL provider for advice on finding and applying for jobs that meet your preferences.
As mentioned above, many online TEFL courses and programs offer job placement assistance or job centers with listings you can access with your course purchase.
This is a huge benefit, so make sure you understand the assistance available before choosing your TEFL course.
There are also several publicly available TEFL-focused job boards out there, like Dave’s ESL Cafe.
To sum it up, here are some steps we recommend when applying for TEFL jobs:
- Make a list of preferences: For example, do you want a full-time or part-time position? Where do you want to work? Do you want to teach children or adults?
- Search jobs with your criteria: Browse job boards, forums, and any other sources available to you.
- Narrow down your search: Choose a few jobs that appeal to you and research the requirements, how other teachers got them, and what their experience was like.
- Send out your applications: Once you’ve spruced up your CV and made sure the jobs you chose are a good fit, you’re ready to send out your TEFL job applications.
Online TEFL course certification: your ticket to a world of adventure
Now, you’ve seen just how many options there are for getting certified to teach English as a foreign language.
For example, you could go with International TEFL Academy and get hands-on experience with live practice teaching sessions.
Or, you could choose a course like myTEFL’s Professional 120-hour TEFL course and enjoy free TEFL job placement assistance for life.
Clearly, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to online TEFL courses.
And the best part? You’ve already achieved the most important requirement without even trying.
You’re already a native or fluent English speaker with the skills to help students learn.
All that’s left to do is choose which online TEFL course works best for you and dive into the lessons to earn that certificate. 👍
Have you earned a TEFL certificate through an online TEFL course or taught English in another country?
Share your experience below to help others achieve their dream of living and teaching abroad!
NO ADVERTISING. Links will be automatically flagged for moderation.