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What is TEFL? Which course should I take? Where are your courses held? Your answers to the most popular questions about TEFL here.

TEFL: Frequently Asked Questions

To get you started, we’ve listed some of the most popular questions we get asked about TEFL. If you have a question that has not been covered in our TEFL FAQs, please get in touch with our TEFL advisers who will be happy to help.

You can use the links below to jump to a section:

  1. Weekday and Weekend Classroom TEFL Courses
  2. Online TEFL Courses
  3. Virtual TEFL Courses
  4. Level 5 TEFL Courses
  5. TEFL Certificates
  6. TEFL Accreditation
  7. TEFL Jobs
  8. Teaching English Abroad
What is TEFL?

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is teaching English to people who do not speak English as their first language. People mainly choose to TEFL abroad; however, increasingly, many people are teaching English here in the UK. Other acronyms such as TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) are frequently used.

Are there any age restrictions?

Our courses are designed for those aged 16 and over. When it comes to finding work teaching English abroad, there can be age restrictions on some working visas.Learn more: Teaching English Abroad

Can I take a TEFL course if I have a disability?

Of course. If you require any special arrangements to take either the classroom or online course, please get in touch, and we will be happy to assist you.

Which course should I take?

There are several different courses, but a simple rule is that the more you learn, the more prepared and more confident you are.  Also, your CV will look more competitive if you have a 140-hour course rather than a 20-hour course.  However, some people have teaching experience and already have the confidence to take a class and therefore enrol in the online-only course.  It depends on you.   If you have any doubts, give us a call, and we can discuss which course would suit your needs.

Are there any hidden fees?

We’re 100% transparent when it comes to fees. Our course fees include all required learning materials, tutor support, assessment and certification costs (including postage!). It won’t cost you anything extra to receive your TEFL certificate once you have passed the course.

Can non-native English speakers teach English?

Yes, but it can be more difficult to find work as an English teacher as some schools/recruiters stipulate native English speaking teacher (NEST) on job advertisements.Read more: Can non-native English speakers TEFL?

Are Groupon TEFL courses the same?

Basically, no. While we all love a great deal, some things are just too good to be true. TEFL courses advertised on websites such as Daddy’s Deals and Groupon are frequently not recognised by online and overseas language schools and employers. They also tend to include a variety of hidden costs that can quickly add up.Read more: Should you buy a Groupon TEFL Course?

I am a qualified teacher. Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach English abroad?

Yes, language schools abroad will look for EFL teacher applicants to have a recognised TEFL qualification.  We find that the majority of qualified teachers we train choose to opt for our 120-hour Premier Online TEFL Course.Learn more: TEFL for Qualified Teachers

Weekday and Weekend Classroom TEFL Courses

What qualifications do I need to apply for a course?

We believe that if you can speak English, you have the potential to teach it.  Therefore, we only ask that you are a native-level speaker of English and that you have the enthusiasm to learn something new. No other qualifications or teaching experience necessary.

Where are TEFL Org courses held?

We offer weekday and weekend classroom TEFL courses in towns and cities throughout the UK, Ireland and Spain. If you think we should be holding a class somewhere we are not, please let our team know on advice@tefl.org.

What time does the course start/finish?

Our weekday courses run Monday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm. Our weekend courses run on Saturday from 9am to 8pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm.

How many people are there on the course?

You can expect anywhere between 4 and 20 students per classroom. We set the maximum to 20 per course, so there is a good student to tutor ratio.

Is there observed teaching practice during your classroom courses?

You will have a chance to put into practice what you have learnt during the course.  This is peer-assessed with feedback from the course tutor.

Are there any breaks on the course?

Yes, there will be short comfort breaks throughout as well as a lunch break.

Is lunch included?

No – to keep the cost of training down, we do not provide lunch.  There are plenty of cafes and eateries near all of our course venues.  You can also take a packed lunch with you if you wish.

Is accommodation provided?
Accommodation is not included in the course fee.

What is the difference between an online and a weekend TEFL course?

The weekend course is practical and fast-paced whereas the online course is more theoretical and you can progress through the course in your time, plus you have one-to-one tuition.  Many TEFL students take both courses so they can see the theory of the online course put into practice on the weekend course.Learn more: Combined classroom and online TEFL courses

Can I pay in instalments?

You can reserve your place on any of our classroom or combined course options with a £50 deposit. The remaining balance is due within two weeks of your chosen classroom course date. Access to your online studies will be granted once full payment has been received.

Can I add on further TEFL courses later?

Yes – you can always build on your TEFL qualification by enrolling on additional courses at a later date. You could take one of several advanced courses to enhance your CV and increase job prospects.Learn more: Advanced TEFL courses

Online TEFL Courses

How do I enrol?

Course enrolment is easy. You can sign up online at any time through our website. We accept all major credit and debit cards and PayPal. If you would prefer to speak to one of our advisers, our offices are open Monday to Friday 8am to 5:30pm, and we can process your course enrolment over the telephone.

What are the technical requirements for online TEFL courses?

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone device.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: OS 10.12 Sierra or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Zoom (for Virtual Classroom and Online Teaching Practice courses only)
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
How long will it take to complete the online TEFL course?

Our online course options are entirely self-paced so it’s completely up to you. You will be given a time scale to complete your course within and this starts from the date of purchase. On average, we find that the majority of students are able to complete our courses within 10 to 12 weeks.

What if I need more time to complete my course?

If you do find that you need more time to complete your TEFL course, we do offer course extensions. You can purchase a course extension at any time – even after your course has expired. These range from as little as one week up to three months in length..

What support will I receive on the course?

You will have access to a personal tutor who will correct and provide feedback on each of your written assignments. They will also be on hand to answer any questions you have about the topics covered in the course. You will also have access to our online forums where you can chat and discuss the course and teaching opportunities with other online TEFL Org students.

How do I contact my online course tutor?

If you do need to contact your online tutor at any point during your course, just send them an email and they will get back to you ASAP. Tutor contact details can be found in your course welcome email.

Do I need to purchase any textbooks for the course?
All required learning materials are included in the course fee. We do recommend purchasing a good grammar reference book when you start teaching English, but this is not essential to complete the course. Browse Grammar Reference Books on our Online Shop
My grammar isn't the best. Will this be an issue?

Don’t worry; a detailed knowledge of English grammar isn’t essential before you start your TEFL training. All of our online course options include a module dedicated to English grammar and language, which covers everything you need to begin teaching it with confidence.

Virtual TEFL Courses

What’s the difference between a classroom and virtual classroom TEFL course?
Although the same topics are covered, the main difference is the way the course is delivered. Our classroom courses are taught in-person at one of our course venues whereas our virtual classroom courses are taught online through Zoom. Both classroom course types include teaching practice sessions where you deliver your lesson plan back to other course participants. Our virtual classroom courses also include a short pre-course task to get you up to speed with using Zoom so you are ready to start your first session.

Is virtual teaching practice recognised by schools/employers?

Not all TEFL courses include assessed teaching practice, so even though it’s conducted virtually, it’s still valued by schools overseas. In-person teaching practice may be preferred but with current restrictions in place, there has to be some compromise for those who are completing their TEFL training.

In which order should I complete the course?

Our courses are designed to be flexible and fit around your existing schedule. You can complete the course in any order you wish - some students start with their virtual classroom course and then complete their online modules whilst others wait until nearer the end of their online modules.

Level 5 TEFL Courses

Should I do a 120-hour or Level 5 TEFL course?

It’s really down to your teaching goals and what you want to ultimately do with your TEFL qualification. A Level 5 TEFL Course won’t get you a better paid teaching post however, the additional hours of training and modules will make your application stand out.Learn more: How to choose the best TEFL course

What is the benefit of a Level 5 TEFL course?

While a Level 5 TEFL Course is not required to find work teaching English as a foreign language abroad or online, it may benefit those who would like a longer, more in-depth course to help boost their confidence, especially if they are new to teaching.

What makes a Level 5 course level 5?
A Level 5 TEFL Course means that it has been assessed as a level 5 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Only courses that have been regulated by an Ofqual awarding body (such as TQUK) are legitimate Level 5 TEFL courses. A full list of qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual appear on the Ofqual register.Learn more: Fact-checking Level 5 TEFL Courses

TEFL Certificates

When will I receive my TEFL certificate?

Once you have completed and passed your TEFL course, you will receive a PDF and hardcopy TEFL Org certificate. Hardcopy certificates are issued the next working day. PDF certificates are available to download from your online student account within 24 hours of completing your course.

What does it say on my certificate?

Your TEFL Org certificate contains the following information:Your full nameThe total number of hours of TEFL training you have completedThe course modules that you have completedOur Course Director’s signatureDate your certificate was issuedLearning outcomes of the courseInformation about TEFL OrgOur contact informationLearn more: Our TEFL Certificates

Where can I get my TEFL certificate legalised?
As certificates are issued in the UK, a UK body needs to legalise your TEFL certificate.  Follow our guide on getting your TEFL certificate legalised.

I’ve lost my certificate. How do I order a new one?

Contact our Customer Services team on info@tefl.org or call 01349 800 600 (option 2) and they will be able to re-issue you with a digital and hardcopy TEFL certificate.

Does the TEFL certificate expire?

TEFL qualifications are valid for life; they do not expire. We’d recommend using your TEFL certificate within two years of course completion as it may throw up some questions during interviews why you have not used it since completing your course.

Will a TEFL Org certificate get me a job
A high number of TEFL Org course graduates go on to teach English as a foreign language online and abroad. As a TEFL Org student, you have lifetime access to our online TEFL Jobs Centre where you can search and apply for TEFL jobs all over the world. We can also help you with your CV before you send it out to schools.Check out where some of our course graduates have gone.

A school I have applied for work with needs to verify my certificate. How do they do this?

Schools can verify your TEFL certificate online via the following link TEFL Certificate Verification – all they need is your student ID (this can be found when you log in to your online student account and on your TEFL certificate).Alternatively, they can get in touch with us (with your permission), and we can verify that your TEFL certificate is genuine.

TEFL Accreditation

What is TEFL accreditation?

The course provider is thoroughly checked on a regular basis to make sure they adhere to quality standards in course provision and tutor support.Learn more about TEFL Org accreditation

Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation means you can be sure and have complete peace of mind when enrolling on a TEFL course. Also for schools and employers, they can be sure that your TEFL training is of the highest standard and has been checked and verified by an external body.Learn more: TEFL accreditation: what you need to know and why it is important
Is there an international TEFL accrediting body?

There is no one single awarding body for TEFL. However, do seek a provider that has approved accreditation from an external body. We have been leading the industry in certification since we first opened our doors, which is why we are the most accredited provider in the industry.

What is the difference between regulation and endorsement?

Endorsement is not as strict as regulation. Endorsement can mean that the centre/course provider completes and passes regular checks, however, this does not mean that student assessments are undertaken or verified by a regulatory body, and qualifications awarded at the end of study do not appear on the RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework).


Can TEFL Org set me up with a job on completion of the course?

While we are not a recruiter, we do provide lifetime access to our TEFL Jobs Centre where you can search and apply for EFL teaching opportunities all over the world.

Are you guaranteed a job after the course?
A high percentage of our course graduates, 80% in fact, are able to find work teaching English as a foreign language within two months of course completion. We cannot guarantee a job on completion of your course with us as you will still need to apply and go through a school’s hiring and interview process.

Will I be able to apply for a job straight after the course?

Yes – once you have completed your training, you’re ready to step into the classroom, virtual or in person, and deliver your first English language lesson.

I completed my TEFL course through a different course provider. Can I still apply for roles advertised on the TEFL Jobs Centre?

Unfortunately not. Our TEFL Jobs Centre is just one of the many benefits of completing a course with The TEFL Org. You can apply one of the many Recommended TEFL Jobs, or check out our article Where to Find TEFL Jobs

Do I need teaching experience to find a good teaching position?

We all have to start somewhere in our dream career. There are opportunities for both newly-qualified and seasoned EFL teachers across the globe.

Teaching English Abroad

Do I need a university degree to teach English abroad?
A university degree can be a requirement for some teaching posts, but not all. In most cases, it is for the work visa and/or teaching permit but it can also be the preference of some language schools too. These requirements can be found on job advertisements so it’s worth researching before you enrol on a TEFL course.Check out these articles on teaching English as a foreign language without a degree for more tips and advice:

How to TEFL without a degreeTeaching English Online without a degree
Do I need to speak the local language?

No foreign language skills are required to TEFL; you’ll only be speaking English in the classroom. Having some local language vocabulary and phrases can come in handy when you’re not at school e.g. at restaurants, shopping and at weekends. It’s quite easy to pick up in the country and online through apps/courses. Your school may also be able to offer your local language lessons.

I have children. Will they be able to go to the same school?

It is possible to move abroad with a child and teach. You just have to remember that you have the same issues to deal with as here in the UK; childcare and schooling specifically. We would advise looking into the area that you would like to move to. You will need to contact the country embassy to find out about visa regulations. You can then contact local schools or councils to find out about enrolling your child.

Can I teach English if I have a criminal record?

It is difficult to say how this will affect your application as there is more than one factor at play. First of all, you may be unable to get a working visa for some countries if you have a criminal record. Secondly, many schools/employers will ask you to provide a criminal background check on any application e.g. ACRO certificate or DBS. It will also be dependent on what the offence was.We would recommend that you contact the embassies of the countries you wish to work in to see if the offence would stop you from gaining a working visa.

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