TEFL: Frequently Asked Questions
For those looking for inspiration and excitement, we offer the chance to experience the world. TEFL is a fantastic way to travel, inspire new generations to speak English, live an authentic life, and earn a living at the same time. As the most experienced TEFL provider, we can help you get there, whether that is discovering the sites of Thailand or improving your professional credentials.
To get you started, we’ve listed some of the most popular questions we get asked about TEFL. If for some reason your question and answer isn’t listed, please get in touch with our friendly team who will be happy to help.
You can use the links below to jump to a section:
- What is TEFL
- Weekday and weekend classroom courses
- Online TEFL courses
- TEFL certificate
- TEFL jobs
- Working and living 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.
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.
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.
Is there international TEFL accreditation?
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.
Weekday and Weekend Classroom 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 hold courses throughout the UK, Ireland and Spain. If you think we should be holding a class somewhere we are not, then please let us know.
Are there any breaks on the course?
Yes, there will be short comfort breaks throughout as well as a lunch break.
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 an excellent student to tutor ratio.
Is accommodation provided?
Accommodation is not included in the course fee.
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.
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.
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.
What is the difference between the online and weekend 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.
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.
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 specialist courses to supercharge your CV and career chances.
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 advisors, our offices are open Monday to Friday 8am to 5:30pm, and we can take your course enrolment over the telephone.
How long will it take to complete the online TEFL course?
Our online course options are entirely self-paced. You will be given a time scale to complete your course within. This starts from the date of purchase. On average, we find that most students complete our courses within 10-12 weeks.
What if I need more time?
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.
What support will I get on the course?
You will have access to a personal tutor who will grade and provide feedback on each of your assignments. You will also have access to our online forums where you can chat and discuss course topics, assignments and teaching opportunities with other TEFL Org students.
How do I contact my online course tutor?
Contact with your online tutor is via email.
Do I need to purchase any textbooks for the course?
No. All required learning material is included in the course. We do recommend a couple of reference books that can come in handy when you start teaching EFL, but these are optional. You can browse these on our online shop.
Do I need to know grammar?
Don’t worry; you don’t need a detailed knowledge of English grammar before you start your TEFL training. We offer a 30-hour Online Grammar Course which covers everything you need to begin teaching it effectively.
When will I receive my TEFL certificate?
On successful completion of your TEFL training, you will receive a digital PDF and hardcopy of your TEFL Org certificate. Hardcopy certificates are issued the next working day. Digital PDF certificates are available to download from your online student account.
What does it say on my certificate?
Your TEFL Org certificate contains the following information:
Your full name
The total number of hours of TEFL training you have completed
The course modules that you have completed
Our Course Director’s signature
Date your certificate was issued
Learning outcomes of the course
Information about TEFL Org
Our contact information
View specimen TEFL Org certificate
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 here /legalising-your-tefl-certificate/
I’ve lost my certificate. How do I order a new one?
Contact our course administration team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01349 800 600 (option 2).
Does the TEFL certificate expire?
No – your TEFL qualification is valid for life.
Will a TEFL Org certificate get me a job
Yes. We have a high number of course graduates go on to teach English as a foreign language abroad. Check out some of their stories here.
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 – all they need is your student ID. Alternatively, they can get in touch with us (with your permission), and we can verify that your TEFL certificate is genuine.
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.
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 to deliver your first EFL lesson.
I completed my TEFL course through a different course provider. Can I still apply for roles advertised on the TEFL Jobs Centre?
No, I’m afraid not. Our TEFL Jobs Centre is just one of the benefits of completing a course with us.
Am I too old to teach English as a foreign language?
No – there are English language tutors of all ages. We do recommend researching age restrictions on working visas before you enrol on a TEFL course, so you are not disappointed when it comes to applying for teaching opportunities abroad.
Do I need a university degree?
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. It can also be the preference of some language schools too. Check out these blog posts:
How to TEFL without a degree
TEFL in Asia without a degree: Cambodia
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 newbie and seasoned EFL teachers across the globe.
Working and Living Abroad
Do I need to speak the local language?
No, you don’t need to know the local language. You’ll only be speaking English in the classroom. It 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. 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.