What Is the TEFL Certification?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and TEFL programs can prepare you to work as an English language teacher at private schools or adult education centers around the world. Learn about the qualifications for certification, and review what you'd study in a TEFL program. Get info about online learning options in this field. Find out the salary potential for TEFL teachers. Schools offering Teaching ESL degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Do TEFL Certification Programs Involve?

TEFL certification programs are intensive programs designed to provide you with the education skills you need to teach English to non-native speakers around the world. Students may also be able to complete a certificate program to gain certification.

To start a TEFL program, you usually must have a good command of English and writing, but don't necessarily need to speak a foreign language. You might need to hold a bachelor's degree to apply to certain programs. If you're a non-native English speaker, you also might need to take an English examination.

Program Prerequisites English fluency, bachelor's degree
Program Curriculum Grammar, teaching vocabulary, classroom management, creating lesson plans, reading skills
Job Outlook 7% growth between 2014-2024
Online Programs Can complete certification program entirely online or divided between online and in-person

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Teaching Skills Will I Develop?

During your TEFL certification program, you'll explore a wide variety of English language topics and gain detailed knowledge about grammar, reading skills and pronunciation. You might be able to participate in supervised practice sessions with English language learners and receive feedback from instructors. You can leave the program with a teaching portfolio that provides videos of you in class, sample lesson plans and referral letters from instructors. Typical topics that a TEFL program can explore include:

  • English syntax and grammar
  • Universal aspects of language
  • Teaching vocabulary
  • Creating EFL lesson plans
  • Classroom management

What Can I Do With It?

With your TEFL certification, you can typically teach English at adult education centers and private language schools abroad. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that adult literacy teachers earned a mean annual wage of $54,060 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, adult literacy teaching jobs were projected to increase 7% from 2014-2024.

Are There Online Options?

You can earn your TEFL certificate or certification entirely online, as well as through a blended format depending on the program you choose. You can access audio and video lectures online; however, might need to meet for in-person language practicums where you can gain teaching experience. You may be required to observe classes near your home while taking the online coursework. Computer requirements for programs can include a web camera, headphones, a microphone and a high-speed Internet connection.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint John's University

    Saint John's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint John's University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University

    Purdue University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

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