TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is primarily teaching non-native speakers English without the use of translation. This means you won’t need to know their first language. TEFL teachers will need the knowledge and know-how of the methodologies to teach in this way. This is why teachers must first complete a TEFL course and gain the qualification. TEFL is widely used to teach English online in one-to-one or small group scenarios or to teach English abroad and is sometimes even used as an easier way to travel.

One thing to look out for in a TEFL course is that the TEFL company offers an Ofqual-regulated Level 5 TEFL certification. This means the content, teaching, and materials have been examined carefully and are of high quality. A qualification regulated by the UK Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) can be awarded to learners. Another alternative is an externally accredited certification; however, you should make sure that you get at least 120 hours of training, which is the industry benchmark for employers worldwide.

In general, you don’t need a degree to teach English abroad or online. Our certification stands alone, and you can get employment without pairing it with a degree. However, it can be sometimes a school preferability for their teachers to have a degree. More importantly, it is a visa requirement for some countries, meaning you cannot obtain a work permit without a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Some of these countries include China, Japan, UAE, and Vietnam.
Our advice is if you have your sights set on a specific country, look into the visa requirements first before putting time and effort into finding a job there. This will save you time and disappointment. If it is a school preference and not a visa requirement, there is sometimes some leeway. If you are in the middle of completing a degree or have an associate degree, then we would suggest applying and trying your best. Most schools will look for at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

Anybody from 17, as an aspiring TEFL teacher, must be outgoing and confident and not afraid to make themselves look a little silly, especially when teaching children. Expression is a considerable part of the methodologies to be able to get your point across. You’ll warm up to this in time, and it all takes practice.
We suggest people be at least 16 with a C1 level of English or higher. If you’re not sure, we have an accessible English test. We also recommend people who work on their own initiative as it is an online course, and you will need to be your own motivation.

The short answer is no. Most employers are happy with the minimum of 120 hours of accredited TEFL training. This is the International standard in most countries worldwide.

TEFL is all about the immersion of students into the English language, so even if you did know some of the local languages, you’d be encouraged not to use it in the classroom!

As a TEFL-qualified teacher, the world is your oyster. Our 120 hour TEFL certificate is fully accredited and internationally recognized, meaning you can teach online or around the globe. If you want to teach in your home country at a language centre or would like to go to the UAE, we suggest doing our higher level qualification, our 180 hour level 5 TEFL diploma, as this is the requirement in such competitive countries.

Both courses are your main TEFL qualification and give you the opportunity to start your ESL career. However, there are a few differences between them, and the right choice will depend on your story and goals.
The 120 hour TEFL course is the minimum standard around the world. It is a lovely laid-out course with 10 modules outlined in the course content. This certification can be used primarily to teach online and travel the world. It is the fastest route to getting a qualification.
The 180 hour course is a level 5 qualification and can be compared to a CELTA or TrinityTESOL. This course is harder and longer to complete, but worth it in the end, as it opens up so many opportunities. If you’d like to teach in your home country or certain places in Asia, this course should be taken.

This is dependent on each country. As a whole, along with your TEFL certificate, you will need a clean criminal record, to be in good health, travel insurance, able to fly, funding to make the trip, and most importantly a flexible and positive attitude.
The first thing to do before accepting a job abroad is to check out the visa requirements. Although our TEFL certificate stands alone as a qualification, some countries do require a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. This is not just for teachers but for anyone who wants to enter the country on a work permit. Some of these countries include China, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea.
For jobs abroad, most schools will ask you for a demo class. This may sound weird at first, but it is a very common request. Remember to be as confident and clear-speaking as you can.

If you have no experience in teaching online, a good idea is to get some teaching practice in as they may ask for “experience” hours, which are unpaid. You can alternatively complete our 10 hour Methodologies course, which has a section focused on teaching English online.
Most online companies will ask for your TEFL certificate, teaching practice to have accessibility to good WiFi, a laptop or other computer devices, and headphones. Some online companies may ask their teachers also to have a Bachelor’s Degree. This is evident in Chinese online companies, as it is a government regulation (no matter where you are currently living).

Online English teaching jobs are advertised on TEFL jobs board and the education sections of national job sites. Another option is to become a freelance online TEFL teacher and recruit students directly. For your virtual classroom, it can be as simple as a quiet room, headphones and Skype or zoom. An excellent way to recruit students is via social media.

You do not need any prior teaching degrees or experience to teach abroad. Once you have your TEFL certificate, you are 100% able to work as a TEFL teacher. A B.Ed. will of course help your resume, but it is definitely not necessary.

Our courses are filled with course content, videos, podcasts, reflective tasks, and tests. They are online courses and can be completed in your own time and from home.
Our 120 hour TEFL course has 10 modules with a multiple-choice test at the end of each module. You will need 80% to pass. We offer free retests, so if you fail the first time, simply go through your coursework again and retake the test. All examinations are completed online and at your own pace. You are given 6 months to complete the course to accommodate people who have full-time jobs and dependents, but ultimately it doesn’t take this long.
Our 180 hour TEFL course has 11 modules with a test at the end of each module, consisting of both MCQs and open-ended questions. This level 5 course has a 100% pass mark. All of the tests can be taken online and submitted. Our system will correct your multiple-choice answers immediately, and you’ll be asked to retake the test if they are not correct. You can retake the test as many times as you need. The open-ended answers are checked by our assessment team, and you will get feedback if your answers need to be changed. You won’t get an unlimited number of times, and there may be an extra to repeat, so be sure to take their feedback into account. Once our assessors pass you, your level 5 government-regulated certificate will be issued. You are given 6 months to complete the course, but extensions are available if needed.
Our specialist courses are much shorter than the main TEFL qualifications. They are all completed online and in your own time. All tests are done online and corrected instantly. They have course content and tests throughout the course. They can be completed before or after the main TEFL qualification.
Our 10 hour Classroom Methodologies Course is completed through Zoom. You will join a class of no more than 12 students with your tutor, Kate. It will be held over two 5 hour days. She will be responsible for your passing mark based on your attendance, involvement and completion of an assignment.

All online course tests are corrected instantly, with the exception of our 180 hour Level 5 TEFL diploma. All accredited courses require an 80% pass rate, and retests are free.
The 180 hour level 5 TEFL course contains both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The multiple choice questions are corrected instantly, like normal, but word count is the only factor corrected instantly with the open-ended answers. After you have completed the modules, our expert assessors will correct your answers and give you some tips if an answer is not up to standard. Although the instant corrections are free to redo, you may be charged if your long answers are incorrect for a third time, so please take their advice into account when completing the reassessment process.

The TEFL Institute is fully accredited by ACDL. Our 180 hour Level 5 TEFL diploma is regulated by OFQUAL.

All of our accredited courses include a PDF version of the certificate. This is perfect for applying for jobs online or abroad. Sometimes, perhaps for visa reasons, you may need a hard copy. We have options available, but there is an extra cost for print and postage.

Absolutely not. Our TEFL certificates stand-alone and fully qualify you as a TEFL teacher. The more you have and the more specialist courses you do, your resume will grow, and you will become more desirable.
Although you do not need any other qualifications, you may need a Bachelor’s Degree or higher for visa reasons when travelling or some school preferences.

All courses are all done online, and no travelling is required for the tests. Except for the 10 hours of Virtual training, you can log on at any time. This is to ensure our TEFL courses can be done while working or for other studies. There is a 6 month deadline for the courses, but you can contact us for extensions.
The 10 hour Classroom Methodologies course is now virtual and done through Zoom. You will need to be available and online during your chosen times.

The two most popular ways to start teaching English online are to either set up your own business; alternatively, it pretty simple to find work with an online school or employer. If you are TEFL certified, teaching English online is a brilliant alternative to traditional classroom-based TEFL. One of the most important things you will need to teach English online is a good wi-fi connection and the correct technology. If you are teaching English online for a school, they will typically have their own online teaching platform that you can use – although you will still need to have a quiet, well-lit space from which to deliver your online English lessons. If you are working for yourself, you will need to create your virtual classroom to teach English online – typically via Skype or zoom, with a microphone and headphones at the beginning. At the very least, you must have a good computer and a fast broadband speed.

A well-crafted TEFL CV is essential to landing your dream TEFL job. Here are some guidelines for perfecting your CV:

Contact info: make sure your name and contact details are included at the top of your CV so they’re easy to find. 

Include a photo: use a photo of yourself that’s simple, professional and current. And don’t forget to smile!

Education and training: Include all your qualifications, starting from the most recent.

Work history: similar to above, list all your jobs starting with the most recent. If you have a lot of work history, we recommend only going back to around 10 years prior. 

References: include the details of two references or “references available on request” at the bottom of your CV.  

Other information: it’s a good idea to include any other skills and interests. Including your hobbies gives an insight into the kind or person you are.

Proofread: grammar mistakes and typos are unforgiveable on a TEFL CV. Don’t forget to proofread your CV and ask someone to read it for you to double-check.

If you’re unsure how to create your TEFL CV, we can help. Our CV service creates you a professionally written TEFL CV that summarises your unique abilities and achievements, no matter your experience level.

A TEFL internship is perfect if you’re a first-time English teacher looking for a shorter commitment (3-12 months). What’s more, you’ll be joined by other TEFL interns in the same boat as you – perfect for making like-minded friends and added support. 

If you’re a more experienced teacher, a longer-term teaching position of 12 months or more can be best suited to you. Your work permit may cost you more, but you enjoy the benefits of being a local citizen in your new home. TEFL jobs usually come with a higher salary, too – bonus!

Absolutely! TEFLing with a friend or partner can be an amazing experience. Many of our paid TEFL internships accept applications with a friend or partner. Places for couples/friends can be limited, so applying early is highly recommended.

There are many ways to gain work experience to enhance your CV. If you have no teaching experience, we suggest you do our 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course, which includes teaching practice. As well as a great addition to your CV, it gives you the confidence to be a successful EFL teacher. 

You can also volunteer as a teacher. This is a great way to see the world and gain experience. There are also internship programme that don’t require teaching experience. 

Our team is here to support you through every step of your journey, and that includes after you’ve completed your course with us. We’re committed to helping you achieve your TEFL goals. Whether you need job hunting advice or interview tips, we can assist you. Our blogs and handy online brochures also provide a wealth of knowledge to help you succeed in TEFL.

Our team is not just here to get you TEFL qualified, but also to help you land your first teaching job. With your TEFL certificate, you’ll get expert job hunting advice and lifetime access to our TEFL jobs board. We can also tell you more about our paid teaching internships abroad. Plus, give you our best advice on getting hired if you’re looking for a longer-term teaching role. You can also download our Job Hunter’s Guide for more insider tips.

Many TEFL employers will prefer or be required to receive official verification that your teacher training certificate is authentic. This is to uphold high teaching standards in the industry.

Your future employer can check the genuine status of your TEFL Institute of Ireland issued certificate by visiting our Employer Certificate Verification page and entering the unique identifier from either your digital or hard copy certificate.

Our old Level 5 certificates are issued by TQUK, and you can verify this certificate here

If you have a Level 5 Ofqual Certificate approved by Highfield Qualifications UK, click here to verify it.

The accredited courses are the quickest way to get TEFL certified, and are accepted by schools and institutes worldwide. Choose from a 120, 180 or 240 hour accredited TEFL course depending on the level of training you require. 

We recommend one of our Hybrid TEFL Courses if you would like to teach English in Europe. These hybrid courses give you the best of both worlds. You’ll get the training and certification you need, as well as teaching practice through the 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course.

You’re never too old to gain new qualifications! Some TEFL employers do have age restrictions, but there are ample opportunities for more mature teachers. There are also the options to teach English from home as a private tutor or online tutor.

If you want to experience different cultures and see the world, teaching English abroad is for you. Not only will you get to explore new places, you’ll also meet new people and get the chance to make a difference to the lives of language learners. A TEFL certification lasts a lifetime. So, you can dip in and out of teaching abroad whenever you feel like it. 

If you have no experience in teaching online, a good idea is to get some teaching practice in as employers may ask for “experience” hours, which are unpaid. You can alternatively complete our 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course, which has a section focused on teaching English online. 

You will more than likely need high-speed internet, a computer with an HD webcam and a headset if you want to teach online. If you have the choice of a video calling platform for your online lessons, Zoom is a good choice. It gives you a clear view of your students. You can also share your screen and create separate rooms for group work in lessons. 

Online teaching positions are normally flexible short-term opportunities with around 15-20 hours of teaching a week. Teaching online means you have the flexibility to teach wherever you are in the world – from the comfort of home or in an exotic faraway land! It’s also a lot easier to set your own schedule and fit your teaching hours around your lifestyle. Online teaching roles are aimed mainly at teaching young learners via an online interactive learning platform. But there are opportunities to tutor adults, too.

Most online TEFL companies will ask for a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training and teaching practice. Some online companies may ask their teachers to also have a bachelor’s degree. This is particularly true for Chinese companies, as it’s a government regulation (no matter where you are living). 

Yes! We can pause your course access until you’re ready to begin. We’re here to make the courses work for you, not the other way around.

Your TEFL course with The TEFL Institute of Ireland includes a range of materials and personal support, including:

Fully downloadable TEFL course material

Expert job hunting advice

Access to our TEFL jobs board

Lifetime support and guidance

Self-study training schedule

Personal online TEFL tutor support

Lifetime qualification

Internationally recognised TEFL certificate

Six month study period with 24/7 online access

You will be assigned a tutor when you enrol on your chosen course and receive a welcome email from them. They will be on hand to answer any questions you may have during your course.

The time it takes to complete your course depends on the one you’ve chosen and how much study time you can commit each week. In most cases, you’ll have six months to complete your course, with an extension possible if needed. On average, our fast tracked accredited courses take six weeks to complete. The average time it takes to complete the 180 Hour Level 5 TEFL Diploma is 12 weeks.

Some students prefer to learn in a classroom setting, while others are motivated enough to complete their TEFL training online. Online tuition is best suited to those in full-time employment. As you can learn online at your own time, it’s best if you have other commitments. Online courses are great if you have a smaller budget and like the thought of learning when and where you want.

Classroom settings are better for learners who need to have teacher-led classes and prefer to have practice with fellow learners before real-life teaching.


No – as a fully qualified TEFL teacher, you can teach students of any age. Our main TEFL courses cover all bases. If you would like to go into a certain niche, please check out our specialist courses to help you achieve your ambitions.

We recommend that you are over 16 years old before you start a TEFL course. If you’re looking for jobs abroad, the age requirement is 18 years old or older. 

If you’re looking for a professional globally recognised TEFL qualification, you should consider an online Level 5 TEFL course. These professional courses are Ofqual UK government regulated and assessed at the same level as the CELTA and Trinity Cert TESOL. 

Level 5 courses give you at least 180 hours of TEFL training – more than the minimum required. As it’s a higher level course, you’ll have access to more competitive roles and salaries.

A reputable TEFL company should have an approved licence number from an independent regulatory body. It should also be a registered company in the country where its offices operate. The TEFL Institute is accredited by the ACDL (Accreditation Council for Distance Learning). All our course materials have been externally and independently approved by Highfield, endorsing our brand as one of high standards and excellence.

The industry standard required by TEFL employers is 120 hours of training. Any additional training, including specialist courses like teaching business English, is always a bonus. Employers will also look for transferable skills and a personality that’s suited to moving abroad, overcoming challenging and jumping into a new career with both feet.

If your teaching qualification (such as a degree) is in English teaching then TEFL is not essential. However, TEFL courses give you the skills and knowledge to transfer your teaching expertise to non-native English speakers. There are also specialist courses that may cover topics you haven’t previously studied. 

TEFL is a lifetime qualification which does not expire. If you gained your TEFL qualification a few years ago, you might want to take a new TEFL course to refresh your training. If you already have the core TEFL certification, you can take a specialist TEFL course to boost your CV and show your commitment to teaching.

While Level 5 courses are not the same as a CELTA, they are assessed to be the same level of difficulty as a CELTA qualification. The difference between CELTA and Level 5 TEFL is the way they’re delivered. With a TEFL qualification, you’re more likely to study online at your pace while a CELTA course is typically full-time and in-person. When applying for TEFL jobs you may find a small number of employers request teachers have a CELTA.

Non-native speakers often find the Ofqual Regulated Level 5 TEFL courses quite challenging. As a guide, we recommend that non-native speakers have a minimum IELTS 6.5 score.

The Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate is one of the most accepted certificates worldwide. This certificate lets you teach English to non-native speakers across the globe. The main requirement to get a TEFL certificate is the ability to speak native-level English and then you complete a TEFL course. You can complete a TEFL course either online or in a classroom. The different courses vary based on the number of hours it takes to finish.

Yes! Teaching English as a foreign language – online or in-class – will give you an abundance of transferable skills. From time management to problem-solving and communication, you’ll have plenty of experience to impress future employers. As your TEFL certification never expires, you can get back into TEFL whenever you wish, too.

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

To learn more about Ofqual or to verify Highfield status, visit the Ofqual website

The TEFL institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Distance Learning (ACDL), which is an accreditation body that specialises in distance learning courses. Our ACDL accreditation reflects the high quality distance learning we offer our students.

ACDL accreditation number: 2854-2540

Find out more about the ACDL

With many TEFL providers out there, choosing the right one can be tricky. You must select a reputable course provider. Here at The TEFL Institute of Ireland, we pride ourselves on our accreditations, which show our commitment to the highest level of training. What’s more, we are the only course provider in Ireland that offers the prestigious Level 5 TEFL Ofqual regulated courses online.

All our TEFL courses are trusted worldwide and developed by our dedicated team with over 20 years of EFL training and teaching experience. We’re passionate about providing outstanding support before, during and after our students’ studies to help them launch their teaching careers and succeed in TEFL. 


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test is one of the leading tests taken by non-native English speakers to prove their English proficiency for work, education and migration. Over three million people take the IELTS test every year, so it’s no surprise that IELTS preparation teachers are in high demand.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers teach English in non-native English speaking countries. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) teachers teach English in native English speaking countries. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is a separate qualification you can get to teach English.

TEFL: One of the most accepted certificates worldwide, this allows you to teach English to non-native speakers across the globe. 

TESL: As a TESL teacher, you would likely be teaching English in your home country to students who have moved or live in an English speaking country. In other words, they are continuously surrounded by the language and will be using it every day outside of the classroom, unlike TEFL students who are likely learning in their home country.

CELTA: A very prestigious certification that follows a strict regulation created by Cambridge University. You must complete a 120-hour TEFL course and six hours of teaching real ESL students. Most of the programmes are held over a month and are full time. However, you may be able to find some courses that are part-time and are spread over three months. Due to its intense nature and requirements, the cost tends to be much higher and can be up to €1700!

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