What is the Best ESL Certification?
If you want to teach English online, you might wonder, “what certification is needed to become an English teacher?”
Do you need certification?
Some ESL companies require certification, and others don’t.
If you already have a BA(or more) and you want to bone up by getting a TEFL, it is a great idea! Just remember, you might not have to.
Check with the companies you are applying to and find out their requirements.
You can search for companies that don’t require any certification by using this chart.
Interested in comparing other online ESL companies? Check out the MEGA CHART I made.
You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.Geoffrey Willans
There are many E.S.L certification programs to choose from.
There are many E.S.L certification programs to choose from. The certification course you choose will depend on who you want to teach and, of course, what you can afford.
Broadly speaking, there are three types of people looking to get an online ESL teacher certification:
Beginner Teachers: These are people with no BA that need to formalize their education (aka beginner teachers)
Experienced Teachers: These are people who have a BA and lots of classroom experience in a BandM school – brick and mortar school- but who have no specialized experience in teaching ESL
Experienced ESL Teachers: These are teachers who just want that cherry on top of their already overflowing CV full of PhDs, CELTAs, and more. Your current qualifications coupled with your future career goals will decide what certification is needed to become an English teacher in your situation.
Beginner teacher: What certification is needed to become an English teacher?
This is you: “I am taking my first baby steps into the world of E.S.L teaching and I am broke.”
For a beginning, TEFL online teacher, a 120-hour TESOL, TEFL, TESL, or CELTA certificate* is absolutely sufficient. It will get you hired and get you started on the ground floor.
You don’t need to waste time researching all of these options. Just scroll down to the course listings.
What is the Difference Between a TEFL and a TESL?
*Click here if you are wondering, “What the heck is the difference between a TESOL, TEFL, TESL, or CELTA?” Otherwise, continue…
What certification do I need to teach English online?
What is the Best and Cheapest TEFL Program to Teach English Online?
Best Certification Courses
The easiest way to get your TEFL quickly and cheaply is to do an online course that fulfills the minimum requirements of most major online ESL employers for online English teachers. Most companies accept a 120 hour course. The TEFL Full Circle course will fulfill these requirements and get you started teaching English online immediately.
Is TEFL Full Circle Legit?
Yes. TEFL Full Circle is legit. Many online schools and companies will accept it. In fact, this online course will fulfill the certification requirement for most online ESL teacher employer requirements. The course is rigorous but you can follow your own pace.
- TEFL Full Circle 160 hour course (with young learners certificate) Sign up with Groupon and it will be $30
The bottom line is this: if you are new to teaching English and you just want to try it out, then don’t spend a lot of money on an online certification course. Find out the bare minimum that is necessary for the company you want to work for. How many hours do they require for your certificate? It is probably 120 or 160 hours. If so, you are set to go.
Experienced Teacher: What Certification is Needed to Become an English Teacher?
You are a badass and already gainfully employed with money to spare.
This is you: “I have my PhD in linguistics, MA in E.S.L, BA in English and ten years or more of classroom experience. How do I demonstrate to employers that I can transition to online teaching?”
The short answer is that you might not even need an online certificate at all. If you can demonstrate years of classroom experience, some companies will hire you as long as you pass the demo class.
It is in the demo class that you will demonstrate whether or not you are able to successfully translate your classroom teaching techniques into an equally dynamic, engaging, video screen. A lot of smiles, props, modeling, and fantastic Total Physical Response (not to be confused with the aforementioned modeling) will wow your interviewer and get you the gig.
Experienced Online Teacher: What Certification is Needed to Become an English Teacher?
You are impressive but broke.
This is you: “I have my 160 hour TEFL certificate and years of experience teaching adults or kids online, but how can I command more pay?”
Focusing precisely on the employer or student base you want is the best way to know if a MA in TESOL is worth it for you. If you want a job in higher education (at the college or university level), then an in-person, expensive, 2-year minimum MA program is necessary. This is the minimum graduate degree level certification that you will require. Likewise, if you are sure English teaching is a life-long career for you, as opposed to a transitional job or a part-time job, then pursuing graduate school is the best option.
There are many online MA courses that you can take. The previously linked site lists a few common ones. Research your local state college and graduate programs to see if they offer some distance courses. In the COVID-19 era, there may be more online options.
If you want to level up your online teaching, then the next step is a graduate degree. Usually, these programs require in-person classroom components, but some accept distant learners. Expect to pay anything from $5000-$20,000 or more, as this is a fully fleshed out graduate program.
For more teaching English online jobs, an online TEFL program, usually roughly fifty dollars, will suffice. If you want to teach English in person or online with a state-accredited program then a graduate degree (a Masters) or a CELTA or a state licensure exam and equivalent provisional teaching license is necessary.
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