Becoming TEFL Certified

Becoming TEFL Certified

If you’re visiting this page, then maybe, just maybe, there is a little voice in the back of your mind thinking…hey…maybe I could teach English abroad too…

And let me tell you something, you absolutely can.

Of course with any dream it take a bit of work, and planning out steps for how to make it there, and it may seem a little bit daunting to begin.  Which is I am here to share my experience with you on how I navigated the journey, and hopefully help answer some of the questions that you may have if you are thinking of becoming TEFL certified.  Let’s get started!

What is a TEFL Certification?

TEFL is the acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, in other words, teaching English to anyone who is not a native English speaker.

Do I need a TEFL Certification to Teach Abroad?

Most of the time, yes.

When looking to teach abroad most schools that are looking to hire English Teachers require two things:

  1. A University Degree (does not have to be in Education, though this is of course a bonus!)
  2. A TEFL Certification

There may be some exceptions, but I would highly recommend getting your TEFL Certification if you are interested in teaching Enlgish abroad.

How do I become TEFL Certified?

In order to become TEFL Certified you need to find a program to enroll in that will teach you the basics of teaching English as a Foreign Language.

I decided to complete my TEFL certification with the International TEFL Academy.

I chose the International TEFL Academy because of their credibility, and also because they seemed open to answering any and all questions that I had.  In fact, the moment that I truly committed to teaching English abroad was during a call with one of their advisers, sitting in the park on my way home from work.

It was the first time that I came to realize that teaching abroad was a dream that I could actually achieve.

Teach English Abroad, Planning

Of course, I still had a long way to go.  My first obstacle was fully committing to the TEFL certification.  When researching International TEFL Academy course, I realized that there was also an associated fee with becoming certified.  The day I decided to enroll and I hit that final “Submit” button, that was the first time I invested money towards achieving this dream, and boy was I nervous!  It was also when my parents came to realize that I was truly serious about making this happen.  It was a big first step, but an exciting one too!

How much does a TEFL Certification Cost?

Most courses will charge a fee in order for you to become TEFL Certified.  While price may vary based on who you become certified through, my online course at the International TEFL Academy my fee came to —.

There are other many options and courses available so definitely do your research!  But be careful, some certifications, while cheaper, may not always be legitimate.

Can I get TEFL Certified Online?

YES!  The International TEFL Academy offers both in-person and online TEFL Certification courses.

Since the International TEFL Academy is based in Chicago, and I am from New Jersey, I opted for their online course which consisted of:

  1. 150 Hours of Internationally Accredited TESOL online coursework.
  2. 20 hours of in-person practicum experience (observation/teaching).

Which brings me to another thing, if you have been wondering:

Can I work full time and get a TEFL Certification?

YES!  You receive a calendar of due dates and assignments at the beginning of your course and I found that workload to be manageable while continuing to work full time.  I was able to complete my certification while working full time.

How long does it take to get your TEFL Certification?

About 2 and a half months.

I began my course on September 12th, 2016 and finished on November 23rd, which is a little over 2 months.  However, getting your practicum hours may take you a little bit longer, especially if you are working full time.

While working full time, it was a bit more challenging to find time to complete my hours.  Luckily, the International TEFL Academy does allow you to request an extension if you need more time.  If you want more information on what my Practicum Experience was like you can read more about it here.

Keep in mind that your own personal course duration may also vary depending on where you choose to receive your certification.

Any advice for becoming TEFL Certified?

  • Research, research, research!

This is an important step in your journey in becoming an English teacher abroad, and you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the organization you are using and that they are legitimate.

  • Then…stop researching and commit!

This is actually where I had the most problems, I just wanted to keep on researching and finding out more information, and before long months had passed and I had looked up as much as I possibly could…so all that was left was to just do it.  That first step of committing to the TEFL course was a scary one, and a leap of faith, and yet I am so glad I did it.  It made me more serious about the path I was on, and also opened the door to me realizing that this was all possible.

  • Pay attention in class and learn as much as you can.

I have spoken to a lot of alumni on the International TEFL Academy Facebook Page and they all say that if they could go back and change one thing before they came abroad, it would be to really try and learn as much as they could about what it actually means to be a teacher.  I admit, I am worried about this to when I get over to Thailand, as I have never actually taught a class before!  But the TEFL certification will at least help you get your feet wet and try your hand at lesson planning.

  • Believe in yourself!

You can do this, it is entirely possible, I know because I am on my way to finally making this dream I started to pursue over a year ago a reality.  So keep on researching, commit when you can’t research anymore, don’t give up, try your best, and believe in yourself!

  If you can dream it, you can do it.

Dream Big, Travel

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your certification! 🙂


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