International Program Advisor
Qualify for more jobs and advance your teaching skills with Specialized Certificates in high-demand teaching areas
Specialize your skills and qualify for more jobs with certification in the high-demand field of teaching English to children.
Gain specialized training in teaching English to adolescents and stand out to employers with this targeted certification.
Learn the theory and methods of teaching English in a virtual classroom in this introductory course.
This online TEFL/TESOL course can be completed on any device. On the go? Work on your course from your phone or tablet!
When you log in to your BridgeTEFL online course, you’ll see your course components outlined right on the navigation menu. The progress bar also helps you manage your time effectively.
Your qualified and experienced personal TESOL tutor is there to guide you through the course. Use the tutor feed function to ask questions about what you’re learning. Receive detailed feedback and grades on written assignments via the essay submission portal.
Watch videos featuring real EFL teachers in the classroom in order to observe the techniques you’re learning about and to get ideas for new games and teaching strategies.
Content is designed to directly involve you in your learning, keeping the course interesting. Clickable practice quizzes and fun exercises in every module ensure you're actively engaged in your TEFL training.
We understand that not everyone has the same goals when it comes to TEFL certification, and that your goals may change over time.
That’s why we’ve grouped our online TEFL courses as Foundational, International, and Specialized.
Learn which type of course is the best fit for you at this point in your TEFL journey.
These affordable courses under 100 hours offer an introduction so you can learn the basic principles of TEFL. You can upgrade
to an International Certificate at any time, and add on Specialized Certifications to enhance your training.
You are new to TEFL and/or not sure of your teaching plans.
You prefer to start with an introductory TEFL course and possibly upgrade to more hours later.
You’re interested in a Specialized Certificate course but don’t have the TEFL basics yet.
These more comprehensive courses are at least 100 hours, meeting the minimum hours required for most international TEFL jobs.
If you want to enhance your training in specific areas, you can add on Specialized Certifications.
Qualifying for teaching jobs is your primary concern.
You want to take a comprehensive TEFL course that fully prepares you for the classroom.
You are considering teaching English as more than a short-term adventure – possibly as a career!
These targeted courses of varying numbers of hours are designed to boost your TEFL resume and skillset with additional training in high-demand areas.
If you don’t have any background in TEFL, we recommend pairing them with a Foundational or International Certification.
You are primarily interested in advancing your teaching career with continuing professional development.
You want to be more competitive for specific types of TEFL jobs (i.e., Teaching English Online).
You want to add hands-on teaching experience to your current credentials (with a Guided Teaching Practicum).
Download and print your TEFL/TESOL certificate for free.
All BridgeTEFL certifications are detailed on your certificate, including Primary and Specialized.
Courses are stackable! The total number of hours you completed is indicated, and this number updates each time you add another course.
Option to order a hard copy certificate mailed to anywhere in the world!
Share your badges everywhere employers are looking, including LinkedIn, your resume, and your email signature.
Employers can click on your badge to see detailed, verifiable information about the course you completed.
Demonstrate your commitment to lifelong learning – earn a new digital badge for every BridgeTEFL course you take!
The world of TEFL has many different abbreviations for similar teaching situations, and it can get a little confusing. Let’s clarify with a quick overview of common terms.
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)- This term applies to teaching English to people in countries where English is not the native language – it’s a foreign language. For example, this would be the case if you were living in Brazil, teaching English to Brazilian students.
TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) - This term applies to teaching English in countries where English is the native language. This would be the case if you were a teacher at an English language center in the U.S., teaching a group of students studying abroad from various countries. While you may not see the term TESL a lot, you will very commonly see ESL, such as “ESL students” to refer to English as second language learners.
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) - This catch-all term applies to both types of English language teaching – in a country where English is not the native language (EFL) or in a country where the first language is English (ESL). It is commonly used interchangeably with the term TEFL. For example, a school may ask if you’re TEFL/TESOL certified, and the answer for any Bridge course graduate is yes! The term TESOL is only significantly different from the term TEFL when it’s used by universities since a graduate degree in teaching English would be a Master’s in TESOL program (not a Master’s in TEFL).
ELT (English Language Teacher)- This is another rather broad term that you may see, to a lesser degree, in your research into teaching English as a foreign language. Like TESOL, it’s an umbrella term for a person who teaches English to speakers of other languages, either in their own country, abroad, or online.
TLD (Teaching the Linguistically Diverse) - TLD is a term often heard in the American public school systems, more so than in the TEFL realm. It applies to teaching situations in which students come from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, including those who’ve never spoken English, those with some English knowledge, and native English speakers.
TEFL/TESOL certification is the primary qualification needed to teach English as a foreign language. Earning your TEFL/TESOL certification opens doors to English teaching jobs worldwide and online, creating opportunities for travel, cultural immersion, career advancement, and even high salaries, in some cases. The question is, why not TEFL/TESOL?!
Become an effective English teacher. It takes more than the ability to speak the English language to effectively teach it to other people. TEFL certification courses teach you essential skills such as setting objectives and lesson planning, teaching nuances of English grammar, and managing student behavior. All of these skills will contribute to the success of the students you teach!
Travel the world and earn money - A recognized TEFL/TESOL certification is your passport to the world, providing the opportunity to live in another country, rather than just pass through as a tourist. As a TEFL/TESOL teacher, you can gain deeper insight into your host culture, become part of a community, and make a living at the same time! TEFL/TESOL-certified teachers can also teach English online, which creates opportunities to become a digital nomad, working from anywhere! Meet Rachel, a digital nomad teaching English online from Mexico!
Improve your resume - While TEFL/TESOL certification will, of course, lead to English teaching jobs, certification also offers opportunities for professional development to enhance your resume. You can specialize your TEFL/TESOL training in a high-demand area, such as teaching Young Learners/Teens, Teaching Online, or Teaching Business English, among others.
Develop a career - Employers in a variety of fields value candidates that are flexible, take the initiative, and can adapt to new situations – all skills that you will develop by getting TEFL/TESOL certified and teaching English. Teaching English can lead to a variety of long-term careers in EFL, either abroad or at home.
Change your life - Whether you’re a recent college grad who wants to see the world, a mid-career professional looking to take a break from the rat race, or someone who would simply like to experience another culture, TEFL/TESOL makes it possible. With the new insights into yourself and the world, you’ll likely gain a more expansive, global perspective.
Change the world - Lastly, TEFL/TESOL enables you to empower people around the world with English skills that can lead to better jobs or achieving academic or personal goals. Knowledge of English also enables people to participate more effectively in the global community; by giving them a tool to express their opinions in an international forum, you’ll contribute to multicultural communication and the spread of cultural tolerance. Read more about how learning English changes students’ lives!
Anyone who speaks English and has a desire to help others learn it can be a TEFL/TESOL teacher. Here are a few common profiles of TEFL/TESOL teachers.
Recent high school graduates - A year or two out in the world before going to university or starting work is a useful “gap” experience. This practice is very popular in Europe and is gaining popularity elsewhere, as well.
University graduates - A stint working in another country before starting a career at home provides memories for a lifetime, boosts your resume with international experience, and may even change the direction of your career.
Mid-career changers - Those who are tired of their 9-to-5 desk job find an adventure teaching English abroad is just the break they need. Plus, many TEFL employers worldwide are happy to hire teachers who have a bit more life and work experience.
Post-career retirees - Living abroad and contributing to a community as a teacher can be the perfect next chapter for those who have finished their first career and are ready for something new in retirement. Read an interview with Wes, who taught English in South America after retirement.
Non-native speakers of English – Because they’ve learned English themselves, non-native English speakers have a deeper insight into the nature of learning a foreign language and use this advantage as English teachers in their home country or abroad. Learn more about the advantages of non-native English teachers in the TEFL classroom.
Digital nomads - Teaching English online offers the ultimate option for teachers looking for flexibility and location independence. Teach from anywhere with a stable Internet connection, make your own hours, and see the world! Meet Rachel, a digital nomad currently in Mexico.
Getting your TEFL/TESOL certification online is convenient and affordable and most programs can be started the same day you sign up, making this an accessible option, as well. Yet, with so many TEFL courses to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. These tips can help you narrow down your options.
Earn your certificate through an accredited TEFL/TESOL provider
You might be surprised to know that not all TEFL/TESOL certification providers are accredited! But this is an important standard to look for, because accreditation lets you know that a professional, outside body has reviewed the organization and verified that their programs meet certain academic and professional standards. Accreditation also lets any schools you apply to know that you didn’t just take any TEFL certification course, you took a high-quality, verified training and earned a certificate that is internationally accepted.
Look for information about a TEFL provider’s accreditation on their website, such as Bridge’s accrediting body, ACCET, then also visit the accreditor’s website to verify that the course you’re considering is listed there.
Choose certification with sufficient hours
Online TEFL courses are delineated by the number of hours of training they offer. You can choose from courses of 40, 60, 100, 120, or even 150 hours. The number of hours you select for your online TEFL/TESOL certification depends somewhat on your background, experience, and destination country, but most English teaching positions around the globe required teachers to hold at least 100 hours of TEFL/TESOL certification.
Decide between a self-paced course or a course with a set schedule
When choosing an online TEFL/TESOL course, it’s also important to consider the type of course you prefer. If you’re an independent learner, then self-paced, self-study online TEFL courses offer a flexible and convenient option that fits any schedule.
If, on the other hand, you’d like more structure to stay on pace during your TEFL/TESOL training, you might prefer to join a group of international students in the Bridge IDELTOnlineTM, which is led by an instructor and has weekly due dates for assignments.
Still have questions? Read this article by a Bridge program advisor: Which TEFL Course Should I Take? 5 Questions to Help You Decide.
Most online TEFL/TESOL courses do not have any pre-requisites; they are open to anyone with a good command of the language and an interest in teaching English. Bridge self-paced online courses have the following requirements
18 years of age
High school diploma or the equivalent
If English is not your first language, you must have an intermediate or higher level of English proficiency (B1 level, according to the CEFR, the Common European Framework Reference for Language) which is a score of approximately 5.0 on the IELTS test.
The more advanced Bridge IDELTOnlineTM, which is a 12-week university-level TEFL/TESOL training, has slightly higher English fluency requirements. If you are not a native English speaker, you will be expected to show proof of English fluency at a C1 level or higher.
How long it takes to complete your TEFL certification course depends on variables such as whether your course is self-paced, the number of hours of certification you choose, and the amount of time you have available to dedicate to the course each week.
In a self-paced online TEFL course (which most are) you can log in and work through the course independently, at your convenience. The more hours of certification you choose, the longer it will take to complete your course. For example, a Bridge Basic Certificate course of just 40 hours can be completed in a week or two, whereas the more comprehensive 120-hour Master Certificate Course usually takes students at least four weeks to complete in full. Students in Bridge’s self-paced online programs, such as these, are given up to three months to access their course, and many students finish their training well before the deadline.
On the other hand, some online TEFL/TESOL courses are not self-paced, but rather have a set start and end date. In these courses, such as the 12-week Bridge IDELTOnlineTM, trainees work though the course week-by-week as a cohort, led by an instructor.
Tuition for online TEFL certification depends on a few factors, such as the number of hours you choose, the course quality, level of tutor involvement, and whether the course is self-study or instructor-led. However, generally speaking, you can expect to pay about $100-200 for very basic self-study online certification, and closer to $300-500 for similar certification of 100 hours or more, which will qualify you for most TEFL/TESOL jobs.
Instructor-led TEFL/TESOL courses, such as the university-affiliated Bridge IDELTOnlineTM, will cost more– usually between around $1,000 to $1,500.
Learn more: How Much Does TEFL Certification Cost?
Yes! Accredited online TEFL/TESOL certification is widely accepted by schools and language centers around the world in regions such as Asia, Latin America, and Europe. When embarking on your plans to get TEFL certified and teach English, it’s important to be aware, however, that employers may require a certain number of hours of certification (100+ is fairly standard) or other qualifications when hiring teachers, such as a university degree or teaching experience.
Salaries for TEFL teachers can vary substantially depending on where you teach. Higher paid regions include Asia (Japan, China, South Korea, for example) and the Middle East (such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE). Wherever they teach, though, EFL teachers are typically able to support themselves comfortably on their teaching salary, since lower-paying teaching locations also tend to have a significantly lower cost of living. Learn more about Teach abroad salaries worldwide.
In an increasingly competitive job market, most employers select only TEFL/TESOL- qualified teachers. (The exception to this can be if you hold a university degree specifically in education, although many teachers still get certified.) Employers know that a TEFL/TESOL certificate indicates that you’ve been trained with the specific skills you’ll need to teach English language learners, and it also shows professional integrity and reliability. A TEFL/TESOL certificate helps you stand out in the hiring process as a prepared, highly marketable candidate.
However, a TEFL/TESOL certificate is more than a piece of paper! The training you’ll get in your course in areas such as lesson planning, classroom management, and teaching grammar will give allow you to enter your first classroom with confidence. You can even earn specialized TEFL/TESOL certificates or specific jobs, such as teaching English online, teaching Business English or teaching English to young learners or teens, to further prepare yourself and qualify for even more jobs.
When choosing the ideal online TEFL certificate for your needs, it’s important to consider a few factors, such as the format of the course (self-study or instructor-led), the total number of hours it consists of, the course content, and level of tutor interaction.
Format - Most prospective English language teachers get certified via online TEFL/TESOL courses because online courses have advantages like convenience and affordability. Most online courses are self-paced, which means you can log into your course whenever you like and work at your own schedule. Other online TEFL/TESOL courses (such as the 12-week Bridge IDELTOnlineTM, have a more structured format, with a set start and end date and a paced curriculum with weekly due-dates for assignments.
Number of hours - TEFL/TESOL certification courses are delineated by number of hours of certification, and you may see options such as 40, 60, 100, 120, or 150 hours offered. A certificate of at least 100 hours is generally considered the standard for language schools around the world and online, though some jobs may accept fewer hours, or require more (such as 120 hours).
Content/curriculum - TEFL/TESOL courses deliver the fundamental knowledge necessary to be an EFL teacher, such as teaching methodology and strategies, lesson planning, grammar expertise, and classroom management. Online programs test comprehension of course content through practice exercises, online quizzes and other assessments, and/or written assignments, such as lesson plans.
Tutor availability - The best online courses provide trainees with a personal TEFL tutor, who answers questions and gives specific feedback on written assignments throughout the course. This constructive feedback from an experienced and qualified tutor provides trainees the opportunity to develop as teachers as they progress through their course.
Because TEFL/TESOL courses are not universally standardized, the content and quality may vary greatly from one organization to the next. Therefore, it’s very important to check that the organization providing your course has external recognition, such as TEFL/TESOL accreditation by a recognized outside body.
Accreditation by an outside body lets you know that the TEFL/TESOL program meets certain academic and professional industry standards. Accreditation indicates to schools that your certificate is high-quality, verified, and internationally accepted.
Questions to ask a TEFL/TESOL certificate provider regarding accreditation:
Are you accredited? If so, by whom?
What is the website for your accrediting body?
Is the accrediting agency recognized by a major university, government department, or government-approved body?
Can you direct me to a government or university website that details this recognition?
TEFL/TESOL courses usually cover similar fundamental concepts, including the following:
Teaching receptive and productive skills
Analyzing and teaching grammar
Developing fluency activities
Language testing and professional development
Courses typically include these components:
Reading and video content - Online TEFL/TESOL courses typically present material via reading or video. Bridge online courses offer a combination of reading assignments, example teaching videos showing actual TEFL instructors in the classroom, interactive assessments to test your progress on what you’re learning, and quizzes (both practice and for a grade).
Written TEFL assignments - Online TEFL/TESOL courses usually require short assignments to check comprehension on concepts learned. In these written assignments, trainees might be asked to analyze a part of speech, create a sample lesson plan, or reflect on aspects of the course content. In Bridge courses, there are written assignments in each module and these assignments are graded by your personal tutor.
Personal TEFL tutor - Most online TEFL/TESOL courses include a tutor, though the level of access and interaction with this tutor can vary. In Bridge online courses, a personal tutor grades essays and sample lesson plans that are submitted in the modules. TEFL/TESOL tutors are also available to answer any questions you have as you work through your course via a messaging feed on your course home page.
TEFL teaching practice - Some TEFL/TESOL courses offer the option of adding an observed TEFL practicum to your online training. In this type of component, such as the Bridge Guided Teaching Practicum or the Bridge Practicum in Teaching English Online, trainees get to apply the skills they’ve learned in their course in an actual classroom with real English learners. Teachers prepare and give lessons that are observed, critiqued, and graded. Many employers prefer this kind of experience so it can be a great way to boost your TEFL resume.
Yes! Quality TEFL/TESOL courses include information on getting a teaching job after graduation, as well as job placement assistance. Bridge courses include a Job Advising module to help graduates take the next steps in their English teaching careers. Bridge also provides access to the Bridge Job Board, where teachers can search open positions worldwide or online, create a Teacher Portfolio to showcase their skills (making it easier for employers to find them), or opt-into TEFL Connection job matching services. Bridge also offers personalized job placement counseling and free job resources such as eBooks and Country Guides! Read more about Bridge job support for graduates!
Ready to earn your online TEFL certificate and begin your English teaching adventure? Bridge online TEFL courses offer accredited certification in a flexible and affordable format. Get started today!