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New to teaching English? You’re in the right place!

Get started with some common FAQs.

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for 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.

What is TESOL?

TESOL stands for 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.

What is a TEFL / TESOL certificate?

A TEFL / TESOL certificate is the primary qualification needed to teach English as a foreign language. Taking a TEFL / TESOL course and earning your certification opens doors to jobs teaching English worldwide and online.

Learn More About TEFL Certification

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Camille, from the USA, graduate of the Bridge 120-Hour Master TEFL Certificate and Specialized Certificates in Teaching Young Learners and Teens

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Dynamic Online TEFL Course Platform

Dynamic Content

Our online TEFL courses can be completed on any device. On the go? Work on your course from your tablet or phone!

Downloadable Resources

Engage with what you’re learning via the fun, interactive platform, featuring practice exercises and quizzes.

Discussion Board/Community

Join the Bridge community, sharing ideas and experiences with other trainees worldwide.

Personal Tutor

Your qualified and experienced tutor guides you, answers questions, and provides feedback.

Teaching Videos

See English language teaching methodology and strategies in action with real teachers.

Not sure which online TEFL certificate is right for you?

Contact an advisor today!

Earn a TEFL / TESOL Certification You Can Build On.

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Demonstrate your expertise with a lifetime certificate.

  • Download and print your TEFL / TESOL certificate for free.
  • All Bridge certifications you earn are detailed on your certificate.
  • 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!

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Showcase your credentials with digital badges.

  • 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 Bridge course you take!

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Learn from the experts. Meet our online TEFL course tutors.

From the first day of your course, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will be with you throughout your training. Your tutor will provide feedback on your written assignments and answer any questions you have along the way.

Common Questions About Online TEFL Certification

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.

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 IDELTOnline, 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.

Yes! Reputable 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.

Meet Bridge alumni teaching worldwide with online TEFL / TESOL certificates!

TEFL / TESOL courses usually cover similar fundamental concepts, including the following:

  • Classroom management
  • Error correction
  • Eliciting information
  • Lesson planning
  • Teaching receptive and productive skills
  • Phonology
  • Vocabulary
  • 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.

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 or holder
  • 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. You do not have to prove your proficiency level.

The more advanced Bridge IDELTOnline, 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.

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.


    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 IDELTOnline, 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).


    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.

How long it takes to complete your TEFL / TESOL course and earn your certification depends on variables such as whether your course is self-paced, the number of hours 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 you choose, the longer it will take to complete your course. For example, a Bridge Basic TEFL / TESOL Certificate course of just 40 hours can be completed in a week or two, whereas the more comprehensive 120-hour Master TEFL / TESOL 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 IDELTOnline, trainees work though the course week-by-week as a cohort, led by an instructor.

Tuition for online TEFL / TESOL courses 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 IDELTOnline, will cost more– usually between around $1,000 to $1,500. Learn more: How Much Does TEFL Certification Cost?

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 by a recognized body (such as ACCET, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education). This will let you know that the TEFL / TESOL program meets certain academic and professional industry standards. It also indicates to schools that your certificate is high-quality, verified, and internationally accepted.

Questions to ask a TEFL / TESOL certificate provider:
  • Are you accredited? If so, by whom? Can you provide a link to their website?
  • Is the 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?

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 find English teaching jobs and resources. Bridge offers additional free job resources such as eBooks and articles! Read more about Bridge job support for graduates!

Read more about TEFL certification!

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