General TEFL / TESOL Questions

We recommend taking a Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificate if you’re new to the field and would like to get started teaching English.

These courses provide initial training for new English language teachers (such as teaching strategies and lesson planning), are 100% online, and meet requirements for thousands of teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

You can choose from two levels of accredited Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification:

  • Our most advanced course is the graduate-level, 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™). In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions. Choose this university-affiliated course to exceed certification requirements and stand out as the most competitive candidate for English teaching jobs.
  • The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. Not your average 120-hour certification, this course is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits by the American Council on Education, and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features.

The terms TEFL and TESOL are generally used interchangeably when it comes to certification in teaching English and qualifying for jobs. In fact, when you’re shopping around for TEFL courses, you may see them described as “TEFL/TESOL courses" or when you're looking for jobs, you might see an ad for a position that requires “TEFL/TESOL certification.”

Yet technically, there are slight differences between these two terms.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It refers to teaching English in a country where English is not a primary language (rather, it is a foreign language). An example of TEFL would be a teacher from the U.S. teaching English in China.

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.It's a more general term that includes teaching English as a foreign language (as in the China example) as well as teaching English as a second language (TESL), meaning in a country where the primary language is English. An example of TESL would be a teacher at an English language institute in the U.S. who teaches students from around the world.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the terms are widely used interchangeably, so either a TEFL or TESOL certificate will meet certification requirements for jobs teaching English.

Learn more in this BridgeUniverse article: What is TESOL ?

As a TEFL-certified English teacher, you'll be qualified to teach young learners, teens, or adults, and there are plenty of positions working with these age groups, either as an online or classroom-based teacher. If you're not sure which type of students you'd like to teach, consider some of the characteristics of each:

Teaching young learners:

  • Kids have a lot of enthusiasm for learning and are usually eager to jump in and play any fun English games you plan.
  • Kids tend to lack the self-consciousness of adults, so they aren't shy about pronouncing new words and they aren't afraid of looking silly in front of their peers.
  • It’s easy to see substantial progress in young learners’ English level since they are able to absorb so much so quickly.
  • Teaching kids requires classroom management/discipline skills as well as teaching skills.

Teaching adults:

  • Students come from various professions, industries, and educational backgrounds, providing interesting topics for class discussions.
  • You’ll spend less time on discipline and class management and more time on learning.
  • It’s sometimes possible to befriend students (this depends on your school's policies), which can provide opportunities for cross-cultural exchange.
  • Here’s a resource to learn more: eBook on teaching English to Adults.

Teaching teenagers:

  • Teens fall in the middle of these two age groups so they tend to have some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Teenagers may be more self-conscious than young learners, but they also enjoy playing games in class, especially if the games are relevant to their interests.
  • Teaching teens, like teaching young learners, will require classroom management skills, to curb issues like talking or using phones in class.
  • Learn more about teaching English to kids vs. adults.

Keep in mind, many TEFL jobs involve teaching students of various ages, such as young learners, teens, and adults so you don't necessarily have to decide! However, if you do have a niche demographic in mind, consider adding a Bridge Specialized Certificate in Teaching Young Learners, Teens, or Business English to your TEFL resume.

No, there is no TEFL/TESOL exam. TEFL/TESOL certification is earned through the completion of coursework rather than by passing or "testing out" of a standardized exam.

When you take a Bridge certification course, you'll be assessed on an ongoing basis via end-of-module quizzes and written assignments. In the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate course, for example, there are 13 modules, and each module has a graded written assignment and a graded multiple-choice quiz at the end. Both of these average together to determine your grade for each module, and your final grade in the course is an average of the grades earned in all 13 modules.

Absolutely, yes. You do not need a background in education to teach English - and most TEFL teachers do not, in fact, have this background. The main thing you need is a TEFL/TESOL certification of at least 120 hours, which shows employers you’re trained in the methods and applications of teaching English to speakers of other languages. However, some employers may be looking for teachers with some prior teaching experience (other subjects count!) or a certain level of education, such as a bachelor’s degree (though it can often be in any subject).

If you're brand new to teaching English as a foreign language, you'll need to start out with a strong foundation in English language teaching before learning essential skills for the virtual classroom. Therefore, the best course for you is the Comprehensive 240-Hour Certification Bundle, which includes initial Professional TEFL/TESOL certification, followed by Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online.

  • The Professional Certification component of the bundle will prepare you for all aspects of English language teaching, such as lesson planning, teaching the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), teaching grammar, and classroom management.
  • The Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online component (which includes Foundations and Advanced Methods), helps you master the terms, technology, and teaching tools used in the virtual classroom and gives you an introduction to the theory, methods, and instructional strategies specific to the online setting.

If you're already a TEFL/TESOL certified/experienced English teacher and would like to transition to online teaching, you can go straight to the Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online. This suite of courses will build on what you already know and prepare you specifically for the virtual classroom – plus help you stand out for the best jobs.

Teaching English Abroad

No, definitely not. While some schools do appreciate it if you know the local language, if for no other reason than you'll be able to handle yourself more comfortably in the country, most jobs will not require this. In fact, the majority of English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers do not fluently speak the language of the country where they teach.

How do teachers manage without speaking the local language? You'll typically work with students who have already reached a certain level of English proficiency; these students are able to be 100% immersed in English, and that's what most schools prefer. Therefore, even if you spoke the language, you'd be discouraged from using it with your students!

Also, if you've been trained in the Direct Method of teaching English (the method utilized in Bridge programs), you will be able to teach English successfully in any country in the world, whether you know the language or not. Furthermore, many schools offer language classes and social activities to help familiarize their teachers with the local language and culture, so that you can start learning.

Learn more in this article: 10 Common Teach Abroad Myths Debunked and check out our free Country Guides for an in-depth look at teaching locations worldwide, like China, Brazil, and Costa Rica.

An accredited, comprehensive TEFL/TESOL certification of at least 120 hours is the best choice if you’re looking to qualify for jobs abroad. Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificates, which provide initial training for new teachers (such as teaching strategies and lesson planning) are 100% online and meet TEFL requirements for thousands of teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

You can choose from two levels of accredited Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification:

  • Our most advanced course is the graduate-level, 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™).
  • In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions. Choose this university-affiliated course to exceed certification requirements and stand out as the most competitive candidate for English teaching jobs.
  • The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. Not your average 120-hour certification, this course is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits by the American Council on Education, and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features. While the most important qualification for many language centers is that you are TEFL/TESOL certified by an accredited provider such as Bridge, some schools in more competitive regions, such as the Middle East, also require teaching experience, either through a hands-on teaching practicum (such as the Bridge Guided Teaching Practicum, which can be added to any Bridge course) or through volunteer teaching.

If you have questions about requirements to teach abroad in a specific region or country, please refer to this chart: Jobs at a Glance.

Teaching English Online

We recommend different courses for people who are completely new to teaching versus those who are already certified or experienced English teachers but have never taught English online.

If you're brand new to teaching English as a foreign language, you'll need to start out with a strong foundation in English language teaching before learning essential skills for the virtual classroom. Therefore, the best course for you is the Comprehensive Certification Bundle, which includes initial Professional TEFL/TESOL certification, followed by Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online.

  • The Professional Certification component of the bundle will prepare you for all aspects of English language teaching, such as lesson planning, teaching the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), teaching grammar, and classroom management.
  • The Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online component (which includes Foundations and Advanced Methods), helps you master the terms, technology, and teaching tools used in the virtual classroom and gives you an introduction to the theory, methods, and instructional strategies specific to the online setting.

If you're already a TEFL/TESOL certified/experienced English teacher and would like to transition to online teaching, we recommend jumping straight to the Foundations and Advanced Methods in Teaching English Online Bundle. These courses will build on what you already know and prepare you specifically for the virtual classroom – plus help you stand out for the best jobs.

Additional courses in the Teaching English Online Certification suite that can be added on include:

Browse the full suite of Teaching English Online Certification courses here.

There's no limit to where you can teach online with Bridge certification! Our Specialized Certificates in Teaching English Online provide you with universal skills for the virtual classroom, such as how to use common technology and tools with confidence. You'll complete the courses prepared to teach English on any online tutoring platform, whether through an established ESL tutoring company or working for yourself as a freelancer.

For additional teaching experience, the optional Online Teaching Practicum component of the course gives you a chance to practice-teach a real student on an actual learning management system (LMS). You can even record your teaching sessions in order to showcase your skills to employers.

Read more about your job options with Bridge certification: Should I Work With a Company or for Myself?

There's no exam required to become an online English teacher, so after you complete your Bridge TEFL/TESOL certification course, you can apply for jobs right away.

Check out the Bridge Job Board to browse open positions now.

Typically online tutoring companies require that applicants meet certain hiring requirements, including being TEFL/TESOL certified through a Professional Certificate of 120 hours or more (having Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online will set you apart), having a high level of English proficiency, the right equipment, and sometimes a bachelor’s degree or previous teaching experience. Some platforms require an interview and demo lesson as well before you are officially hired.

Learn more about the requirements to teach English online.

TEFL Jobs

Getting a job teaching English isn't that different from getting any other type of job. And teaching English is one of the largest industries in the world, so there are ample opportunities for teachers of all backgrounds and experience levels!

It’s important to remember that in order to get a job teaching English, you must be qualified with the right training and educational background. In general, most schools (both online and in-person) will require you to speak the language proficiently, hold some sort of formal education (a university degree in some cases), and have the training necessary to teach English – this training is usually in the form of a TEFL/TESOL certification of at least 120 hours. Keep in mind, there are also teaching jobs available if you don’t have a degree or any previous experience.

Once you’ve earned your TEFL/TESOL certification, Bridge can help you find a job through resources such as the Job Advising Module in our courses, job-related articles and eBooks on BridgeUniverse, our TEFL Jobs Newsletter, and the Bridge TEFL Job Board.

In general, schools and language institutes around the globe and online require teachers to have a TEFL/TESOL certificate of 120 hours or more. Aside from just fulfilling the hiring requirements for jobs, earning a comprehensive certification of 120 hours or more ensures that you’re prepared and confident to deliver high-quality English classes and be the best teacher you can be!

Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificates provide initial training for new teachers, are 100% online, and meet requirements for thousands of teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

We recommend taking the 120-Hour Master Certificate to meet minimum requirements to teach abroad, and the 150-Hour IDELTOnline for the most advanced training and to stand out as a more competitive job candidate.

Both of these courses prepare you for all aspects of the English language classroom, such as lesson planning, teaching the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), teaching grammar, and classroom management.

Yes, Bridge does offer our course graduates job assistance. This includes resources such as the Job Advising module in all our courses, which provides info on where to look for jobs, the best markets to teach in, and how to find positions on the Bridge TEFL Job Board.

Other resources include our TEFL Jobs Newsletter with the latest job postings, job-related articles, teacher interviews, and professional development ideas, as well as BridgeUniverse ELT News, where you’ll find articles, webinars, eBooks and other helpful tools for your job search.

No, you do not need a degree to teach English either online or in person. However, there are certain employers and specific regions across the globe where you may find degrees are preferred, or in some cases required. Check out these BridgeUniverse articles on this common question, for more information:

Yes, You Can Teach English Abroad Without a College Degree! Can I Teach English Online With No Degree?

It’s possible, however most students take Bridge TEFL/TESOL courses so they can qualify to teach English abroad in countries where English is not the primary language. In countries like the U.S., where English is the primary language, the qualifications to be an English teacher are usually quite different.

Most of the time, especially if you are looking to teach at public schools in the U.S., you’ll be required to have a degree in education and a state teaching license, and our credentials will not replace that requirement (set in place by the government.) If you have these qualifications, our programs can definitely be great supplemental training to ensure you are ready for the K-12 ESL classroom. Our certifications may also meet TEFL/TSEOL requirements to teach at English language institutes in the U.S.

While a background in education or experience teaching other subjects will help you in the classroom, there is core knowledge about teaching English to speakers of other languages that you need in order to be an effective EFL/ESL teacher.

If you’re new to teaching the English language, we recommend taking a comprehensive Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificate for that strong foundation employers you’ll need to feel confident in the classroom, and for the training employers expect.

Professional Certificates provide initial training for new English language teachers (such as teaching strategies and lesson planning), are 100% online, and meet requirements for thousands of teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

You can choose from two levels of accredited Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification:

  • Our most advanced course is the graduate-level, 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™). In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions. Choose this university-affiliated course to exceed certification requirements and stand out as the most competitive candidate for English teaching jobs.
  • The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. Not your average 120-hour certification, this course is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits by the American Council on Education, and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features.

Yes, you can, and it’s a great way to get teaching experience! Many non-profit organizations and privately-owned language schools are looking for qualified English teachers to help their students improve their English. Aside from the rewards of helping people, the benefits of volunteering include becoming more comfortable as a teacher, getting a sense of the types of students you prefer working with, and gaining valuable teaching experience you can add to your resume.

To prepare for these positions, you can add on our Teaching English as a Volunteer Micro-credential to a Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificate to prepare for the specific needs of teaching as a volunteer.

You can also check out this article: Why You Should Volunteer to Teach English and How to Find Opportunities.

This depends on your career goals. Do you teach a subject other than English as a second/foreign language and you’d like to transition into this field? In this case, you’ll definitely want to get TEFL certified. Or, if you’ve become an English teacher without any sort of formal qualification (which happens in some cases), a TEFL/TESOL certificate will provide additional knowledge and skills to help you improve as a teacher and will also qualify for future teaching positions. Continuous professional development is always a good thing, and formalizing your place in the English language teaching space with an internationally recognized credential will only help your career.

For most teachers, we recommend taking a Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificate. These courses are 100% online and provide training in teaching English to speakers of other languages, including core methodology, teaching strategies, and lesson planning.

You can choose from two levels of accredited Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification:

  • Our most advanced course is the graduate-level, 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™). In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions. Choose this university-affiliated course to exceed certification requirements and stand out as the most competitive candidate for English teaching jobs.
  • The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. Not your average 120-hour certification, this course is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits by the American Council on Education, and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features.

If you’re TEFL certified, you can teach in many countries in the world without a bachelor's degree. There are opportunities in Asia (Cambodia and Laos for example), throughout Latin America, and even some countries in Europe. There are some locations where finding a job teaching English will be more difficult, like China, as well as most countries in the Middle East. Many of these locations not only require you to have an advanced/comprehensive TEFL/TESOL certification, but also a bachelor's degree (and in the case of the Middle East, often a master’s degree).

Learn more in the article: Yes, You Can Teach English Abroad Without a College Degree!

Yes, you can teach English even if it isn’t your first language! Many of our graduates are multi-lingual teachers with a native tongue other than English. You’ll need to be sure and meet the requirements for jobs, which usually include:

  • Being TEFL/TESOL certified through a Professional Certificate of at least 120 hours
  • Having a high level of English proficiency
  • Sometimes having a bachelor’s degree or previous teaching experience (depending on the job) While there are some countries and schools that prefer to hire English teachers from particular countries, there are also plenty of opportunities with schools that are open to hiring English teachers of all nationalities. Learn more in the article: Where Can I Teach English as a Non-Native Speaker?
  • Meet our global alumni!

    There’s no specific age limit to teach English abroad; however, certain schools or particular regions of the world may have preferences or requirements when it comes to teachers’ age. This can be related to cultural norms (like in China for example, where there is a mandatory retirement age) or to visa requirements. However, there are still plenty of teaching opportunities for teachers of all ages in many parts of the world, including Latin America.

    Learn more in the article: You’re Never Too Old to Teach English Abroad or Online!

    Yes, our certificates are internationally recognized and accredited, and are therefore accepted across the globe as a valid TEFL/TESOL certification. Since our primary institutional accrediting body is ACCET and carries the recognition of the U.S. Dept. of Education, our graduates can find jobs all over the world and online.

    Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificates provide initial training for new English language teachers (such as teaching strategies and lesson planning), are 100% online, and meet requirements for thousands of teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

    You can choose from two levels of accredited Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification:

    • Our most advanced course is the graduate-level, 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™). In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions. Choose this university-affiliated course to exceed certification requirements and stand out as the most competitive candidate for English teaching jobs.
    • The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. Not your average 120-hour certification, this course is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits by the American Council on Education, and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features.

    Salaries can range based on a number of factors like the location, your qualifications as an English teacher, and the type of school. Here are a couple of articles that can help you learn more about the salary for the specific type of job and/or location you have in mind: What Is a Typical TEFL Salary When Teaching Online or Abroad? and How to Make the Most Money as an Online English Teacher.

    There are different course recommendations for people who are completely new to teaching versus those who are already a certified or experienced English teachers but have never taught English online.

    If you're brand new to teaching English as a foreign language, you'll need to start out with a strong foundation in English language teaching methodology, lesson planning, and grammar before learning essential skills for the virtual classroom. Therefore, the best course for you is the Comprehensive Certification Bundle, which includes initial TEFL/TESOL certification via a Professional Certificate (the IDELTOnline™ is a great choice), followed by Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online.

    • The Professional Certification component of the bundle will prepare you for all aspects of English language teaching, such as lesson planning, teaching the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), teaching grammar, and classroom management.
    • The Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online component (which includes Foundations and Advanced Methods), helps you master the terms, technology, and teaching tools used in the virtual classroom and gives you an introduction to the theory, methods, and instructional strategies specific to the online setting.

    If you're already a TEFL/TESOL certified/experienced English teacher and would like to transition to online teaching, you can go straight to the Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online. This suite of courses will build on what you already know and prepare you specifically for the virtual classroom and help you stand out for the best online teaching jobs.

    There's no limit to where you can teach online with Bridge certification! Our Specialized Certificates in Teaching English Online provide you with universal skills for the virtual classroom, such as how to use common technology and tools with confidence. You'll complete the courses prepared to teach English on any online tutoring platform, whether through an established ESL tutoring company or working for yourself as a freelancer.

    For additional teaching experience, the optional Online Teaching Practicum component of the course gives you a chance to practice-teach a real student on an actual learning management system (LMS). You can even record your teaching sessions in order to showcase your skills to employers.

    Read more about your job options with Bridge certification: Should I Work With a Company or for Myself?

    TEFL Courses

    Course Timing

    You are given three months from the day you enroll to complete most Bridge TEFL/TESOL courses, including the 120-hour Bridge Master Certificate, Foundational Certificates, Specialized Certificates, and Micro-credentials. (If you need more time, extensions are available.)

    These courses are self-paced, meaning you can work through your course when it’s convenient for you, with no required log-in times or assignment deadlines. Many trainees complete their program in less time – within two months, on average.

    The IDELTOnline™ works a little differently. Though it’s also a flexible, three-month course, it has set start dates, so your twelve-week course timeline begins on that date. You will be guided through the course week-by-week by your instructor, and you’ll submit assignments and complete quizzes by weekly due dates. There are no extensions available for the IDELTOnline™ and you will not be able to complete it sooner than twelve weeks.

    If you purchase multiple courses at once (such as the IDELTOnline™ and a Specialized Certificate in Teaching English Online), your timeline will be adjusted in your Specialized Certificate to ensure you have time to first complete your Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification.

    Don't worry! If you aren't able to complete your course within your original timeline, there are extensions available. You can purchase an extension for your course within one year of enrollment to receive an additional three months to complete your coursework. We'll save your work, so you can pick up right where you left off. Extensions for our Specialized Certificates are USD $100 and extensions for our Foundational Certificates and the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate are USD $175.

    Most Bridge TEFL/TESOL courses, including the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate, Foundational Certificates, Specialized Certificates, and Micro-credentials are self-paced, meaning you can work through your course when it’s convenient for you, with no required log-in times or assignment deadlines. You are given three months from the day you enroll to complete these courses, but many trainees complete their program in less time – within two months, on average. (If you need more time, extensions are available.)

    The IDELTOnline™ works a little differently. Though it’s also a flexible, three-month course, it has set start dates, so your twelve-week course timeline begins on that date. You will be guided through the course week-by-week by your instructor, and you’ll submit assignments and complete quizzes by weekly due dates. There are no extensions available for the IDELTOnline™ and you will not be able to complete it sooner than twelve weeks.

    There are no required times of day or hours per day that you will need to be logged in to complete your Bridge TEFL/TESOL course. You work on your course on your own schedule. For our self-paced courses (the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate, Foundational Certificates, Specialized Certificates, and Micro-credentials), the more time you dedicate to your course, the sooner you’ll finish! We recommend working on your course throughout the week instead of focusing all your work on one day, since your tutor time will need one business day to grade and provide feedback on the assignments in each module. While your tutor is grading the current module’s assignment, you can then progress to the next module and begin working on it (though you will need to wait to submit this next module’s assignment until you have feedback from the previous one.)

    Course Requirements/Enrollment

    To enroll in any of Bridge's courses, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma (or equivalent). You don’t need a bachelor’s degree.

    If English is not your first language, recommended or required levels of English proficiency (according to the CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) vary by course:

    • We require a C1 level of English proficiency for the IDELTOnline™. You will be expected to show proof of this level after enrollment, either by sharing the results of a recently taken English proficiency test, (like the IELTS or TOEFL Exam) or by taking a free, short English test, provided by Bridge admissions.
    • We recommend a B1 level of English proficiency for our 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate, Foundational Certificates, Specialized Certificates, and Micro-credentials (proof of level is not required).
    • We recommend an A2 level for the Bridge Specialized Certificate: Teaching English in English (proof of level is not required).

    To see enrollment requirements for specific courses, please visit the webpage for that particular course and check the requirements, which are listed below the Course Content section. (Visit this page to see all courses).

    In most cases, you don’t have to provide proof of English fluency to take a Bridge course. If English is not your first language, recommended or required levels of English proficiency (according to the CEFR, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)) vary by course:

    • We require a C1 level of English proficiency for the IDELTOnline™. You will be expected to show proof of this level after enrollment, either by sharing the results of a recently taken English proficiency test, (like the IELTS or TOEFL) or by taking a free, short English test, provided by Bridge admissions.
    • We recommend a B1 level of English proficiency for our 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate, Foundational Certificates, Specialized Certificates, and Micro-credentials (proof of level is not required).
    • We recommend an A2 level for the Bridge Specialized Certificate: Teaching English in English (proof of level is not required).
    • To see enrollment requirements for specific courses, please visit the webpage for that particular course and check the requirements, which are listed below the Course Information section. (Visit this page to see all courses).

    Everyone is welcome in the Bridge global community! There are no geographical limitations to who can enroll and complete a Bridge course. We train teachers from over 140 countries worldwide every year.

    Bridge courses require access to the Internet, including the ability to watch online videos. It’s recommended that you complete your course on a desktop computer or laptop for assignments and quizzes, although some components can even be completed via a smartphone or tablet!

    Enrolling is easy! Once you’ve chosen the course you would like to take, select the "Enroll Now" button on the course page to begin the process. You will be required to complete a short enrollment form and pay for your course. After enrollment, our admissions team will email you with next steps to begin your program. (Visit this page to see all courses).

    General Course Questions

    We offer TEFL courses for English language teachers at every stage of their career!

    If you don’t have previous TEFL/TESOL certification, we recommend taking a Bridge Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificate.

    These courses provide initial training for new English language teachers (such as teaching strategies and lesson planning), are 100% online, and meet requirements for thousands of teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

    You can choose from two levels of accredited Professional TEFL/TESOL Certification:

    • Our most advanced course is the graduate-level, 150-Hour Bridge International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™). In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions. Choose this university-affiliated course to exceed certification requirements and stand out as the most competitive candidate for English teaching jobs.
    • The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. Not your average 120-hour certification, this course is recommended for undergraduate-level university credits by the American Council on Education, and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features.

    If you do already hold TEFL/TESOL certification, Bridge offers two types of continuing professional development courses to further develop your skills and help you specialize in key areas.

    Specialized Certificates are targeted TEFL/TESOL courses to develop your expertise and qualify you for jobs in high-demand teaching areas, such as Teaching Young Learners and Teens, Teaching Business English, or Teaching English Online.

    Micro-credentials are shorter TEFL/TESOL courses on relevant teaching topics to keep your skills current and provide fresh ideas for the classroom. Some Micro-credentials in our continually growing portfolio include Teaching English Online to Groups, Teaching IELTS Exam Prep, and Games and Activities for the Online Classroom.

    You can explore all of Bridge’s online TEFL/TESOL courses here or check out this article: “Which TEFL course is right for me?”

    All Bridge online TEFL/TESOL courses (with the exception of the IDELTOnline™) are self-paced, meaning you can start anytime and work at your own pace within the timeframe given (which is 3 months for most courses, though most students finish sooner). Content varies by course, but you’ll complete tasks like practices exercises, written assignments, discussion board posts, and quizzes as you work through your course modules. Bridge courses also include a personal tutor who grades your written assignments and provides feedback to help you develop as a teacher.

    The 12-week, graduate-level International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™) is also a flexible course, but it has set start dates every month and weekly due dates for assignments. Some students prefer the more structured schedule to stay on track! Another difference with the format of this course is that rather than working independently, you’ll be part of an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and together you’ll take part in collaborative activities and even attend optional live sessions.

    Yes! In every Bridge course, you will work with a personal tutor. Our tutors are all English teachers themselves, most with over 10 years’ experience in the field. They are there to support you with any curriculum-related questions you have and to provide feedback on your graded assignments. You can reach your tutor by messaging him or her in the “tutor feed,” which is built right into the course.

    The IDELTOnline™ course has even more interaction with the course trainers, who are master’s level instructors. You’ll be guided through the program week-by-week by your instructor, who will give you feedback on assignments, host optional live sessions, and post on class discussion boards.

    It’s easy! Select Bridge courses have been reviewed by ACE CREDIT® and recommended for college credit at over 1,600 universities. You can save thousands of dollars by earning credit for your TEFL/TESOL course that can be transferred and applied toward a degree program. For a list of eligible Bridge courses and the number of credits you can earn with each, click here.

    After successfully earning your Bridge TEFL/TESOL certificate and digital badge, you can access your digital ACE CREDIT® transcript via the Credly badging system. From there, you can send your transcript (free of charge) to your university's registrar or advising office. To review courses approved for credit through the American Council on Education (ACE), please click here.

    Bridge also offers Pathway Programs for students interested in earning college credit. In these programs, you’ll take specific Bridge courses that are accepted as part of a degree program (such as a Master’s in TESOL) at one of our partner universities. Once you complete your TEFL course, our advising team will assist you in sending a transcript to the university's admissions team to ensure you receive credit toward your degree.

    If you’re interested in earning a university degree or graduate certificate in TESOL or a related field, Bridge partner university, learn more about our Pathway Programs.

    Bridge TEFL/TESOL courses allow you to build a program that fits your training needs. You can enroll in one or more courses upfront or add courses later, by upgrading. Many teachers decide to upgrade to the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate to meet employer requirements and international standards.

      Upgrade Costs*:
    • 40-hour Basic Certificate to the 120-hour Master Certificate - USD $345
    • 60-hour Introductory Educator to the 120-hour Master Certificate - USD $245
    • 100-hour Introductory EducatorPlus to the 120-hour Master Certificate - USD $150

    *If you’re interested in taking the 120-hour Master Certificate, we recommend enrolling in it upfront for the best price.

    If you’re a student or graduate who would like to purchase other courses, you may do so by logging into your course and enrolling using the same email address you used for your previous enrollment (even if your course has expired.)

    After you complete any new course, your Bridge certificate will automatically update to reflect the total number of verifiable TEFL/TESOL certification hours you’ve earned.

    These are actually not sequential courses, but two distinct, complete TEFL/TESOL programs. The curriculum and course structure of the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate and the 150-Hour IDELTOnline™ are significantly different; therefore, one course does not build on the other.

    If you’re interested in earning 150 hours of TEFL/TESOL certification, we recommend taking the 150-hour, graduate-level IDELTOnline™, our most advanced course. In this interactive training, you’ll join an international group of classmates led by a master’s level instructor, and take part in collaborative activities, discussion boards, and optional live sessions.

    If you instead begin with the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate, you’ll always have the option to enroll in the more advanced, IDELTOnline™ in the future for higher-level training. (Graduates of the Master Certificate will receive a discount on their IDELTOnline™ tuition.

    We support teachers at all stages of their careers! If you’re seeking continued professional development, we recommend that you take our Specialized Certificates and Micro-credentials.

    Specialized Certificates are targeted courses to develop your expertise and qualify you for jobs in high-demand teaching areas, such as Teaching Young Learners and Teens, Teaching Business English, or Teaching English Online.

    Micro-credentials are shorter TEFL/TESOL courses on relevant teaching topics to keep your skills current and provide fresh ideas for the classroom. Some Micro-credentials in our continually growing portfolio include Teaching English Online to Groups, Teaching IELTS Exam Prep, and Games and Activities for the Online Classroom.

    By completing Bridge Specialized Certificates and Micro-credentials, you’ll earn accredited TEFL/TESOL certification that can be used to showcase your dedication to lifelong learning and help you reach new career goals.

    Yes, we’re fully accredited so our graduates qualify for teaching jobs worldwide and online. Bridge is primarily accredited by ACCET (the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. We’re also accredited by U.K.-based Aqueduto, the Association for Quality Education & Online Training. Click here to learn more about our accreditation.

    In all Bridge courses, there is at least one tutor-assessed assignment and quiz. In most courses, such as the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate, there are many. The assignments might be short reflective essays on the topic you learned or guided lesson plans, and the quizzes are in multiple-choice format.

    There is no final exam in Bridge courses. You’ll need a final grade of 70% or higher to pass, but your grade isn’t based on one final test; it’s an average of all your grades on assignments and quizzes across the course modules.

    A practicum can be added to any of Bridge's online courses! If you are looking for direct feedback on your teaching, reflective teaching practice activities, and real-life experience with students in a physical or virtual classroom, adding a practicum to your certification is a great choice.

    You can enroll either of the following Specialized Certificates for a practicum:
    • 20-Hour Guided Teaching Practicum (for in-person teaching experience)
    • 60-Hour Practicum in Teaching English Online (for online teaching experience)

    We recommend you pair one of the above practicums with our Professional TEFL/TESOL Certifications, such as the 150-hour IDELTOnline™. If you’re interested in teaching English online, we recommend completing our Comprehensive Teaching English Online + Practicum Bundle.

    Our TEFL/TESOL certification courses cover a variety of subjects and themes all dedicated to providing you with practical teacher training supported by core methodology. To learn which topics are covered in the course you’re interested in, please review the curriculum, module topics, and learning objectives highlighted on the specific page for that course. (Click here to see the full list of Bridge courses.)

    Yes! All of Bridge's courses are 100% online. They can be completed from anywhere are the world.

    Absolutely! Bridge's goal is to allow you to design the right training program to fit your background, teaching goals, and budget. You can enroll in multiple courses at one time by choosing one of our pre-made bundles or by enrolling in the individual courses that fit your needs.

    If you’re a student or graduate who would like to purchase other courses, you may do so by logging into your course and enrolling using the same email address you used for your previous enrollment (even if your course has expired.)

    After you complete any new course, your Bridge certificate will automatically update to reflect the total number of verifiable TEFL/TESOL certification hours you’ve earned.

    Bridge's Specialized Certificates and Micro-credentials provide professional development for English teachers at all stages in their careers. These courses provide teachers with practical knowledge and classroom techniques that can be applied immediately in their classrooms.

    Specialized Certificates are targeted TEFL/TESOL courses to develop your expertise and qualify you for jobs in high-demand teaching areas, such as Teaching Young Learners and Teens, Teaching Business English, or Teaching English Online.

    Micro-credentials are shorter TEFL/TESOL courses on relevant teaching topics to keep your skills current and provide fresh ideas for the classroom. Some Micro-credentials in our continually growing portfolio include Teaching English Online to Groups, Teaching IELTS Exam Prep, and Games and Activities for the Online Classroom.

    After completing Bridge's Specialized Certificates and Micro-credential programs, you’ll earn an accredited certification that can be used to showcase your dedication to lifelong learning and reach new career goals.

    Although these courses are the same number of hours, they help teachers reach different goals.

    The Bridge 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a Professional TEFL/TESOL certification. Professional Certificates provide you with initial certification that covers the core teaching methodologies (such as lesson planning, classroom management, and assessment) that provide the foundation you’ll need to excel at teaching in any context.

    The 120-hour Teaching English Online course is a Specialized Certificate. Specialized Certificates build on core teaching methodologies by developing your expertise and qualifying you for jobs in specific, high-demand areas – in this case, Teaching English Online. In this bundle, you’ll learn the tools, technology, and teaching methods that apply specifically to the online classroom.

    As an English teacher, you should start out with a strong foundation in English language teaching before learning essential skills for the virtual classroom. So if you are new to teaching, the best course for you is the Comprehensive Certification Bundle, which includes initial Professional TEFL/TESOL certification, followed by Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online.

    Both of these online Bridge courses are Professional TEFL/TESOL Certificates, which means they provide initial training for new teachers, preparing you for all aspects of the English language classroom, including lesson planning, teaching the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), teaching grammar, and classroom management.

    The university-affiliated, 150-Hour International Diploma in English Language Teaching (IDELTOnline™) is a graduate-level course. It’s our most advanced, interactive TEFL/TESOL training and our most recommended course.

    The 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate is a self-paced, tutor-led course that meets certification requirements to teach English. It can be taken for undergraduate-level and like all Bridge courses, it’s offered on our state-of-the-art online learning platform with dynamic course features.

    Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the differences between these two courses:

    IDELTOnline
    • This 12-week course is highly recommended for both new and experienced teachers looking for the most comprehensive training in methodology, theory, and applications for the ESL/EFL classroom.
    • The course functions like many online university courses with interaction between you, your instructor, and other trainees. You’ll take part in collaborative activities, post on class discussion boards, and attend optional live sessions.
    • As part of an IDELTOnline™ cohort (or group), you’ll work closely with about 10-12 other teacher trainees worldwide, interacting and completing peer projects.
    • The schedule is flexible. While there is no set time or date when you’re required to log in to work on your course, weekly due dates for assignments will keep you on track.
    • It’s a university-level course recommended for 9 graduate-level credits by the American Council on Education and accepted for transfer credit into MA TESOL Pathway Programs by Bridge university partners worldwide. (This is optional and you do not need to be enrolled in a university to take this course).
    • You’ll earn a prestigious, university-affiliated, and fully accredited certification you can showcase to stand out when applying for the most competitive jobs!

    Bridge’s Master Certificate is a very flexible, self-study TEFL/TESOL course that meets requirements for teaching positions at languages institutes and schools worldwide.

  • It’s a great choice for new and experienced teachers looking for essential training in English language teaching methods.
  • The course is self-paced so you’ll work independently, submitting assignments to your personal tutor for feedback.
  • There are no specific deadlines to submit your work as long as you finish within three months (extensions are available).
  • The course has been recommended for 6 undergraduate-level credits by the American Council on Education. (This is optional and you do not need to be enrolled in a university to take this course.)
  • You’ll earn an accredited, internationally recognized TEFL/TESOL certification that meets requirements for teaching jobs worldwide.
  • Bridge Certificates

    Once you have completed and passed all of the components of your course (and your instructor has posted final grades), you’ll be able to download, save, and/or print your Bridge TEFL/TESOL certificate from our online platform free of charge by entering your unique certificate number into our secure Certificate Verification System. (You can also share this code with employers when applying to jobs, making it easy for them to verify your certification.) Within this secure site, you’ll also find a summary of each course you took, including the various components, their content, and the grade you received for each.

    If you would like a hard copy of your certificate mailed to you (with notarization or apostille) you may order that for an additional fee. Learn more about downloading your certificate or ordering a hard copy.

    Yes! Click here to see a sample certificate. The digital certificate includes:

  • A unique certificate number for verification by you or employers you share it with
  • Icons and names of every Bridge TEFL/TESOL course you have completed
  • The total number of course hours you have completed (this number updates each time you complete another course)
  • Bridge accreditation and affiliations
  • If you order a hard copy of your certificate mailed to you (with notarization or apostille), it will include a foil strip as an added security feature.

    Learn more about the certificate here.

    Yes! The total number of course hours you complete is indicated on your certificate. This number updates each time you complete another Bridge TEFL/TESOL course. The name of each course will be listed on the certificate as well. See a sample of the certificate here.

    You can download, save, and print your certificate from our online platform free of charge, as soon as you have completed and passed all of the components of your course.

    If you would like a hard copy mailed to you (with notarization or apostille) you may order that for an additional fee. Depending on where you live, shipping times may vary. Learn more about downloading your certificate or ordering a hard copy

    Yes, Bridge TEFL/TESOL certificates are fully accredited and internationally recognized and are therefore accepted across the globe.

    Since our primary institutional accrediting body is the Accrediting Council for Continued Education and Training (ACCET), which carries the recognition of the U.S. Department of Education, our graduates qualify for teaching jobs worldwide and online.

    Hear from our graduates teaching around the globe!

    Teaching jobs in most locations require at least 120 hours of TEFL/TESOL certification, so we recommend taking one of our Professional Certification Courses: the 120-Hour Bridge Master Certificate as a minimum, and the 150-Hour IDELTOnline™ in order to stand out as the most competitive candidate for jobs.

    No, your Bridge certificate never expires! However, most schools expect teachers to earn continuing professional development throughout their careers to keep their skills fresh, so we do recommend updating your certification over time by adding additional credentials.

    Learn more about professional development options for teachers.

    Pricing and Payment

    You can view the price of each course by visiting the course category page or specific course page. You can see all of our online TEFL/TESOL courses here. Click on the "Explore Courses" button in any course category to see all of the course options within that category, and to compare the cost for each. Or, navigate to any individual course page from the main "Explore" menu at the top of the page.

    When you enroll in a Bridge TEFL / TESOL certification course, you receive:

    • The course content: Our courses are developed by experts in the field and are designed to give you practical skills to fully prepare for the classroom. The courses are delivered on a dynamic learning management system, featuring interactive elements such as practice exercises and quizzes to help you engage with what you’re learning, as well as videos and downloadables. You’ll also work with a qualified and experienced tutor who guides you, answers questions, and provides feedback throughout the course, and you’ll engage with your fellow trainees via class discussion boards.
    • Instructor led live sessions: In Bridge’s150-hour IDELTOnlineTM program, trainees will have additional support and interaction with their Master’s level instructor during a series of 4 live learning sessions.
    • A Bridge certificate: When you successfully complete your course, you’ll earn a lifetime TEFL/TESOL certificate. You will be assigned a unique certificate code which may be entered into our secure Certificate Verification System by you and any employer you share it with. There, it's possible to download and print your certificate for free as well as read a summary of each course component's content and the grade that you received for that component. If you would like a hard copy of your certificate mailed to you (with notarization or apostille) you may order that for an additional fee. Learn more about downloading your certificate or ordering a hard copy.
    • Digital badge: You will receive a digital badge for every Bridge course you complete. These can be shared on LinkedIn, your resume, your email signature, and more! Employers can click on your badge to see detailed, verifiable information about the course you completed.
    • Job resources: Your course includes Job Advising modules. These resources are designed to make the process of finding TEFL jobs or advancing in the field smooth and easy for our graduates. If you’re new to teaching, you’ll learn how to improve your resume, find and apply to TEFL jobs, and ace your interview so that you can get the job of your dreams. If you’re already teaching, you’ll find information on continuing professional development, recommended TESOL organizations you can join, and teaching resources you can use in your classroom. You’ll also learn how to take advantage of Bridge’s job placement services, submit questions to Job Advisors, and connect to our community of TEFL teachers and schools worldwide.

    You may pay for your course with a credit card or with PayPal directly in the enrollment process. If you need other payment options, please contact an advisor.

    Our most advanced online course, the IDELTOnline™, may be purchased with installment payments. During the checkout process, just choose the option to pay by credit card with installments (you can choose two or three payments). When you select this option, our online payment system will automatically charge your credit card on pre-scheduled dates, at intervals based on your date of purchase and the payment plan you select.

    If you have additional courses in your cart (which are not eligible for installment payments), you will not see the installment payment option at check out. Therefore, in order to use the installment payment option for the IDELTOnline™, you must first enroll in this course, then return to purchase the other courses.

    Yes, we offer regular discounts on our courses. You can see our monthly course specials here. Plus, you can get a promo code for a course discount by attending one of our free TEFL/TESOL Info Sessions!

    Although Bridge does not currently offer scholarships, we do offer a wide range of courses at price points to meet different budgets. We also offer regular discounts on our courses. You can see our monthly course specials here.

    You can also enroll in any of our Micro-credential courses for free! These are short professional development courses on relevant teaching topics to keep your skills current and provide fresh ideas for the classroom. You can get started for free to get a taste of what our courses are like, and then upgrade later on to get tutor support and earn a certificate and a digital badge. Learn more about Micro-credentials and explore course options here.

    Bridge is committed to providing you with exceptional teacher training and we back that commitment with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with your course, you can contact us within 7 days of purchase and receive a 100% refund. We strive to provide the highest level of service and to promptly address any issues to your complete satisfaction.

    Krzl Nunes, Bridge Program Advisor

    Need help deciding which course is right for you?


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