You have questions about teaching English to speakers of other languages; we’ve got answers! Below you’ll find general TEFL/TEFL information including common questions about our online and classroom-based certifications.

  • Online TEFL/TESOL Course FAQs
  • Classroom TEFL/TESOL Course FAQs
    • What is the difference between ESL and EFL?

      English as a Second Language (ESL) is English taught to non-native speakers who live in an English-speaking country. This would be the case, for example, with a South Korean student living and studying English in the United States.

      English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is English taught to non-native speakers who live in a non-English-speaking country. This would be the case with a South Korean student studying English in South Korea.

    • What is the difference between TEFL, TESOL, IDELT, CELTA?

      The field of teaching English has many abbreviations and acronyms! TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are often used interchangeably, although technically TESOL includes teaching both ESL and EFL (see above for clarification on these terms).

      The Bridge IDELT (International Diploma in English Language Teaching) and Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) are both 4-week classroom-based TEFL/TESOL courses. Both programs prepare you for positions teaching English to speakers of other languages and are intensive, internationally recognized, and result in certification that lasts a lifetime.

      The main difference between these courses is that the CELTA was developed by University of Cambridge and the IDELT was developed by Bridge. The IDELT is offered at BridgeTEFL centers, and the CELTA is offered at authorized training centers worldwide, of which Bridge in Denver is one.

    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of online TEFL/TESOL courses?

      Cost and convenience are the advantages of online TEFL certificate programs. The courses can be completed from any computer anywhere in the world and usually cost a fraction of on-site programs.

      However, one disadvantage of online courses is that usually the real-world experience of teaching authentic language classes is not possible in most online courses. Some programs, such as our IDELT - Online course, do provide video observations or tutorials so that you can get a glimpse into the TEFL classroom before teaching your own students. Through Bridge, it is also possible to add a teaching practicum to your course by enrolling in the Bridge Specialized Certificate: Teaching Practicum.

      Completion of an online TEFL/TSOL certificate program qualifies you for many teaching positions. While schools in some countries prefer teachers with on-site experience, the most important thing for many language centers is that you are certified. If spending a month in another city or paying the tuition of an onsite TEFL/TESOL course is not feasible for you, an online program is your best option.

    • Do I really need a TEFL/TESOL certificate to teach English?

      Although schools in some parts of the world may require only that you be a native English speaker or have native-level fluency, most institutions prefer to hire teachers with some training. And in an increasingly competitive environment, it’s an absolute necessity at some schools. In any case, having an IDELT, CELTA or other such TEFL/TESOL certificate on your resume can make the difference between you and another applicant, and will increase your chances of working at a better school and possibly receiving a higher salary.

    • Is it necessary to get my TEFL/TESOL certificate through an accredited institution?

      Absolutely. TEFL/TESOL courses offered by various providers worldwide are not uniform in either content or quality. That means any person or institution can offer a TEFL training program without regulation or standardization! Thus, one of the best ways to know that you are enrolling in a respectable TEFL course is to check that the institution is externally validated by a reputable accrediting agency. See our Accreditation page for more information.

    • Do I have to have a college degree to enroll in a TEFL/TESOL course?

      No, you don’t. BridgeTEFL online courses do not have any degree requirements, and our classroom-based courses require only that students be academically prepared to enter a university. This includes having excellent study skills, being able to write analytical essays with few grammatical errors, and knowing how to correctly cite direct and indirect sources. Students must also be at least 18 years old to enroll in the CELTA (20 is preferred) and 20 years old to enroll in the Bridge IDELT (18- and 19-year-olds are accepted at the center’s discretion).

    • Where can I teach with these certificates?

      The Bridge IDELT , Cambridge CELTA, and , certificates prepare you for a teaching job in your home country or in any country you choose. The jobs you can get depend in a large part on your other qualifications (degree or experience) as well as your first language and the country in which you are applying. You may end up teaching a business executive in Chile or a group of 40 high school students in China. English teachers are currently needed all over the world!

    • Do I have to be a native English speaker to enroll in a TEFL/TESOL course?

      No. Many students in both our online and classroom-based TEFL/TESOL courses are not native English speakers. Please see the chart below for our fluency requirements:

        Fluency Requirement IELTS TOEIC TOEFL IBT Cambridge BULATS EU Framework BL English Test
      IDELT/CELTA/Onsite TEFL Mastery 8,0 950 110 CPE 89 C2 (Mastery) 95
      IDELT Online Advanced 7,0 845 95 CEA 75 C1 (Proficiency) 85 Intermediate 5,0 650 64 PET 59 B1 (Threshold) 69
      *Equivalencies are approximate
    • What is the profile of students in your training programs?

      Trainees in BridgeTEFL programs represent a wide variety of nationalities, ages, and backgrounds. Many students are young adults between the ages of 22 and 30 who have recently graduated from college or looking to gain or improve upon existing teaching skills. We also have a significant number of students between the ages of 45 and 65+, who are either career changers or retirees interested in teaching.

      We have had trainees all over the world in our online TEFL/TESOL courses. The majority of students in our classroom-based TEFL courses (offered in the U.S. and South America) come from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, but also from within South America or abroad.

    • Do these training programs enable me to teach ESL/EFL in public school?

      Most school districts in the U.S. and internationally require that you be licensed by the state and/or have a degree in education in order to teach in public school. Some districts in the U.S., however, are in dire need of ESL teachers and will hire people with a TEFL certificate (sometimes provided that they are willing to work towards licensure). Requirements to teach at International public schools will vary by location.

    • What does the price of online course tuition include? Are there textbooks I would need to purchase?

      The tuition for courses, is comprehensive. The courses are entirely online; nothing else needs to be purchased to complete them.

      The IDELT - Online course tuition includes everything except the textbook, which is called, The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Ed. with DVD) by J. Harmer. The book needs to be purchased before the start of the class.

      The Specialized Certificates do not require a textbook.

    • Are the courses self-paced or are there particular times I would need to be online? courses are entirely self-paced. There is only one deadline: The entire course must be completed within 3 months from the date of purchase.

      The IDELT - Online is part-time, and there is never a specific time or day that students need to be online. The course does have weekly assignments that need to be turned in on-time but students are able to work on them on their own schedule and can access the course to complete their homework electronically any time they like. Though the IDELT Online does offer live sessions, participation is not required, and these sessions may be watched in recorded version.

      The Specialized Certificates are self-paced and must be finished within 3 months of the date of purchase.

    • How many hours of homework will I have each week?

      Because the courses are self-paced, you may work on them whenever and for as long as you like.

      Students in the IDELT - Online are estimated to have 8-15 hours of coursework each week.

      The Specialized Certificates are self-paced so students may work on them whenever they like for as long as they like, within the 3-month time frame. Most students are able to finish their Specialized Certificate course within 1 month.

    • What if I need to miss a few days or a week in the middle of the course? courses track your progress, so you can take as much time off in the middle of the course as you like, as long as you complete the course within 3 months of the date of purchase. (If you don’t finish by the course deadline, you can purchase a 3-month extension for $175.)

      Typically, throughout the IDELT Online, assignments are due once or twice a week. Should you need to take some time off, you could coordinate with the teacher to turn in your assignments for the week you would be missing early. As one of the benefits of taking a course with a live trainer, you can contact her with questions and concerns at any time, and she will work with you to find solutions!

      The Specialized Certificates are self-paced over 3 months so students can take off as much time as they like as long as they complete all of the necessary coursework before their course expires.

    • How do I get the college credits for the IDELT Online?

      Qualified students who enroll in the IDELT – Online are eligible concurrently register with Bridge partners, University of Northern Colorado and Texas A&M University, to receive a 3-graduate-level credit transcript upon course completion. As these are both accredited US universities, the 3 credits transfer to most other universities in the United States, but it always recommended that students check with their school advisors, deans, or registrars for official confirmation on the option of receiving transfer credit, prior to enrolling.

      At this time, the Specialized Certificates and are not eligible for college credit.

    • Will the IDELT - Online certificate have the UNC or Texas A&M logo on it, or otherwise mention the possibility for credit through these universities?

      The University of Northern Colorado and Texas A&M University - Texarkana provide college credit for the IDELT – Online course. This transcript will, of course, bear the respective university’s logo, but the IDELT certificate itself will come from Bridge, and as such, it will not carry the UNC/Texas A&M logo or mention the universities. However, the university transcript and or mention of it can be included with your TEFL certification when applying to English teaching jobs, in order to stand out from other candidates.

    • What sort of job placement assistance will I get after completing one of the online courses?

      All graduates of BridgeTEFL receive lifetime access to the BridgeTEFL Job Board, where Bridge-approved schools worldwide post open teaching vacancies to which you can apply. In addition, graduates have access to the Resource Center inside their course, where they can find lists of schools, employers, recruiters, and websites for finding jobs abroad, as well as advice and resources for writing resumes, CVs and applying for jobs. IDELT - Online graduates receive additional, personalized job placement assistance. They can call or email a BridgeTEFL Jobs Advisor for specific advice and support in their job search. You can read more about the job placement assistance that Bridge provides to IDELT - Online graduates here.

      There are no written assignments required in the Grammar Advisor component.

  • For course-specific FAQs, please follow this link to go the page for that course.

    • Where do you offer classroom based courses?

      Bridge offers the IDELT (International Diploma in English Language Teaching) at our centers in Denver, Colorado USA, as well as in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile. Click to learn more about these locations.

      The Cambridge CELTA course is offered at our Denver, Colorado USA location only.

    • What is the difference between the Bridge IDELT and the Cambridge CELTA?

      The Bridge IDELT and the Cambridge CELTA are both accredited, internationally recognized TEFL/TESOL courses that prepare you for teaching positions worldwide. These courses were developed by different organizations, Bridge in the U.S. and Cambridge in the U.K., so they vary slightly in structure and content but are considered equivalent certifications.

      The reason CELTA tuition is higher than IDELT tuition is that CELTA is a Cambridge English (U.K.) course offered at authorized training centers around the world. Centers that receive this authorization pay royalty fees to Cambridge, which affects the course cost. The Bridge IDELT, on the other hand, is a Bridge proprietary course, so no additional fees are required, making tuition lower.

    • What is the schedule of classroom based courses? Can I work while I take one?

      The IDELT and CELTA are very intensive courses. The daily schedule normally runs from 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and each day is divided into two parts. In the mornings, trainees attend “input sessions,” in which the trainers facilitate workshops on language, methodology, theory, techniques, etc. There is an hour lunch break mid-day. In the afternoons, there is time for lesson planning and preparation, followed by teaching practice.

      Due to the rigorous schedule and the time required after class for reading, researching, planning lessons, and completing homework and written assignments, it is not recommended that trainees have other obligations during the 4-week classroom-based courses.

    • Can I receive university credit for the Bridge IDELT or Cambridge CELTA?

      In the US, the Bridge IDELT is accredited by ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training) and recommended for credit at over 1,500 universities by National CCRS (College Credit Recommendation Service). The IDELT has been recommended for 6 graduate-level semester hours as an elective or as a teaching practicum in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Please contact your university academic advisor for more information. BridgeTEFL will be happy to provide any documentation requested by your school.

      The Cambridge CELTA is not currently approved for university credit by NCCRS.

    • If I’m not a native English speaker, what level of English is required to take a classroom-based course?

      If you are not a native English speaker, you must demonstrate English proficiency at a minimum of a C1 level (according to the Common European Framework (CEFR), or have earned the equivalent to an IELTS test score of 7.0.

University Affiliations

Alissa Berdahl
International Program Advisor

Do you still have questions?
Find more specific FAQs on each course page, or contact a TEFL Advisor directly!

Accreditation and Affiliations

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