My tefl Blog

6 steps to getting a TEFL certificate

So, you’re thinking about getting a TEFL certificate? Great choice. You’re going to embark on a whole new adventure, which could whisk you away to the UFO-like skyscrapers of Taipei or be your ticket to coconut-peppered beaches in Colombia, not to mention a whole load more places in between. And you’ll be following a well-recognized international course, broadening your skill set, and meeting new people as you go. It’s all good news. But how to get things rolling? The six-step guide below can help.


getting a TEFL certificate
On-site courses can get you to Thai beaches right away | JRF/myTEFL


  1. Have a think about where you want to teach


You might think dreaming of Thailand’s golden beaches or the soy-topped noodle soups of Vietnam is a little premature, but zeroing in on a couple of destinations that take your fancy is actually a great place to begin your TEFL journey. There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, stoking the wanderlust is sure to fill you with enthusiasm for the process, bolstering your will power and showing that the right decision has been made. Secondly – and most importantly – you might be able to find on-location courses that will transport you to Southeast Asia or China or South Africa right away.


  1. Choose between online and on-site courses


The decision between online and on-site courses is one of the most important you’re going to have to make in the run-up to starting your TEFL study. They both offer something totally different. The first allow you to complete all of the necessary modules from the comfort of your own home. You’ll do everything via a web portal, and be armed with all the skills needed to start applying for jobs at your own pace. On-site courses do all of the above, only they do it under the balmy sun of the Land of Smiles, or in the midst of an electrifying Asian metropolis – it’s adventure from the get-go.


getting a TEFL certificate
A TEFL certificate is your ticket to a new adventure | JRF/myTEFL


  1. Choose the level of qualification you’re after


Most jobs out there will ask for at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate, which is why it’s far and away the most popular sort of qualification to pursue. There are other options, though. If you’re after a simple introduction to the industry, to dip your toe in it all before taking the plunge, you can also go for barebones courses that last just 40 hours. Don’t expect to be able to apply for positions with those, however – they really are just a taster of what TEFL entails.


  1. Sign up


It’s crunch time. Click ‘book’. Click ‘sign up’. Send that confirmation email. This is where you pay your money, list your name, and get on the TEFL books once and for all. It might seem like a big step but it’s often something of an anticlimax; just a name entered on a roster; a welcome message in the inbox. The real fun is about to begin, especially if you’re enlisting in an on-site course in Argentina, with tango-twisting cantinas, Patagonian peaks, and the buzz of Buenos Aires, for example.


getting a TEFL certificate
Teaching certificate – done! | myTEFL


  1. Do your modules and tests


The most crucial step of the lot is actually completing the content of the TEFL course. This is where you’ll brush up on your past tenses and future present perfects. It’s where you’ll get training in the dark arts of classroom management. It’s where you’ll get a feel for learning styles and teaching methods. It’s important you focus and complete all the modules in order, nailing the test that comes at the end of each. They will all add up to form your final mark and be included on your eventual TEFL certificate.


  1. Actually getting a TEFL certificate


And viola – you’re there. Modules finished, tests done, the certificate is yours. Now you actually need to receive it and store it so you can start applying for jobs abroad. We recommend keeping a hard copy of the document but also having it handy in digital form. That way, you can easily pull it out in person-to-person interviews if you’re lucky enough to already be on the ground. Or, you can just attach it a cover letter when you apply over the web. (Congratulations, by the way!)



This is a simple step-by-step guide to the process of getting a TEFL certificate. We’d expect it to vary depending on what course you choose and where you choose to do that course. If you’re ready to start yours, be sure to check out our range of courses, both onsite and online.

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