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Frequently Asked Questions

Download our Free Brochure for answers to many of the most frequently asked questions. Or if you're wondering whether TEFL is right for you, try the TEFL Taster.


About TEFL

How does TEFL work?

A TEFL (Teaching English as Foreign Language) qualification allows you to teach English all over the world – getting paid to travel…what more could you ask for?! Perhaps you’re thinking “but I have no teaching experience” No problem! If you can speak English, you can teach English!

How do I choose a TEFL course?

Choosing a TEFL course completely depends on where you want to teach and how much teaching experience you already have! For instance in South Korea most private academies will accept an online qualification, however their public school EPIK program require you to have some classroom training. For some of the highest paid positions in Europe and the Middle East, you may also require a level 5 (Celta/EDI/Trinity) qualification. It’s confusing…we know! That’s why our TEFL team has the most up to date and expert advice for you. You can request a free call from any of them here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/tefl-consultation.html

What qualifications do I need to do a TEFL course?

You don’t require any formal level of qualification or experience to enrol in an i-to-i TEFL course - you just need to speak English! However, to do our level 5 qualification (the EDI CertTEFL), you’ll need a minimum of level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A levels).
If English isn’t your first language, but you have a good level of comprehension, you may also be able to qualify in TEFL, get in touch with our expert team to find out if you meet the requirements.

Can TEFL be a career?

Yes, TEFL certainly can be a career; it already is for thousands of people!
Since i-to-i started out in 1994, we’ve qualified over 155,000 people to Teach English as a Foreign Language. In that time, many have used their i-to-i qualification to launch a TEFL career. Since qualifying, some of our TEFLers have gone on to become the Director of Studies, sidestepped into administrative roles or taken permanent positions as school principals.
We even have several TEFLers that have gone on to open language schools. So, if you want TEFL to be a career, it certainly can be.

Do I need to do a TEFL course if I’m already a teacher?

Yes, as you will be teaching those who speak English as a second language their comprehension of English may be quite low. Due to this you will find that the skills involved are quite different and your students learning needs TEFL specific.
However, it is worth noting that the type of TEFL course you’ll need to do as a qualified teacher will vary from someone with no practical teaching experience. For example to teach in a South Korean public school you would usually need a TEFL certificate with some practical classroom experience, however you may be able to sidestep the classroom part if you are already a qualified teacher. Get in touch with our expert TEFL team for the most up to date advice.

Am I too old to teach English abroad?

There seems to be a misconception in the TEFL industry that everyone teaching English abroad is a sprightly 21 year old straight out of university. Whilst there are many TEFL Teachers who have taken TEFL as their first graduate job or as an opportunity to get paid to travel, there are many more who have TEFLed as part of a career break or have decided to teach abroad as a way of funding early retirement. So, are you too old to TEFL? Probably not. Generally, there are no rules or age limits to teaching English abroad. In fact, many schools actively seek mature TEFL Teachers, who have some life experience to bring to the classroom.

What is the difference between TEFL & TESOL?

To put it simply, there’s nothing different, they both mean the same thing! TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESOL stands for Teaching English as a Second or Other Language.

The two terms are just different acronyms that are used simultaneously around the world (you’ll usually hear of TESOL throughout the US & Canada as well as Australia & New Zealand).

Do I need to speak the local language to teach English abroad?

Definitely not! TEFL is all about the immersion of students into the English language, so even if you did know some of the local language, you’d be encouraged not to use it in the classroom!

There are parts of our Online + Classroom TEFL courses that are all about overcoming language barriers, for example; using props or drawing pictures on a board to explain a specific word. So if you’re worrying about not being able to speak the local language, don’t, our courses are designed to give you the information you need to successfully teach English abroad.

What’s the difference between TEFL and CELTA?

CELTA (The Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) is an internationally recognised 4-week residential course, which is designed for people who want to make a full career out of TEFL. It costs upwards of £1100, so it is certainly a commitment.

Our equivalent level 5 course, the EDI CertTEFL aims to have the same outcomes as CELTA courses, which mean they give you the same skills, but i-to-i fit it all into six consecutive sessions on Saturdays and through online learning. The EDI CertTEFL course will save you a lot of time and money, whilst giving you the skills you need to get paid teaching work anywhere in the world. Our CertTEFL is also internationally recognised by the British Council and accredited by the UK Government.

For more advice, why not give one of our TEFL experts a call to work out which option is right for you.

What visa do I need to teach English abroad?

Visa requirements vary depending on the country you want to teach English in. It’s important to ensure you have the correct visa before you travel. For more information on visa requirements, please contact your embassy.

How much can I earn teaching English abroad?

TEFL salaries differ greatly according to the location and specific role. The highest paying countries tend to be in The Middle East, where you can expect to earn around US$40,000-75,000 tax free. However, the cost of living is relative to where you’re teaching abroad, you could be living very well in Vietnam for just $1100 a month, where a bottle of beer can cost as little as 50 cents. To find out more about salaries and levels of TEFL qualification need, request a FREE call back from one of our expert TEFL advisors.

What is TEFL?

TEFL means Teaching English as a Foreign Language and an accredited i-to-i TEFL qualification will allow you to teach English all over the globe. You don’t need any teaching experience to TEFL – if you speak English, you can teach English!
Whilst TEFL can be taught in countries where English is the first language (UK, Australia, Canada), it is most common in countries where English isn’t the native language such as France, Brazil, Thailand and China. TEFL job opportunities exist in hundreds of countries worldwide.

TEFL Courses & Support

How do I log into Chalkboard if I have already purchased an i-to-i TEFL course?

Once you have paid for your course and it is up and running you can automatically sign into Chalkboard. First you’ll need to set up your Chalkboard account. You can do this by using the email address which you used to register the course and the password from your learning portal. For example, if you registered your TEFL course with the email test@i-to-i.com and your username was TEST123, use the email address to log in.

What support will I get on the course?

If you choose a weekend course you’ll have constant support from a friendly and professional tutor for the length of your course. It’s their key objective to help you complete and pass your course so they’ll be doing anything they can to make this happen.

If you choose an online TEFL course you’ll have full access to our Helpdesk who coordinate our 65 global tutors. They mark your modules and are also on-hand to offer advice and guidance throughout the course.

Whichever course you choose, we'll do everything we can to ensure that you have all the guidance and assistance you need to succeed.

Does my certificate expire?

No. Once you have your i-to-i TEFL certificate you will be qualified in TEFL for life. This means that you can teach abroad whilst travelling, during a career break or even when you’re retired, the opportunities throughout your lifetime are endless!

When and where is my weekend classroom course?

Information on your weekend TEFL course is located within your learning portal. Upon logging in you will find a list of your courses, which will include your ‘weekend TEFL course’. Please click the link for your weekend TEFL course to find the information, times and venue address details.

On the Wednesday prior to your weekend course the support team will send out a detailed weekend reminder about what to expect from your weekend course.

If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact the support team on 877 526 3959.

When and how will I get my TEFL certificate?

Your TEFL certificate will be issued for print once all elements of your course are completed and all PDF certificates are downloaded. Your certificate will be delivered to you by standard UK post, if you require an additional hard copy of your certificate please contact the support team on 877 526 3959.

How long will my certificate take in the post?

If you live overseas your certificate can take up to 28 days for delivery, however the support team can provide you with a courier quote upon request. Please note if you would like a courier quote, you must let the support team know upon course completion.

What are the customer service opening hours?

Monday to Thursday 8:45am until 18:00pm and Friday 8:45am until 17:00pm (GMT/BST)
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

I paid for the internship but I haven’t heard from the partners, what do I do?

Before you receive any correspondence from our partners in country you must first complete the application form. The application form is located within your learning portal. Please follow the link for your internship. After that you will find a link that says ‘next steps’, upon clicking the link you will be given some important information and a link to the application form.

Once the application form is completed, you will be assigned a case worker with our partners and gain further information on the next steps.

If you need any further guidance you will find the partners email address located within the application form.

Please do not hesitate to contact the support team on 877 526 3959 if you need help locating your application form.

How do I obtain a proof of completion and a proof of enrolment letter?

Proof of completion and proof of enrolment letters can be obtained by calling the support team on 877 526 3959. Proof of enrolment/ completion letters costs: £15GBP, €15.00, $20.00, $25AUD, R149.

I have lost my certificate how do I get a new one?

You can obtain a new certificate by calling the support team on 877 526 3959. The costs for a replacement are:
£15GBP, €15.00, $20.00, $25AUD, R149.

I am an i-to-i customer but my log in details won’t work on the jobs board.

The jobs board is actually separate to the online course so you will need to create a job seeker account to apply for jobs.

All you need to do is click this link and follow the steps for job seeker sign up: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/tefl-jobs-board/

And then you are ready to start applying!

How do I retrieve my Jobs Board log in?

If you have forgotten your password for the Jobs Board, you can request a new one via the ‘forgotten password’ link.

How long will it take me to complete my TEFL course?

The average time it takes to complete a comprehensive TEFL course is around 6 weeks. However, it all depends on how much time you have to spend on it. The great thing about our TEFL courses is that they are completely flexible so you can fit them around your daily commitments! You can work on them whenever you want, wherever you want! Plus, we give you 90 days to complete your course so you’ll have plenty of time to finish it.

Which TEFL course is right for me?

Choosing the right TEFL course all depends on you! Both online and classroom TEFL courses will prepare you for life in the classroom, so the course you choose will depend on how you like to learn. If you’re more of a ‘do-er’, a classroom course will probably suit you well as you’ll be surrounded by others all working towards the same goal. However, if you like to learn at your own pace and are relatively self-motivated, the online TEFL course looks like a good bet.

To find out exactly which TEFL course is right for you, request a FREE call back here and one of our expert TEFL advisors will give you a call to discuss your options and what would be best for you!

Is an online course sufficient to teach abroad?

Put simply, yes. The industry standard of TEFL qualification is between 100-140 hours of training. Whilst online courses are sufficient for many countries there are others that require you to have some classroom experience. Speak to our expert TEFL advisors today to find out what is best for you!

Where are courses held?

Everywhere; From Hong Kong to South Africa, the UK to France, our weekend TEFL courses are held worldwide! As we offer online TEFL training, you can access your TEFL course wherever and whenever you want, as long as you have access to the internet.

TEFL Jobs

Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach abroad?

If we are completely honest with you, the simple answer to this question is no; there are teaching jobs out there which donít require a TEFL qualification. They might pay less, or be with disreputable employers, but they do exist. So if youíre thinking about getting TEFL certified, before you make your mind up, there are a few very important points to consider:

  • Do you really want to teach English abroad? Imagine being stood in front of a class of 30 students and not having a clue where to begin because you havenít done the correct preparation Ė a position we certainly wouldnít want to be in!
  • Do it for the students! A big thing to remember is that how good your teaching skills are will affect how well the students learn and how good their English will become. Do you really want to give your students a poor learning experience?
  • Do it for yourself! Only the very lowest paying TEFL jobs will accept candidates with no TEFL qualification. Deciding to teach English abroad is a big step so why not start this new adventure with the best preparation you can; not just for the students, but for yourself too!

Where can I teach without a degree?

You want to TEFL but you don’t have a degree? Don’t worry! There are lots of great destinations which you can teach English without a degree*. These places include:

  • China
  • South America – Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil etc
  • Europe (UK and Irish citizens) – However anyone can teach in Europe if they satisfy the work visa requirements for a specific country*
  • Some parts of South East Asia (e.g. Cambodia)

* As visa regulations and governments change all the time, if you don’t have a degree, it may best to get in touch with one of our TEFL experts to get the most up to date advice.

Do I need a degree to teach English abroad?

Put simply no, you do not need a degree to teach English abroad.

Whilst in some countries a degree is required for visa purposes, South Korea and Japan for instance, there are many others that are happy to hire you with just an accredited TEFL certificate.

For example, if you are an EU citizen, you can find plenty of teaching jobs in Europe without needing a degree. There is also a huge job market for other non-degree holders in South America, China and parts of South East Asia. To find out the most up to date requirements concerning countries, degrees and TEFL qualification, have a chat with one of our TEFL experts for free.

How easy is it to get a job teaching English abroad?

As with all things, you’ll need to put some effort into searching for a job teaching English abroad. There is an overwhelming demand for English speakers all over the world and there is no shortage of jobs out there! If you’ve got the right attitude, an accredited i-to-i TEFL qualification and a sense of adventure, there’s nothing stopping you from getting a great TEFL job.

How do I find a job teaching abroad?

We have a dedicated FREE TEFL Jobs Board with over 600 verified employers; posting jobs all over the globe. Brazil, check. Spain, check. South Korea, check. You can see where we’re going with this one right? With over 650 live jobs right now, there’s something for everyone! All you need to do is register here and you’ll be able to start applying for the very best TEFL jobs straight away.


About i-to-i

Are i-to-i TEFL courses internationally recognised?

Yes, i-to-i TEFL courses are internationally recognised. We have been around for 20 years so we’ve built up relationships with employers all over the non-native English speaking world to help get you the best possible jobs! To give you an idea of how internationally recognised we are:

  • We have relationships with over 600 employers all over the world.
  • We have over 650 live jobs on our Jobs Board.
  • We’ve facilitated over 155,000 TEFLers get the job of their dreams.

How many people have qualified as a TEFL teacher with i-to-i?

Since i-to-i was founded in 1994 we have qualified over 155,000 people. These people have gone off to teach ALL over the world from Afghanistan to Spain, Japan to Brazil. Trust us when we say… with a TEFL certificate the world is your oyster!

Why choose i-to-i?

i-to-i have been around a lot longer than most other TEFL course providers and in that time we have built up a great reputation! Our courses are all independently accredited and if you do your course with us you’ll have access to our FREE TEFL jobs board with over 600 jobs worldwide, all available for you to apply for. We also have over 65 expert TEFL tutors worldwide to help you get the most out of your course. AND since 1994 we have qualified over 155,000 people to Teach English as a Foreign Language.

Are i-to-i TEFL accredited?

Relax, you’re in safe hands! Do a course with us and you’ll get your hands on one of the most internationally recognized and accredited qualifications in the TEFL industry.

It’s important to note that there’s no international TEFL governing body or universally accepted qualification for teaching English abroad. However, the ODLQC (Open and Distance Learning Quality Council) and The British Council have recognised the quality of our courses and we monitor our courses carefully to ensure that they meet the very highest industry standards.