10 Best TEFL Courses for Teaching English Online 

So you’ve decided that teaching English online is going to help fund your new life abroad and now you’re wondering which are the best TEFL courses to take so you can start your TEFL career.  There are tons of amazing online courses to choose from and I know it can get overwhelming trying to decide which is the right course for you.  I hope that this post helps you to narrow down your choices.  Don’t overthink it, there are lots of similarities between the courses and the main thing is that you end up with a course of a minimum of 120 hours and is globally recognised from a reputable provider. 

Now, I am not TEFL qualified and yet, I’ve been teaching English for 4 years, so don’t fret if you’d prefer to avoid taking a course altogether.  There are definitely ways to get into teaching English online without a TEFL qualification. 

AJ is TESOL qualified which is a more detailed teaching English as a foreign language qualification that covers a variety of situations you may want to specialise in like teaching young learners and exam preparation.  He did his course in person while we were living in Malaga, Spain. It probably also cost more than your average course because it was intensive and included practical experience.  So as you should be starting to see, there is a lot to think about before choosing the right course for you so let me share some of the pros and cons of the most popular TEFL courses to help you make an informed decision.  

Here are the 10 Best TEFL courses

1. International TEFL Academy

This globally recognised program by International TEFL Academy offers flexibility with a variety of course lengths from a 100-hour online option to a more in-depth 170-hour program giving you the choice to choose a course to fit your schedule. Their globally recognised certifications open doors to a wider range of online opportunities for tutors. They also provide excellent career guidance resources, helping you find platforms that cater to flexible schedules. International TEFL Academy equips you with a strong foundation and though their courses may be on the slightly pricier side, for what you get it may be worth it.  

International TEFL Academy Pros

  • Variety of Courses: caters to busy schedules with a range of course lengths, from 100 to 170 hours. Choose what works best for your time constraints.
  • Career Guidance: excellent career guidance resources and job search assistance, perfect for navigating the world of tutoring online.

International TEFL Academy Cons

  • Practicum Options: While they offer practicum placements, these might not be readily available online
  • Cost: International TEFL Academy courses can be on the pricier side.

2. International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT)

A TEFL titan, ITTT offers internationally recognised certifications. Their online courses are well-structured and provide a solid foundation in teaching English. ITTT is a great choice for those who want a well-respected certification and a structured learning approach.

Online Courses: While ITTT’s strength lies in in-person programs, they do offer online options. These courses typically range from 120 to 140 hours and provide a comprehensive foundation in TEFL methodology.

Combined Courses: These combine online modules with in-person components, often held in exciting locations around the world. This could be a great option if you crave an immersive cultural experience while getting TEFL certified. 

In-Person Courses: Traditionally, ITTT shines with its in-person programs held in a variety of countries. These intensive courses offer a highly interactive learning experience and the chance to connect with your fellow TEFL teaching peers. 


  • Globally Recognized Certification: ITTT is a leading TEFL provider with a worldwide reputation. Their certification is highly respected by employers and online tutoring platforms.
  • Structured Learning: well-structured & provide a solid foundation in teaching English as a foreign language.


  • Limited Online Focus: Their traditional strength lies in in-person programs. Finding online practicum opportunities might be more challenging.
  • Cost: Courses can be on the pricier side, especially compared to some budget-friendly options.

3. The TEFL Academy

The TEFL Academy has carved a niche for itself in the TEFL world, offering flexible online courses that cater to busy individuals and families. Known for its hands-on approach, this course provides a blend of online modules and downloadable resources. Their flagship course is a comprehensive 120-hour online TEFL course. This course provides a solid foundation in teaching English as a foreign language, covering essential skills like lesson planning, classroom management, and different teaching methodologies.

Learn at your own pace, and revisit materials when you have the capacity to do so.  This is perfect for busy parents who want to learn at their own convenience. Their online modules and practical exercises ensure you gain the necessary skills for the virtual classroom.

Courses with The TEFL Academy might lack the personalised touch some learners crave compared to providers with dedicated tutors. While widely accepted, their certification might not hold the same weight as internationally programs like ITTT.

TEFL Academy Pros

  • Self-paced: Online modules and downloadable resources allow you to learn at your own pace. Revisit materials or catch up on missed lessons whenever your schedule allows.
  • Readiness: Incorporates practical exercises and lesson planning activities, ensuring you’re prepared to step into a virtual classroom with confidence.

TEFL Academy Cons

  • Lack of support: Offers support forums but might lack the personalised touch some learners crave.
  • Reputation: Certification might not hold the same weight as internationally recognised programs like those offered by other brands
  • Solely online: No in-person components or practicum placements.


TEFL UK is a training provider specifically catering to individuals in the United Kingdom who want to embark on a journey of teaching English online. TEFL UK offers a single, government-regulated 150-hour online TEFL course. This course emphasises the practical skills and methodologies needed to thrive in the online tutoring environment. It equips you with the knowledge to:

  • Plan engaging online lessons.
  • Utilise effective teaching tools and platforms.
  • Manage online classrooms effectively.
  • Cater to learners of diverse backgrounds and skill levels.

The course is delivered completely online, making it accessible for individuals across the UK with busy schedules. You can learn at your own pace, fitting TEFL training around work and personal commitments.

TEFL UK emphasises UK government recognition for their certification. This ensures your qualification meets the standards required by many tutoring online platforms worldwide. Additionally, they offer support for obtaining apostilles (government seals) for your certificate, which might be required for work in specific countries.


  • Focus on Online tutoring: Designed specifically for online tutoring, ensuring you’re equipped with the necessary skills for the virtual classroom.
  • Government-Regulated Certification: Recognised by many online tutoring platforms, opening doors to job opportunities worldwide.
  • Flexibility: learn at your own pace and manage your studies around your existing commitments


  • Limited Course Selection: Only one course, which might not cater to those seeking specialisation or a deeper understanding of TEFL methodology.
  • Focus on UK Market: Recognised globally, some resources or job placement assistance might have a UK-centric focus.
  • Limited Interaction: Less interpersonal interaction compared to in-person courses of other providers.

5. Premier TEFL

 If you crave innovation, then Premier TEFL may be the platform for you. Their interactive courses incorporate gamification and real-world scenarios, making learning engaging for you. Their curriculum emphasises integrating technology into your lessons, a valuable skill in the digital teaching world. They offer a variety of online TEFL courses, typically ranging from 120 to 170 hours. The gamified elements incorporate points, badges, and leaderboards, keeping you motivated and adding a touch of friendly competition to your TEFL training journey. They doesn’t currently offer in-person components or practicum placements. 

Premier TEFL Pros

  • Engaging: Interactive courses incorporate gamification elements and real-world scenarios, making learning engaging and fun.
  • Focus on Tech: If you plan to teach on online platforms, their curriculum emphasises integrating technology into your lessons, a valuable skill in the digital teaching world.
  • Flexible: Most courses are delivered online, allowing you to learn at your own pace.

Premier TEFL Cons

  • Learning Style Preference: The gamified approach might not suit everyone’s learning style. Some learners might prefer a more traditional, lecture-based format.
  • Limited Practicum Opportunities: Online practicum opportunities might be limited. So you’ll need to consider alternative ways to gain practical teaching experience, such as online volunteer opportunities.

6. The TEFL.Org

If you plan to teach online platforms, The TEFL.Org is a great choice. Their virtual classroom and online TEFL courses are specifically designed for the digital teaching environment. It’s a great budget-friendly option with a strong focus on online tutoring. They offer a shorter 100-hour course perfect for those who want to get started quickly. Their virtual classroom focus ensures you learn best practices for the digital environment. The course is delivered completely online, making it highly accessible for families on the move. You can learn at your own pace, fitting TEFL training around travel schedules and activities

TEFL.Org Pros

  • Budget-Friendly: One of the most affordable options on the market.
  • Focus on Online Teaching: The curriculum prioritizes the skills and tools needed to thrive in virtual classrooms.
  • Flexibility: The online & self-paced format allow you to fit TEFL training around lifestyle.

TEFL.Org Cons

  • Limited Course Selection: Only one course, which might not cater to those seeking specialisation.
  • Brand Recognition: Might not be as widely recognised as some established TEFL providers. Still accepted by many online teaching platforms though.
  • Limited Practicum Opportunities: Practicum placements might be limited, requiring additional planning to secure practical teaching experience.

7. UNI-Prep Institute

This TEFL provider is known for its fast-paced programs. Perfect if you’re short on time (because, let’s face it, who isn’t?). Uni-Prep Institute offer a variety of course lengths to fit your schedule.

8. TEFLPros

Another great option for busy parents! TEFLPros offers flexible online courses that can be completed at your own pace. They also provide lifetime job search assistance – a huge plus for the ever-evolving world of online ESL teaching.

9. myTEFL

Looking for a program with a social conscience? myTEFL donates a portion of their proceeds to education charities. You’ll gain valuable teaching skills while giving back – a win-win for the whole family!

10. Maximo Nivel

This course shines for its built-in online tutoring practice with real students! Maximo Nivel there’s no need to worry about finding childcare – conduct your practicum sessions via Skype while the kids are napping. Plus, they offer tons of personalised support.

Choosing the Right Course

There is no real ‘best’ TEFL course as there’s so many factors to consider. The perfect TEFL course for you depends on your individual needs and learning style. Consider these factors when making your choice:

  • Schedule: How much time can you realistically spend studying?
  • Learning Style: Do you prefer a structured program like ITTT or i-to-i TEFL, or a more interactive approach like Premier TEFL?
  • Experience Level: Are you a complete beginner or do you have some teaching experience? If you already have a strong foundation in education, a shorter course from The TEFL Org might suffice.
  • Career Goals: Do you want to specialise in teaching a particular age group or online platform? Look for courses that cater to your specific interests, such as The TEFL Org’s virtual classroom focus.
  • Budget: Courses range in price. Look for budget-friendly options like myTEFL or TEFLPros if cost is a major concern.
Budget-friendly options:

Expect to pay around $150 to $300 for a 120-hour TEFL course. (e.g. myTEFL, TEFLPros)

Mid-range options

These courses typically cost between $300 and $500 for 120-hour certifications, sometimes including downloadable resources or career guidance. (e.g. The TEFL Academy, UNI-Prep)

Premium options

Well-recognised providers or courses with additional features like practicum placements or in-depth specialisations can range from $500 and above, depending on the program length and features. (e.g. International TEFL Academy)

Remember, these are just general ranges. It’s important to visit the TEFL provider’s website for the latest pricing information and any potential promotions they might be offering.

After the Course: Securing Your TEFL Job

Once you have your TEFL certificate, the world (or rather, the web) is your oyster! Here are some additional tips for success as a digital nomad TEFL teacher:

  • Research Online Platforms: Explore different teaching platforms to find one that aligns with your family’s lifestyle and teaching preferences. Look for platforms that offer flexible scheduling and resources for young learners if you plan to teach with your kids around.

  • Build Your Online Presence: Create a strong TEFL teacher profile to showcase your skills and experience. Utilise platforms like TEFL.com or iTalki to connect with potential students.

  • Embrace the Continuous Learning Mindset: The world of tutoring online is constantly evolving. Stay up-to-date with the latest teaching methodologies and online tools to ensure you provide the best possible experience for your students.

  • Connect with the TEFL Community: Join online forums or Facebook groups for TEFL teachers. This is a great way to network, share experiences, and learn from other educators, especially fellow digital nomads who understand the unique challenges and rewards of teaching online with a family.

Teaching English online is just one of the many ways you can work remotely to live abroad. It can be an enriching and rewarding experience for you and your children. With the right TEFL course and a dash of planning, you can turn your love for travel and adventure into a sustainable income stream, all while fostering a love for learning in your little ones. So grab your laptops, pack your virtual suitcases, and get ready to embark on a global TEFL adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do I need to invest in a TEFL course?

TEFL courses typically range from 100 to 170 hours. Many offer flexible, self-paced options to fit busy schedules.

How much do TEFL courses cost?

Costs vary depending on the provider, course length, and features. Budget-friendly options start around $150, while premium courses can exceed $500.

What factors should I consider when choosing a TEFL course?

Your budget, learning style (structured vs. interactive), experience level, and career goals are key considerations.

I’m a complete beginner. Do I need an in-depth course?

Not necessarily. If your focus is tutoring online, some budget-friendly 100-hour courses offer a solid foundation.

I want to specialize in teaching young learners. Are there specific courses?

Yes! Some providers like i-to-i TEFL offer specializations for different age groups and learning styles.

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