So, you want to teach abroad or online? But, you’re not sure where to get your TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification? If you’re looking for an accredited, comprehensive TEFL program, you’ve come to the right place. I recently got TEFL certified through the International TEFL Academy. Below I give a detailed, honest review of my 10 weeks with ITA, what to expect, and how fast you can find a job abroad or online!
Where did you get your certification from?
International TEFL Academy (150 hour course + practicum)
Why did you choose ITA?
It’s an accredited program with a main office in Chicago. I’ve walked by the office multiple times knowing that when the time was right, I’d look into it. So when it came time, ITA was the first company I reached out to.
After talking with an advisor and hearing about the program/creeping social media sites/googling it– I signed up.
There are cheaper programs out there. The biggest reason I went with ITA was because I knew I would take it seriously. The course has deadlines and weekly assignments/quizzes. Procrastination is not an option. It has the professionalism of a college level course that attracted me.
Confession: I signed up for a TEFL course a couple of years ago. It was super cheap (like $40) and a “go at your own pace” course. I never completed it.
How much was it?
The certification was $1,395 (minus $400 because I was in AmeriCorps). There are also discounts for military, PeaceCorps members, and scholarship opportunities.
Tip: make sure to use my referral code (or a friend’s), you receive your book for free ($45) by using a referral code. Click here for my referral code! <3
Note: I have friends who’ve gotten their certification for half the price, but I think you get what you pay for. I felt like I paid the right amount for what the course gave me.
Did you like it/Do you recommend ITA?
I HIGHLY recommend getting your TEFL with ITA. No, I am not being paid to say this. Although I wish I was (lol).
I loved it. My favorite part was the lesson planning assignments and the practicum where I had to shadow an ESL classroom. I feel these two things gave me experience and confidence to teach in the future. I have a folder filled with lesson plans and activities I’ve created. For the final project, I had to create a weeks worth of lesson plans and activities with an overall theme. After completing the course, I feel ready and fully qualified to teach English as a second language.
I also love the community of ITA alumni students. I follow a lot of alumni on instagram and love to see how they are using their certificate. There are meet-ups around the world for teachers to connect.
Note: If you only want the certification and do not care about the content, go with a cheaper program. I know some people who already have a job lined up who only need a TEFL to officially be hired. In that case, I would not recommend ITA. This program was right for me, but might not be right for you. Do some research and go with what feels right!
How long is the course?
What did your week look like?
- Read the chapter of the book online (Monday-Wednesday)
- Complete the weekly discussion question and chapter quiz/quizzes (Due Friday)
- Complete the writing assignment (Due Sunday)
Was it easy to pass?
It’s one of those things, if you put in the work, it is relatively easy to pass. I took it seriously and received a 96% in the course.
What do you need to pass the course?
Pass the class (70% or higher) + Practicum
What is the practicum?
You are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation, tutoring, student teaching or a combination of the two or three. At least six hours of tutoring/student teaching (contact hours) are mandatory before receiving your certificate. Students have 60 days post course to complete the hours.
I did my observation hours at a nonprofit called YWCA in Elgin, IL. YWCA helps low income community members learn English for free. It was hands down my favorite part of my ITA course. I observed 6 teachers with completely different teaching styles. The students were amazing and extremely welcoming. I absolutely loved it.
Do they help you find a job?
Yes. You are assigned an advisor and someone who will help you with your search. There are also so many online resources through their website and private Facebook group.
How much do TEFL certified teachers make?
This honestly is impossible to answer because it varies so much. I’ve heard teachers in Latin American countries are barely able to save any money while teachers in South Korea are able to save 15k in a year while teaching.
The online teaching company I just signed with, QKids, pays $16-$20 per hour starting.
What do you need to become an ESL teacher abroad?
It varies. Most schools and companies require a Bachelor’s degree and some require a TEFL certification. SOME schools/companies will hire teachers who only have one or the other. I’m sure there are some who require only that you are a native speaker BUT I would be cautious about being hired by those schools/companies.
Also, a lot of schools require that you are a native speaker from USA, Canada, UK, or Australia. Again, it varies.
Want to teach in Korea? Click here!
How long did it take you to find a job?
A couple weeks. I got hired with QKids, an online teaching company! Want to teach online, read Tips to Getting Hired with QKids first!
So how do you plan to use your certification?
My first goal was to get an online teaching job to make extra money and see if I liked teaching online. Ideally, I would like to teach online while traveling. I’ve also thought of teaching in a classroom somewhere in Asia. I originally wanted to teach in South Korea, because teachers make really good money and usually love it. At this moment, I haven’t made a definitive decision. I will keep you updated! <3 (update: I currently teach in Busan, South Korea.)
Thanks for reading!!! If you have more questions, leave them in the comments, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @courtneytheexplorer on Instagram!
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