How Much Should a TEFL Certification Cost?

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In order to land a job teaching English abroad, aspiring teachers first need to complete a TEFL certification. But how much should a TEFL certification cost?

It’s no secret that one of the most influential factors in choosing an online TEFL course is the price. And that the price of some TEFL courses can be a deal-breaker for many. 

However, the cost of a TEFL certification is an excellent indicator of its quality and reputability. The price can shed light on whether or not a TEFL course is comprehensive, from an internationally recognized institution, and of value to students. In the world of TEFL certification, you get what you pay for.

This guide helps you understand how much a TEFL certification should cost so you can make an informed decision when selecting the best course for you.

How Much Does an Online TEFL Course Cost?

TEFL courses are available at a wide range of prices. They can be as cheap as $150 for a basic online course to as expensive as $2,500 or more for a certification from a university. 

A TEFL certification’s price is determined by a few key factors such as:

  • The number of instruction hours in the course.
  • If it includes a TEFL practicum or an in-class component. 
  • How active and qualified the TEFL instructors are.
  • If it is an accredited course. 
  • If job search assistance is provided to graduates.
  • The TEFL provider and if they’re an internationally recognized and trusted name.

These are just a few things that can determine the cost of a TEFL certification. But generally, the most comprehensive and best TEFL certification costs at least $1,000.

Are Cheap TEFL Courses Legit?

There are many cheap TEFL courses available that, at first glance, can be very enticing, thanks to the low price tag. But before you commit to a low-priced TEFL course, it’s important to question why the course is so cheap. Unfortunately, many low-priced TEFL courses lure aspiring teachers in only to lack essential training components. 

Any TEFL course that’s offered for less than $1,000:

  • May be an “automated” course without a live tutor there to assist in real-time.
  • May lack job search assistance to help you succeed after completing the course.
  • May feature low-quality lesson material that’s not adequately accredited by a reputable accreditation body.
  • May have hidden fees, such as a fee to receive a hard copy of your certificate. 

When looking into cheap TEFL certificates, be sure to investigate the quality of the course before purchasing. You don’t want to waste your money and time on a certificate that won’t ultimately help you land your dream job teaching English abroad.

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5 Reasons Why the Best TEFL Courses Cost More Than $1,000

So, why do the best TEFL courses cost at least $1,000? Here’s a breakdown of what a TEFL certification can give you when it’s appropriately priced.

1. They Are Accredited by a Trustworthy Accreditation Body and Meet Industry and Academic Standards.

A TEFL course that has been accredited means that it has been formally reviewed and approved by an accreditation body. An accreditation body is a third party that specializes in monitoring educational institutions to ensure they meet academic standards. Proper accreditation is a lengthy and expensive process for educational institutions.

Not to mention, not every accreditation is the same. The most reputable accreditation bodies are backed by government agencies. Two of the best are ACCET, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and TQUK, recognized by the U.K’s Ofqual. 

Part of meeting industry and academic standards also means that the course has enough training hours. Most hiring schools want teachers to have at least 120-hours of TEFL training to be hired. Anything less is not worth the time or money.

Read More: All About TEFL Accreditation And Why It’s So Important

2. They are Led by Highly Qualified and Active TEFL Tutors.

How qualified and active TEFL tutors are in a course can vary wildly. Most cheap, online TEFL courses are predominantly self-study. This means that you are responsible for going through the digital course content on your own. In these courses, TEFL tasks may be graded by the computer. Or, if there is a tutor, grading assignments may be their only responsibility, and they may not be university-educated or an expert in the field of EFL.

Whereas for appropriately priced TEFL courses, it’s common practice to have one dedicated and engaged TEFL tutor with you throughout the course. Their responsibilities are usually more involved and include leading weekly online tutorials, facilitating discussions, answering student questions, and providing thoughtful feedback every week.

Read More: The Importance of Choosing a TEFL Course with Highly Qualified TEFL Trainers

3. They Include a TEFL Practicum.

The best online TEFL courses include a practicum component. A TEFL practicum is hands-on practice, teaching, tutoring, and/or observation with non-native English speakers in a physical classroom or online. Essentially, it’s an experience that allows you to put the valuable skills learned in the course to the test.

A practicum is one of the most important aspects of any TEFL course because it allows you to gain hands-on experience in a real-life setting. This can help you get a feel for what teaching style works best for you and can help you feel confident walking into your classroom on day one. Plus, some hiring schools want teachers to have experience before their first day. A TEFL practicum can count as that experience.

Read More: 5 Benefits of a TEFL Practicum: Valuable Teaching Experience in the Classroom

4. They Provide an Engaging Learning Community and Fantastic Networking Opportunities with Peers.

Not every TEFL course is structured like an actual class, and it’s not uncommon for a “course” to be simply a set of digital lectures. That means that you miss out on the opportunity to meet other students.

In contrast, the best TEFL courses encourage you to engage with your peers in the course. Through activities like peer-reviewing assignments, online discussion forums, live tutorials, and the ability to message others, you’re able to learn and grow with one another. The meaningful relationships you build in your TEFL course are also something you can take with you beyond the TEFL classroom.

5. They Offer Lifetime Job Search Assistance and Additional Support to Graduates.

Getting TEFL certified is only one of the first steps in teaching English abroad. Once you graduate, you’re faced with the difficult task of finding teaching jobs, applying, and moving abroad. This can be a daunting challenge without the help of an expert who knows how the industry works!

A high-quality TEFL course offers graduates job search assistance and sometimes even paid teaching placements. The best TEFL providers will have connections with a vast network of hiring schools and share insightful tips for where and how to apply. A good TEFL course should also provide additional resources like tips for moving abroad and adjusting to a new culture so that you can get the most out of your money.

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The Value of CIEE’s 150-Hour and 180-Hour TEFL Courses

CIEE has been the leader in international education since 1947. And today, CIEE TEFL courses continue that tradition by providing the highest quality training to aspiring EFL teachers as well as valuable support to alumni after completing the course. 

CIEE TEFL courses check all the boxes of a high quality TEFL certification by providing:

✓ Academic Quality and Accreditation

CIEE TEFL courses are comparable to college-level classes. This is because the course material has been designed by experts in the field of ESL instruction and formally reviewed and accredited by ACCET. ACCET, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, is a prestigious organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority that objectively evaluates education and training practices.

✓ Highly Qualified and Engaged TEFL Tutors

CIEE TEFL courses are led by highly-qualified and active TEFL tutors. Throughout the course, CIEE TEFL Tutors are there not only to evaluate tasks, but guide weekly discussions, provide valuable individual feedback, answer questions, and facilitate an engaging and fun learning environment for students. 

✓ TEFL Practicum Component

CIEE TEFL understands the value of taking what you’ve learned in the classroom and applying it to real-life scenarios. That’s why the flagship 150-hour and specialized 180-hour courses include a mandatory TEFL practicum. 

✓ Lifetime Job Search Assistance

Trainees that complete a TEFL course at CIEE don’t just walk away with an internationally recognized certificate. Graduates enjoy access to lifetime job search assistance and paid teaching placement opportunities. They also leave connected with fellow CIEE peers both from the course as well as within the extensive network of CIEE Alumni. 

A TEFL Certification is an Investment in Your Future 

With a high-quality TEFL course under your belt, your professional future as an English teacher can shine its brightest. CIEE TEFL courses help aspiring EFL teachers take the first step on the path to finding their dream teaching job.