TESOL certification

TESOL and TEFL certification header design

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Along with other acronyms, such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), and ELT (English Language Teaching), TESOL is used to describe situations where non-native English speakers are taught the English language. Although these various acronyms may have slight technical differences, for the purpose of teaching English abroad, they are generally used interchangeably as their meaning is essentially the same.

Due to a steady increase in student numbers in many parts of the world, the demand for qualified English language teachers continues to rise every year. By completing an accredited TESOL course with ITTT you too can join the many thousands of our graduates who are using their specialist skills and knowledge as professional language teachers at home or overseas.

For teachers, employers and teaching organizations around the world, the standard qualification for teaching English to non-native speakers is known as either a TESOL or TEFL certificate.

As previously stated, these two common acronyms are generally used interchangeably, however, technically TESOL refers to situations where English is being taught in a country where English is the native language. In contrast, TEFL is used when English is being taught in a country where English is not the native language.

For many years the only qualification required to land a teaching job in some countries was simply the ability to speak English, but that is no longer the case in most parts of the world. Due to an increased level of competition and a greater level of expectancy from students, most employers now demand that their teachers hold a professional teaching qualification. Having a recognized TESOL certification is also a requirement in many countries when applying for a work permit or working visa.

Why take a TEFL course?

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Am I eligible to take a TESOL course?

At ITTT our only requirement is that you are at least 18 years old at the start of your TESOL certification program. Other than that, a strong desire for adventure and a willingness to embrace new ideas is all that is required.

There are no upper age limits on any of our courses. As long as you have a thirst for new experiences you are welcome to join the thousands of people from all walks of life who have gained their TESOL certification through us and then gone on to build an exciting new career teaching the English language across the world.

Although it is true that some countries require teachers to possess a university degree in order to qualify for a work permit or visa, there are many others that have no such restrictions. Accordingly, we do not require any specific level of formal education to enroll on any of our courses.

Infographic Teaching English without a degree

It is also true that there are some countries where teaching jobs are restricted to native English speakers only. However, there are also many exciting destinations worldwide where employers are more than happy to hire non-native English speakers with a TESOL qualification. With this in mind, all our courses are open to non-native speakers who have a good level of English comprehension.

Another common concern is how can you teach English if you do not understand the local language? The good news is that our courses are based on the communicative approach to language teaching whereby the only language used in the classroom is English.

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What kind of people become English language teachers?

This question is impossible to answer as the huge number of people teaching English across the world come from every conceivable background. Each individual has their own personal motivation for wanting to teach English. For many it is the simple desire to travel the world and to get paid while doing it. While for others it offers the means to leave behind the daily grind of the modern world in favor of new adventures in exotic locations.

Regardless of your own reasons for seeking a TESOL qualification, at ITTT we are committed to providing all the help you need to make your dream of teaching English abroad a reality.

Infographic Lifestyle of a teacher

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Where can I teach English abroad?

The great benefit of earning a TESOL certification is that it qualifies you to apply for teaching positions in virtually every country throughout the world.

Once graduated, your options are limitless as you can follow all manner of exciting paths. Many graduates see it as the first step on the road to a long and successful career teaching in international schools or private companies, while some will even go on to set up their own language schools.

A TESOL qualification can also provide the perfect preparation for volunteering as a teacher in the developing world or for earning some spending money as you travel from country to country. For many newly qualified teachers the intention is to head overseas for either a short or long-term adventure, while for others there are plenty of great teaching opportunities to be found within their home country.

The graphic below provides an insight into some of the most popular international destinations for teaching English abroad, but there are also plenty of other great options to explore:

Infographic Popular TEFL Destinations

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How to get TESOL certification

When deciding which TESOL certification program to enroll on it is important to ensure that it meets the requirements of your personal situation.

There are many short-format TESOL courses available, including via ITTT, that can be completed online in as little as 60 study hours or even less. While many of these courses are of a good quality, they are generally aimed at providing an insight into teaching that is ideal for anyone who is planning to volunteer teach on a short-term basis.

For anyone who is planning to teach on a long-term basis and is looking for a good income, a more in-depth TESOL qualification is highly recommended.

The minimum standard that is generally accepted by international employers is an online TESOL certification that includes at least 100 hours of study time. Although each syllabus will vary, they should contain a range of essential subjects such as assessment strategies, classroom management and English grammar.

As these are distance learning courses, they do not contain any in-class teaching practice. However, an online TESOL certification course from a respected provider such as ITTT is enough to apply for teaching positions in many countries around the world.

In order to have the option of applying for as many jobs as possible, including those offering the best salaries and extra benefits, it is recommended that you consider an in-class TESOL certification program.

These intensive four-week courses include invaluable in-class teaching practice with genuine language learners that provides a comprehensive preparation for teaching English abroad. Some providers also offer a combined course option that blends online study with a shorter period of in-class study.

When choosing a TESOL course provider it is important that you ensure they meet the following criteria that has been specified by the leading English language teaching associations:

  • Advertised courses must meet all international standards for the regulation of English language teaching certification.
  • The provider should offer online courses containing a minimum of 100 hours of training and input.
  • In-class courses should include a minimum of 6 hours of observed teaching practice with genuine students of English.
  • The course materials should cover a range of essential subjects, including classroom management, language awareness (grammar), phonology subjects, and clear instruction on how to effectively apply them in the classroom.
  • Online tutors and in-class teacher trainers should have a high level of qualifications and experience in the classroom.
  • Courses should be moderated and regularly inspected by an independent professional or teaching organization.
  • Teaching materials and training methods should be updated regularly to keep pace with developments in language teaching.
  • Completion of a course should result in the award of a high-quality certificate that is recognized by employers worldwide.

There are many TESOL course providers available; however, at ITTT we are confident that we are one of the few who comfortably meet all of the above criteria. We also constantly strive to exceed the requirements expected by employers so our graduates have a clear edge when applying for their first teaching position.

How do I choose the right TESOL course?

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TESOL course options

Our wide range of high-quality TESOL courses is designed to offer the right solution for each trainee’s individual needs. All our course options come with professional standard study materials and instruction, although the duration, cost and method of study varies from course to course.

Our accredited TESOL courses can be categorized into two distinct formats: TESOL certification online and in-class TESOL certification. Whichever form of training you choose, you can be certain that you will receive the leading certification in the world of English language teaching.

Should I take a TESOL course online or in a classroom?

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In-class TESOL courses

Our in-class TESOL course is an intensive four-week program which provides a comprehensive preparation for life in an international classroom. This course format has many great benefits, including:

  • Input sessions on a wide variety of important subjects led by professional teacher trainers.
  • Multiple hours of teaching practice with genuine language learners in an authentic classroom environment.
  • Individual feedback and constructive criticism on your lessons from trainers with years of international teaching experience.
  • The location and duration of in-class training can often lead to job offers within the local area.
  • In your free time you can enjoy the local attractions on your own or in the company of your new friends and classmates.

To ensure we offer a wide choice of in-class course options, we have dozens of training centers throughout the world. We have many centers right across the US, as well as international centers in some of the most popular teaching destinations, such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy, Spain, France, and Costa Rica. If you would like more information on our in-class course, please visit our in-class TESOL course page or click on the interactive map below.

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Inclass Course Map

As we have a large number of training centers in different parts of the world, there is a good chance that you can complete your course in the same country or region where you would like to teach. This will not only allow you time to acclimatize before starting your first teaching job, but it also means you can take advantage of our local staff knowledge of employers and other contacts in the area.

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Online TESOL Courses

Although our in-class TESOL course provides a thorough training experience, not everyone is able to afford the expense and inconvenience of a four-week attendance at a training center. With this in mind, our online course options have been developed to provide great flexibility and value for money. Completing a TESOL certification online has many advantages, including:

  • As they are conducted entirely via distance learning, the overall TESOL certification cost is considerably less than an in-class course.
  • Online courses can be taken from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, at any pace you choose.
  • All our online courses come with online tutor support.
  • Most of our online courses also include a range of informative videos to complement the written materials.

120-hour online TESOL certification course

Our 120-hour online TESOL course provides you with a comprehensive introduction to the world of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Upon completion of the course you should have developed a good working knowledge of the English grammar system, as well as a variety of useful skills and techniques that will help you to deliver interesting and well constructed lessons in the classroom.

The ITTT 120-hour online TESOL course focuses on two different areas. Around half of the course looks at subjects related to the teaching skills that you will need in the classroom, including teaching theories and methodologies, classroom management, lesson planning and how to test and evaluate your students’ progress. The rest of the materials focus on the subject of language awareness; this includes the most important areas of English grammar such as the parts of speech and the tense system, as well as other subjects such as pronunciation.

120 Hour CourseWith Tutor Support and Video
Technical Support
Supplementary Materials
Free Lesson Plan Access
Grammar Units
Phonology Units
Video Lessons
Full Tutor Support
Job Guidance Lifetime
20 course units
19 accompanying videos
PDF Certificate
Embossed Certificate
Internationally Accredited
US$ 420
US$ 495
US$ 249
more infoRegister now

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Teaching English Online with a 170-hour TEO Certificate from ITTT

A TESOL certificate is also a great way to start a lifestyle of teaching online. Whether you want to teach online full-time or earn some money on the side, a TESOL certificate from ITTT will allow you to make this a reality. Consisting of our 120-hour certification course plus the 50-hour course in teaching English online, the ITTT 170-hour Teaching English as a Foreign Language Course with Online Specialization has been specifically designed for people who would like to gain a qualification to enter the TEFL employment market - online and offline.

Our network of renowned TESOL recruiters also includes online teaching positions ready to be filled. Apply today and start teaching online in a matter of weeks.

170-hour TESOL Course
with online specializationwith tutor support & videos
Continuous Assessment
Internationally Accredited
Embossed Certificate
Letter of Recommendation
Supplementary Materials
Free Lesson Plan Access
Grammar Units
Phonology Units
Teaching English Online Units
Video Lessons
26 course units
Full Tutor Support
Free Course
Technical Support
Job Guidance Lifetime
PDF Certificate
US$ 495
US$ 299
more infoRegister now

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Advanced TESOL courses

250-hour Diploma course in TESOL (DipTESOL)

If you are already TESOL certified and looking for a higher level of qualification, you might want to consider our 250-hour TESOL Diploma course.

There are several reasons why people enrol on our online TESOL Diploma course including:

  • This is an advanced level course.
  • To enhance their development and knowledge as an EFL teacher.
  • The potential to earn a higher income.
  • The opportunity to obtain a more prestigious teaching position.
  • A qualification that will open up new avenues of employment within the EFL teaching world.

Our advanced online TESOL Diploma course includes a wide variety of subjects, from materials design to different learning theories, all of which are designed to give you a clearer understanding of your role as an EFL teacher.

As you make your way through the course you should find that many of your existing skills gradually improve, such as your research skills and writing ability. The course should also help you to develop many other transferable skills that you will find useful both inside and outside of the classroom.

With the accompanying 120-hour course the total study time is 370 hours.

370-Hour TESOL
Diploma Certification
With Tutor Support
Research based
11 Certification Modules
11 Research Study Sheets
11 Self Study Worksheets
Internationally Accredited
Embossed Certificate
Letter of Recommendation
Technical Support
Job Guidance
Free Lesson Plan Access
Full Tutor Support
Course Assessment Modular Tests
Complimentary Course Free 120-hr TESOL Course
with tutor
US$ 1390
US$ 499
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TESOL course packages

In order to provide the best TESOL certification options possible, we have put together two exclusive course packages that offer a great value for money opportunity to gain an extensive level of expertise in ESL teaching.

Our course packages are:

  • 220-hour Master Package Course
  • 550-hour Expert Package Course

Both course packages include the 120-hour online TESOL course, the 50-hour course in teaching business English (CTBE), and the 50-hour course in teaching English to young learners (CTEYL). If you choose the Expert Package you will also receive the 50-hour course in teaching English online (CTEO), the 250-hour Diploma in TESOL, and an optional teaching practice component. Our top of the range course package also comes with one-on-one live job consultancy with a TESOL job expert.

Course graduates can choose between receiving an individual certificate for each section completed or a single certificate that encompasses all components of the course package.

  220-hour Master
Package Coursewith tutor support & videos
550-hour Expert
Package Coursewith tutor support & videos
120-hour TEFL course with tutor support and videos
50-hour course in teaching business English
50-hour course in teaching English to young learners
250-hour Diploma course in TESOL (DipTESOL)
50-hour course in teaching English online
Practicum (optional)
One-on-One Live Job Consultancy
US$ 599
US$ 349
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US$ 1690
US$ 599
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Other TESOL certification options

Combined TESOL courses

Another popular option that offers a compromise between the in-class and online course options is to take a combined TESOL certification course. With this option you can study the theories and principles of ESL teaching via distance learning at whatever pace suits you. Once complete, you can then attend one of our training centers to gain valuable classroom experience before starting your first teaching job. The in-class section of the combined course is available in a variety of exciting locations, including:

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • New York City, USA
  • Paris, France
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Rome, Italy

The in-class section of the combined TESOL course requires attendance at a training center for five, eight or ten days depending on the location.

Completion of both sections of the course results in an equivalent certification as the full in-class training course.

How does the Combined course work?

For more information, please visit our combined TESOL course page.

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Once your TESOL training has been completed you can then start applying for teaching positions anywhere in the world, including within your home country.

Asia is always a popular choice due to the large number of jobs available. Demand for teachers in China is so high that you can generally pick from multiple job offers. Other popular destinations such as South Korea, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam all offer plenty of jobs throughout the year.

Latin America is another popular choice due to a strong demand for teachers and a low cost of living. There are many great destinations to consider across Central and South America, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

The modern infrastructure and popular culture of Europe also attract a large number of teachers to countries across the continent. In the west, destinations in Italy, Spain and France are among the most popular. However, more and more teachers are now looking towards Central and Eastern Europe where jobs are abundant and living costs significantly less.

If your prime motivation for teaching overseas is to earn as much as possible, then you might want to consider the Middle East region. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates routinely offer high paying positions with a range of extra benefits thrown in. However, it is worth noting that experience and qualifications are usually required for the most sought after jobs.

For further information on the international TESOL job market, please visit our TESOL jobs page or click on the interactive map below.

Combined Course Map

You can also visit our tips for teaching abroad page which hosts a wide ranging collection of information regarding countries worldwide where you might consider teaching English. The individual sections for each country contain all kinds of facts and figures, language and culture guides, tips for travel, and lighthearted content that you might find interesting before you start your journey.

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Why choose ITTT?

A simple online search for TESOL certification will bring up a multitude of options. So why should you choose ITTT? As one of the longest established course providers in the field of TESOL training, we believe there are many reasons why we offer the best TESOL certification:

  1. Our wide range of high-quality courses are designed to suit the needs of students in a variety of situations.
  2. Regardless of the course you choose, you are guaranteed to receive the same high-standard of study materials, tuition and support.
  3. Our inclusive courses are open to anyone over the age of 18 providing they have a good level of English language comprehension.
  4. We provide wide ranging support services to all our trainees both during their training and after they have graduated from their course.
  5. All our graduates can take advantage of our extensive post-course job support services for as long as they require them.
  6. We have regular special offers that often include additional free TESOL certification courses when you sign up for a popular course program.
  7. If you sign-up for our in-class course you can choose from a wide range of exotic and exciting locations in all corners of the world.
  8. In-class course trainees also benefit from extensive teaching practice with local language learners, all under the guidance of highly experienced teacher trainers.
  9. If you choose an online course you can study from any location in the world at any pace you prefer.
  10. Our online TESOL certification programs do not involve any formal exams as they are assessed via automated online tests.
  11. ITTT is affiliated to and accredited by several leading individuals, institutes and schools in the field of English language teaching.


Lamar University (in-class courses)

All TEFL International courses are validated and credit-bearing by Lamar University in the USA. Lamar University is a public university in Beaumont, Texas. Part of the Texas State University system, Lamar University is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Paris University of International Education (in-class courses)

Each in-class graduate receives an official transcript from the Paris University of International Education with their TEFL International Certificate. Paris University of International Education is approved as a higher education establishment and is recognized by the Paris Academy as degree-granting.

Paris University of International Education (online courses)

The certificates gained by completing an online course with ITTT are the only 100% online TEFL/TESOL certificates available that are validated, accredited and credit bearing from an internationally-recognized university.

The credits earned from PUIE have been transferred successfully to universities all over the world. In the US, credit evaluation services consider PUIE to be in the same bracket as a US regionally-accredited university.

Teacher Training Council (five-day combined courses)

Five-day combined courses are moderated by the Teacher Training Council, an international learning and development body.

IATEFL - International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

ITTT is an institutional member of IATEFL. IATEFL is one of the most thriving communities of ELT teachers in the world. Its mission is to "Link, develop and support English Language Teaching professionals worldwide". With its global reach, IATEFL encourages teachers of English around the globe to share ideas and philosophies via regular newsletters and conferences. Our IATEFL membership number is 16020. For more information on IATEFL, please visit:

Paris University of International Education Lamar University iatefl Teachers training council


We are confident that ITTT offers the very best a TESOL certification currently available. However, you do not need to simply take our word for it. Our TESOL certification reviews page gives you the chance to hear what our graduates have to say about their own experience completing a TESOL certification with ITTT.

The following video also offers an interesting insight into our courses as it features newly qualified teachers from all over the world speaking about their own TESOL journey, from the initial training to finding work and beyond.

Be part of the ITTT success story

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