A TESOL qualification varies in its equivalence based on the level of the course. The different levels of TESOL certification, such as TESOL level 4, level 5, and level 6, align with various educational standards. For instance, a TESOL level 4 is often considered equivalent to a high school diploma or a foundation year of undergraduate study. In contrast, a TESOL level 5 is comparable to an associate degree or the first two years of a bachelor's degree, and a TESOL level 6 aligns with a full bachelor's degree. Understanding these equivalencies is essential when selecting a TESOL course to meet your specific educational and career objectives.
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It is important to understand that TESOL certification levels are based on the UK credentials framework. This framework is categorized in levels 0 through 8. See the diagram below to see what kind of qualification each level relates to:
The AS and A levels in the United Kingdom are equal to a level 3 TESOL certificate. These are tests that must be done between the ages of 17 and 18 in order to get admitted to university.
A foundation degree is a level 5 qualification, while a Master's degree is a level 7 TESOL qualification in this system.
If you come across a TESOL course that has no level assigned to it, proceed with care. This usually means it is not covered under the UK framework. These courses are unlikely to be internationally certified, and EFL institutions and businesses around the world may not accept them.
Level 3 TESOL courses are equivalent to an A-Level and need 60 hours of instruction or more. They are internationally recognized and provide a fantastic starting point for anyone interested in teaching while traveling or volunteering abroad.
This level, however, is usually insufficient for a full-time job teaching English as a foreign language in a professional context abroad. As a result, if you intend to teach for a long time, you should enroll in a higher level TESOL course.
Level 4 TESOL courses are more comprehensive than level 3 TESOl courses since they require at least 100 hours of study time. This means that teachers with this certification will be allowed to work in schools all over the world. Check out our 120-hour course for teaching English abroad and online if you are looking for a great level 4 online TESOL course.
Level 5 TESOL courses require at least 170 hours of study, allowing them to cover specialized EFL topics, such as teaching English to young learners, teaching business English, and teaching English online.
You can apply for TESOL jobs in more competitive job markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, with a level 5 TESOL certification. Some of the top level 5 TESOL courses out there are ITTT's 170-hour course in teaching English as a foreign language with online specialization and the 220-hour Master Package.
A TESOL level 5 certificate is also comparable to a foundation degree and the CELTA qualification. However, they are typically significantly cheaper than a CELTA course.
Level 6 TESOL courses are similar to the final semester of an undergraduate degree and need at least 350 hours of study time. These courses are designed for anyone interested in advancing their career in the EFL field, such as becoming a head instructor at an English language institute or a university professor in another country.
ITTT offers a variety of TESOL level 6 courses, ranging in length from 370 to 550 hours. Here are the different options for level 6 TESOL courses.