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Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Fortunately you are not the first. Please scroll through our FAQs for answers.

First Question

How long does a TEFL course take?
The course that we offer is self-paced and therefore may take as long as you wish, yet it generally takes around 60 hours in total.  After these 60 hours you will be prepared to start your online teaching career.

What is the difference between TESOL and TEFL?
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. These descriptions are generally used interchangeably, however, most schools recognize the TEFL over the TESOL as a necessary qualification.

Do TEFL teachers need to know a second language?
Having some knowledge of what it means to learn another language can help teachers understand the challenges their students face.  However, it is not necessary for a teacher to speak another language as the TEFL certificate is based on the principle that English will be the only language used during lessons.  Most online schools will specifically ask that you only speak in English during lessons, yet they may offer a small number of lessons where they look for teachers that are bilingual.  With that said, you can always start teaching English and learn a new language along the way, students love when teachers express interest in their language and culture.

Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach online?
It is possible to obtain students as a freelance teacher that will not require a TEFL.  However, the most reputable and large online schools require a minimum of a 40-Hour TEFL.  It is advisable that even those teachers who wish to work as freelancers, obtain a TEFL certificate if they wish to obtain the necessary skills and if they wish to present themselves as established ESL teachers.  Keep in mind that not every TEFL is created equal, and that having an accredited TEFL will distinguish you as a qualified ESL teacher.

Are there any age limits to teaching English online?
There are no age limits to working as an English Teacher online.  Most online schools will require a Bachelor's degree but generally do not specify a age requirement.  If you have not yet obtained a Bachelor's degree you can always start teaching as a freelance teacher.

Do I need a degree to teach English online?
If you work as a freelancer, you may be able to find students who will not require that you have a degree.  Yet most reputable online schools require that you have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree.

What is an ESL or EFL teacher?
ESL stands for English as a Second Language.  EFL stands for English as a Foreign Language.  Therefore an ESL/EFL teacher helps students who are learning English as a second or foreign language improve on writing or speaking English.

Do TEFL certificates expire?
No, TEFL certificates do not expire, they are valid for life. Once you have completed your course, you will be able to start work straight away from anywhere.  A TEFL certificate really is a great qualification to have as you can use it to earn a good income from anywhere, most especially if you are working online.

What does TEFL mean?
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It refers to training courses that almost anyone can take to learn the skills and knowledge required to teach English to non-native speakers.

How do I choose a TEFL course?
To ensure you make the right choice first check that the provider is accredited and respected by employers.  You may even ask your employer if the course you are considering fits their needs.

Can I teach English online without any teaching experience?
You do not need to have had any work experience to teach English online.  Our course will help you on your way to teach English.

Should I take a TEFL course online or in a classroom?
Though for some taking an offline course might seem like a better option, when applying for an online teaching job an online course might give you an advantage in showing you are tech savvy.  As well the cost of online courses is far lower than offline courses and takes far less time.

What is the difference between TEFL, TESOL and CELTA?
When learning about the different qualifications to teach English online you will learn about the TEFL, TESOL and CELTA. Essentially, they represent the basic qualifications that many employers look for when hiring English language teachers to work in schools or language programs.  For online teaching the basic requirement is a 40 Hour TEFL.  We advise starting off with that as an initial investment as it is the least expensive and time consuming of options.   

Who can do a TEFL course?
Anyone who is interested in teaching English as a second language can complete a TEFL course, as this will give them the skills and qualifications needed to succeed.

Are online TEFL courses valid?
Yes, online TEFL courses are considered a valid form of certification.  Our course is accredited and when applying for an online teaching job, it can provide you with an advantage as it distinguishes you as a tech savvy individual.  

Is a recognized TEFL course better?
Yes! industry recognition, is an important factor of a TEFL certificate as it helps differentiate you as a teacher and give you greater chances of obtaining work.  Schools will likely investigate the quality of your TEFL course and having the recognized accreditation of an organization such as will reassure the school that you are a qualified teacher.  

What questions should I ask an Online ESL/EFL school?

  1. What age groups do you teach?

  2. What is your teaching schedule like?

  3. Are the lessons single or group lessons?

  4. What type of contract do you offer?  Is it an independent contractor agreement, or an employee contract?

  5. How many hours can I expected to teach a week?  How many hours am I expected to teach per week?

  6. How long is my contract?

  7. Do you offer guidance and support to help your teachers continue to improve their skills?

  8. What is your base rate? Do you offer additional fees?  What is the maximum rate I can earn per lesson?

What will an Online ESL/EFL school ask in an interview?

  1. Have you had experience working online before?

  2. Have you had teaching or customer service experience?

  3. What other qualifications do you have?

  4. Could you demo a portion of the lesson for us?

  5. How many hours are you available to teach per week?

  6. Why are you interested in being an ESL teacher?

  7. Do you work anywhere else?

  8. Do you work for or have you ever worked for any other online teaching platform?

  9. Have you ever worked for us or previously applied?

How do I apply to Online ESL/EFL jobs?

Here on this website we provide a list of some of the best online schools that you can apply to.  Please click on the menu tab: "Find Online TEFL Jobs".  We have a working relationship with these schools and therefore are recognized by them as a quality TEFL certificate.  Don't hesitate to let them know we sent you their way. 

How long does it take to get a TEFL job? 

Depending on current demand the process can take anywhere from 1 week to a month.  Most schools will not consider you unless you have a TEFL certification.  Therefore the faster you complete our course the closer you will be to a great online teaching job. 

How long do Online ESL/EFL contracts last?

Depending on whether the online school provides an Independent contractor agreement or an employee agreement, contracts can be anywhere from 6 months to permanent.  Independent contractor agreements are normally 6 months and can then be renewed at the end of the 6 months.  Independent contractor agreements can be terminated before term by the teacher at any time, and by the school only if the teacher breaches the contract.  The employee contracts can be terminated before term by the teacher at any time and by the employer at any time.  Under an Independent Contractor Agreement the teacher has more freedom and control over their schedule and duties.  An Employee Agreement normally provides better pay, benefits but also a higher expectation and more control by the employer over the teacher.

At what times during the year do Online ESL/EFL Schools hire?

Due to demand and the nature of the programs, Online schools search for teachers all year round.  Schools that focus on a kids program generally have a slowdown during winter and summer holidays.  Yet, for the most part the demand is pretty steady.

How can I avoid scams when looking for TEFL jobs?

We recommend approaching the schools that we have posted on our jobs tab.  If you find another school that we have not listed, we can certainly look into it to help determine their validity.  Send us an email via contact us.  

Will I get health insurance when teaching English Online?

If you are offered an independent contractor agreement, you will most likely not be offered any benefits.  However, if you are an employee they may offer benefits.  It generally depends on the company and the laws of where the company is registered.


How much can I earn teaching English Online?

Schools have different rates, different supplemental fees and referral programs.  You can expect to make anywhere between 10-20 dollars an hour.  Of course if you are offered an employee contract you may be able to get a higher than normal rate.   

Will I have to go through a criminal background check to teach English online?

Some of the Online schools require teachers to complete a criminal background check as you will be teaching children.  However, for those schools that teach adults you likely will not be required to complete a criminal background check.  If you are working as a freelance teacher it is unlikely that any of your students will ask you for a criminal background check. 

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