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Top 25 Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs for 2021

For those looking to teach English as a foreign language overseas or via distance learning, online TEFL and TESOL certification programs are a dream come true. These flexible and convenient offerings enable students to earn valuable teaching credentials from home while juggling their other responsibilities such as full-time jobs and families, for example. There’s no doubt that the trend toward online learning has made the process of earning a TEFL certification more accessible to busy and working adults. Moreover, these certificate programs don’t have to break the bank or result in burdensome student loans. In this ranking, our editors rank the top 25 accredited and affordable TESOL/TEFL certification programs online.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition

  • Below   $5,000: 5 points
  • Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Below $25,000: 1 point

20-Year Net ROI

  • Above $600,000—5 points
  • Above $500,000—4 points
  • Above $400,000 – 3 points
  • Above $300,000 –2 points
  • Above $200,000 – 1 point
  • Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item
  • Student Support Services for Online Students—1 point each

Rating and Ranking the Top Accredited Online TESOL/TEFL Certification Programs

To develop this ranking of the top TEFL certification online programs, our editors searched the web for all such programs offered online by colleges and universities in the United States. This initial search yielded 37 results. We first applied a tuition filter, eliminating any school program with tuition expenses of over $25,000 annually. Next, we applied the methodology above, using credible sources like the National Center for Education Statistics, PayScale, and each program’s website. In the case of a tie, the more affordable program was featured higher in the ranking.

#25—Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Graduate Certificate of Completion in TESOL

Website

Points: 5

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers its TESOL certification online program through its College of Education. The program features an 18-credit hour curriculum, including required core courses such as:

  • School, Community, and Family Culture
  • ELL and Bilingual Curriculum and Methods of Instruction
  • Foundations of Instruction for English Language Learners
  • ELL and Bilingual Assessment

A practicum experience is also required in addition to this online coursework. Graduates of the program may be qualified for careers as school consultants, tutors, community college teachers, and education policy advocates. GCU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award the TEFL certification online.

Tuition: $10,175

#24—Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, Colorado

Graduate TESOL Online Certificate

Website

Points: 6

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Colorado Christian University

Students pursuing the online TESOL certification from Colorado Christian University can work toward the certificate as a stand-alone program or as part of a master’s degree plan. Fifteen credit hours are required for the credential, including classes like:

  • Teaching Strategies for Second Language Learners
  • Assessment of Instruction for Diverse Language Learners
  • Introduction to Culture and Second Language Acquisition
  • Approaches and Strategies of Language Teaching

To complete the certificate requirements, students take one five-week course at a time and finish within just six months. Colorado Christian University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this TESOL certification.

Tuition: $13,045

#23—University of Northern Colorado

Loveland, California

Online TESOL Certificate

Website

Points: 6

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Northern Colorado

Home to one of the best online TEFL certification programs for students desiring an accelerated course of study, the University of Northern Colorado enables students to earn their professional certificate in just one year. The school also offers a more relaxed track resulting in a 20-month completion time. Five courses are required for the TEFL certification, including:

  • Foundations of Language and Linguistics for ESL/Bilingual Educators
  • Second Language Acquisition Theory
  • Academic Language/Literacy Development for Diverse Learners in School Settings
  • Practices in ESL/EFL Instruction and Assessment

This is a non-licensure program. UNC holds institutional accreditation to award this online TESOL certification program by The Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $10,867

#22—Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

TESOL Online Certificate

Website

Points: 6

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Bridgewater State University

The online TEFL certification program from Bridgewater State University is a non-licensure option that can be completed entirely online or via a hybrid format. Courses required for the certificate include the following:

  • Approaches and Methods in TESL/TEFL
  • Strategies for Multilingual Learners
  • Linguistics for TESL/TEFL
  • Cultural Issues in TESL/TEFL

Although courses comprising the curriculum for this program are technically undergraduate courses, this TEFL certification online is offered through Bridgewater State’s College of Continuing Studies. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Tuition: $10,732

#21—Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Online TESOL Certificate

Website

Points: 6

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Ball State University

Ball State University offers one of the best online TEFL certification programs for individuals who desire a flexible or accelerated option. Courses are offered fully online, and students can opt for a part-time or full-time track; full-time students can complete the entire program within just a year of study. Enrolled students will take classes such as:

  • Methods for Teaching English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Introduction to Theory of Language Learning
  • Assessment in TESOL
  • Materials Development for Teaching English Language Learners (ELL)

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Ball State to award this online TESOL certification.

Tuition: $8,850

#20—University of Southern Maine

Portland, Maine

Online Certificate in ESL

Website

Points: 6

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Southern Maine

The flexible, fully online TESOL certification option from the University of Southern Maine can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. The curriculum for the program is delivered through a blend of asynchronous and synchronous content delivery methods. A total of fifteen credit hours are required for completion, including course titles such as:

  • Aspects of Reading for Multilingual Learners
  • Linguistic and Cultural Diversity
  • ESL Testing and Assessment
  • Aspects of the English Language

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. The University of Southern Maine is fully accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award this TEFL certification online.

Tuition: $7,578

#19—Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Online TEFL Certificate

Website

Points: 7

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers a flexible and versatile online TEFL certification program featuring two concentration options:

  • Adult Learner
  • K-12 Learner

Each concentration requires a minimum of 15 credit hours of coursework. Course titles may include:

  • Methods and Materials in TESOL
  • Culturally Responsive Literacy for All Learners
  • Multilingualism and Writing Instruction
  • Language and Communication Across All Cultures

Students desiring TEFL certification from Old Dominion University can opt to study online or on campus. ODU holds its institutional accreditation to offer graduate degrees and certificates from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $10,207

#18—University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

TESOL Certificate Online

Website

Points: 7

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Memphis

The online TEFL certification program from the University of Memphis is offered in conjunction with the school’s online MA in ESL program. The program’s curriculum consists of 15 semester credit hours of coursework, which is equivalent to five classes. Topics addressed by these courses include:

  • Language Policy and Planning
  • Second/Foreign Language Instruction
  • Cross-Cultural Issues
  • Second Language Acquisition

In addition to online coursework, students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to participate in study abroad experiences in the Czech Republic. The University of Memphis holds institutional accreditation to host these online TESOL course offerings from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $9,216

#17—Washburn University

Topeka, Kansas

Online Certificate in TEFL

Website

Points: 7

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Washburn University

Washburn University offers a comprehensive 150-credit hour online TEFL certification program through its Office of International Programs in collaboration with the Center for International Educational Exchange. The program features 130 hours of self-paced online coursework, including course titles such as:

  • Teaching the English Language
  • Classroom Management
  • Planning Your Lessons
  • The World of TEFL

Online coursework takes approximately 11 weeks to finish. A 20-hour practicum is also required for successful program completion. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Washburn University to award this online TESOL certification.

Tuition: $8,704

#16—Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

TESL/TEFL Online Certificate

Website

Points: 7

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Indiana State University

Indiana State University offers one of the best online TEFL certification options in the country from its College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The program requires 12 credit hours of coursework, and classes are available completely online during the summer months. Required course titles include:

  • Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Language Acquisition
  • English Syntax

Elective classes are also available and include offerings like:

  • Language Differences and Linguistic Universals
  • Topics in Sociolinguistics
  • Phonetics and Phonology

An applied cultural experience is also required for the successful completion of the program. Indiana State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this online TEFL certification.

Tuition: $7,542

#15—Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Online Certificate in TESOL

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Michigan State University

The online TEFL certification program from Michigan State University emphasizes both theory and practice. This fully online offering requires just three courses:

  • Foundations of Language Teaching
  • Introduction to Second Language Learning
  • Pedagogical Grammar

Students enrolled in the program must also complete a practicum and final portfolio to fulfill all certification requirements. This certificate option is made available through the university’s Second Language Studies program and the English Language Center. Michigan State offers this TESOL certification online accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $14,460

#14—University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

TEFL Certificate Online

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers its TESOL certification online accredited program from its College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. The program requires 15 credit hours of coursework and is designed to be completed within one year. Courses required for the program’s curriculum include:

  • Foundations of First and Second Language Learning
  • Evaluation and Assessment for K-12 TESOL
  • Applied Linguistics
  • PreK-12 Methods of TESOL

A practicum is also required before graduation from the program. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Cincinnati to award this online TEFL certification.

Tuition: $12,790

#13—University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Online TEFL/TESOL Certificate

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Arizona

The 120-credit hour undergraduate online TEFL certification option from the University of Arizona is offered through the school’s Center for English as a Second Language. The curriculum for the program is self-paced and consists of eight separate units of study. Each unit is comprised of several modules, including:

  • Trends in Language Teaching
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Assessment and Student Evaluation
  • Teaching Tools and Techniques

Interested students may also complete an optional classroom experience as a capstone element of the program. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Arizona to award this TEFL certification.

Tuition: $12,711

#12—Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

Online TESOL Endorsement for Teachers

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Ohio University

The online TEFL certification program from Ohio University is intended for licensed educators. Designed to be completed over the course of a single summer, the program requires 14 credit hours of coursework. There are three required courses:

  • TESOL Methods and Materials
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Language Learning

A 50-hour practicum is also required before graduation. Ohio University is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award this TEFL certification online.

Tuition: $9,444

#11—St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, Minnesota

TESL Certificate Online

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University offers individuals the opportunity to get their TEFL certification online cheap and without ever having to attend classes on campus. The program consists of just nine credit hours of coursework. Two classes are required:

  • Teaching ESL: Theory and Methods
  • TESL Internship

In addition, students must choose one of the following courses:

  • ESL and Culture
  • Introduction to Linguistics Systematic Study of Language

This program is also offered on campus, but it does not lead to initial K-12 teacher licensure. St. Cloud State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the TEFL certification online.

Tuition: $7,460

#10—University of North Georgia

Dahlonega, Georgia

TEFL Online Certificate

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of North Georgia

The online TEFL certification program from the University of North Georgia is offered through the school’s College of Education and the Center for Language Education. The comprehensive program requires no prior teaching experience and is comprised of 120 credit hours of coursework. Online TESOL courses required for the certificate include:

  • Instruction, Assessment, and Professionalism in TEFL
  • Linguistics and Language Acquisition
  • Issues of Culture in TEFL
  • Methods and Materials in TEFL

A practicum is also required to fulfill all requirements for the program successfully. UNG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer this TESOL certification online.

Tuition: $4,744

#9—Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce, Texas

TESOL Online Certificate

Website

Points: 8

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Texas A&M University- Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce offers one of the best online TEFL certification programs in the nation in terms of affordability. The graduate certificate in TESOL can be pursued as a stand-alone credential or as part of the school’s master’s in TEFL online offering. Its curriculum is comprised of 18 credit hours of coursework, including required courses like:

  • Teaching English as a Second/Other Language Methods
  • The Structure of the English Language
  • General Linguistics
  • Psycholinguistics

In addition to the prescribed portion of the curriculum, students must also choose one of the following accredited TEFL courses online:

  • Teaching a Second Language
  • Language and Culture in the Classroom
  • Style and Stylistics
  • Second Language Acquisition

Texas A&M University-Commerce holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $3,630

#8—George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

TESL Online Certificate

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs George Mason University

One of the nation’s best online TEFL certification programs in terms of flexibility, George Mason University’s option can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. Courses required for the 18-credit hour program include:

  • Modern English Grammar
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Applied Linguistics
  • English Phonetics

The majority of courses required for the TEFL certification are offered asynchronously for maximum flexibility. Full-time students can complete the program within just one year. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited George Mason University to offer this online TESOL certification.

Tuition: $12,144

#7—University of California-Irvine (TIE)

Irvine, California

Online TESOL Certification

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of California- Irvine

Offered through its Division of Continuing Education, the online TEFL certification program from the University of California-Irvine is designed to be completed in as few as nine months. The curriculum for the program emphasizes both theory and application in TESOL and includes course titles such as:

  • Methods of TESOL
  • English Grammar
  • Teaching Listening & Speaking Skills
  • Teaching in Adult Education Programs

A teaching observation and practice experience is also required as a culminating element of the program. UC-Irvine is accredited to award this online TESOL certification by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Tuition: $11,442

#7—University of California-Los Angeles (TIE)

Los Angeles, California

Online Certificate: TESOL

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of California- Los Angeles

The University of California-Los Angeles offers accredited TEFL courses online, leading to professional certification in the field. Courses for the program are offered entirely online and includes required classes such as:

  • Instructional Technologies for TESOL Classrooms
  • TESOL Methods: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
  • Cultural Perspectives and Teaching Methods in TESOL
  • Introduction to Linguistics for TESOL Educators: English Grammar and Language

A practicum and portfolio are also required for successful program completion. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the program. UCLA is institutionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this online TEFL certification.

Tuition: $11,442

#6—Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

EFL/ESL Certificate Online

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs Indiana University- Bloomington

Students looking to earn a TEFL certification online cheap should consider Indiana University-Bloomington’s EFL/ESL certification program. Offered through the university’s School of Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s Literacy, Culture, and Language Education division, the program caters to both novice and seasoned teachers. Its curriculum consists of 12 credit hours of coursework, including the following required classes:

  • Language Foundations for ESL/EFL Teachers
  • ESL/EFL Instruction and Assessment Approaches
  • Practicum in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education

In addition to required coursework, students enrolled in the program must also take one of the following online TESOL course titles:

  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • Teaching English in K-12 Classrooms in Global Contexts

Indiana University-Bloomington is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $9,501

#5—University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Online TESOL Certificate

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Utah

Students enrolled in the University of Utah’s accredited TEFL courses online can take these classes as part of an undergraduate degree in linguistics or apply their credits toward TEFL certification. Coursework required for certification can be completed in just two semesters, and classes are available entirely online. Some sample course titles include:

  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Introduction to English Grammar
  • Introduction to the Study of Language

This program is offered through the university’s College of Humanities and the Department of Linguistics. The University of Utah is institutionally accredited to award the online TEFL certification by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Tuition: $8,615

#4—University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Online Certificate in TESOL

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Arkansas

It’s possible to earn a TEFL certification online cheap through the University of Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professions. Courses required for the certificate include:

  • Teaching People of Other Cultures
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Second Language Methodologies
  • Second Language Assessment

In addition to these core accredited TEFL courses online, students enrolled in the program will also choose from the following two classes:

  • Teaching English Language Learners in the Content Areas
  • Parent/Family Engagement for Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students

These courses are offered entirely online. The University of Arkansas is institutionally accredited to offer the TEFL certification online by The Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $7,752

#3—San Diego State University

San Diego, California

Online TESL/TEFL Certificate

Website

Points: 9

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs San Diego State University

Students searching for the best online TEFL certification option might consider San Diego State University’s 130-credit program. Offered through the school’s Global Campus and the American Language Institute, the program features modules and course titles such as:

  • Teaching Young Learners
  • Developing and Using Games in EFL Classrooms
  • Cross-Cultural Adjustment
  • Teaching TOEFL/TOEIC

The school also offers job placement assistance to graduates of the online TESOL certification program. San Diego State holds its institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Tuition: $7,176

#2—University of California-San Diego

San Diego, California

TESOL Certificate Online

Website

Points: 10

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of California- San Diego

Students who wish to specialize in teaching English as a second language may benefit from the University of California-San Diego’s online TEFL certification program. The program is comprised of eight courses constituting 21 total units of coursework. Sample course titles required for the certificate may include:

  • Theories of Second Language Acquisition and Application to Teaching
  • Fundamentals of Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Applied Linguistics and TESOL Pedagogy
  • Assessment, Testing, and Evaluation in TESOL

Completion times for the program can vary, but most students finish requirements within six to nine months. UC-San Diego is fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to offer accredited TEFL courses online.  

Tuition: $11,442

#1—University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

Online TESOL Certificate

Website

Points: 11

Top Accredited Online TEFL/TESOL Certification Programs University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a fully online TEFL certification program through its College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Department of Linguistics. The curriculum for the program is balanced, requiring three core courses and three elective classes. The required core is comprised of the following titles:

  • Introduction to TESL Methodology
  • Theoretical Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
  • Linguistics for Language Teachers

Elective options include:

  • English Phonology & Morphology for TESL
  • Principles of Language Testing
  • English Grammar for ESL Teachers

A minimum of 20 credit hours of coursework is required for successful program completion. This TEFL certification online program’s completion time varies from one to five years, depending on course availability.

Tuition: $14,997

About TEFL Certification

If you’re just getting started with your research about TEFL certification, you may be wondering just exactly what TEFL stands for and precisely what TEFL certification means. If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll start with the basics and work our way up to some of the fine details of the TEFL field.

First things first, just what is TEFL anyway? The acronym TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It’s a necessary label for academic programs because it distinguishes these offerings from credentials in English that prepare teachers of native language speakers to provide instruction in advanced grammar, composition, and literature.

TEFL is commonly used interchangeably with another acronym—TESOL. TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

As a TEFL or TESOL-prepared instructor, you’ll teach English to non-native speakers. Depending on your certification, you may teach young children or adult learners as they pursue fluency and proficiency in the English language.

Online TEFL Certification

Over the past decade, TEFL certification has become more accessible, thanks to trends and advancements in distance learning. Today, there are dozens of options for individuals who wish to obtain their TEFL or TESOL certification from home instead of in a traditional classroom learning environment. Online TEFL certification programs offer all of the convenience of other online certificate and degree programs, including:

  • A more relaxed and flexible course schedule
  • 24/7 access to course content and materials
  • The ability to attend colleges and universities anywhere in the world
  • Reduced expenses related to a commute
  • More time for professional or family obligations

Types of Online TEFL Certification

If you’ve decided that an online TESOL certification program is the right path for you, then you’ve made an important decision about your future academic and professional career. This is only the first step, though. You still have more critical choices to make since there are several different types of online TEFL and TESOL certification programs. Below, we’ll discuss some of these various options and provide some information to help you choose the right program for you.

Stand-Alone Versus Part of a Master’s in TESOL

One of the main factors to consider when choosing between the best online TEFL certification programs is whether you want to complete your certification independently or as part of a master’s degree in the TEFL program. Some schools will offer both types of programs while others will provide just one or the other. A good rule of thumb here is to consider your long-term career plans. If you think you may want to teach TESOL at the college level or train other teachers to teach abroad, then it may be a good idea to pursue a graduate degree eventually. In this case, you’ll want to pick a program that allows you to transfer your TEFL certification credits over to a master’s degree program when you’re ready to start working on this advanced credential.

K-12 Versus Adult Learning TEFL Certification

Before deciding upon the best online TEFL certification program for you, keep in mind that these programs often focus on either K-12 learners or adult learners. Depending on the school you attend, you may need to declare a formal concentration in one emphasis or another. At any rate, it is always best to confirm that any degree or certificate program is aligned with your future career goals and interests before enrollment.

Part-Time Versus Full-Time TEFL Certification

Do you want to study TESOL part-time or full-time? This is a question you need to answer for yourself before applying to accredited TEFL certification programs. Whatever your decision, there are programs available for both types of schedules. Some schools offer both full-time and part-time tracks within the same program, too. Part-time schedules may allow you to keep your day job or raise children while taking online TESOL courses, while full-time programs will let you earn your credentials in less time.

Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Online TEFL Certification

Did you know that some online TEFL certification programs require you to attend class virtually at a specific date and time, just as traditional programs do? It’s true—not all online TESOL courses are completely flexible. Some are more structured. This is an issue you’ll want to take some time to think about before you choose a synchronous online TEFL certification option over an asynchronous option. If you need the maximum amount of freedom to complete coursework on your own time, an asynchronous program may be your best bet.

TEFL Certification Online: Admissions Requirements

If you’re serious about pursuing TEFL certification, you must pay attention to the admissions requirements for the certification programs you’re considering. That’s because these requirements can be significantly different from one another. For example, some of the best TEFL online certification programs require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in a field like English or education. In contrast, other programs will admit students with just a high school diploma. Other admissions criteria can vary as well but may include:

  • TOEFL examination scores (for international students)
  • Professional resume
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Minimum GPA

Curriculum for TEFL Online Certification Programs

When considering TESOL certification online accredited programs, you’ll want to evaluate the curriculum beforehand. Although the course of study will be somewhat unique for each school you consider, the curricula will typically cover similar topics, including linguistics, English grammar, instructional methods for English language learners, assessment techniques, and more. To give you an even better idea of what to expect once you enroll in a TEFL certification program, we’ve listed some sample course titles below. These were taken from actual TEFL/TESOL certification plans from accredited colleges and universities across the United States.

Sample Course Titles

  • Assessment of Instruction for Diverse Language Learners
  • Materials Development for Teaching English Language Learners
  • Language, School, and Society
  • Practices in ESL/EFL Instruction and Assessment
  • Linguistics for TESL/TEFL
  • Aspects of Reading for Multilingual Learners
  • Language and Communication Across Cultures
  • Linguistic Diversity in the U.S.
  • Topics in Sociolinguistics
  • Pedagogical Grammar
  • Applied Linguistics

Frequently-Searched TEFL Certification Programs

Florida State University

Florida State University-FSU offers its TEFL certification program through its renowned Frederick L. Jenks Center for Intensive English Studies. This option requires 120 credit hours of coursework, including a structured internship and teaching practicum.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University- The TEFL certification option from Georgia State University is designed to be completed within a single year of study. Courses required for the program are prescribed and follow a pre-determined sequence. Graduates are prepared for teaching English abroad.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Cleveland, Ohio

Kent State University- The unique TEFL certificate program from Kent State University requires a study-abroad experience in Florence, Italy. Applicants do not need prior teaching experience or academic training in education to be eligible for the program.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida- The University of Central Florida offers its TEFL certification program through its College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. This graduate certificate requires 12 credit hours of coursework in TEFL, and students must hold a bachelor’s degree to apply.

Frequently-Asked Questions about TEFL Certification

Have questions about TESOL certification? We’ve got answers! Below, we field some of the most frequently-asked questions about these types of professional certification programs. As you’re perusing these, remember that the information we provide is general in nature. For specific details about a specific TEFL program, talk to an admissions counselor or visit the program’s website to request more information.

Q: Is TEFL certification necessary?

A: It depends on what career path you’re on and what sorts of professional roles interest you. To become a K-12 teacher, you’ll likely need a professional certificate in TESOL or TEFL. Other roles such as a tutor or teaching assistant may not require these credentials. Furthermore, an advanced degree such as a master’s in TESOL may be required for top positions, including university teaching.

Q: Which is the best TEFL certification program?

A: There are numerous quality TEFL certification programs, including those highlighted in our ranking. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all program. To find the best option for you, consider programmatic features such as curriculum, course scheduling, and cost, for instance.

Q: Is TEFL certification worth it?

A: This question requires some degree of personal reflection to arrive at an answer. Be assured that the process of earning your professional TESOL certification will require a significant time investment as well as a good deal of hard work. Still, achieving your career goals upon completion of your certificate program will be a sweet reward. Will it be worth it? Only you can decide.

Q: Can I complete TEFL certification online?

A: Yes. The programs highlighted in this ranking are online TESOL and TEFL offerings, meaning coursework can be completed without attending classes on campus. Some of these programs may require an on-site practicum or internship, though, so keep this in mind when going over your options.

Q: Can I get TEFL certification for free?

A: While it is certainly possible to earn your TEFL certification online cheap, our editors could not find any completely free options. Still, you may be able to qualify for enough financial aid to fund your certification without coming out of pocket. We recommend that you consider all of your aid options, including scholarships, grants, and low-interest educational loa