TEFL Course Entry Requirements You Need To Know About

TEFL Course Entry Requirements You Need To Know About

Updated June 2024

Choosing a TEFL course is one of the most important steps to teaching abroad, which is why it can feel a little overwhelming. A quick Google search for “which TEFL course to take” and the “best TEFL course” means being barraged by a range of options. Luckily, we’ve sifted through these to simplify one of the most critical factors to consider when picking a TEFL course: entry requirements.

should i get tefl certified

What Are the TEFL Certification Requirements?

Common Entry Requirements for TEFL Certification Courses

For most TEFL certification courses, there are minimal prerequisites to enroll. However, TEFL certification requirements vary depending on the provider, so it's essential to research carefully.

General Requirements:

  • Fluent/proficient English skills (native or non-native speakers)
  • Ability to pay the course tuition fee

Online TEFL Courses:

  • No need for a bachelor’s degree
  • No teaching license or credential required

In-Person TEFL Courses:

  • Minimum age of 18 years old
  • High school diploma/GED or equivalent education level
  • Fluent English skills (may require proficiency test for non-native speakers)
  • Potentially an interview or teaching demo with a TEFL course advisor

While a bachelor's degree is often preferred, it is usually not an outright requirement for enrolling in a standard TEFL certification course.

However, many countries and language schools do require English teachers to possess a 4-year university degree in order to obtain a work visa and get hired.

Comprehensive Guide to TEFL Course Entry Requirements

Qualifications Needed

  • Fluent English Skills: Both native and non-native speakers must demonstrate proficiency.

  • Age Requirements: Generally, candidates must be at least 18 years old.

  • Education Level: A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for in-person courses.

  • Documentation: Non-native speakers might need to submit an English proficiency test score such as IELTS, and some programs might require additional documentation like a personal statement.

Recommended Reading:

Advanced Programs: TESOL/CELTA Course Admission Requirements

More advanced programs like TESOL and CELTA have stricter entry requirements, which may include:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • Passing an English proficiency exam
  • Teaching experience
  • Submitting academic transcripts and references
  • An in-person interview

Choosing the Right TEFL Course

With many TEFL course options available, both online and in-person, it's crucial to choose an accredited, reputable program that meets your goals and needs. Key factors to consider include:

  • Course Format: Online, in-person, full-time, part-time – choose what fits your schedule and learning style.
  • Course Hours: 120 hours is standard, but some employers prefer 140+ hour courses.
  • Practicum/Teaching Practice: Many courses include virtual or in-class teaching components.
  • Reviews and Reputation: Research reviews from previous students and program rankings.
  • Specializations: Some TEFL programs like OISE TEFL's offer course specializations that create opportunities for students to teach English for specific purposes.
  • Tutor/Instructor Qualifications: Experienced, qualified instructors are ideal.
  • Cost and Payment Options: Compare prices and look for financing if needed.

What are the TEFL certificate entry requirements?

TEFL certification program  Admission requirements
OISE University of Toronto TEFL
  • None
International TEFL Academy
  • Minimum education requirements for online TEFL course:
    • High school diploma/GED
  • Minimum education requirements for in-person TEFL course:
    • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of English proficiency for non-fluent English speakers
  • Scan of government ID
  • Written application and essay
Oxford Seminars
  • Fluent English speaker/English speaker with fluent English capabilities
  • At least 18 years of age
  • None
  • None
Oxford TEFL
  • University degree
  • C1 level of English or proof of English fluency through interview and written task


    By carefully evaluating your options based on entry requirements, course quality, and your specific needs, you can select a TEFL certification program that sets you up for success.

    Other Potential Requirements

    Depending on where you plan to teach English after getting TEFL certified, there may be additional requirements from schools, language centers, or countries regarding:

    • Criminal background checks
    • Teaching experience (some positions require 1-2 years)
    • Specific visa requirements for work eligibility

    It's always wise to research any extra prerequisites for your target teaching destinations.

    Stay Up-to-Date

    Entry requirements and standards for TEFL certification courses can evolve over time. Be sure to check the latest guidelines from your preferred course providers and teaching organizations. With proper preparation and an accredited TEFL certification, you'll be ready to embark on an enriching career teaching English abroad or online.



    good morning, i would like to know that if i am a foreigner leaving in south africa, do i qualify to do telf course.
    That’s great! You can enroll at anytime at teflonline.teachaway.com/enroll
    Elspeth Chalmers
    I am interested in enrolling for TEFL
    Good day. Ive a diploma in Early Childhood education..I’m a South African lady..I wish to do an online course to teach the younger children. I am excellent with children and have owned my own creche from 2007 to 2018.

    Please advice the best course for.me for teaching the younger children..
    What computer requirements do I require?
    for setting up the TEFL COURSE and the cost involved please.
    Many Thanks.
    Lynne Britton

    Lynne Britton
    I am in possession of NSC can i also apply?
    Austin Pisanie

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