If you want to start teaching English as a foreign language, you might be wondering which TEFL certificate you should get. Getting this certificate can qualify you for English teaching jobs around the world and online.
Many aspiring teachers choose to take a 120-hour TEFL course because courses of this length meet international hiring requirements, can be completed relatively quickly, and are affordable.
While there are many online TEFL courses available, this post focuses on the best 120-hour certificates.
This post will help you decide if a 120-hour TEFL course is right for you and which program is best suited to your needs.
What Is A TEFL Certificate?
A TEFL Certification is a qualification that allows you to teach English as a foreign language, either abroad or online.
Most people who pursue TEFL certifications have dreams of teaching English in a new country or remotely for an online education platform.
To earn this certificate, students must complete a TEFL training course. Training courses can be online, in-person, or a combination of the two.
While there is some variety in what is taught depending on the company you choose, 120-hour TEFL courses online will generally cover the same introductory to TEFL teaching materials and strategies.
I received my TEFL certification several years ago with the International TEFL Academy — all while working full-time. I had teaching experience and loved working with kids. I also loved travelling, so a job in the TEFL field felt like a great combination of my two passions.
Since getting my TEFL certification, I’ve discovered the magical world of teaching English online — aka working from home in pajama pants while teaching the sweetest students virtually!
Having a TEFL credential under my belt helped my online teaching application stand out and prepared me to work with students one-on-one in my remote classroom.
I still use the skills I learned in my TEFL course to this day!
How Long Does It Take To Complete a 120 TEFL Course Online?
Every TEFL course out there has an associated number of hours. These hours correlate to the estimated amount of time it will take a student to complete the course.
For example, a 50-hour TEFL course will take you 50 hours to complete, a 120-hour TEFL course will take you 120-hours to complete, and a 300-hour course will take you 300 hours to complete.
Of course, some students may work through the material faster or slower than others. But these estimations will help you anticipate how long it will take to finish the course.
What Will I Learn In A 120-Hour TEFL Course?
120-Hour TEFL courses online are usually considered an introduction to TEFL teaching. Most 120-hour TEFL courses will cover the following content areas:
- How to teach grammar, spelling, reading, and writing
- How to teach speaking and listening skills
- Lesson planning
- Assessment and evaluation
- Cultural awareness
- Classroom management and teaching technique
As you’ll see below, some programs offer different features like real classroom video recordings, job placement assistance, portfolio creation and evaluation, and one-on-one virtual tutoring.
If having more support is a priority, make sure to choose a course with some kind of mentoring component.
Why Should I Consider A 120-Hour TEFL Course?
As you research TEFL courses, you’ve probably seen a full spectrum of options. From super-short, inexpensive 20-hour courses to massive, pricy 300-hour courses, it can be hard to know which one is best for you.
A 120-hour TEFL course represents a comfortable balance.
You’ll still get a full TEFL education, but it won’t be as overwhelming as more advanced training. You’ll still qualify for teaching jobs abroad, but you won’t break the bank doing it.
To qualify for teaching jobs abroad, most employers require that applicants have at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate. Often, this is a requirement for processing work contracts and visas.
If you had a certification with fewer hours, you might not qualify for jobs in certain countries which could mean fewer teaching opportunities.
Many people also choose a 120-hour course because it’s less expensive than a higher-level course. It also takes less time to complete than a course with more hours, so this is great if you want to start teaching as soon as possible on a smaller budget.
Pros And Cons Of 120 Hour TEFL Certificates
Here’s a list of the pros and cons of taking a 120-hour TEFL course:
Pros Of Getting A 120 Hour TEFL Certification
- Completing a 120-hour TEFL course will mean that you qualify for most TEFL jobs around the world. This is perfect for someone who is starting their teaching journey and wants to learn new skills.
- A 120-hour TEFL course should take 120 hours to complete. In reality, the amount of time it takes will vary from person to person. Still, a 120-hour course will be faster than a higher-hour course which means you can start teaching sooner.
- 120-hour courses are also more affordable than their longer counterparts. Since you’re not getting as much information, you can usually find these courses offered at a reasonable price, both online and in person. You’ll still learn the essentials and can always add more TEFL training in the future when your schedule or budget allows it.
Cons Of Getting A 120 Hour TEFL Certification
- Even though 120-hours is the minimum requirement for most teaching jobs, some more prestigious positions might want candidates with more training. In these situations, applicants with 200-hour or 300-hour certifications might get priority.
- If you think you’ll want to apply to teach in a very competitive area, it might be beneficial to have a higher level of TEFL credential, such as a Level 5 TEFL certification, on your resume.
Best 120 Hour TEFL Courses
What are the best 120 hour TEFL courses online? These 5 are the top-rated, accredited, legitimate, cheapest 120 hour TEFL courses online today:
MyTEFL offers one of the most affordable 120-hour TEFL courses around. They have lower hour options too, but remember that 120 hours is the minimum required by most employers in the TEFL industry.
Courses with MyTEFL are fully accredited. Students can choose between taking their 120-hour TEFL course online or in-person in exciting locations around the world. MyTEFL courses also include virtual support and assistance if needed.
Costs: The 120-hour online TEFL course by MyTEFL costs $299. Goats On The Road readers receive 35% off using promo code GOATS35.
MyTEFL also offers in-person 120-hour TEFL courses. You can earn your certification in 3-4 weeks in either Argentina, Spain, or Thailand.
2. TEFL Pros
TEFL Pros is unique because they offer one course only: a fully online 120-hour TEFL course.
Because their two female founders focus all their attention on this one program, the result is a comprehensive TEFL education packed with features.
With TEFL Pros, teachers get to watch hours of real classroom footage. This allows them to see how TEFL concepts look in practice. Previous student reviews mention that these training videos helped them tremendously in their real classrooms.
Part of the TEFL Pros curriculum includes creating a portfolio that will be evaluated at the end of the course.
This portfolio includes lesson plans that you can use in your first classroom. Students receive feedback on the pieces in their portfolio, so you can feel confident putting your lessons and activities into practice.
Because of their attention to detail, TEFL Pros has great student reviews.
The only downside is that they don’t specifically offer job placement assistance or job guarantees. However, they do give graduates access to interview training videos and a list of suggested schools and companies that they have vetted.
Cost: The TEFL Pros course costs $349. If you’re on the fence, they offer a free 2-day Introduction to TEFL Training that you can enroll in to see if it’s a good fit for you. Goats On The Road readers receive 10% off the TEFL Pros 120-hour course. Use promo code GOATS10.
3. i-to-i TEFL
i-to-i TEFL is a fully accredited TEFL company that has been around since 1994. Their 120-hour introductory TEFL course is affordable and includes 6 free ebooks to help you in your future teaching jobs.
In addition to all that, students can get feedback and guidance from qualified tutors throughout the course. Check the i-to-i TEFL website frequently because they often run specials and steep discounts.
Costs: The 120 hour courses online are currently $349. However, i-to-i frequently runs discounts and at the time of writing, they are 60% off.
4. ITTT International TEFL And TESOL Training
The online 120-hour TEFL training program offered by ITTT is self-paced and has 20 in-depth lessons. ITTT also includes resources to help you find a job after course completion.
One of the best parts about ITTT is that students have two choices:
- Take the TEFL course on its own.
- Take the TEFL course with access to a virtual tutor and premium training videos.
By offering two levels of support, you can customize the amount of training you need without having to pay for more if you don’t want to.
Cost: The 120-hour online TEFL course without a tutor or videos costs $349. The course with the additional videos and virtual tutor support costs $399. Goats On The Road readers receive 15% off the courses using this link, or clicking the button below.
5. The TEFL Org
The TEFL Org offers a fully online 120-hour TEFL/TESOL course that can be completed at your own pace. They also offer a combination 120-hour course that has a live, hands-on virtual classroom component.
The fully online program includes modules about grammar and language usage as well as teaching methodologies. They also five video observation lessons covering an array of real classroom scenarios.
Students in this program will also learn about teaching large classes and teaching over the telephone.
Students in The TEFL Org online course have six months to work through all the lesson materials. Students also receive access to an online tutor for extra support.
Cost: The 120 hour online TEFL course is usually $509. However, The TEFL Org often runs 50% off discounts.
In the Combination course, students work through the course content at their own pace then come together in a virtual classroom to practice teaching and learn hands-on skills.
Since the classroom sessions are live, it’s important to make sure they work with your schedule before enrolling.
Students in The TEFL Org combination course have five months to work through all the course materials. The combination course is best if you want face-to-face teaching practice without having to leave home.
This includes all materials, live sessions, and a letter of recommendation from your virtual classroom instructor.
Cost: The Combination Course is usually $709. However, The TEFL Org often runs 50% off discounts.
Things To Consider When Choosing A 120-Hour TEFL Course
As you can see, there are plenty of great 120-hour TEFL courses available. While you can’t go wrong with any of the suggestions above, consider the following course characteristics to choose the best fit for you.
As you compare 120-hour TEFL courses, the price might be an important consideration. Most courses are around $200 – $500, but occasionally companies will discount their courses to the $100 range.
When you’re ready to enroll, I’d recommend checking prices with each company above to make sure that you don’t miss any special deals.
Level Of Hands-On Support
For some students, getting hands-on support throughout the TEFL course is a priority. If that’s you, look for a program that includes tutoring or feedback.
Some provide lots of tutor support while other options only include chat and email assistance when needed.
Job Placement Assistance
Some companies offer job placement assistance to students. This means that after you finish your TEFL course, they will help you find and apply for a teaching position.
Now, not all job placement assistance is created equal. Some companies simply send over a PDF of schools and contact emails, while others offer much more one-on-one assistance.
If having this feature is important to you, look to see if your program includes job placement assistance. If it does, the best way to assess the quality of that assistance is to read previous student reviews.
Which takes me to…
Previous Student Reviews
Previous student reviews can be a gold mine for helping you choose a TEFL program.
Sometimes students will mention where they got hired and how prepared they felt for their first day of teaching, which is valuable information for a prospective teacher.
To find past student reviews, you can look at the testimonials or reviews section of the TEFL company website. You can also look at websites like Indeed, Better Business Bureau, or GoOversees for more reviews and student feedback.
Get Certified and Start Teaching Today
If you want to start teaching English abroad or online as soon as possible on a modest budget, a 120-hour TEFL course might be a great fit for you.
You’ll still qualify for the vast majority of TEFL teaching jobs and depending on the company you choose, you might also have job placement guidance to help you get started.
Sometimes, the best way to learn a new skill is simply to start. With a 120-hour TEFL, you’ll be able to do that. With the basic required training taken care of, you’ll be able to start teaching and exploring the world as soon as possible.
Once you have your TEFL certification, have a look at our article which lists the 10 best online teaching websites. If you don’t have a degree, have a look at our post about the best companies to teach with if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree.
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