Frequently Asked Questions
Wondering about TEFL?

What is a TEFL certification?

The “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” (TEFL) certificate, is the most commonly accepted certificate worldwide. This certificate allows you to teach English to non-native speakers across the globe. The main qualifications to get a TEFL is to have the ability to speak English at a native-level and then complete a course. You can complete a TEFL course either online or in a classroom. The different courses vary based on the number of hours it takes to complete.

What does Level 5 mean?

A Level 5 TEFL course is one that is regulated by Ofqual according to their qualifications framework. Another Level 5 teaching qualification is the CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Once qualified with a Level 5 TEFL qualification, you'll have access to the most competitive jobs worldwide.

What does regulated mean?

A regulated qualification means that it is officially recognised by the government and sits on the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications.

What is the difference between TEFL/TESOL/CELTA?

TEFL - “Teaching English as a Foreign Language” certificate, is the most commonly accepted certificate worldwide. This certificate allows you to teach English to non-native speakers across the globe. The main qualifications to get a TEFL is to have the ability to speak English at a native-level and then complete a course. You can complete a TEFL course either online or in a classroom. The different courses vary based on the number of hours it takes to complete. TESOL - “Teaching English as a Second Language” aka TESL. Similar to TESOL students, as a TESL teacher, you would likely be teaching English in your home country to students who have moved or live in an English speaking country. In other words, they are continuously surrounded by the language and will be using it everyday outside of the classroom, unlike TEFL students who are likely learning in their home country. CELTA stands for “Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults” and is a very prestigious certification. In order to receive a CELTA, you must complete a 120-hour course along with six hours of teaching real ESL students. The majority of the programs are held over one-month and are full time. However, you may be able to find some courses that are part-time and are spread out over three months. The CELTA program must follow a strict regulation created by Cambridge University. Due to its intense nature and requirements, the cost also tends to be much higher and can be up to €1700!

How do I get a TEFL certificate?

The minimum required worldwide is to have at least the 120 Hour TEFL training. You can choose between fully accredited TEFL courses, Government Regulated Level 5 TEFL courses or combined TEFL courses. View all our courses here. Online TEFL courses are the most affordable & flexible way to launch your teaching career. This is a perfect way to study theoretical material at your own time & your own pace. Combined TEFL courses are offering both online & in-class studying. They are a fantastic opportunity to get two TEFL certificates (theoretical & practical). You will learn your theory from online material and then practice it with other teachers during the 10-hour practical session, accompanied and lectured by an experienced TEFL teacher. Before you choose your TEFL certificate, be aware to check if: It is fully accredited & recognised worldwide. You will gain at least 120 hours of training. You will have a tutor’s assistance. It is approved by an official body, such as TQUK & Ofqual in the United Kingdom. Make sure to check TEFL provider reviews on Google or You will have job support after completion.

Which TEFL course to take?

Confused about which TEFL course to enrol in? Don’t worry, as long as you can speak English at a fluent or near-fluent level, then you are eligible to take one of the TEFL Institute of Ireland’s regulated TEFL courses. Non-native speakers do sometimes find the Ofqual Regulated Level 5 TEFL course quite challenging and we understand it is essential for you to be sure that you are comfortable with your English language abilities before choosing which course to take. As a guide, we recommend that that non-native speakers have a minimum IELTS 6.5 score. If you are unsure you should take our FREE online level test below Complete The TEFL Institute of Ireland’s FREE English Level Test which has been designed to assist you with making this important decision.  If you have any doubts, request a call, and we can discuss which course would suit your needs.

Do I need a Bachelor’s degree to take a TEFL course?

The great news is that you don't need a degree to take a TEFL course! This is a common worry. Anyone with fluent English can enrol in one of our courses to become a qualified and confident English teacher. It's good to know that a degree is a requirement in some countries to get a work permit such as Japan and Korea, but there are many opportunities for those without a degree to be hired. Even if you see an employer preference for degree holders I still recommend applying as they may not get their full quota and you may have so many additional skills that will appeal to hiring managers.

What’s the difference between Accredited TEFL Courses vs Government Regulated Level 5 TEFL Courses?

Lots of people ask about the difference between our courses. For example, the 120-hour Premier TEFL course is what we would call one of our  fast track courses. This is the minimum recognised worldwide. • You have 10 modules to complete usually taking 4 – 6 weeks • Each module has a multiple-choice test at the end and you need 80% to pass • You’ll get your digital certificate on completion and can buy a hard copy from us if you’d like one with an embossed logo immediately Looking at the 180-hour level 5 Ofqual-regulated TEFL course by comparison: • Learners spend typically 10 – 12 weeks to complete the 11 modules • Since it’s a UK government regulated level 5 course the pass mark is 100% and assessments are multiple-choice plus open-ended answers. Don’t worry, you can re-attempt quizzes in order to get 100%. Our academic team will review your answers at the end of your 11 modules and may ask for some questions to be reattempted (absolutely normal). Some questions may require to provide Academic references. • You’ll get your digital coursework completion certificate from us after module 11, and following successful assessment from our academic team, we’ll be able to claim the licence for your Ofqual (government) certificate from our accreditation body TQUK. The Ofqual-regulated course range is certainly for those people who want to gain a higher-level more recognised qualification. Read our blog to learn more about the Level 5 TEFL course here.

What are the benefits of completing a Level 5 TEFL Course?

If you are looking for a professional, globally recognised, Government Regulated TEFL qualification; you should consider the online level 5 TEFL course. The Government Regulated Level 5 TEFL course is the same level as CELTA and Trinity Cert TESOL. Ofqual government regulated (UK) Level 5 TQUK qualification. The course has 180 hours of TEFL training, more than the minimum required and it's a higher standard course and therefore, is more competitive.

What’s the age restriction to take TEFL course?

There is none really, we usually say that if you are over 16yrs old, you can start completing a TEFL course. If you are looking for jobs abroad then the minimum age requirement is 18 yrs old or higher.

Who are the ACDL?

The TEFL institute of Ireland is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Distance Learning (ACDL), an accreditation body which specialises in distance learning courses. Thus our accreditation by ACDL reflects the high quality distance learning offered by the TEFL institute. ACDL - Accreditation number: 2854-2540 To learn more, visit their website: ACDL

Who are the TQUK?

The TEFL Institute of Ireland is a fully approved training centre. All of our course materials have been externally and independently approved, endorsing our brand as one of high standards and excellence. TQUK, an Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) regulated awarding body. Approved center number: C000854 To learn more about TQUK and their checks and standards, visit their website: TQUK

What's Ofqual stand for?

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. To learn more about Ofqual or to verify TQUK status, visit their website: Ofqual

Are combined TEFL courses better than the online courses?

We would always recommend attending practical training. If you have the time to attend one of our 10 hour classroom courses, then do! This will give you more confidence and it will put the theory from your online course into practice. The day course is run by our experienced TEFL's teachers and you will learn the most important skills for executing lessons, from how to warm up the class, to using grammar in a clear and concise manner. This course is perfect if you have already TEFL cert and you would like to put it in practice. Some people prefer to start from the practical course and then do a 120-300hour TEFL course after. We have 4 locations where we hold our day courses in Ireland: TEFL Course Dublin, Jurys Inn, Parnell Street TEFL Course in Galway, The Clayton Hotel TEFL Course Cork, Radisson Blu Hotel TEFL Course In Limerick, The Maldron Hotel 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course incl. teaching practice via Zoom

Are there any free TEFL courses for unemployed?

We don’t offer free courses but we do help with getting funding from the Dept of Social Protection in Ireland. Our comprehensive courses train you in teaching English as a foreign language at home and abroad. More information on the social welfare grant can be found by following this link: Local Social Welfare Office This scheme is designed to fund quick access to short term training or related interventions, obtain/renew certification/permits for individual job seekers that have identified work opportunities or where Case Officers have identified an immediate skills gap that represents an obstacle to taking up a job offer or accessing other activation. We are happy to invoice an external organisation or company on your behalf. Please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we can arrange this for you. Here at the TEFL Institute of Ireland we firmly believe education should be affordable for everybody. Under this ethos, we offer a 10% subsidy to those who find themselves currently unemployed or in full-time education. Enrol on any of our fully accredited TEFL courses for less and open a new world of opportunities. To gain the TEFL subsidy you should add the word FUNDING at the checkout. Please be aware that we randomly ask for proof of student or unemployed status. We accept documentation such as a copy of a student card or job seekers allowance. Please send either to us within 14 days via email to [email protected] Or via post to: The TEFL Institute of Ireland Old Friary Building Lower Main Street Dungarvan Co. Waterford Post code: X35 FX45

Am I too old to teach English abroad?

You are never too old to gain new qualifications. Some employers might have age restrictions but others won’t. There are always options to teach English from home, private tutor, online tutor.

Do I need to speak another language to teach English abroad?

No, it is not necessary to have knowledge of other languages. You will be able to find a job and work comfortably without knowing the language spoken in that particular country. The real question is, should you make an effort to learn a foreign language? Basic language is always a plus and we would always recommend learning a few phrases before you move abroad. Learn to say Hi, Thank you, Goodbye, Sorry. If you can order a meal and pay for that meal without automatically handing over the biggest bill in your wallet (whilst looking adorably confused) you’ll survive.

Which course to take if I only would like to focus on teaching English online?

If online teaching is your primary goal, we would always recommend at least the 120 hour TEFL training. Our “Ultimate Online Teacher” is a unique, specialised, online teacher qualification that gives you the skillset and the confidence to hit the ground running. This package includes the minimum 120-hour training, 30-Hour Teaching English Online and the 30-Hour Teaching Young Learners to give you an edge in the competitive market. If you have already completed your 120-hour course then you don’t want to miss these extra specialised courses to get you one step ahead of the crowd. These will allow you to give effective online lessons that are tailored to suit your students – meaning everybody’s happy! And of course, we recommend adding our 30-hour Teaching English Online course to any other TEFL packages as it is a huge benefit, it focuses to prepare you (the teacher) how to enter online tutoring world.


Are you interested in teaching English as a foreign language but you are not sure where to get started?

Our 46-page TEFL brochure has everything you need to know about teaching English as a foreign language. From which TEFL course is best for you to different jobs and opportunities available, this exclusive and informative brochure has you covered.


What’s inside?

The 46 page comprehensive TEFL brochure will tell you everything you need to know about teaching English as a foreign language – including the full range of training options, TEFL Jobs, and TEFL scholarships available.

  • Which TEFL Course
  • Why a TEFL Internships
  • TEFL Scholarships Available
  • Best countries for TEFL Jobs
  • Career Guidance Centre

    What’s inside?

    • The TEFL job market
    • Types of employers
    • Job advertisement & examples
    • Interview questions
    • Tips for a good cover letter

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