TEFL Online

Hi all

I'm thinking of doing a TEFL course online in the future but having searched on google there seem to be loads of companies offering around 60-120 hour courses and giving various different certificates which is confusing.

Is there a single TEFL certificate or exam board? Or is there a reputable company you can recommend?

Many Thanks

thanks Sheila, a bargain at £65!

HUGE DISCOUNT! Today's offer via Groupon - 120 hour course for €65 - over 80% discount for this online course. Here's the link: http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/national-deal/tefl-express/3352997?nlp=&CID=UK_CRM_1_0_0_45&a=1664

Hi Suzanne

In that case, you might like a book I've been reading recently: Learning how to read and write in the multilingual family, by Xiao-Lei Wang. It was profiled in the Multilingual Matters newsletter and I bought it through them, but I suppose you could find it also on Amazon. The author is a professor at Pace Uni in New York and has trilingual children herself.

The book is not an academic treatise, but a practical look at how mothers/parents of varying cultural and educational backgrounds are approaching the the task of passing on a 'heritage language' ie the parents' one, to their children. I got it because my children were brought up for 6 and 8 years respectively in the UK and so only just got into reading and writing in English before we came to France, and I'm concerned that their reading and writing skills will just disappear if I don't do concrete things to encourage them to use them. I think the book is well-structured and easy to read, and comforting for the parent. There is a whole spectrum of bilingualism; the book emphasises that each parent's situation is different, and gives choices which are practical and doable, so it's not a guilt-trip!

Have a look at Multilingual Matters if you have a vaguely linguistic background, as they do profile books sometimes which are orientated to the lay-person, as well as more acadamic publications. Hope this helps!

Thanks for that Andrew - especially wading through my novel like first post! Info from someone 'at the coalface' is a huge help as despite seven years in France and coping with welters of bureacracy, I still find it all too easy to get bogged down - I've come across so many Anglais who find their qualifications not recognised here.

As ever your local chambre de metier don't know but that's not thier fault - their not there for professions libérales which is what you'd be. I've been an AE since it started in 2009: éducation supérieur/traduction, no problems but i think you'd struggle to make anything in a rural area (as you've said) but at least with the AE scheme you could try for nothing - everything can be done over the internet through the gov site


Bonne chance !

Hi - sorry to come so late to this discussion, our internet only just back after about three days. I've found all the replies (and some previous discussions) very interesting as found myself similarly confused. Last year I was informally helping my son's French girlfriend as I am a qualified journalist so arguably au fe with English. I started out with Teaching English as a Foreign language for Dummies book - which helped me structure lessons and got us so far and then took the TEFL Weekend introductory course back in UK. I found it useful to a degree but a bit artificial and not all that helpful to teaching one to one. I managed to improve my pupil's English and helped her through the English Bacc exam by using the French Bacc English for Dummies book (if you get me) - but working against the French system. Initially, her English teacher was impressed with her improvement but when it came to the pre-Bacc conseil de classe was the only teacher to give her a 'pas favorable' - I suspect because they knew she had been getting teaching not as per the French way. I could say a lot more about the teaching of English in this part of France at any rate - deepest rural France, la Creuse, but that is not really point here (what is I hear you say?)

I had hoped to use my experience of helping Helene to take on a few pupils French or English but with my own research and reading Survive France posts, am confused about whether it is a goer - especially being in such a rural area. I too wondered if an online course was worth doing - but also how do you advertise for your pupils - legally - and under what system. My local chambre de metiers said this is not covered by the auto-entrepreneur system.

Hi Suzanne

I did my 60 hour online TEFL course a couple of years back with i to i, never done any teaching before. After many hours of blood, sweat and tears I passed in January 2010. After each module it was necessary to complete an online assessment and the tutors were good with feedback. I recommend the course if you enjoy learning on your own and are motivated to do so. I did not have any hands on experience, and this is indeed a downside of only completing and on line course. I have been teaching since November 2010 and after my baptism of fire, I can honestly say that I love it. I generally teach a class of between 7 and 12 adults who are looking for work and find the course very rewarding. Good luck to you whichever course you decide to choose

Thanks everyone - I don't intend teaching in schools, just chez Fitzgerald. I want the girls to learn English properly even if they have problems at l'ecole because zey don't speak eenglish the correct French way. (sorry but it has been discussed in the past!)

ah - understand, I've found a lot more success through contacts although did so many candidature spontanée which got me going to begin with. Yes the recesion has hit a lot of people but I didn't know the greta had changed their rules. goes back to the original thing about capes/pgce etc...

How are you doing with hte tack shop - my OH rides and always thought of doing that!

I had no contacts actually, I got my GRETA contracts after doing a one-off St Patrick's Day workshop in a school in Sete, which I found on the internet and got because I was the first applicant. The teacher at that school told me to try for the GRETA, I sent my CV and eight months later I got an interview and some contracts.

Sadly the GRETA here no longer use foreign teachers so my only contract now is one hour per week for our foyer rural - I run a tack shop now instead of teaching, can't find the work now the recession has kicked in. Weirdly people still spend money on their horses.


Hi Suzanne,

I took my certification course from linguaedge.com. It's interactive and the support from the staff is very good. They give you plenty of time to complete it, although I think it could be done in 60 days if you work at it a little every day. It took me over 100 days to do it, mostly working on just weekends (I was away from home a lot due to work).

As an FYI, most companies (in my experience) in France aren't as much interested in your certification as in you having a degree of some sort. They don't care much what the degree is in, but it looks good to the prospective client for the teachers to have one.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

You had and have two very essential things in your favour Kitty: contacts are everything in France and that's more often than not how people get jobs here (French but foreigners too!), and being in an area where there's a demand - such as montpellier in your case - and not in the middle of nowhere. Where do you teach now?

I did my tesol course here in france, 120 hours, including a lot of actual teaching time in a Lycee and also in a language school. Its the experience that I found invaluable in learning how to teach and then in getting a job,which I did fairly easily.

But my whole course was face to face in a group, nothing online, and for me it was great because we did endless practical work in groups, so it made it real.

But that was just me.

very best of luck to you both Marius ;-)

Hallo Andrew. Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I still hope to get a job as a project manager in Europe somewhere. My wife will be a qualified pâtisserie chef soon and I am sure that will open a door for us. Both of us are very good in French; she went to Alliançe Française and I studied at home and I have been paid compliments on my pronunciation of the language.

Kind regards,


Hi Marius, depends what you consider a market - if you're talking about getting a job in a state school a definite NO, private schools - possibly but still difficult. CCI possible for native/fluent speakers but sepends on the area and demand and a lot of luck. Private lessons yes, but the pay can be very low. I'm sure others here will give more details, see Peter's summary of teaching in schools - he explains the situation well. I've got a PGCE - MFL and maîtrise français langue étrangère. I find work fairly easily now as i have plenty of contacts and went looking for it to begin with and worked across a wide area. I can work in all schools as my PGCE is recognised as being the same as a CAPES but as Peter explained, this can only be as a replacement teacher as you have to pass the capes itself to be titulaire in the state system. You can work your way into the private system, cneap and others, with a pgce without needing the capes but you'll have to go through the standard inspection procedures too. In all cases working in french schools, whether public or private, you're going to need to be fluent in French ;-)

I am a UK qualified teacher with additional TEFL qualifications working in a UK language school. I know here they only really look at people with CELTA training. I have a french friend who teaches English in France and who tells me that the French school system is very unlikely to look at an English trained teacher but prefer their own trained staff.

If you look specifically at language schools I am guessing they are more likely to look at CELTA than anything else. Maybe you could look at the Times Educational Supplement to find out what schools abroad are looking for? They have a section for TEFL and jobs abroad - you may get more info there.


I've just come across a newish teaching course run by Cambridge (the people who do the CELTA and DELTA) called the Teaching Knowledge Test or TKT, which is designed to be an entry-level English teaching qualification. It's shorter and cheaper than the CELTA and is presented as a series of modules taught face-to-face and, as far as I know, it's part-time.

I had a look at the TKT textbook to see what the course was like and was surprised and pleased to see that it covers a lot of ground, not only in terms of basic grammar, but also the practical side of planning and assessment. I took my Diploma in 1998 and have been in and out of teaching ever since, and I'm finding the book to be great refresher training! The language school I'm working at is looking at introducing the course soon, so I'll know a bit more about it by the end of the year. (No, this isn't an ad!)

I think that, on balance, the Cambridge qualifications are the most widely recognised ones in language teaching, but I do understand that the Cert is a bit of a commitment, especially at the beginning and if you have kids. I was interested to hear about i-to-i: it seems to be well-organised and supervised. Being observed in the classroom is a very important part of developing as a teacher, though, even if it's tough, and I feel that it's the best way to consolidate theoretical learning. If you can't be part of a teaching course that provides observation, though, you could get your students to give you feedback on specific skills that you would like to develop or check; about after every 20 hours of class time seems to work well. Just make sure to design your questions to them well!

Lesson planning calls - got to go. Happy teaching!

that's the reply I didn't have the time to write Peter ;-)