120 Hour TESOL Certificate – Beginners Guide

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 01/28/20 •  Teach Abroad

A TESOL is short for “teach English as a second language” and is now a requirement to have if you have any intention of teaching English online.

What is a TESOL

TESOL is simply a certification process that can be done online or in person and signifies you have specific training to teach English to speakers who will be speaking English as a second language.

TEFL vs TESOL vs CELTA – What is the difference?

As we covered in depth in our TEFL certification guide, TEFL is designed to teach English as a foreign language. This certification is gear towards speakers who live in a country where English is a foreign language.

TESOL by comparison is for speakers who live in an English speaking country but speak English as a second language.

Lastly, a CELTA is a certificate of English language learning to adults and is the most strenuous to obtain.

Which is better? TEFL or TESOL

To be honest, it does not matter. These certificates were at one time “nice to have but not required” but due to new Chinese regulations for online teaching, these certificates are a must.

To meet the various legal requirements that continually evolve in every country in the ESL world, it’s best to get a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.

Some of the better online English teaching companies like VIPKID will now incorporate TESOL/TEFL certification as part of the on-boarding process.

120 Hours vs 150 Hours – Does it Matter?

Currently the industry standard is to obtain a 120 hour TESOL or TEFL to meet the various legal requirements now being implemented. 150 hours is currently a bit excessive so you can be secure in attending a 120 hour course.

We suggest not doing anything less than a 120 hour course however as they may not be accepted by potential employers.

What to look for in a TESOL certification?

There are a few things to look for when selecting a TESOL certification provider. Here is what we suggest:

What TESOL providers do we suggest?

Most providers focus on TEFL, but if you do wish to obtain a TESOL we suggest Open Academy. They have a money back guarantee as well as an online teaching course that you can also take advantage of.

Here are the modules of their TESOL course:

A TESOL certificate makes you a much better teacher because it teaches you what it’s like to be a non native speaker and how to approach teaching English as a second language.

120 Hour TESOL – Open Academy

10 comprehensive modules. Money back guarantee.

Editorial Staff

I'm David Unwin and I head the editorial staff here at Teach and GO. I've taught as an ESL teacher in Thailand for 5+ years at all levels of education, from elementary to University. I was also one of the first 1000 VIPKID teachers. I and my team now share my extensive experience as a teacher here at Teach and GO. Learn more.