TEFL certificates are “teach English as a foreign language” certificates and are designed to help native speakers learn how to teach their language to a non native speakers. Quality TEFL certificates are certified by some sort of governing body like the ACCET for America or the OFQUAL for the UK.
Online TEFL courses by an accredited body tend to be in the $150 to $300 price range, making them a large purchase decision for many. It is worth getting a TEFL and due to new regulations being implement that making a TEFL be a requirement for employment, but are there cheaper alternatives? Yes.
If you’re looking for a free or affordable alternative to more pricey online courses or in person courses there are various ways to get a TEFL certificate online for cheap. But keep in mind that it may not the best course of action (but we could be wrong).
Here at Teach and GO we strongly suggest you get an accredited TEFL certificate (which you can do online) because it will stand against any changes and regulations in the future. I did my personal TEFL certification course in 2011 in Chaing Mai Thailand (and then taught English abroad – wonderful experience).
If you’re looking for the most affordable TEFL certificate to help you meet the requirements for online teaching we suggest taking a look at the TEFL course by Full Circle offered on Groupon:
This TEFL course on Groupon is a 160 hour TEFL course that currently meets the 120 hour TEFL requirement.
Is there a 100% Free Option?
If you’re looking for a 100% free course however you can check out this website that claims to offer a “free TEFL certificate” but I would be cautious. The date on the website says 2015 which is an indication that this website has been abandoned and is not being updated.
Also, they use the “free course” as a lead generation tactic. Upon completion of the course you’ll need to pay to print out your certificate. Instead, I would just go with a Groupon course if you’re looking for a low cost TEFL course.
Free TEFL with Job Placement
One other option which may or may not be ideal depending on your current situation is to complete a TEFL certificate as part of a job placement program. This is functionally what I did in Chaing Mai. Complete an in person TEFL course and get a massive discount so long as I agree to work at a school for a year (if you did not agree to work for 1 year you would need to pay the full price of the course).
English First is currently offering a promotion by where they will sponsor your online TEFL course (a $500 value) if you pass their interview process and agree to teach abroad for 1 year upon completion of the course.
If you’re just looking to teach English online and need a TEFL certificate you may want to just use a Groupon course or better, go through one of accredited providers.
Cheap TEFL Courses on Groupon
As of now, Groupon is the best place to get a low cost TEFL certificate that will meet the 120 hour minimum requirement for online teaching. Here are some of the most highly rated and popular courses. Groupon is a coupon website so the following are course that are normally price $100+ but through Groupon you can get a good deal:
Full Circle – 160 hour course, Highest Rated
The Full Circle course is a 160 hour course that upon completion will give you a PDF certificate with an optional hard copy that can be bought when redeeming your Groupon voucher.
This particular course is the highest rated that Groupon is currently offering. To learn more about the syllabus you can visit the course page on their website.
Learn TEFL – 120 hour course
Learn TEFL is a 120 hour course that will meet the current Chinese regulations. This is standard course that claims to give you access to job assistance and personalized tutoring. You can learn more about the course on their website.
International Open Academy – 25,000+ Students
The most popular course being offered at a discount on Groupon, International Academy is currently offeing a TESOL which is functionally the same as a TEFL. A TESL is a “teach English to speakers of other languages” and is designed to teach a countries native language to new immigrants where a TEFL is designed to teach English as a foreign language.
Because of this slight distinction, we suggest the Full Circle course of the three. You can visit International Open Academy’s website here.
Proper Accredited TEFL Course
Now for the proper, expensive course we suggest that are actually accredited. Again, if you’re looking for cheap these course are not for you. But to help you make a purchase decision you should be aware of them.
International TEFL is our favorite provider for those who are looking to go on an adventure abroad. They do however offer online TEFL courses if that is more your speed.
Free TEFL Certificate Conclusion
So that is it for your various options for obtaining a free TEFL certificate. The truth is that you can’t actually get a TEFL certificate for free, but there are numerous affordable options you can take advantage of right now that will help you meet any sort of requirement for teaching English online. We suggest the Full Circle course as the budget friendly option: