How To Become A Certified English Teacher

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I’ve been teaching part-time for quite a while now and I love it! I never thought I could be a teacher let alone that I would enjoy it as much as I do. Therefore, I decided to step up and become a certified teacher! It’s really easy and doesn’t cost you a fortune!

One of my classes in China

Why should you get certified?

There are many good reasons to get a teaching certificate. First of all, the job opportunities rise tremendously and new doors open up for you. Going abroad and working as an English teacher is the dream of many. It’s relatively easy. That’s why there are MANY applicants. The thing is, schools are looking for people who take the job seriously and don’t want to stipe someone’s travel year abroad. You need to be unique and stand out. One way to do that is to have a teaching certificate, such as TEFL.

Secondly, the salary for teachers with experience AND a teaching certificate are much higher. On top of that, most schools provide free housing for their full-timers which are located close or even next to school. Your housing costs are almost 0 (you might have to pay for utilities) and transportation costs are very low!

If you have a teaching certificate, you’re on the safe side. Many countries, including China, require a teaching certificate for issuing a working visa for teachers. However, a lot of schools are bribing local authoroties and give you “fake certificates”. This can be risky and you have to pay a fine or worse if they catch you.


I found a great program by an organization called ITTT. They offer online, in-class and combined TEFL and other courses all over the world. I read lots of positive reviews about ITTT online and gave it a shot. I am going for the 120-hour TEFL with tutor and video course.

This course doesn’t only offer the full 120-hour TEFL in 20 units, but also full tutor support by real English teachers, as well as job guidance after course completion, a letter of recommendation as well as another fully accredited course of your choice (either Business English or Teaching English to children) for completely FREE! You can also go for the 3-in-1 with 120-hour TEFL + Business English and + English for Children.

120-hour TEFL starts at $349 (including one free course), which is lower than most other institutes.

Save 20%

ITTT was so kind to offer a 20% discount for all my readers! Enroll in a course and use dicount code LINDAblog to save 20% on your course! That’s the best deal you can possibly find! You’ll see your discounted price on the ‘thank you page’, right after submission of the application.

Course Review

I’m also doing short review videos on each unit to keep you updated on my progress and the course itself. The TEFL 120-hour course has 20 units which are categorized into strictly grammar units, covering the most important English grammar topics, and classroom/teacher units for the theory of teaching, being a teacher and students. Each unit is around 20 pages long, comes in PDFs and conclude with a test of usually 20 questions about the unit content.

It’s fairly straightforward and easy to work through. They recommend taking 1 Unit per day, which let’s you complete the course in 20 days! However, you can also do more than one unit at a time if you like! It’s all up to you!

Unit 1 Review



Have you taken a TEFL course?


Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.


  1. myhongkonghusband.com on January 14, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I thought about it but all the jobs I’ve seen for English teachers had ‘must be a native English speaker’ so… let’s hope one day people in Asia will want to learn Polish 😀 but I totally understand that, I would prefer my child to learn from a (qualified) native speaker too. good luck with your course!

    • Linda on January 14, 2015 at 8:21 am

      yes! especially for Korea that is true. But for China, it’s definitely not true. If you are willing to go to a “smaller” chinese city, they will take you 🙂

    • Ruth Elisabeth on January 15, 2015 at 3:16 am

      I know several non-native speakers teaching here in Vietnam.

      Don’t forget non-native speakers have the advantage that you know English grammar well because you learnt it. When I first started teaching nearly 4 years ago, I had to research grammar every time I had to teach a new structure because we were never taught English grammar in British schools. Sure I knew whether a sentence was correct but that didn’t help me to explain it to my students. So, don’t discount yourself as an English teacher just because you’re not a native speaker!

      • Linda on January 15, 2015 at 7:28 am

        definitely true! Even though I am a native speaker, I was born and raised in Germany and went to a normal German school and had to take the same compulsary English classes there where I had to learn grammar etc. So it’s a bonus!

  2. Mélodie on January 14, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Yeah I always wanted to get the TEFL certification. I already found a course at Toronto University, but never got a chance to start it. I think I am afraid that I won’t be a good teacher as my mothertongue is not english. And despite I am using it everyday I’m not sure it’s enough to teach it to other students. Any advice ? Are you a good english speaker? I wish you Good Luck for your 120hours of study !! :’D

    • Ruth Elisabeth on January 15, 2015 at 3:30 am

      Melodie, same as I wrote below, I think non-native speakers can be great language teachers as you’ve been through the experience yourself. You know the language because you’ve studied it (unlike native speakers) and you can even be like a role model to your students ie ‘I did it, so can you’.

  3. Sarawackadoo on January 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Linda! I teach English to children in Jiangxi province. I don’t have my TEFL yet but I’m considered a trainer, not a teacher, and teach preplanned lessons, so that may be why. I’d like to get my TEFL in the future, as I doubt doing preplanned lessons will stay challenging for to long. How long will your sale code last?

    • Linda on January 15, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Great! There is no expiry date at the moment!

  4. Dimitris Vlachos on April 11, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Very interesting read. As most people know, a TEFL is not a prerequisite to teaching English in China, but it does help, can influence salary, and will definitely be a huge factor at certain institutions and regions. As with everything around deciding to teach in China, it depends on what you’re looking for. The most important thing, is to get all of the information needed, and I would always recommend getting this from one, credible source. For anyone interested in starting this fantastic journey, for all the information and resources, I would highly recommend https://blog.movinhand.com/work-abroad/teaching-english-in-china. All the best, Dimi.

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