CIEE Online TEFL Certification Courses

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About

Teaching English to non-native speakers is essential now more than ever. Both at home and abroad, the necessity for English teachers is growing daily. Getting TEFL certified means greater job opportunity in your hometown, as well as the promise of adventure abroad. With CIEE, the leader in international education and exchange since 1947, you get the support and knowledge of over 70 years of experience as well as access to the resources of over 350,000 alumni across the world.

CIEE currently offers 3 different online TEFL courses:
  • (11 weeks) Online Professional Certificate including 20-hours practicum teaching -- for $1,000
  • Self-Paced Intro to TEFL certificate -- for $300
  • (3 weeks) Age Specific TEFL Certificate -- for $270
What makes CIEE TEFL unique?
  • Accredited by the World TEFL Accrediting Commission, and peer-reviewed annually by professors of Linguistics employed at US Universities
  • Feedback from your tutor and peers via video comments, weekly emails, and a weekly live virtual tutorial with your classmates
  • Access to the CIEE Alumni Network – a global matrix of 350,000+ professionals
Interested in a CIEE Destination TEFL program?
Highlights
  • Support and guidance from CIEE staff in Portland, Maine.
  • Small class size (13 or fewer).
  • Personalized attention and weekly tutorials from your tutor.
  • Alumni network of over 350,000 across the globe.
  • Job opportunities both at home and abroad.

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Questions & Answers

Hi Victor! Yes - as Joanna said, you are expected to find your own practicum in your area. I found it intimidating at first but it is actually a great way to prep you for the job hunt that is ahead of you. CIEE's list is a good starting point but don't limit yourself to it, I am sure you will find plenty of schools, non-profits that work with immigrants, churches, etc. in your area that will be...
Mostly yes. There is a weekly online meeting with your teacher, and you can select from a variety of appropriate times. Also, they want you to keep pace with the class, so that you'll do roughly one module per week. There is also a final date when the practicum is due. However you can do the course at your convenience, and whenever you have available time.

Reviews

88%
based on 48 reviews
  • Benefits 8.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 6.7
  • Facilities 7.2
  • Safety 8.4
  • Instruction 9
  • Support 9.7
  • Value 8.1
  • Difficulty 7.2
  • Job Assistance 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 48
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Hunter
8/10

Great Introduction to Teaching!

Overall, I thought this was a good course, especially if you had limited experience with teaching. There were many times throughout the course that I wished I had been able to take it before I started my teaching degree! It was extremely thorough and covered many aspects of teaching. It created a strong foundation from which a student can enter the classroom to become a teacher.

The class was also extremely well organized. Each week, students are expected to complete a module, which is comprised of 4-5 units. Each unit builds both skills and theoretical knowledge to increase the confidence of the TEFL trainee before they enter the classroom. The modules range in topics from the origins of English, to classroom management, to how to apply for a job once you have your certificate.

Online courses can be challenging for communication, but this course made this easy. The instructors were extremely helpful and prompt in responses.Every week there is a tutorial that students attend to discuss the course content. This was a great way to get feedback on your ideas in real time. Also, there are many discussion boards to talk about the course with your peers.

How can this program be improved?
The only downside of this program is it takes a long time to complete. I found myself spending 8-10 hours per week on the coursework. When working or attending college, this can create unnecessary stress.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sebastian
10/10

No Regrets

Going into this program, I knew there were cheaper options to attain a certificate in TEFL. However, the experience was really invaluable--having zero teaching experience before, I now feel fully confident to teach on my own. This course covers everything, from the basics of grammar to planning your lessons, and as I went with the 150-hour program, it also includes a mandatory 20 hours of practicum. This is absolutely necessary if you want to feel prepared to teach.

For it's price, CIEE was worth every penny. And I would absolutely do this all again if I had to--rather than waste a few hundred on a pointless scrap of paper, I made a worthwhile investment for my future. The teachers were absolutely fantastic, the lessons were very clear, and the course itself was not hard so long as you follow the directions, take good notes, and follow the admittedly-tight schedule. It's an intensive course, but if you want to feel confident and be certified in only a few weeks, then I cannot recommend a better course!

How can this program be improved?
My only suggestion is that I never felt like I had enough time to do all of the homework--the deadlines were close together and a little confusing to keep track of. I was never late on work, but writing a paper every week was difficult, especially as we only really had three days (as the video instructions were on Monday, and they were due Wednesday night) to complete them. On top of having daily units, most of which had their own graded test, this ended up being a lot of coursework. The amount was fine, but the time constraints were difficult. I would have rather had the weekly papers due on the weekend as opposed to Wednesday night.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jordan
9/10

Excellent place to get an affordable, and enjoyable TEFL course

Almost everything about CIEE is amazing, I had and almost entirely positive experience. The customer support is phenomenal, and these days you'd be hard pressed to find people who are as responsive and helpful with your concerns. I even got personal emails from higher-ups helping me with my situation. I'm pretty skeptical since most of my customer service experience has been bad, but this certainly changed my perspective entirely. Getting my certificate at the end of the course has taken a bit longer than I would have liked, but I will update this review if it comes soon. This class is easy, too. I was already taking almost a full courseload when I had this TEFL, and I still had plenty of time to study and keep an A grade. They say you need 3 hour a day, Mon-Fri to be successful, but that's a bit of an exaggeration. I needed only about 1.5 hours or less for each module, and I don't think I spent more than 6-7 hours a week on this course. Every experience is different, however, so that's just my two cents. It's also important to keep in mind that this is VERY cheap for a TEFL. Most TEFL courses will run you about $1,200 on the low end, especially for online courses.

I HIGHLY recommend CIEE's TEFL course. I can't imagine having done it anywhere else. I learned a ton, and I felt like I was treated very well, all things considered.

How can this program be improved?
My only concern was that the price for their programs was insanely high. They were asking for $2,300 to do my recruiting for EPIK Korea, when the majority of recruiters do all of it for free. There was also a $50 application fee, but I assume that is normal everywhere. I applied to EPIK myself to save money (recruiters are only a good idea if this will be your first experience living abroad, and I've already done it a few times). Please, do NOT pay that much money to any recruiting business to place you for a job. Places like EPIK Korea, for example, have recruiters that they endorse which will do it for free. A bit of patience and research goes a long way, and you can avoid unnecessary costs when you're tight for cash while moving abroad.
Yes, I recommend
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Emily
9/10

Worthwhile TEFL course!!

I graduated this past May with an Elementary Education degree. I LOVE to travel and had heard about people’s experiences teaching abroad. With so many TEFL certifications/programs out there, I felt a bit lost until I found CIEE. CIEE has helped me secure a job in Hanoi, Vietnam and their online TEFL course worked great with my schedule. I was able to work part time and complete this course. Although it can be demanding at times, it’s well worth it! Even though I studied Education in college, this course has taught me a TON when it comes to developing lessons for ESL students. This course provides tons of resources that has definitely prepared me to teach English confidently.

Yes, I recommend
Eli
9/10

TEFL Certificate

This course was phenomenal in preparing me for my TEFL career. It covered all aspects of modern EFL teaching along with the hows and the whys. The assignments helped me build from no-experience to planning my own lessons targeted at specific learners, and the platform allowed for great interaction with my peers. After completion I feel prepared for all sorts of challenges in the classroom. I would definitely recommend this course, especially if you have little to no teaching background before hand.

Yes, I recommend
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Joanna
10/10

150-hour Course

This was an excellent course that provided me with a solid foundation as a future EFL teacher. Having little to no prior experience with teaching and education, I really feel like I learned everything I needed to know in order to start teaching English. The course is well-structured and easy to follow, and prepares you well to complete the weekly assignment. The information is presented in a very accessible way and staff/the tutor are always there to help you with anything, be it a technological problem or questions about the material/an assignment. The 'Practicum' aspect of this course is especially valuable as it allows you to observe how the concepts you have learned play out in real life, and also gives you a chance to put into practice what you have learned about teaching. I can say that this course is certainly worth the cost, and will provide you with a fun and enriching learning experience!

How can this program be improved?
There are only a few things I can talk about here. First off, I would have appreciated some more details about homework (what kind to hand out, when, etc.) and spending a little more time on discipline and problem behavior. Second, it would have been nice to have a student-only forum (or some kind of space) where we could just chat, share experiences/struggles, etc. Third, during the tutorials I would have liked to spend a little more time going over and really reviewing the material for the week/discussing the material - while the mini-assignments were interesting, I often felt pressed for time when trying to complete them. Lastly, the course would likely benefit from a little editing (spelling, updating pages/content, etc.). Overall, however, none of these factors were highly detrimental to the course as a whole.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Katelyn
10/10

Highly Recommended!

This course was extensive, challenging and surpassed my expectations. I appreciated how the material was presented to benefit all learning styles and how assignments were dynamic and lively. Each module also came with a slew of outside resources to take advantage of -- a major time saver for those of us who hate scouring the internet for resources! Excellent course for all learners. You won't be disappointed!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
James Daniel
9/10

CIEE-TEFL Course

CIEE-TEFL was recommended to me by the teacher of ESL I was assisting as a volunteer. I was attracted to it because it is relatively inexpensive and it’s fast, just 10½ weeks. As it is online, I could do the work on my schedule and around other commitments. This doesn’t mean the course is easy, though. There are five weekly lessons, each of which requires careful attention (I made outlines as I went along). Each week also includes a graded assignment, a “Let’s Discuss” session, and a tutorial. This was my first online experience.
CIEE does a great job presenting the material and drawing the students together to create a true classroom atmosphere. Classes are small. The tutor (teacher) was experienced, helpful, encouraging, and supportive. Between the discussion sessions, the online tutorial conferences, and the peer reviews we did of each other’s work, I felt as if I knew my classmates personally. I know I will be keeping in touch with some of them.
The course is thorough. It covers language-teaching theory and history, English vocabulary and grammar, classroom mechanics, online research, and so much more. Most of my classmates had never taught before, but nothing could prepare them better for their first teaching jobs than the CIEE-TEFL course.

How can this program be improved?
The program could benefit from some editing. This is a minor criticism. Overall, the program is excellent.
Yes, I recommend
Ben
9/10

Excellent Course

I really enjoyed the CIEE 150-hour Certification Course; the instruction was excellent and highly personal. There were ten tutorials over "video chat" (each 45-60 minutes) and for each major assignment, the tutor provided individual written and video-recorded feedback. At times, I felt that the software was overly advanced; several minutes of each tutorial were spent navigating technological difficulties and I had a few problems submitting assignments (however, for the latter part, the tutor was very responsive and understanding of these technological problems). The course is fairly expensive but I think it is highly useful for those pursuing jobs as EFL teachers.

How can this program be improved?
I would suggest that the tutor (instructor) speak to the class over video but that all participants respond and interact by chat (written messages), as this would require much less broadband and would allow for people to really participate even if their WiFi connections are weak. This change would likely save several minutes of each tutorial spent trying to navigate around technological difficulties.
Yes, I recommend
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David
8/10

Confidence Builder

Getting into the classroom as a teacher can be a scary thing, but the CIEE TEFL course helped build my confidence pre-departure and help me learn the fundamentals of teaching. Of course, there is no learning experience that can compare to actually being on the job- but the course helped me walk in confidently and feel ready to teach. I'd recommend this course to anyone who has limited experience formally teaching and feels the need to really learn about the basics.

Yes, I recommend
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Nathan
10/10

The staff was very helpful

All the support staff and tutors were very helpful. My overseas coordinators were very helpful in helping me land a job in China and answer any questions I had during the application process. My tutor for the TEFL training course was very nice. His grading policies were fair and he answered my questions in a timely fashion. The deadline for all assignments was reasonable. Make sure to stay up to date on the discussion boards and don't wait to the last minute on assignments.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Margaret
9/10

Great prep

The best part of the CIEE TEFL course is the support from CIEE itself, the tutor, and fellow classmates. Because it's all online, it can be hard to stay engaged, but the powerpoints and virtual tutors are actually very helpful and keep your attention. I recommend tuning in to the weekly video conferences because it's a great way to get feedback and the tutor I had was really capable and great at explaining concepts.
As someone who does not have a teaching background, this course was a perfect way to prepare to teach in a classroom. I am definitely more confident now and have so many resources, activities, lesson plans, and tips for what I'll face as a teacher.
While it is a bit expensive, it's clear that a lot of effort goes into making the course valuable and worthwhile. Great preparation!

How can this program be improved?
More ways for students to interact with each other would improve the outcome for everyone.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rachel
9/10

TEFL before traveling! TEFL before teaching!

I have never taken a course so applicable to my everyday live as a teacher. The material was engaging and interesting even on the web! Before even going to teach English specifically it helped me recognize trends in native speakers in my own classroom. You leave this course with a portfolio of lessons and helpful feedback on each one. Now teaching English to non-native speakers I refer to my material daily and utilize all of the skills we learned. I have had teachers who did not take the TEFL course ask for the notes I use, and got from these presentations. I have gotten so many good ideas from my colleagues by doing peer reviews in this class. And I have received many helpful tips on my ideas as well. This course doesn't just give you information and send you out into English teaching, it provides you a chance to practice it as well. Also if you are somewhere where you don't know the native language you have helpful tips for learning a second language of your own!

I have never been a good online student, I thrive on connections made by talking to people in person, I find it difficult to get those online. I get distracted by silly things on the internet and tech problems are beyond frustrating to me. I had grim hopes going into this online Tefl course, and I was totally wrong.

TEFL give you a community, something I never felt in other online courses. Being in a foreign place teaching a foreign language can feel isolating. Some days are incredibly hard this course gives you a community of people all over the world that are doing the same thing as you, you are not alone! And while different countries will have differences being able to get advice and help from your tutor and colleagues is so helpful.

Yes, I recommend
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Spencer
8/10

A must-have for anyone who wants to teach English as a Foreign Language

I took this course as preparation for teaching English in Spain, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to teach English as a Foreign Language. Not only is the certification incredibly valuable in finding a job, but the class will help you develop as an instructor, as well. The course covers a diversity of topics, ranging from grammar lessons to lesson planning to adapting to culture difference to classroom management. This wide range makes the class apt for both anxious beginning teachers and also veterans looking to hone their skills. The instructor and support staff are all incredibly kind, responsive, and timely, and they always resolved issues as quickly as possible. The most valuable part of this course are the Module Graded Assignments, which give you the opportunity to put together lessons, practice teaching, and get feedback.

How can this program be improved?
At times, the material presented in the slides can become repetitive, but most of it is generally interesting. The discussion boards and weekly live classes also did not promote as much lively conversation as I would have liked, but that may have been a product of the students in my class, so your experience may differ.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rositsa
9/10

Great experience and solid preparation

I really enjoyed being a part of this course and I have to say that it changed my whole perspective on my own learning style and how I viewed teaching in general.

The course is very comprehensive and looks at different aspects of teaching: language understanding, basic grammar, cultural awareness, classroom organization, lesson planning, etc. It was really nice that it combined theory with practical application and gave useful tips and tricks for the classroom. I especially appreciated the live tutorials, it was great to speak to the other students and our tutor in real time - it made me feel like I was a part of a real class to a point where it was sad to say goodbye to everyone at the end of the 11 weeks :)

I liked that I could go through each module at your own pace but you still have deadlines that keep you in check. I work full time and I was able to keep up with the material and assignments each week but when I did the additional readings and research I did end up staying up late at night some of the days, I was so fascinated with everything I was learning. Each module provides a very extensive library of links to articles, videos, blogs and other useful resources which I found very helpful – there is so much about EFL on the web that it’s hard to say which ones are the legit websites.

I did the course without a clear plan in mind and I did not use CIEE’s job placement services, I gave this category a 10 on my rating because they do offer a lifetime job assistance (not placement but guidance) which is amazing and it makes me feel like I am now a part of an exclusive club :) I always thought teaching English as a foreign language was a job I might want to do someday so this certificate course was a perfect fit. I am really happy I did it and I feel confident that now I have the skills and the mindset to be a successful EFL teacher.

How can this program be improved?
In terms of the material presentation, it did feel like it was mostly reading – it was mixed with videos, audio recordings, quizzes, etc. to break it up but I wish there were more interactive pieces to it.

Also, Canva is a great platform but their mobile application is not up to par. I was often on the road and I wish I could have used the app for accessing the module materials and for the live tutorials.
Yes, I recommend

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About CIEE TEFL Programs

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange – world leader in international education and exchange – is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization. For more than 70 years, CIEE has helped thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills...