As the generally accepted minimum standard for mainstream teaching jobs is a level 4 qualification, a level 3 certificate alone would not be considered enough to teach English. However, before you make any decisions on which course to take it is best to be fully informed about the different course levels available. Once you have digested all the information below regarding course levels you should be ready to pick the right one to suit your current situation and your future plans.
What are the different levels of TEFL certification?
One important factor regarding TEFL course levels is that there are many different frameworks out there for ranking them. Many countries, regions, organizations, and course providers have their own system for ranking the available courses. However, despite the many frameworks, most are designed using the same criteria such as the number of study hours and whether any practical training is involved. The ITTT framework has been designed using similar criteria, which means you can compare our courses against each other and against other similar courses you might come across.
The ITTT framework runs from level 3 to level 7. Take a look at our course levels page for more details.
What is a level 3 TEFL qualification?
On their own, level 3 TEFL courses are not typically enough to satisfy most employers who are trying to fill mainstream teaching positions. Courses at this level are usually designed for people who are looking for an insight into teaching, want to work as teaching assistants, or those who plan to work in a voluntary capacity. Level 3 courses can also be additional short-format courses that cover specialist areas of teaching. By adding one or more of these to your portfolio you can greatly increase your teaching knowledge and your options in the employment market. At ITTT we offer three of these specialized courses that are best taken once you have completed an initial level 4 certificate or above:
- The course in teaching English online (CTEO)
- The course in teaching English to young learners (CTEYL)
- The course in teaching business English (CTBE)
Should I take a level 4 TEFL instead?
If you want to be able to realistically apply for regular teaching jobs in respected schools and language centers, or for popular online platforms, you should complete at least a level 4 TEFL certification course. A level 4 course such as ITTT’s 120-hour TEFL certificate is seen as the equivalent of a first-year university course and is welcomed by employers all over the world as it actually exceeds the minimum of 100 study hours that most are looking for. This is our most popular course as it can be completed in a realistic timeframe and at an affordable price.
What about higher level courses?
Although a level 4 course is seen as the minimum requirement by most employers, teachers with even higher levels will certainly get noticed during the job application process. At level 5 we offer two popular courses that you might want to consider, depending on your future plans. The 170-hour TEFL course with online specialization includes the initial 120-hour course plus an extra 50-hour course that focuses on the unique areas of teaching English online (CTEO). The 220-hour Master Package also starts with the 120-hour course and is followed by two specialized courses: the CTBE and the CTEYL.
If you like the idea of adding an advanced-level course to your CV/resume, then our level 6 course could be perfect for you. The 370-hour Diploma in TESOL course is a great option for anyone who wants to start their teaching career at a high level, as well as practicing teachers who have already gained some classroom experience and are ready to move up the employment ladder. Once again, you first complete the initial 120-hour course and then move onto the advanced diploma section.
For our most advanced course option look no further than our level 7 550-hour Expert Package. With this great value for money course you get six components that are guaranteed to give you the very best start to a teaching career possible. Not only will this option look good on paper at the start of your teaching career, it will also come in very handy further down the line when you are ready to start applying for management type roles. The six components are: The 120-hour TEFL course, the 50-hour CTBE, the 50-hour CTEYL, the 50-hour CTEO, the Diploma in TESOL, and an optional teaching practice component.