What are the TEFL levels?

If you have already done some research into TEFL courses you might have noticed that they are usually given a level that places it somewhere on the hierarchy of available courses. This type of organization makes it much easier for teachers to compare different courses and to choose the best options to suit their own situation. However, the first thing to make clear about TEFL course levels is that there is not just one framework, as many countries and individual teaching organizations have developed their own versions. Despite this, the vast majority of frameworks are designed using the same type of criteria, which means that most are very similar in design. Although each framework might vary slightly, most are constructed based on the type of study, the hours involved, whether they are part time or full time, and whether there is any practical training element. TEFL courses can typically be placed in levels from 1 to 8.

The ITTT course-level framework

When choosing a TEFL certification course we know it is very helpful to be able to compare different courses with others from our portfolio, as well as with other course providers. To ensure this is an easy and clear process we have put together our own course-level framework which ranks all of our course options. We currently have courses ranging from level 3 up to level 7.

Take a look at our course levels page for full details.

Level 3 TEFL courses

TEFL courses that are rated as level 3 or below are generally seen as short-format courses that are not enough on their own to secure full-time teaching jobs. Courses at this level are mostly aimed at people who want an insight into EFL teaching or are planning to volunteer or work as a teaching assistant. At ITTT we have three courses at level 3 that are known as specialized TEFL courses as they focus on unique areas of teaching that are popular in different parts of the world. These courses are designed to build on the knowledge gained from a standard level 4 TEFL course and to give you a wider choice of potential jobs. Our three level 3 TEFL courses are:

  • The course in teaching English online (CTEO)
  • The course in teaching English to young learners (CTEYL)
  • The course in teaching business English (CTBE)

Level 4 TEFL courses

Although it is not set in stone, most employers of first-time EFL teachers prefer their candidates to have completed a minimum of a level 4 TEFL course. Courses at this level require at least 100 hours of study to complete and cover a wide range of subjects including English grammar, classroom management, teaching methodologies, etc. At level 4 we have our most popular course, the 120-hour TEFL certification course which includes more than enough content to satisfy most employers.

Level 5 TEFL courses

While a level 4 course is usually sufficient when applying for most entry-level teaching jobs, trainees who complete a higher level will have a clear advantage in the job market. A level 5 TEFL certification will really help you to stand out from the crowd, particularly when applying for jobs in the more popular areas. Our 170-hour TEFL course with online specialization has been specifically designed for people who think they might want to try online English teaching at some point in their teaching career. You first cover all the basic skills and knowledge by working through the 120-hour course and then move onto a 50-hour specialized course that takes an in-depth look at the world of online teaching.

Also at level 5 is our 220-hour Master Package. As above, this option begins with the 120-hour course, which is followed by two specialized courses in teaching young learners and teaching business English.

Level 6 TEFL courses

Courses at this level and above are generally considered to be at an advanced level of study. At level 6 we provide the 370-hour Diploma in TESOL. This is primarily a researched based course that results in a high-level certification that will impress employers in every type of teaching environment. This level of course is usually expected when applying for management level positions and jobs within prestigious schools and colleges.

Level 7 TEFL courses

At level 7, the highest level we currently offer, we have the 550-hour Expert Package. This option is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to start their teaching career at a higher level than most other teachers. With this bundle you get six courses to work on at your own pace: 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.