General TEFL Questions

What is the difference between ESL and EFL?

English as a Second Language (ESL) describes the study or teaching of English to non-native speakers who live in an English-speaking country.

English as a Foreign Language (EFL) describes the study or teaching of English to non-native speakers who live in a non-English-speaking country.

What's the difference between TEFL, TESOL and TESL?

There are several different acronyms relating to teaching English. In general, however, they all refer to teaching English to students for whom English is not their first language. As such, while the terms are different, the teaching methods and techniques have little or no differences. The main difference is where the teaching takes place:

TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
TEFL involves teaching English to students whose first language is not English, in a non-native English speaking country.
TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language.
TESL involves teaching English to students whose first language is not English, in an English-speaking country.
TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

A more updated term that encompasses both TEFL and TESL, widely recognised worldwide.
TEFL and TESOL tend to be used interchangeably in practice.

What do these terms and acronyms mean?

In the world of teaching English abroad, a wide variety of terms and acronyms are used. In truth, many of these acronyms are virtually synonymous with one another. Practically speaking, having either a TEFL or a TESOL certification essentially enables native English speakers to teach English in a variety of foreign countries. Each country may have its own specific certification requirements, although experience can be an influencing factor when it comes to job placement.
TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language
This applies where English is learned and taught in an environment where English is not the first language. Examples: China, Norway, Thailand.

TESL Teaching English as a Second Language
This applies to situations where English is learned and taught in an environment where English is used on a daily basis as either an official or unofficial second language. Examples: India, Singapore, UK immigrants.

TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
This term is used for both the TEFL and TESL situations, where students' first language is not English. Some TESOL training courses also offer courses relating specifically to teaching English to children of seventeen years or under.

ESL English as Second Language
This term is now widely used in situations where English is taught to non-native speakers in a native English-speaking country. Examples: U.S.A. and New Zealand.

ELT English Language Teaching
This is a general term for the teaching of English in any of the mentioned learning situations.

ESP English for Special Purposes
This term is used for the particular English required for special situations. Examples include English required for business situations, for academic purposes, or in the tourism industry. Some TESOL training courses contain ESP modules.

EYL English for Young Learners

CELTA Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults

What is the Cambridge ESOL Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT)?

Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) is a test that focuses on the teaching knowledge and skills needed by teachers of primary, secondary or adult learners of English, anywhere in the world. It boosts teachers' confidence, and provides the skills needed for career development, and consequently, job prospects.

The Cambridge ESOL TKT is divided into separate modules. You can take them all, or just choose the ones that meet your needs.

The TKT is an externally accredited, internationally recognised teaching certification. It is awarded by the Cambridge ESOL examining body (formerly UCLES).

Who should take the TKT?

The TKT is suitable for all teachers, whatever their background and teaching experience. It is also beneficial for those who are planning to teach but might not have experience yet. Awarded by Cambridge ESOL, the TKT is internationally recognised, highly respected and a benchmark for quality. This is an excellent addition to your TEFL/TESOL certificate course as it serves to increase confidence and enhance employment prospects, and of course, earning potential.
Our course prepares you for the Teacher Knowledge Test (TKT), which you may choose to sit if you wish to add to your teaching C.V/ resumé.

Do I need to sit the TKT exam to get the TEFL qualification?

No, it's an optional extra to sit the TKT exam. It's not mandatory; preparation for the Cambridge ESOL TKT is an added benefit to you, as a TEFLINK student. By completing your TEFL training course, you have an opportunity to further your teaching qualifications and enhance your teaching CV / resumé.

To be awarded with a TEFLINK certificate you must successfully complete all units and modules on your chosen course with a minimum pass mark of 55%.

Requirements to do the TEFLINK course

Do I have to be a native English speaker?

No you don't. TEFLINK trains people to become English teachers from countries around the world. You need to be fluent in English, both written and spoken. We recommend that all TEFLINK trainee teachers have CAE level (Cambridge Advanced English) as a minimum. You can take your test here.

You should meet the following requirements:
- Have CAE (Cambridge Advanced English) level  
- High School Diploma or equivalent
- Have the ability to examine language
- Be able to write a brief English essay

We have successfully trained native and non-native English speakers with different backgrounds.

What are the requirements needed to do the TEFLINK course?

To complete a TEFLINK course you will need to have a high command of the English language. If you are a non-native English speaker you need to be a fluent speaker, comfortable and confident in written and spoken English. Although there are no formal prerequisites, we recommend that you are at least at CAE (Cambridge Advanced English) level.

You can take your test here.

It is important to note that it is not mandatory to hold a degree to complete a TEFLINK course or to work successfully as an English teacher. Some employers may require a Bachelor's degree in certain countries where it is a government regulation to issue the correct work visa.

Studying with TEFLINK

Are TEFLINK courses accredited?

Yes they are, all of the courses in the TEFLINK range are independently accredited by ACCREDITAT. This means that you can study with TEFLINK in confidence, knowing that all of our courses have been assessed and verified as being of high quality. You’re TEFLINK certificate will contain the ACCREDITAT logo and you’ll also be eligible to obtain a second certificate from ACCREDITAT if you choose to.

When do I start the course?

After registration on our website, you will receive a confirmation email with a link. You will be able to activate your account using the link provided. If you are not able to start the course immediately, do not click on the activation link until you are ready to begin your training. You will be able to activate your account during the 12 months following account registration.

How much time do I have to complete the course?

When your account has been activated you will have 75 days to complete the course. You can study at your own pace, as long as you complete the course within the time period provided.

How quickly can I finish the course?

One of the benefits of completing an online course is the flexibility that it gives you as the student. You can dedicate as much time as you like to your studying or take your time over the full study period. On average, TEFLINK students spend 8 weeks completing their training course. The time is counted as calendar days, so you can login to your coursework any time. If you successfully finish the course before your study period is over, your course material will be available to you until it reaches 75 days and your access expires.

What if I can't finish my course in the allocated time?

You will be able to apply for a study extension to your account to enable you to finish your studies. There are a variety of study extension periods to choose from, depending on your needs. If your time expires, no previous work will be lost. You can view extension fees and apply an extension to your account directly from your online course. Alternatively, you can also contact Customer Care directly to check what the best value study extensions are. Click here to contact us.

How can I book a TEFLINK course?

The easiest way is online: Click here to view the range of TEFL courses that we offer and click Buy Now beside the course that is most suitable for you. You will be redirected to complete the registration form, after which you will be taken to the payment page to complete your purchase.

You can also contact us by phone and speak to one of our advisors on 44 (0)845 5480 039.

From time to time we run exciting course promotions, to check what current offers are available contact us.

Your course account can be activated immediately after registration. If you decide to activate your account at this point, click the link on the confirmation email and you will receive instant access.

What are the available methods of payment?

Payments can be made directly on the TEFLINK website, via PayPal invoice or over the phone.
You can use a credit/debit card or pay with a PayPal account.
If you require any assistance feel free to contact us.

When will I receive my course materials?

All course material will be provided to you as soon as you activate your account. You will find all the study materials required to complete the course within your coursework and you will also have access to audio files and videos.

Do I have to follow a specific structure?

No you don't. You can follow the structure provided in your module listings or you can choose sections of the course to tackle first. Students have a great deal of flexibility when completing a TEFLINK course. You have the option to navigate through sections of the course to read ahead and also the ability to return to previously completed sections for review.

Do I need to be aware of any technical requirements?

It is necessary to have a strong and reliable broadband internet connection. There are audio files and videos that you can access as part of your training. Our materials are suitable for both PCs and Macs. TEFLINK courses are not compatible with mobile devices. For tablets you need to make sure that you are able to download Flash Player. We recommend using a fast web browser such Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and also to be sure to download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. You will also need Adobe Reader to be able to download your pdf certificate.

Is it possible to work on my course from anywhere?

Yes. You can complete the course from anywhere that you have strong and reliable broadband internet connection.

What support will I receive during the course?

TEFLINK has a dedicated Customer Support Team made up of professionals who are always available to answer all your queries. This team is supported by our Academic Team and our Technical Team for individual and specific queries.

A personal tutor will be assigned to you to answer your questions and support you during the course regarding queries related to course content.

The tutor response time will depend on the complexity of the query, normally the time period it is between 24 to 48 hours.

To find all the different options to get in touch with us and our working hours, please click here.

What can I expect from the program?

TEFLINK courses range from introductory 20-hour certificates to our Master 140-hour TEFL certificate.
You will study the following topics: ESL/EFL teaching methodology; classroom management; language awareness including grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation; lesson planning.

For those courses where you have the option of choosing the specialist units, you will be prepared with extra skills to improve your knowledge of teaching in specific circumstances.

The most comprehensive TEFLINK courses will fully prepare students for the Cambridge ESOL Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT). Awarded by Cambridge ESOL, the TKT is internationally recognised, highly respected and a benchmark for quality. This is an excellent addition to your TEFL/TESOL certificate course and will greatly enhance your job prospects, confidence and even your earning potential.

It is recommended that students complete a minimum of 100 hours of TEFL training to meet employers' job requirements across Europe and Asia. The more training you undertake, the better prepared you will be for the classroom while enhancing your job prospects.

To view more information on the full range of TEFLINK courses click here.

What's the difference in the amount of hours training that I take?

Often, choosing which TEFL course to take is related to how you're going to use your qualification. If you are planning to teach as a volunteer in your local community or in a developing country, then a course between 20 and 60 hours may be adequate. However, if you plan to leave your home country to secure a paid TEFL job in a non-English speaking country, a minimum of 100 hours training is recommended. By taking a more comprehensive course you will gain more skills and teaching confidence while becoming a better teacher too.

How is my work assessed?

You will be continually assessed as you progress during your selected course.

All assessments are completed online and you will be continually assessed when completing the activities throughout the course. There is no final exam as part of TEFLINK courses. By successfully passing all components of your course with a minimum average score of 55% for each unit, you will gain your internationally recognised certificate at the end.

Your overall mark will equate to one of the following certificate levels, which will appear on your certificate:
Pass: 55%-64%
Pass Plus: 65%- 74%
Merit: 75%- 84%
Distinction: 85%

Is there an exam at the end of the course?

There is no final exam as part of TEFLINK courses, so by successfully passing all components, you will gain your internationally recognised TEFL certificate at the end.

Do your certificates have the word 'online' on them?

No, the word 'online' is not stated on your TEFLINK certificate. Your certificate will detail the course name and number of hours of TEFL training that you have done.

When will I receive my certificate?

After you have passed all units (and all pages of the coursework are saved) you will be able to request your certificate.

Certificate requests normally take 2 working days to be approved and issued. Once approved you will be able to download and print your pdf certificate directly from your training account. Once you have received the pdf copy of your certificate you will be able to order a hardcopy version of your certificate for a small P&P fee from the Secretary section.

Does my TEFL certification expire?

No. Your TEFL certificate will not expire; it is a lifetime qualification.

Can I still teach if I don't know the foreign language?

Yes you can. You will be sought after as a native English speaker or a fluent non-native speaker who is qualified to teach English. You will apply for jobs in English, be interviewed in English and teach using English. In some cases employers prefer it if their foreign teachers can't speak another language as it means that only English will be used in the classroom. If you wish to learn some of the local language to enhance your social life, this will certainly be beneficial but many TEFL teachers complete teaching contracts abroad without learning a new language.

Where can I find your terms and conditions?

To read our terms and conditions click here.

Does my TEFL account expire?

No, you will always have access to your TEFLINK account. Your TEFL course study time will expire 75 days from the date of activation, however this is the only section of your TEFL account that has restricted access. If you haven't completed your course within this time, you can purchase a study time extension to continue with your training. None of your course work will be lost if your study time expires, and once you extend your study time you'll be able to pick up where you left off. On completion of your course you will be able to visit your TEFL account at any time with your unique login details.

What does it mean to have an embossed certificate?

All hardcopy certificates that are ordered from TEFLINK are embossed with the TEFLINK logo. This stamp on your certificate helps employers to identify that your TEFL certificate is an original copy and authentic.

Can TEFLINK organise to have my certificate notarised or Apostilled?

Once you have completed your TEFL course and are applying for teaching jobs abroad, you may be asked to have some documents notarised or Apostille stamped. These services are offered by the Dept of Foreign Affairs / Embassy (Apostille Stamps) and by registered Notary Public officers (Notarisation). A Notary Public us usually a practicing solicitor.
It is a straightforward process to organise either an Apostille stamp or to have a Notary Public notarise your documents and it is something that you can easily organise yourself.

Can I get an overview of my course modules and the scores I got?

Yes, this is called a course transcript and it can be ordered from your TEFL training account once you have been issued with your pdf TEFL certificate. The transcript will detail all of the course components that were completed in order for you to receive your TEFL qualification. The score that you received in each module will be recorded as a percentage mark on the downloadable course transcript, you will be emailed this within 3 working days of your order.