Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate (TEFL)

Contac the TEFL Coordinator

Sarah Springsteen 785-670-2093



What is ESL?
  ESL stands for “English as a Second Language.” It refers to learning English when it is not the learner’s native language. This is akin to learning any foreign language, such as Japanese to non-Japanese speakers or French to Italians.

What is TEFL?  TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language.”  A TEFL Certificate allows the participant to teach English as a foreign language in applicable situations.

TESOL, TESL, TEFL: What’s the difference?  TESOL, TESL, and TEFL refer to similar but distinct disciplines. TESL practitioners focus their skills on teaching English to people in English speaking environments. TEFL practitioners focus on teaching English to people in non-English speaking environments. TESOL practitioners maneuver in both scenarios. 

TEFL Certificates

Do all TEFL courses offer teacher recruitment?  No.  Some programs offer assistance and others do not.  Each individual program should be investigated for the opportunities they offer.

Do I need to know a foreign language?  Knowing another language is always helpful, especially to understand where your students will be coming from in their study, but it is not required.  Knowledge of the structures of the languages that your students are coming from will be the most helpful in anticipating challenges they may face.

Does age matter?  There is no specific minimum age required to required to begin the certificate, but it is highly recommended for students with some college coursework due to its academic rigor.  Working professionals at any age are welcome to apply.

Can I make a career out of TEFL?  Yes!  Many have made unique and successful careers teaching English abroad. Those entering the program can hope to teach abroad for only one year, a few years, or for the rest of their lives focusing on travel and work.


Washburn-CIEE TEFL Online

How much does the Washburn-CIEE TEFL Certificate cost?  The total cost of the program is $1000.

How long does it take most people to complete the course?  On average it takes around 3 months to complete the course. Times may vary slightly based on necessity.

Is there a time limit? Does the course expire?  Students are expected to complete the online coursework within the 11-week timeline and finish their 20 hours of practice teaching within 30 days of the course’s completion. Access to the course itself will end one month after the practicum deadline, but the certificate does not expire.

What are the available methods of payment?  Credit card – electronic or paper payments accepted (MasterCard or Visa), Check by mail only. The majority of applicants pay with a credit card on their electronic application.

What type of computer/device do I need to use to do TEFL online?  TEFL is compatible with most devices (PC, Mac, etc.). Personal computer or laptop is recommended over a tablet. Suitable browsers with Canvas are Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and usually Firefox. Safari is NOT compatible with Canvas. The mobile application for Canvas will limit the students’ ability to access some presentations on the course; using a browser is highly recommended.

Can I download the course content?  Yes, all presentations, resources, and unit summaries are available in .doc or .pdf form. Students can download this independently.