Choosing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course can be tricky. With so many options available, you might be wondering which program is best for you.
For those who want to go above and beyond basic credentials, a rigorous Level 5 TEFL certification course might be your best bet!
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Generally speaking, TEFL Level 5 courses are some of the most widely recognized and accepted TEFL certifications in the business.
They are more work and are usually more expensive than a standard certification, but you could end up with more job opportunities and a higher salary as a result.
I took my TEFL certification online and it has allowed me to teach English while working and travelling all around the world. Getting certified really is one of the best things I ever did.
This guide will break down the best Level 5 TEFL courses on the market today.
What is a Level 5 TEFL Course?
To be categorized as a TEFL Level 5, the course materials must be regulated by the UK government and must meet higher requirements than standard TEFL certifications.
The governing body that regulates and monitors Level 5 TEFL courses is called The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, or Ofqual.
Usually, level 5 TEFL courses are less expensive than CELTA or TrinityCertTESOL courses, making this an affordable alternative if you want additional training.
The courses must meet rigorous accreditation and regulatory standards.
As I discuss each program below, I’ll share more information about their regulation and accreditation status.
Who Should Take a Level 5 Course?
Level 5 TEFL courses are more advanced than standard TEFL training programs. They require more work and will take longer to complete, but you’ll leave with a deeper knowledge of teaching practices and a higher-level certification.
While a basic TEFL certification will be sufficient for most teaching jobs abroad, having an advanced certification can be helpful if you plan to apply to more competitive positions.
This could help your application stand out and give you more opportunities in the long run.
A Level 5 TEFL course is for you if:
- You want to teach abroad in a country with a competitive teaching market
- You want to apply for higher-level teaching positions abroad
- CELTA and TrinityCertTESOL courses are out of your price range
- You don’t mind spending more time getting a higher-tier TEFL certification
- You want to have a deeper knowledge of TEFL practices and methods
1. The TEFL Academy (top pick for level 5 TEFL course)
The TEFL Academy offers two Level 5 TEFL course options. Both courses are approved and accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (a USA government body) and Ofqual (a UK government body).
These courses are affordable and offer lots of free training, materials, and support. Learn more about the TEFL Academy here, or read on.
Online Level 5 TEFL Course (168-hour)
The online course is a 168-hour TEFL certification that can be completed remotely.
It also includes a free 30-hour top-up course. Students can choose between extra training for business English, teaching young learners, or teaching online.
The course includes modules about:
- Lesson planning
- Teaching vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar
- How to teach listening and reading
- How to teach speaking and writing
- Using materials and resources in the classroom
Because the online Level 5 TEFL course from The TEFL Academy is the same level as a CELTA certification, it will be widely accepted no matter where you hope to teach.
Cost of the 168-Hour Course with The TEFL Academy
The cost is $660 but it’s often discounted on their website (It’s currently 60% off, bringing the cost down to $220).
If the price is an important consideration for you, make sure to check the course description page for the latest price before making a decision.
Your course fee includes the 168-hour TEFL training, a free 30-hour bonus course, 6 months of course access, weekly one-hour webinars, access to the international job board, virtual tutor support, and much more.
Combined Level 5 TEFL Course (168-hour)
The second Level 5 TEFL course you can take with The TEFL Academy is a combination program.
In the combination course, you’ll complete a 148-hour online TEFL training and then participate in a 2-day in-person training session for 20 hours. Your total certification will be for 168 hours of coursework.
Like with the fully online option, participants will also get a free 30-hour specialty course in a subject area of their choosing.
With the combined course, you’ll receive access to your online training materials immediately after you sign up. The TEFL Academy will also give you information about how to sign up for your in-person training days.
During the training days, you’ll get a chance to practice hands-on teaching skills, classroom management, and receive peer feedback.
Cost of the 168-Hour Combined Course with The TEFL Academy
The cost of this course is $1100 but it is often discounted. Right now, it’s discounted to $441. This includes the online TEFL course materials and 20 hours of in-person training spanning two days.
If there aren’t any in-person training centers near you, you might need to account for accommodation and transportation fees as well. Click here to learn more about the available options with the TEFL Academy
2. International TEFL Academy (high-quality Level 5 TEFL)
International TEFL Academy curriculum and courses are regulated by Ofqual and are very high-quality. This is the company I chose for my TEFL certification.
I was able to complete the online Level 5 TEFL course while I was working a full-time job. I was working to save money for travel, and getting a certification for teaching at the same time. I then went on to teach English online for many years, while traveling the world.
There are many things that set ITA apart from other Level 5 TEFL courses, but the main standouts are the guaranteed job search guidance or job placement, and the fact that there’s a sizeable community of alumni students — many of these people have become my best travel friends!
ITA also provides its prospective teachers with an admissions advisor who will help you make decisions and achieve your TEFL goals.
Online Level 5 Courses (4 weeks or 11 weeks)
International TEFL Academy offers two online course options, both of which offer around 170 hours of training. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose the intensive 4-week option or the part-time, 11-week option.
Both of the courses include live office hours with your instructor and peer participation with the other students in the course. You’ll also receive lifetime job search guidance, live practice teaching to get some hands-on experience, and of course, OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK. Learn more about the online courses here.
In-Person Level 5 Courses
If you’re traveling, or are interested in living somewhere, why not take a TEFL course in that destination?! With the International TEFL Academy, you can join a TEFL course in more than 20 destinations around the globe.
Choose from places like Chiang Mai in Thailand, Chicago and New York in the USA, or somewhere in Europe like Barcelona, Florence, or Prague. All offer job search guidance live practicum training and university-level instructors (and much more).
Cost of the Courses with ITA
ITA’s online courses cost between $1,499 and $1,999. Currently, they are discounted by $300. Click here for details about the online level 5 courses. The cost of these 4-week courses varies depending on the location. Click here for details about the in-person Level 5 TEFL courses.
3. i-to-i TEFL
The i-to-i Level 5 TEFL courses are regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council. You can choose from three different certification packages which are explained in detail below.
Online Level 5 TEFL Course (180-hour, 300-hour, or 420-hour)
The 180-hour training from i-to-i TEFL will help you build a strong foundation in teaching while earning a reputable Level 5 TEFL certification.
Designed for people who want to go beyond 180-hours of TEFL training, the 300-hour Level 5 TEFL diploma course is fully online as well. The 300-hour course includes everything in the 180-hour course as well as a 60-hour add-on about teaching business English.
To take it one step further, you can join the 420-hour course (which is their most popular).
Even though all three of these options are online, students will get feedback and support from virtual tutors if needed.
Cost of the 180, 300, and 420 Hour Courses with i-to-i TEFL
Keep in mind that i-to-i TEFL often runs significant discounts on their courses so it’s worth going to their website to see what the current deals are. (For example, at the time I’m writing this, all courses are discounted 70%
4. Premier TEFL
The Level 5 TEFL course by Premier TEFL is regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Distance Learning. Training Qualifications UK has also approved Premier TEFL as a training center.
Premier TEFL’s Level 5 Courses
Premier TEFL offers 180-hour, 240-hour, and 300-hour Level 5 TEFL courses that can be earned completely online.
You will learn about general teaching philosophy as well as how to instruct pupils in grammar, speaking, reading, writing, and pronunciation.
The courses also cover lesson planning tips and how to use teaching resources in your classroom. You’ll walk away from your course feeling more prepared and confident in your teaching abilities.
Plus, you have access to live Zoom classes (if you want), a 30-hour business English course, 10 pre-written lesson plans, and much more.
Cost of the 180-Hour Course with Premier TEFL
The cost is around $670. Check their website for discounts and promotions. They are currently discounted to $200.
5. The TEFL Org
The Level 5 courses offered by The TEFL Org are regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the British Accreditation Council. At this time, they offer a self-paced online course as well as a combination online course with virtual practice sessions.
Level 5 Online Course (168-hour)
The TEFL Org offers a fully online 168-hour TEFL course for a reasonable price.
In addition to providing information about how to teach core concepts to English learners, this course includes entire modules devoted to teaching over the telephone and teaching large classes.
The TEFL Org also includes a module with video observations so you can see how classes look in real life. Several student reviews pointed out how helpful it was to see what they were learning put into practice in real classrooms.
They created this course for students who were seeking deeper TEFL knowledge. While their 120-hour traditional TEFL course is still very popular, this course is a great option for aspiring teachers who want a more rigorous credential.
Cost of the 168-Hour Course with The TEFL Org
The course costs around $650 but is frequently available for a discounted rate on their website. The Level 5 courses are currently 60% off.
Level 5 Combination Course (188-hour)
The TEFL Org also offers a combination online and hands-on course with Level 5 distinction. The unique part about this option is that the hands-on training component can be completed virtually.
While getting to practice teaching skills face to face is ideal, TEFL Org understands that not everyone can take time off for a full-day training.
If you have a busy schedule or don’t live in an area with TEFL training centers nearby, this could be a great way to get some personalized feedback without missing work or spending a ton of money on travel.
When you enroll in the combination course, you’ll receive instant access to the 168-hour online TEFL course mentioned above. You’ll also be able to sign up for an additional 20-hour virtual classroom course.
Virtual classroom courses are offered weekly on a rolling start basis, so you can choose the time and dates that work best for your schedule. You’ll meet over the course of four days for live sessions, so it’s important to make sure you can attend every meeting.
Cost of the 188-Hour Combination Course with The TEFL Org
The combination course costs $749. This includes the full 168-hour online course and the 20-hour virtual classroom component. You’ll also get a reference letter from your virtual classroom teacher. Check the website, as the courses are frequently discounted. The courses are currently 60% off.
6. TEFL Institute of Ireland
This company offers a 180-hour TEFL level 5. They are approved and regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Distance Learning.
Regulated Online Level 5 Courses (180-hour, 240-hour, 300-hour)
The TEFL Institute of Ireland has three Level 5 TEFL training courses available. The 180-hour course will take you through the fundamentals of becoming a teacher and best practices for your classroom.
On its own, this course will leave you prepared and qualified for many teaching jobs abroad, but if you want to learn about more specializations, there are two other courses to consider.
The 240-hour course includes the entire 180-hour TEFL training as well as additional training for teaching English exam preparation.
Having this training could make you more desirable as an instructor or private tutor around the world since many English learners wish to prepare for these important tests — especially if you hope to teach English as a freelancer, having a background in exam prep could help you attract more clients.
You can also choose to go a step further with the 300-hour Level 5 TEFL course.
This online course includes everything in the 240-hour course with an additional 30-hour module for teaching business English and an additional 30-hour module for teaching young learners.
Cost of the 180, 240, and 300 Hour Course with The TEFL Institute of Ireland:
The TEFL Institute of Ireland’s courses are frequently discounted. Currently, they are 60% off, with the 180-hour Level 5 course priced at $229. Click here to learn more.
FAQs: Taking a Level 5 TEFL Course
No, a TEFL level 5 is not equivalent to CELTA. There are some similarities, however. A Level 5 TEFL certificate must meet the same standards as a CELTA or TrinityCertTESOL certification. Both are level 5 qualifications meaning they are the same level of difficulty. But, the method of delivery and content of the two certifications are actually very different.
A TEFL Level 5 is more affordable than a CELTA certificate, and it takes less time to complete — making a Level 5 certification more attractive for teachers.
If you’re looking to teach English at home (for example, in the UK, USA, or Canada), then having a TEFL level 5 will give you a leg up on your resume. If you’re looking to teach abroad, typically a 120-hour TEFL will be sufficient. A Level 5 goes into more depth than a regular 120-hour TEFL and is a great option if you’re new to teaching and would like a bit more information in order to be a confident teacher.
The TEFL Academy frequently offers 60% off their courses, plus free online learning materials, and access to webinars. Prices generally start at $250+ for a Level 5 TEFL certification. If you’re looking for a high-quality Level 5 TEFL, with guaranteed job assistance or placement, International TEFL Academy is a good option.
Even though a basic 120-hour TEFL will qualify you for most teaching abroad jobs, having a Level 5 course under your belt could make your application stand out to employers and allow you to apply for more competitive opportunities. Consider your budget, timeline, and what kinds of jobs you hope to pursue in the future. No matter which course you decide on, getting TEFL certified will provide you with countless opportunities to work and travel around the world. A Level 5 certification course is a great option for those who want an advanced credential without a high price tag.
170 to 420 hours depending on the course you take! Some TEFL level 5 courses online can be completed on a part-time basis, while others are more intensive. Choose a course with hours that fit with your schedule.
No, getting a level 5 TEFL certification isn’t hard. If you’re motivated to learn how to be the best teacher you can be, and if you have the time, you’ll be able to pass your course.
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