Training to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)

Training to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)

There are a number of ways of approaching training to teach English as a foreign language. To teach English to people for whom it is a second language, most trainees begin by undertaking a TEFL course which may lead to a certification or qualification. There are many institutions and organisations in London that offer different levels of TEFL training in a classroom on a full or part time basis, or via distance learning programmes.

For those interested in exploring their potential as teachers of EFL, a good starting point may be to undertake a course leading to a TEFL certification which will generally be sufficient to secure volunteer teaching or teaching assistant work in some organisations in the UK or abroad. These courses will generally include an overview of techniques including grammar explanation, lesson planning, topic ideas and classroom management. There is a range of options with varying levels of commitment in terms of price and duration.

0871 222 1231
Classroom based learning at a number of colleges:
2 day courses are held at Regents College (City of Westminster) and Kingston University
3 day courses are held at Kingston and London Metropolitan University (North London)
Completion of courses results in Certificate in TEFL

TEFL England
0800 9888 200
Classroom-based learning:
2 day (weekend) course at Regents College London
3 day (week days) course Regents College London

Distance learning courses:
Certificate in TEFL 80 hour online
Certificate in TEFL 100 hour online

London Teacher Training College
60 Windsor Avenue, Wimbledon, London, SW19 2RR 0208 133 2027 Distance learning courses:
Certificate in TEFL 60 hours
Certificate in TEFL 120 hours (EDI accredited)
Certificate in teaching English as a second language: 100 hours

For trainees wishing to more seriously pursue teaching English as a foreign language, it is generally recognised that to be more confident of success in applying for paid employment, either in the UK or abroad, a qualification which is accredited or validated by either Trinity college or Cambridge University's ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) will be required.

Cambridge University offers a range of qualifications for trainees at different levels, from the TKT (teaching knowledge test) which, on completion, recognises the trainee's understanding and attainment of fundamental teaching and classroom skills, through to the IDLTM (international diploma in English teaching management) for experienced teachers looking to apply management skills to their departments.

Usually, employers of EFL teachers, whether in the UK or abroad will require at least the CELTA qualification from Cambridge. CELTA can be undertaken over four or five weeks full time or is available on a distance learning basis and requires no previous training, the following organisations offer CELTA training in London:

The British Study Centre
London Hannah House, 13-16 Manchester Street,
W1U 4DJ (Closest tube stations: Baker Street, Marylebone, Marble Arch, Bond Street)
0207 317 0160

International House London
16 Stukeley Street, London WC2B 5LQ (Closest tube stations: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Russell Square)
0207 611 2400

59 South Molton Street, London W1K 5SN
0207 499 8533

College of North West London,
Wembley Centre, North End Road, Middlesex, HA9 0UU
020 8208 5180

Cambridge's website includes a full explanation and directory of all courses and locations:

Trinity College's equivalent course to train and equip teachers for their first teaching position is called CertTESOL (certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages). It is recognised to be the equivalent of the first year of a university degree course and widely accepted as an initial teaching qualification. CertTESOL is also available on a distance learning basis or may be completed over four weeks full time.

Trinity validated CertTESOL courses in London are available at:

TEFL London Bloomsbury International (UK) Ltd, 6-8 Southampton Place, London WC1A 2DB
020 7242 2234

St Giles College154 Southampton Row,London WC1B 5JX
020 7837 0404

Saint George International
79-80 Margaret Street, London W1W 8TA
020 7299 1700

TEFL Lab London
19 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NS
020 7580 7077