TEFL Courses: 120-Hour Versus Level 5: Hrs And Levels Described

Student's holding certificates

Congratulations! You have made an excellent decision to become an English teacher. When you start packing your bags or selecting your fun Zoom background, you will have to get TEFL certified. Not only do you have to choose the training course provider, but you also have to decide which course to take!

If you have started your research but feel overwhelmed using the terminology and types of courses that are around, you are not alone. This post will help you understand the difference between a Level 3 or more (120 hour) course and a Level 5 course. You’ll end up being on your way teaching in no time!

What’s In A Name, What We Call A 120-Hour Course

TEFL programs are measured within hours. A 120-hour course would consider 120- hours to accomplish. 120-hours is the minimum hours required and it is considered the industry regular. Avoid taking a program with fewer hrs as many employers will never consider a candidate that has not met the 120-hour requirement.

The length of time to finish the course depends on the provider and will often be indicated on their website. However, you do not have an unlimited period of time to complete the course, so plan your time wisely.

Course Modules

A 120-hour course will typically cover the essential abilities a teacher would need to get started teaching English.

  • Grammar
  • Lesson Planning
  • Classroom Administration
  • Teaching Techniques

Depending on the service provider you choose the training course content for each component can vary. Review the particular provider’s module explanation to know what you will find out in the certification program. Contact the supplier if you have specific queries regarding the course content material.


Accredited stamp with two businessmen in the background

This is an important criterion when choosing your 120-hour course. Is the provider certified? Accreditation means that the provider has met internationally recognised specifications for hours of coursework, teaching practice, certification of the tutors/instructors. There is absolutely no universally recognised organisation that awards accreditation. Instead, there are many trustworthy accrediting bodies.

Just because a provider’s website has many extravagant logos, does not mean it is accredited. Internationally recognised Accrediting Agencies include ACCET, QUALIFI, TQUK, IATQuO.

Being affiliated with a good organisation such as TESOL. org or subscriptions to TEFL or TESOL-related organisations is not really the same as being certified. In the United States, the State boards of education do not accredit TEFL qualification courses.

In the UK, The Office associated with Qualifications and Tests Regulation (Ofqual) keeps official standards just for certification to teach The english language in England and not the whole of the UK. QUALIFI is definitely an accrediting body given the green light by Ofqual.

If you want to make sure your supplier is accredited, evaluation the website, and see when there is a link to the accrediting body. When you go to the accrediting body’s internet site, you want to see how long they have been in existence and exactly how many programs plus courses they have certified. The more years they are in existence and the more programs and courses they have accredited, the greater.

Will I Get Hired?

Women looking at laptop and chewing on a pencil

The 120-hour TEFL qualification will be the minimum requirement for becoming considered for work. However , your experience and your interview will certainly ultimately determine if you happen to be hired and how much you will make. But the good news is you have the ability to keep looking for TEFL jobs with your 120-hour qualification.

Level 5 indicates I skip levels 1-4, right?

Level five means that the program has been regulated by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

Ofqual has a certification framework that consists of 9 levels. Degree zero is “Entry” and the scale ends at 8. Level 8 is where the study level is PhD.

Degree 5 is called this because the course continues to be assessed to be a degree 5 in accordance with Ofqual’s qualifications framework. The amount of study is comparable to an undergraduate course and it is completed in 168 hrs.

The particular course content of the Level 5 may go into more level because the course will be longer. Level 5 would be a good choice regarding someone who is completely new to teaching plus feels that the training course content of a 120-hour program may not be enough to prepare them to teach.

Evaluation the course articles of a Level five provider to see what additional modules or even topics are protected in their course and exactly how long you are provided to complete the course.

Will I Be More Marketable?

There is no strong research that backs up the claim that finishing a Level 5 course will make you a lot more marketable. The question to ask yourself is where do you plan to teach? If you are planning to work in a particular country and you observe that job postings prefer a candidate to have Degree 5 qualification, then pursue a Level 5 course.


Level 5 can make you more money. Wages in the TEFL sector are determined by encounter which is gained with the number of years you spend teaching as well as whether there is a bachelor’s degree. Look into the below infographic that will showcases the best locations to teach English for individuals who do not have a degree. The teacher who is only starting out in the industry will make exactly the same if they have a 120-hour or Level five qualification.

TEFL locations around the globe


Anyone starting out in the wonderful world of TEFL would take advantage of either a Level five or 120-hour training course. Getting started is the 1st step to finding your future teaching job. Keeping competitive, marketable plus earning your preferred salary will come from gaining experience therefore teach, teach, train!

Featured Image & Post Images: Supplied by the author

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