How many levels are there in EFL?

When researching teacher training courses it can be difficult to compare the many options available, which is why EFL course levels can be a great help. All TEFL courses can be put into certain levels that reflect their content and the level of qualification you will receive at the end of the training. This organization of courses can be a real benefit when it comes to choosing the right type of course to suit your individual situation. However, it is also important to know that there is not a single ranking system that is adopted by the whole EFL world. May individual countries and teaching organizations have their own set of course levels. Despite this, most systems are developed using similar criteria such as the type of study involved, the number of study hours, whether it is part-time or full-time, and whether there is any practical training. Although these course-level frameworks might vary slightly, they should be very similar in design, allowing you to compare your options and make an informed decision on what is best for you. TEFL course levels typically run from level 1 to level 8.

The ITTT course-level framework

At ITTT we have developed our own course-level framework that you can use to compare our courses with other EFL and non-EFL options. Each course is assigned a level that represents how difficult it is and how high up the qualification ladder it sits. Our course framework currently has TEFL courses between level 3 and level 7.

Check out our course levels page for full details.

Level 3 TEFL courses

Courses at level 3 or below are generally considered to be short-format options that are not usually enough on their own to secure a full-time teaching position that pays a good salary. Courses at level 3 are primarily aimed at people who want an insight into teaching and those who plan to volunteer or work as a teaching assistant. At ITTT we have three courses that are rated as level 3. These are all specialized TEFL courses that take an in-depth look at specific areas of English teaching that are common in many of the most popular parts of the world for EFL teaching. Each course requires around 50 hours of study that follows directly on from the content covered during a standard level 4 course. Our specialized courses are very popular as they are a relatively quick way to expand your teaching knowledge and to open up even more doors when looking for employment. Level 3 ITTT courses are:

  • The course in teaching English online (CTEO)
  • The course in teaching English to young learners (CTEYL)
  • The course in teaching business English (CTBE)

Level 4 TEFL courses

As mentioned, level 4 courses are considered the main entry point to EFL teaching as they cover enough ground to satisfy most employers. A level 4 course will include at least 100 or 120 hours of study on vital subjects such as classroom management, teaching methodologies, lesson planning, testing, and English grammar. We only have one course at this level and it can be completed entirely online. The resulting certificate will be your passport to a new life and career as it will be recognized and welcomed by schools and language centers in countries worldwide.

Take a look at our 120-hour TEFL certification course for full details.

Level 5 TEFL courses and above

By completing a level 4 qualification you will be able to apply for a wide range of teaching jobs. However, many people decide to start their teaching journey at a higher level by completing a level 5, level 6, or level 7 TEFL course. If you follow this path either at the outset of your career or further down the line once you have gained some experience, you will put yourself in a very strong position. Not only will you have more job options to choose from, you will also stand out from the competition when applying for the ones you really want.

Our 170-hour TEFL course with online specialization has been specifically designed to appeal to anyone who thinks they might want to join the ranks of online English teachers at some stage. We also have the 220-hour Master Package which includes three great courses at a very competitive price.

At level 6 we start to get into an advanced level of study that will take your qualifications to another level. The 370-hour Diploma in TESOL includes the standard 120-hour TEFL course, plus the advanced diploma that employers often look for when trying to fill management level positions and the most sought after jobs at prestigious schools, colleges, and universities.

Level 7 is currently our highest level of qualification. The 550-hour Expert Package combines six different components that provide a thorough and highly regarded coverage of the English language teaching world. With this option you can work through the package at whatever pace you choose, so there is no need to wait until the end before applying for jobs.