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What's the fastest online TEFL course? Maybe you are in a rush and you need to get something going and completed ASAP.

Here are two courses that claim to be fast:

  1. Basic course
  2. Another one

But keep in mind this...

Anything that is quick and easy is unlikely to be very helpful.


Probably not what you wanted to hear, but something to consider as short term gain now might be more teaching pain later.

I'll tell about a pretty fast course soon, but before you make a hasty move you might want to learn a bit more.

It's hard to say how long a course will take you because everyone is different and so are the courses. However...

Factors that determine how fast an online TEFL course is

But there are a few factors that may determine how long the course will take you.

1. So called "hours"

TEFL courses come with so-called "hours".

Yet these hours are not really accurate.

It's kind of an industry lie because there are no "hours". This isn't college.

In other words a 120 hour online TEFL course won't take you 120 hours. In fact you might complete the course in less than 20 if you're diligent.

But it depends on the course. No two courses are the same even if they are both "120 hour" courses.

So it can be a bit tough to predict, but if you want speed then look for a shorter course. You could look for something more basic like a 20 or 60 hour online TEFL course.

2. Is a fast course going to be a high quality course?

The quickest online TEFL course is probably not going to be the best course. It's probably not going to be that thorough, include much video or any feedback

So you are going to be giving something up.

I completed a 120 hour course in less than 8 hours. However, this stuff is kind of familiar to me as I have experience teaching English. I completed an in-class course before I started teaching and I have created courses on ESLinsider as well.

I also rushed through it and didn't read everything. I would think that the average person could complete it in maybe 15-20 hours or so.

3. Do they issue the certificate immediately upon completion?

Certification is probably one of the reasons why you want to take a course. Completing a course in 8 hours sounds good...

However, after completing that course you don't get a certificate immediately. You have to wait for certification 10 business days before you can download just a PDF! I thought that was a little weird and then I also learned recently that i-to-i and the U of T's course do something similar.

If you want it faster you have to pay more for it.

So one thing I do with ESLinsider's courses is that you can get the downloaded certificate as soon as you complete the course successfully.

You Can Complete This Course And Obtain Certification In 2 Days (No waiting) For $59 If You Work Hard On It

4. It depends on you too

Like how much free time do you have now? How often can you work on it?

Here's a solid basic course that's pretty fast

Here's a course that probably won't take you much time. This basic course is pretty fast and I have seen people complete it within a couple of days.

Groupon TEFL vs. basic course

Unlike the course I took on Groupon the PDF download is available immediately once you complete the course. There is no waiting for the sake of making you wait which you might find on Groupon.

The course I took on Groupon made me wait for 10 days after completion just to download my certificate. And if I wanted to speed it up I had to pay another $20. You can read more about that course here.

But in ESLinsider's basic course content is delivered bit by bit. This means that you will be answering questions based on the content (text & videos) you see in front of you. There are no large boring pages of text. It's more time efficient compared to having to read large sections of text and having to look back in the text for answers.

"The 20-Hour (Basic) course was a quick, inexpensive way to add a TEFL Certificate to my resume. I already teach ESOL to adults as part of my job in the United States, and the 20-hour certificate was a great way to complete a professional development/continuing education requirement. The program offers a great guideline for organizing your English lessons, and gives fun class ideas to engage your students." - Kim

How long do ESLinsider's courses take to complete?

Well, it depends on the course. At the moment the one course that is being offered is called TEKA which is a course targeted at teaching children in Asia. The fastest I've seen people complete it is in a few weeks.

Rushing or cramming is rarely good for learning.

It's best to pace yourself out. 

"Learning is cyclic. Take a first pass, review what you know, pause and do something else, take a second pass, pause again." - James M. Bach

You can try it out or you can learn more about online TEFL courses.