The 5 Best TEFL Courses in Thailand

by Nov 27, 2018

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Everyone loves Thailand. From the white sand beaches to the bustling rows of delicious street food, it’s hard to find a better spot to get your TEFL certificate.

Even if you’re not looking for a local teaching job, most TEFL providers in Thailand provide internationally accredited certificates that work as well in China as they do in Mexico.  Oh, and did we mention that it’s one of the most affordable TEFL locations in the world?  Getting an in-class TEFL in here will still put some travel money in your pocket when compared to other locations.

This guide is designed to help you get acquainted with some different TEFL options in Thailand and choose a program that is best suited to you so that you can land an ESL job without issue!

How We Evaluate the Courses

Curriculum – we have gone through the modules of each TEFL program to make sure that they offer a curriculum that is best suited to your real-life teaching career.

Support – we want to make sure you are offered the best support possible as you make your journey into becoming the best ESL teacher you can be – great teachers start with great teacher trainers.

Reputation – we want to make sure that you are getting the best overall TEFL experience that you can! This includes the above as well as other aspects that may go along with your program.

In a hurry?  Here are our top picks:

Best Overall TEFL in Thailand: CELTA through International House Bangkok

It doesn’t get much better than a CELTA when it comes to English teaching certificates and International House of Bangkok has one of best around.

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Best Budget TEFL in Thailand: International TEFL Academy

Not many companies do TEFL better than ITA – they offer a comprehensive course catalog + unparalleled support and have helped thousands of teachers get jobs in Thailand and beyond.

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Use this link to take $50 off your course!

Here are the rest:

The Top TEFL Certificates in Thailand

see tefl thailand

SEE TEFL

SEE TEFL is licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education and Approved Center of Training Qualifications (UK). SEE TEFL also offers a paid TEFL internship and volunteer teaching options. They guarantee training groups limited to 20 trainees.

Curriculum – “Teaching inputs” in teaching the 4 main skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing. “Grammar inputs” to help develop an understanding of the structure of English language including those tricky verb tenses and also how to teach them. Six 1-hour observed teaching practices with real students, Thai cultural awareness class, 10 hours of Thai language class.

Support – The program staff are reviewed as being highly professional and helpful throughout the course, particularly in regards to grammar and demonstration of teaching methodologies.

Reputation – Former students say that they felt very confident in their ability to immediately begin their teaching careers post-completion of the program, especially due to the mandatory grammar brush-up included in the course.

Course Details

  • Location: Chiang Mai
  • Time commitment: 4 weeks, 120 hours
  • Observed teaching hours: 6 hours
  • Rigor score: 7/10
  • Price: $1,395 (booked 6 weeks in advance) with early bird discounts available
  • Housing: available at an additional price
  • Guaranteed job placement: Yes

The Good

  • Great facility with a new building and teaching classrooms.
  • Thai language and culture class included

The Bad

  • Despite a robust network within Thailand, some course takers wished the job support had been more comprehensive.

Best for: Teachers looking to start their teaching career in Thailand and who need to brush up on their grammar and wish to learn the basic principles of Thai culture and language.

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XploreAsia TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

TEFL and TESOL are essentially equivalent qualifications that utilize different acronyms. Our biggest qualm with this program is that the name sounds kind of gimmicky. That might not matter so much to you, but keep it in mind when considering future employers checking credentials. Xplore Asia is accredited through The Online TESOL and TEFL Standards Agency. The certification is unique from others as it offers Thai culture, politics, and language classes as a part of the program. You will have to contact XploreAsia directly through their website to gain more information as a lot of the details of the program are not publicly available.

Curriculum – Teaching and implementation of methodologies. instruction, assignments, and 2 days of teaching practice in an underprivileged Thai school. There is also a big focus on cultural immersion with visits to an animal rescue center and meditation sessions with a monk – this is a huge perk if you’re looking to remain in Thailand after your course!

Support – Former students state that the staff is very supportive and that they will not pass students who do not actually seem ready to perform in the classroom. Emphasis is placed on communication between faculty and students as well as comprehensive job placement within Thailand complete with visa support.

Reputation – Xplore is very well reviewed by former students of the program, however, some have complaints that they are not upfront about the cost of the program including startup costs and what fees will be deducted from your salary by the job-placing agents they refer you to (note: this is an issue related to the school and agent, not XploreAsia).

Course Details

  • Location: Chiang Mai or Hua Hin
  • Time commitment: 4 weeks, 120 hours
  • Observed teaching hours: 16 broken into 2 full days at English camp (excluding in-class practice)
  • Rigor score: 6/10
  • Price: Around $1000
  • Housing: usually included, students need to confirm with XploreAsia
  • Guaranteed job placement: yes

The Good

  • Xplore has a generally good reputation for job placement within Thailand
  • Allows students to experience local attractions during the course

The Bad

  • No location in Bangkok
  • A gimicky name on your TEFL certificate, which may or may not matter to you depending on your short/long-term teaching goals
  • Not quite as rigorous or practical as other programs

Best for: Students looking to learn about Thai society as well as TEFL standards and who want a program with an adventurous and culturally immersive component.

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TEFL Campus

If you want to get your TEFL in beautiful Phuket Town (30 min from the beach!), this might be the certification for you. TEFL Campus specializes exclusively in TEFL courses in Thailand and is accredited through Fairmont State University.

Curriculum – 60 hours of classroom methodology learning (4 main skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing); 10 written assignments; 9 hours of guided lesson planning; 6 observed teaching sessions; 6 peer observation sessions; 3 teacher observation sessions; 2 written exams.

Support – 98% of course graduates say that they felt fully prepared for working in a classroom environment post-course completion. They offer full visa support which can be incredibly difficult to navigate as a new teacher if your school does not have the ability

Reputation – Students are generally very happy with what the course has provided them in terms of teacher-readiness as well as school/life balance.

Course Details

  • Location: Phuket
  • Time commitment: 120 hours (onsite study is 10 days or 4 weeks long)
  • Observed teaching hours: 6 sessions (of unspecified length)
  • Rigor score: 7/10
  • Price: $1,250 USD & up
  • Housing: included depending on course package
  • Guaranteed job placement: no, but job support provided

The Good

  • TEFL campus only operates within Thailand making them super focused
  • You will receive your TEFL certificate in Thai as well as in English and a cover letter from Fairmont State confirming the validity of the course and your completion of it

The Bad

  • Only one location
  • The nature of the accreditation may make it difficult to change countries if desired

Best for: Students who want to relax by the world-famous beaches of Phuket on their days off, take trips to the Thai islands on the weekends, and are sure that they want to teach in Thailand.

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International TEFL Academy

The International TEFL Academy has locations worldwide and is accredited through the Training Qualifications UK Centre (TQUK). Perhaps one of the most well known TEFL providers to date, ITA offers in-the-classroom training and is well-reviewed by former students who are now happy teachers in Thailand.  

Curriculum – Basic principles of teaching, grammar, classroom management, error correction, lesson planning, use of visual & audio aids, teaching group classes of different abilities, teaching the 4 main skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), language awareness, private tutoring, teaching business English.

Support – TEFL Academy’s website states that its courses are taught by university-level instructors to small class sizes and are very accessible to students throughout the course. They also provide students with a support counselor to talk to before beginning the program.

Reputation – Students generally have nothing bad to say about their TEFL Academy experience, with nearly all who have finished the program stating that they now feel intensely classroom-ready, and some stating that the certification has never been rejected by a prospective employer (yes, this can happen if you pick a poor credential). The only complaint seems to be that the course schedule, including assignments, could be organized into an easier format to read.

Course Details

  • Location: Chiang Mai
  • Time commitment: 4 weeks, 120 hours
  • Observed teaching hours: unspecified
  • Rigor score: 7/10
  • Price: $895 (6 weeks in advance enrollment) $995 (3-6 weeks in advance), $1095 (enrolled within 3 weeks of start date) USD
  • Housing: not included
  • Guaranteed job placement: no, but job support provided

The Good

  • You can’t beat the price
  • It’s widely recognized and accredited
  • Small class sizes of 20 or fewer students
  • You can get your foot into the door of the lucrative world of teaching business English

The Bad

  • No locations outside of Chiang Mai

Best for: Students who want to relax in the scenic, temple-laden city of Chiang Mai and gain an internationally-recognized certificate with real-life value.

Get More Information >

Use this link to take $50 off your course!


 

CELTA through International House (IH) Bangkok

The CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is widely recognized within the ESL community as being one of the most prestigious TEFL qualifications that a teacher can achieve. CELTA courses are rigorous and are all strictly regulated by Cambridge University.

After attaining a CELTA and teaching for several years, there are other higher qualifications you can earn such as the DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). If you plan on making teaching ESL your career and are looking for upward mobility in the future, we strongly recommend that you choose CELTA when deciding on your TEFL course in Thailand. Many of the high-end language academies, schools, and Universities will not accept any other TEFL certification.

Curriculum – Teachers are expected to brush up on their grammar pre-course (either as individual study or via their one week, pre-program grammar course) as CELTA’s rigorous program only allows time for the in-depth acquisition of teaching methodologies of the four main skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) and the practical implications of them. 6 hours of observed teaching practice (including intensive lesson planning and both self/teacher written evaluations with a pass or fail score); 6 hours of lessons taught by experienced teachers; 4 written assignments; the maintenance and completion of a coursework portfolio to be submitted to and reviewed by Cambridge University to achieve CELTA credential. They also offer a one-week young-learners course post-program.

Support – Faculty is incredibly personable, helpful, and professional during the course. They are easily accessible via email as well as in-person, after or before class. The faculty offers help post-course in terms of writing letters of recommendation and offering mentorship.

Reputation – CELTA is the leading credential for ESL teachers and is highly regarded as so. That being said, most students have nothing but positive things to say about the course despite its rigor and feel incredibly classroom-ready after completing the course. Some students have complained that the course could be a bit disorganized in regards to understanding due-dates and the rearrangement of schedules, considering that missing one class or assignment could put your entire credential in jeopardy.

Course Details

  • Location: Bangkok or Chiang Mai
  • Time commitment: 4 weeks, 120 hours
  • Observed teaching hours: 6
  • Rigor score: 9/10
  • Price: $1,600 USD
  • Housing: can be included for an additional cost (more common in Chiang Mai package)
  • Guaranteed job placement: no

The Good

  • It’s considered to be one of the best TEFL certificates that a teacher can hold
  • You can pick between the hustle-and-bustle center in downtown Bangkok or the laid back resort-style center in Chiang Mai

The Bad

  • It’s hard. CELTA will dominate your life for the full month that you work towards it. Missing one day of the course without proper documentation of a medical emergency or something similar can result in failure
  • Lesson planning and other homework may take up most of your out-of-class time so you won’t have as much flexibility to explore Thailand during the program as other courses might allow

Best for: Serious teachers who know what they want and plan to make a career out of teaching English abroad.

Get More Information >


Other Concerns when Choosing a TEFL

When considering any teaching certification, it’s important to figure out the types of schools you like and keep those in mind when looking at where other graduates have accepted jobs.

You should also consider how much budget affects your decision as some of the best TEFL qualifications are also the priciest. Also, bear in mind that cost does not always equate to quality and plenty of certificates price themselves like a CELTA but deliver far less value.

All in all, there is really no right or wrong when deciding on which Thailand TEFL program is the one for you, so long as you know your own goals and are able to set your own priorities. We wish you the best of luck in your future teaching career and hope that this guide will help you pick the best TEFL course in Thailand for your situation!

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