What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are both acronyms used to describe the process of teaching English to non-native speakers. However, there are some subtle differences between the two.

TEFL refers specifically to teaching English to students in a country where English is not the primary language. This typically refers to teaching in a foreign country, such as teaching English in China or Mexico.

TESOL, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers to teaching English to non-native speakers in any context. This can include teaching in a foreign country, but it can also include teaching in an English-speaking country to students who speak another language at home, such as teaching English to Spanish-speaking students in the United States.

In summary, TEFL is a specific form of TESOL. TESOL is an umbrella term that encompasses all forms of teaching English to non-native speakers, whether it be in a foreign country or in an English-speaking country to non-native speakers.

Will my certificate be recognized?

Our TESOL graduates have found work in over 40 different countries around the world. Many international institutes contact us to request teachers who have been trained through our intensive TESOL program.

A TESOL certificate is a necessary addition to a degree to teach English in China, Malaysia, South Korea or Taiwan and Thailand. The certificate can stand alone in some countries and/or if you wish to teach privately from your home.

How many hours will my certificate count for?

Our TESOL courses (online and in-person) are 40-hour courses. Our online 120-hour upgrade course is 80 hours in addition to the initial TESOL course, or 120 hours in total. In recent years, 120 hours of training has come to be expected by many schools.

Will my certificate need authenticating/the Apostille?

Perhaps, if you plan to teach overseas. The law in some countries requires that overseas documents, such as educational certificates, be authenticated.

Countries generally fall into two categories: those who are parties to the Hague Convention and those that are not. Countries that are party to the Hague Convention will require your certificate to have the Apostille. As CIE TESOL certificates are issued in the US, the best place for our graduates to obtain the Apostille is the US.

If you live in the US, the most cost-effective way to obtain the Apostille is to handle the process yourself. This involves two steps: (1) Notarization. Take your original certificate, a good quality copy, and your ID to a Notary Public. For a fee, they will confirm your identity and that you have made a true, valid copy of your certificate. (2) Apostille: Send the copy of your certificate with the attached notarization to the Office of the Secretary of State in your home state. For a fee, they will confirm that the Notary Public was valid at the time of notarization, affix the Apostille to the notarization and send it back to you.

If you live outside the US and need the Apostille, please email us for a quote (prices will vary depending on mailing costs to the country where you live).

Countries that are not party to the Hague Convention will require your document to undergo the more complex process of legalization. Usually, this is a three-step process: (1) Notarization; (2) Apostille; (3) Embassy/representative office legalization.

When will I receive my certificate?

In-person course: You will walk away with your TESOL certificate at the end of class on Friday afternoon.

Online course: You will be emailed a digital certificate (PDF) shortly after you complete the course. If you would also like a printed certificate, please email us. The fee is USD 25, including shipping.

What is a SLAM certificate?

SLAM stands for Second Language Acquisition Methodology, which can apply to teaching any language, while TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) only applies to teaching English. Even though the TESOL class focuses on teaching English, the methods can be adapted to any language.

If you are fluent enough in another language to teach conversation, you may request the SLAM certificate. This will show that you have taken a language acquisition and methodology course, and that you can apply those methods to teaching your second language.

Your fluency in the chosen language is demonstrated when you teach some of that language to others in class while utilizing and practicing some of the methods.

If you attend our in-person TESOL class, it is best to request any additional SLAM certificates when you register. You may also request these during the class. The cost of each SLAM certificate is USD 25. After the class, you can order digital SLAM certificates (USD 25 each) or printed SLAM certificates (USD 45 for first, USD 25 per additional certificate).

If you take our online class, you can request a SLAM certificate by messaging us. The fee is USD 25 per SLAM certificate. We will then arrange payment for you and email you the digital certificate(s). If you prefer a printed certificate(s), the cost is also USD 25 per certificate.

Can I get a replacement or additional certificate?

Yes. If you have lost your certificate, or would just like another copy, we can reprint it for you and mail it anywhere in the world. Also, after taking the course, you may decide to request a SLAM certificate for another language you are proficient in.

The cost is USD 45 for the first certificate, and USD 25 for any additional certificates, or for a digital PDF copy. The prices for hardcopies include postage, and take about 4-6 weeks for us to process and mail. Please contact us first (info@cie.world) if you require rush or expedited service.

How do I verify my TESOL certificate?

You or a potential employer can verify your certificate by visiting this page and submitting a request. If the details entered are correct and match our records, a successful verification message will appear instantly.

How do I publish my CIE TESOL certificate on LinkedIn?
  1. Fill out and submit the CIE TESOL Certificate confirmation form. If you have entered the information correctly you will be redirected to a unique URL with a verification message and your certificate information.
  2. Copy the URL.
  3. Go to your profile in LinkedIn and create a new entry under Licenses & certifications. Enter these details:
    - Name: Advanced Certificate in TESOL
    - Issuing Organization: Canadian Institute of English
    - Issue date: the month and year you received your certificate
    - Credential ID: enter the student number from your certificate
    - Credential URL: paste the unique URL from when you verified your CIE certificate
  4. Check “This credential does not expire”
  5. Save.

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Is CIE accredited?

CIE Learning and the Canadian/American Institute of English are accredited by The American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation (AAHEA). On May 12, 2023 the AAHEA board of directors awarded “fully accredited status” to CIE Learning LLC for a period of three years after determining that CIE Learning meets the rigorous criteria established by the commission.

AAHEA is an independent, membership-based, non-profit organization that provides accreditation for over 20 disciplines. Established in 1870, it is one of the oldest associations in the United States dedicated to the advancement of higher education.

Please note that our accreditation is not equivalent to regional or national accreditation in the US.

CIE TESOL Courses (In-person and Online)

Am I eligible? What are the entry requirements?

If you are enthusiastic, and have a good grasp of the English language, we welcome you! Our students range from those who have recently graduated high school, to those looking for a new direction or career change, to retirees wanting to travel and earn money.

Students should be able to speak, read and write English fluently, and have completed high school education or the equivalent in their country of origin.

No High School Diploma? You may still attend, but we recommend you obtain your G.E.D. here (General Equivalency Diploma for adults).

I’m not a native English speaker – do I qualify to take the CIE TESOL class?

To benefit from our TESOL class you will need to speak, read and write English fluently. However, fluent does not mean perfect or native-standard. If you are a non-native English speaker that has a good grasp of the English language, we welcome you.

Is a 5-day/40-hour course really long enough?

Of course, it is impossible to learn everything about teaching English in just 5 days. For that matter, it is also impossible to learn everything you would need to know in a month or even a year. When the learning really sets in is once you step foot in a classroom or in front of a student. For this reason, our 120-hour upgrade course features graded teaching practice. One of our qualified instructors observes your teaching assignments and gives feedback on how you can improve.

Interestingly, those who have taken longer courses (before they took our program) said that they had a lot of knowledge and theory, but had no idea of what to actually do with 30 students for 3 hours. This is probably the biggest difference between our course and other TESOL courses. We focus primarily on methods and use extremely interactive and effective ways of getting each and every student personally involved in the learning process. We learn by doing, not by hearing. We find that this approach, instead of hours upon hours of lecturing, theory, pedagogy and useless information, is many times more beneficial. Because the program is based upon the latest research in applied neuroscience (how the brain learns), it helps you become a highly effective English teacher.

We also bear in mind that some of our students may already be thousands of dollars in debt from their college or university education and don’t have thousands to throw at long and drawn out TESOL courses – they need to get working.

I took the CIE TESOL class in the past and would like a refresher – can I attend again?

Yes – we would be delighted if you attend our class for the second time. If you took the class several years ago you will be happy to find that our class has been streamlined, features more teaching methods and more up to date information on teaching English. We offer a 20% discount to those taking the class for a second time. Contact us before enrolling in order to get this discount.

Contact Information

What is the best way to contact you?

Please email us at info@cie.world. We endeavor to respond to all email messages within 24-48 hours.

In-person Course

Where are the CIE TESOL classes located?

Please click this link for a list of our international locations and class dates: Class Dates/Locations. You can then click on the link for the location you are interested in attending for more detailed information.

Where will I stay?

Our students are responsible for locating their own accommodation. All our classes are held in areas with several hotel options. Some students also make use of AirBnB. If you are interested in sharing the cost of accommodation with other students in your class, please contact us.

What is the time schedule?

Our classes usually run from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm. On Friday we aim to finish a couple of hours early. You will be provided with a little homework each night, but most of the learning will be at class.

What materials do I need?

Your own pen and notebook, or tablet. Everything else will be provided at the class. For lunch arrangements please check the details on the venue where you will be attending the class. This information can be found on our Class Dates/Locations page.

How should I dress?

This is an interactive seminar where you will be doing a lot of moving around and getting in and out of your seat. Please dress comfortably and casually.

How do I pay?

You can pay directly on our website by secure credit card transaction. Please click the "Enroll" button below a class listing. The registration details can be filled in at the bottom of the class’ information page. Please contact us if you have any further questions or difficulties.

Online Course

How long will I have access to the course?

The course fee gives you 6 months access to the course content. If you haven't finished the course after 6 months, or if you would like to maintain access to the course contents, there is a monthly fee of USD 2.99. Please contact us to set this up.


What is your Privacy Policy?

Refunds & Cancellations

What are your policies regarding refunds?

In-person classes: If you need to cancel any time prior to 3 weeks (21 days) from the first day of a scheduled TESOL class, you will receive a refund of your payment minus an USD 80 cancellation fee. Cancellations within the final 3 weeks (21 days) of a scheduled TESOL class cannot be refunded. However, in such a case your enrollment can be transferred to another course within a 12-month period.

If we must cancel a scheduled TESOL class for an unforeseen reason, a full refund of your payment will be provided. In a world of uncertainties, we recommend you purchase refundable tickets and consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance. CIE cannot be held responsible for losses due to currency fluctuations, travel bookings, accommodation expenses, or loss of work days.

Online courses: There is no provision for refunds with the online course content.

Teaching English

Where can I teach English?

English has become the international language of trade, diplomacy and communication. If you speak English this could be your greatest asset because there are literally millions of people around the world who are desperate to learn English. Our advanced TESOL certificate program will equip you to teach these people successfully.

Our students are now teaching in over 40 countries around the world. We often hear back from past students or the schools that hire them letting us know of job openings or requests for more teachers.

Job listings can be found here

It is difficult to give definite rules, as each school and educational institution has it’s own requirements, but our general experience has been that the CIE TESOL certificate alone is enough to find work in the following countries and areas (especially if you are a native English speaker):

  • Central America
  • South America
  • Spain, Portugal and Italy
  • Eastern Europe

Some countries require English teachers to have a degree in order to grant them a work visa. These include:

  • China
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

PLEASE NOTE: The above information is only a general guide based on the collective experience of our students and those who work for the CIE. If you are interested in teaching in a specific country, we recommend that you first do your own research on the latest requirements.

Teaching in English-speaking countries: Although some of our students have gone on to teach English in the US and Canada, our TESOL certificate is primarily designed for those wanting to teach English in non-English speaking countries. Schools in native-English speaking countries like the US and Canada require teachers to have very high qualifications, usually requiring a degree in education. If you don’t have these qualifications, and you want to work in the US, Canada or any other English-speaking country, you would likely have to work as a self-employed private teacher, working with immigrants in the area where you live. Another option would be for you to teach English online to students based overseas. Please see below for more information.

Can I teach English online using the methods from your class?

Yes – in recent years many of our students have found good success teaching English online. Although the hourly rate for teaching online may not be the highest out there, many prefer it because of the freedom and flexibility it offers. You can often plan your own schedule and don’t need to commute to work. It has allowed many to travel extensively or spend time in a foreign country and still support themselves. If you work for a company that provides online English lessons, they will usually assign you students according to your schedule.

Many past graduates have told us about companies they recommend. Other online companies or schools have reached out to us directly looking for more teachers. We have compiled a list of online schools and endeavor to keep it updated based on feedback from graduates.