Considering taking International TEFL Academy's TEFL Class?

This is a breakdown of the content in the Chicago TEFL Class, Barcelona, Spain TEFL Class, Costa Rica TEFL Class and Online TEFL course. Other TEFL classes offered by International TEFL Academy will cover very similar content, but the exact structure & syllabus will vary slightly.

Learn more about our TEFL course syllabus.

Throughout this course, students will learn everything from creating lesson plans, teaching the four components of language learning: listening, speaking, reading & writing, gain an understanding of different teaching methods, and more.

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Course content:

Part 1: Chapter Outline

Important Note: Refer to the course calendar for specific tasks and peer participation due dates. Course activities and tasks will be explained in detail within each corresponding learning module. If you have any questions, please contact your course instructor.

Your 170-Hour TEFL/TESOL Course is divided into 10 separate chapters and a final project, The Thematic Unit.).

Pre-Course Grammar Module

A thorough overview of grammar from adjectives to compound verbs to gerunds, and more. The Pre-Course Grammar Module is sent to students upon registration to begin reviewing important grammar points.

Chapter 1: Role of the Teacher

Reading and tasks on various contexts in which teaching occurs; expectations for teachers on their first day of class; identifying ideas for balancing work ideas and leisure; recognizing traits of an effective teacher; ways to build community in your classroom; examples of how to be a good role model; strategies for maintaining professional relationships during your teaching career; terminology and abbreviations used in the TEFL profession; and effective and ineffective teaching practices.

Chapter 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom

Reading and tasks on the student-centered approach and teacher’s roles; autonomous learning, the roles of collaboration and cooperative learning; understanding the Learning Pyramid; experiential learning and examples of useful EFL activities; VARK learning preferences; and activities used for each type of intelligence in Multiple Intelligences.

Chapter 3: Cultural Sensitivity

Reading and tasks on culture and cultural sensitivity, surface and deep culture; the five barriers to cross-cultural communication; four main cultural dimensions and their implications for the EFL classroom; and culture shock and its stages.

Chapter 4: Methods and Approaches

Reading and tasks on the differences between approach, method, and technique; contemporary and traditional teaching methods; communicative language teaching (CLT); characteristics of the community language learning approach; general procedures used in a silent way classroom; the pillars of Suggestopedia; using Total Physical Response and Total Physical Response Storytelling in a classroom; principles of content-based instruction; and ways to implement cooperative learning, task-based learning, project-based learning, and differentiation.

Chapter 5: Lesson Planning and Assessment

Reading and tasks on the importance of lesson planning and how it relates to instruction; characteristics of an effective lesson plan; producing an effective lesson plan; the foundation behind effective assessment methods; assessment formats and assessment question types; and incorporating the most appropriate type of assessment for all four language skills.

Chapter 6: Grammar and Lexis

Reading and tasks on defining word root, prefix and suffix; categorizing words into parts of speech within the context of a sentence; content words and function words; common phrasal verbs and collocations; phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic understanding; selecting vocabulary words to teach in the ESL/EFL classroom; effective methods of vocabulary instruction; challenges and approaches to teaching idiomatic expressions; simple, complex, compound, and complex-compound sentence types; proper usage of the tense-aspect system and conditionals in English; declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences; challenges that EFL students face with word order; effective methods of grammar instruction; and methods for assessing vocabulary and grammar.

Chapter 7: Listening and Reading

Reading and tasks on how the brain processes listening output; types of listening input; types of listening materials and how to choose them for the classroom; how to tailor listening activities to student level and mental method of processing; ways to set up activities within a listening lesson and sequence of lessons; how the MINUS Approach can be used to structure effective listening; specific techniques for teaching listening skills; how the schema theory impacts ESL/EFL reading activities; common reading strategies that can be taught to ESL/EFL learners; selecting reading materials; intensive and extensive reading skills; types of pre-reading, while reading, and post-reading activities; and ways to assess reading both formally and informally.

Chapter 8: Speaking and Writing

Reading and tasks on the foundation needed for ESL/EFL students to improve their oral and written language production; commonly used classroom speaking activities; the sounds and most common pronunciation rules for English pronunciation and when to incorporate effective pronunciation techniques into ESL/EFL lessons; structuring ESL/EFL writing activities and lessons; and recommended outside resources to improve and expand teacher knowledge, methods, and materials of ESL/EFL speaking and writing.

Chapter 9: Visual Aids and Technology

Reading and tasks on the several benefits of using low-tech visual aids with English language learners; low-tech visual aids and how they can be applied to the ESL/EFL classroom; ways to use the Internet effectively with ESL/EFL students; precautions to consider when assigning Internet-related activities; how blogs and wikis might be used to enhance students’ communication skills; recommendations for effectively integrating video into the ESL/EFL classroom; ways to use songs as a teaching and learning tool; appropriate visual aids for each language skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking); and general criteria to follow when choosing a visual aid.

Chapter 10: Classroom Management

Reading and tasks on the basic concepts and best practices of classroom management; the most common ways to physically arrange a classroom and their implications; ways to establish a presence as a teacher; how to create a successful community of student learners; suggestions for structuring daily lessons; and other student and classroom issues that may arise, and how to approach them.

Thematic Unit

At the end of the course, each student will need to complete a thematic unit. Your thematic unit will cover 3 days worth of lesson planning that you will create. The timeframe of 3 days simulates a typical week of classes for a TEFL/TESOL instructor abroad. The thematic unit is worth a total of 100 points. The Thematic Unit must be completed in order to receive your TEFL/TESOL certificate.

More details can be found under Assignments and Tasks.


Part 2: Young Learners and Business English Additional Modules

The following 2 units are offered as an optional add-on to the course. You will earn an additional 30 hours of certification at the end of the following 2 units.

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Business English

Subjects covered in this unit are:

  • The history and development of English for Specific purposes (ESP)
  • The rationale behind and methods for conducting needs analyses
  • Major considerations for teaching English for academic purposes (EAP)
  • Sample reading, writing, listening, and speaking tasks that would benefit students in Business English
  • Various online resources available for ESL/EFL instructors within EAP and business English

Young Learners

Subjects covered in this unit are:

  • Differences between teaching young learners and adults
  • Differences in teaching approach to different ages of young learners
  • Examples of best activities for young learners
  • How to teach listening and speaking skills to young learners
  • How to teach reading and writing skills to young learners
  • How best to manage a class of young learners

For a full, comprehensive overview of our Online TEFL Course including chapter breakdowns, sample test questions and lesson plans, and detailed practicum and thematic unit information, please check out our Online TEFL Course Overview page. 


Download a Free Guide & Demo for Online TEFL Certification 


Call an Advisor to Discuss TEFL Certification & Enrollment

NOTE FOR ENROLLMENT: Before enrolling in any International TEFL Academy, it is imperative that you speak with an advisor. Please fill out a form or call 773-634-9900 to speak to an advisor who will answer your questions; review your employment prospects for teaching English abroad; and to assist you with the enrollment process.


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