The International TEFL Academy Online TEFL course is a fully interactive course taught by a seasoned university level professor with an advanced degree in TESOL or a related field and international teaching experience. The online TEFL course is designed for students who are looking to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) internationally in a professional environment. 

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.  _______________________________________________________




The course is comprised of:

- 150 hours of online coursework – which includes readings, assignments, quizzes, and self-checks. (Required)

- 20 hours of Practicum (student teaching, observation and/or tutoring in an ESL classroom) (Required)

- All ITA students & graduates have the ability to enhance their skills & credentials by opting to take additional TEFL Specialty Classes in the field of Teaching English OnlineTeaching Business English, or Teaching English to Young Learners (Children).  Check out the Specialty TEFL Class Index to learn more.

 Course Content:  Read about the 150 hour TEFL course content here


Part 1: Chapter Outline

Important Note: Refer to the course calendar for specific task and peer participation due dates. Course activities and tasks will be explained in detail within each corresponding learning chapter. 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.).

Grammar Module

A thorough overview of grammar from adjectives to compound verbs to gerunds, and more. 

ITA's extensive Grammar Module is sent to students upon registration to begin reviewing important grammar points.  The content is designed to serve as a self-study grammar reference.  The content herein is likely most useful for the novice learner of English grammar, but it can also serve as a review or to provide samples for more advanced grammarians.  Chapter readings and corresponding quizzes should be completed at the student's own pace prior, during, and up to 90 days past the end of their course date.  Students can revisit sections and retake quizzes as needed.

Students can also purchase a textbook copy of the Grammar Module here, but it is not required - Grammar Fundamentals of Teaching English as a Foreign Language: A Teacher's Reference.

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; experiential learning and examples of useful EFL activities; individual differences; and a sample needs analysis.

 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; understanding language level distinctions, creating learning objectives for lessons, characteristics of an effective lesson plan; lesson planning for young learners, the foundation behind effective assessment methods.

Chapter 6: Grammar and Lexis

Reading and tasks on defining word root, prefix and suffix; 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; effective methods of grammar instruction with example grammar activities.

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: Optional Specialty TEFL Classes

All ITA students & graduates have the ability to enhance their skills & credentials by opting to take additional TEFL Specialty Classes in the field of Teaching English OnlineTeaching Business English, or  Teaching English to Young Learners (Children).  Check out the Specialty TEFL Class Index to learn more.

Part 3: Textbooks

Required Text

There are no required textbooks for this course.  All of your reading material is available online within Moodle.  However, the course material is available to purchase in either a paperback or PDF version.  The purchase of the coursebook is completely optional and not a requirement to take the online TEFL/TESOL Certification Course. 

If you would like to purchase the textbook, you can do so here - The Fundamentals of Teaching English as a Foreign Language


Recommended Texts

ITA Online students are recommended to have a grammar book as a supplement to the provided course reading.  Every ESL/EFL teacher should have a grammar “bible” that they take with them wherever they teach.

A few suggestions are:


Part 4. Viewing Grades in Moodle

Points you receive for graded activities will be posted online in the Grade Book. From the main course page, click on the Grades link on the left navigation to view your points and feedback.

Your instructor will update the online grades each time a grading session has been complete—within 5 days of the due date. Tasks in the form of an online quiz will be automatically updated upon completion.

Download a Free Guide & Demo for Online TEFL Certification

Part 5: Task Outline

Below is an outline of the course tasks that are to be completed for each unit and chapter. Some tasks will be uploaded by saving a Word document and uploaded into the appropriate forum. These tasks are indicated by (F). Students will be graded on the presentation of these tasks (i.e. correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) Other tasks will be completed as an online quiz and are indicated by (Q).

Please check your course calendar for exact due dates.

Chapter 1 – Role of the Teacher

  • Task 1: Role of the Teacher (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 2: Role of the Teacher (F) – 25 points

Chapter 2 – Student-Centered Classroom

  • Task 1: Student-Centered Classroom (Q) – 10 points
  • Tasks 2 – 3: Student-Centered Classroom (F) – 50 points

Chapter 3 – Cultural Sensitivity

  • Task 1: Cultural Sensitivity (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 2: Cultural Sensitivity (F) – 35 points

Chapter 4 – Methods and Approaches

  • Task 1: Methods and Approaches (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 2: Methods and Approaches (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 3: Methods and Approaches (F) – 25 points

Chapter 5 – Lesson Planning and Assessment

  • Task 1: Lesson Planning and Assessment (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 2 - 3: Lesson Planning and Assessment (F) – 60 points

Chapter 6 – Lexis and Grammar

  • Task 1: Lexis and Grammar (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 2: Lexis and Grammar (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 3: Lexis and Grammar (Q) – 5 points
  • Task 4: Lexis and Grammar (Q) – 8 points
  • Task 5: Lexis and Grammar (Q) – 12 points
  • Tasks 6 - 9: Lexis and Grammar (F) – 55 points

Chapter 7 – Listening and Reading

  • Task 1: Listening and Reading (Q) – 10 points
  • Tasks 2 - 4: Listening and Reading (F) – 75 points

Chapter 8 – Speaking and Writing

  • Task 1: Speaking and Writing (Q) – 10 points
  • Tasks 2 - 3: Speaking and Writing (F) – 50 points

Chapter 9 – Visual Aids and Technology

  • Task 1: Visual Aids and Technology (Q) – 10 points
  • Task 2: Visual Aids and Technology (Q) – 5 points
  • Tasks 3 – 4: Visual Aids and Technology (F) – 60 points

Chapter 10 – Classroom Management

  • Task 1: Classroom Management (Q) – 10 points
  • Tasks 2 - 3: Classroom Management (F) – 50 points

Other Assignments

  • Thematic Unit – 100 points
  • Mid-Course Evaluation – 5 points (continued on next page)
  • Final Course Evaluation – 10 points
  • Peer Participation – 50 points (5 points per week)

Part 6: Grading Scale

Final grades assigned for this course will be based on the sum of the total points earned and are assigned as shown in the chart below. Students must receive 560 or more points to pass the class.

Check the Grade book throughout your course to view your current total points and feedback from your instructor.

Letter Grade

Points Possible



720 – 800

90 – 100%


640 – 719

80 – 89 %


560 – 639

70 – 79%


480 – 559

60 – 69%


0 - 479

0 – 59%


Part 7: Practicum

Practicum Overview

Practicum is an essential component of a teacher's training process, as it provides valuable insight and experience prior to obtaining independent teaching positions. International TEFL Academy requires that all students accumulate a minimum of 20 hours for TEFL/TESOL certification. These hours can be achieved through observation, tutoring, student teaching, or a combination of 2 or 3 of these in an ESL/EFL setting in which non-native speakers are learning new English language skills.

Hands-on experience with English language learners provides an opportunity for teacher trainees to apply teaching principles to real-life situations, build confidence in their skill and pedagogical style, gain exposure to various learning styles and classroom situations, and acquire valuable teaching experience. These components will assist a teacher in feeling more prepared, as well as add a competitive edge during one's job search and interview process.

Practicum Locations

You can do a web search for English language classes offered in your community. You will find that many different organizations will offer English classes to non-native speakers. Some examples of class sites are language schools, ethnic community centers, community colleges, park districts, local libraries, and faith-based organizations such as churches or synagogues. You may also find a non-native English speaker to whom you can offer one-on-one tutoring. It is up to each individual student to find a practicum location and set up their hours.

USA Preferred Practicum Locations

International Practicum Locations

Online Practicum Locations

Practicum Due Date

Students have an additional 60 days to complete the practicum hours from their course end date. For example, if your course ends on November 1, you must submit your practicum documents by December 31. Please refer to your course calendar for exact due dates.

Part 8: Course Policies


Students are expected to participate in all online activities as listed on the course calendar. In order to stay on track, you MUST log into the course at least once a day. If not, you may miss important announcements, date changes, etc. You will not be docked any points if you do not log in to your course every day, but it is highly recommended.

Build Rapport

If you find that you have any trouble keeping up with assignments or other aspects of the course, make sure you let your instructor know as early as possible. As you will find, building rapport and effective relationships are key to becoming an effective professional. Make sure that you are proactive in informing your instructor when difficulties arise during the course so that we can help you find a solution.

Withdrawing From Your Course

Students who are unable to complete the online course must write a letter to International TEFL Academy stating that they will not be able to complete the course. Please refer to your ITA Terms and Conditions for a description of the withdrawal process.

Commitment to Integrity

As a student in this course, you are expected to maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior in and out of the classroom. Cheating and Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this course.

Cheating is defined as “an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating implies the breaking of rules.”

Plagiarism is defined as “the wrongful appropriation, close imitation, or purloining and publication, of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work.”

Students who are caught cheating and/or plagiarizing on course assignments will receive an automatic grade of “0” on their assignment with no chance of redoing the assignment for credit. If the student continues to plagiarize he or she will be automatically withdrawn from the class. Students who get caught cheating and/or plagiarizing on the Final Project – Thematic Unit will receive an automatic grade of “0” on the project, but will still be required to redo the assignment in order to pass the class.

Continuing with the course assures International TEFL Academy that you are aware of your role as the student and what is required of you throughout this course!

Part 9: Instructor Information

Your instructor is available by email only. You can send your instructor an email at any time of the day or night and will receive a response within 24 – 48 hours. To find more information on your course instructor and contact details, please visit the profile section in your course. Your course instructor is not available by phone.

Important Note: This syllabus, along with course tasks and due dates, are subject to change. It is the student’s responsibility to check ITA for corrections or updates to the syllabus. Any changes will be clearly noted in the course announcements.  



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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