What type of TEFL/TESOL do I need?

I am asking this question specifically in regards to China visa and job requirements. I have a BBA in International Business and Economics (2009), a second BBA in Management and Finance (2010), and my MBA (2012). I also have 1 year of teaching experience (university level economics) and I have been an private English language tutor for 4 years. I am very interested in teaching English in China, but nearly every company and school wants some sort of TEFL/TESOL. I have seen courses ranging in length from simple 40 hour online courses to 160 hour courses that include classroom teaching. Does the specific certification I choose matter? Will my employer even care what type of TEFL/TESOL I have or do they just want the piece of paper that says I have one?


I am specifically looking at jobs in Guangzhou. I have many friends there.

Update 2:

Also, I am not looking for any programs that I must pay for. If you were looking at jobs in the US would you pay them to allow you to start working for them? A work Visa is only $140, so anyone asking for more than that is just trying to make a profit.

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I was in a similar situation to you in terms of education and experience. I got offered my first English teaching job in China with a major company on the condition that I got a TEFL certificate from an online course they recommended. They reimburse the cost of the certificate though, which was a bonus.

    For most employers in China they just want the piece of paper to help get you a visa and get started. China is very bureaucratic (imagine an entire country like the DMV). I ended up getting my TEFL from CCPED, it was fast and they use some of the best teaching material around.

    There are some who require 2 years+ experience teaching English in China and pay a bit more for it. But again those schools don't care about what type of TEFL you have, just so long as you have good experience.

    Good luck with your China TEFL adventure!

    Source(s): My own China TEFL experience. http://ccped.org
  • 8 years ago

    TEFL with classroom experience will open doors. I can guarantee the classroom experience will teach you things about yourself and give you surprising amount of insight about teaching language. Online education may not get as much acceptance especially in China. If the employer doesn't care, run away don't walk. It's a very bad sign. ACCET Certification of the TEFL school is also preferable as it is recognized outside the US. I don't work for a TEFL school BTW :)

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Check chinaprogram.org. They recruit teachers for the schools in Shenzhen, in the special economic zone. I believe they still give their own training prior to the start of employment- it's a very reputable program that has been taking teachers to China for more than 12 years.

  • 7 years ago


    It might help you in your situation



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