What is the 120-hour Certificate?

  • Designed to provide an overview of the field of TEFL, teaching methodologies, student assessment and practical applications to teaching grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Discuss, analyze and design materials for various English language skills and levels.
  • Readings and lectures on how SLA theories apply to teaching.
  • Hands-on experience through structured tutoring and cultural-exchange opportunities with international English language learners.
  • Observations of CIES classes and our expert teachers.
  • Teaching of culture, development of intercultural competence, and methods of how to adapt to a host culture.

What is the Internship and Teaching Practicum?

  • Structured internship program at CIES where you will serve as a teaching assistant (TA) to develop best practices in English language instruction, feedback, and assessment.
  • Build on TEFL teaching methodologies learned in the 120-hour certificate.
  • Meet weekly with the TEFL instructor and fellow interns for group discussions and questions.

What is the breakdown of hours for the TEFL 120-Hour Certificate?

120-hour TEFL Certificate

Class meetings: 42 hours

Tutoring: 50 hours (20 for planning + 20 tutoring sessions + 10 for blogging)

CIES class observations: 7 hours (5 observations + 2 for blogging)

CIES class filming: 4 hours (2 hours planning + 1 hour class + 1 hour for self-feedback)

Lesson Plans: 12 hours (design and feedback on 6 lesson plans)

Reading assignments: 5 hours

Total = 120 hours

Do I need a certificate to teach English abroad?

This really depends on where you want to teach. Although some schools do not require a TEFL certificate, these schools can be less reputable and pay non-certificate teachers less. Most importantly, CIES-TEFL Certificate holders will feel more prepared and knowledgeable about how to apply effective teaching methods in their future classrooms. You will also have a better understanding about the cultural issues that face both teachers and students in EFL contexts.

Do I need to have a degree or teaching experience to register for the CIES-TEFL Program?

Not necessarily, but many employers require a TEFL certificate and Bachelor's degree. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for the CIES-TEFL Certificate, as well members of the general community who do not hold a college degree or have teaching experience.

Do I have to be an FSU student to earn the CIES-TEFL Certificate?


Can I earn the CIES-TEFL Certificate if English is not my first language?

Absolutely! Some of the best teachers of English are non-native English speakers. Please review our English Language Proficiency Requirements for non-native English speakers and be sure to submit the appropriate proficiency exam scores with your CIES-TEFL registration.

Do I receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course?

Yes. Students who complete the CIES-TEFL course will receive a CIES-TEFL Certificate from the Center for Intensive English Studies, Florida State University.

What kinds of job opportunities are available after completing the CIES-TEFL Certificate?

We do work with employers globally to connect our graduates with employment opportunities. We also use our extensive network of international students, teachers and former TEFL alumni. Job counseling and preparation throughout the course enable students to conduct research towards finding employment in countries where they would like to teach.

Do FSU students receive university credit for the CIES-TEFL program?

The CIES-TEFL Certificate is not credit-bearing at the University. Students can apply the certificate as an FSU "Global Pathways" event.

Once I'm registered for the TEFL course, where can I find additional practical details to make sure I'm prepared for the first day of class?

Once your course registration has been approved, you will receive an email welcoming you to the CIES-TEFL Certificate program and giving you practical details for the first day of class. This email also contains a link to the TEFL Student Handbook, which should have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

What technology will I need to use during the TEFL course? Do I need to bring a personal computer? 

CIES-TEFL students are encouraged to utilize technology that will be beneficial (and possibly mandatory) as future teaching professionals. The TEFL course and IEP class observations will be held in Technology Enhanced Classrooms, and the appropriate use of such technology in English instruction will be demonstrated. CIES-TEFL students will submit their course assignments electronically through the University’s learning management system called Canvas. Incoming TEFL students are advised to familiarize themselves with Canvas by reviewing the Student Resources materials available in the FSU Canvas Support Center here: Students will also need to have access to a Gmail account to create posts on for the blogging component of the TEFL course.

The completion of course assignments will require the use of a computer with Microsoft Office (Word). During the TEFL course, students are permitted to use the CIES Computer Lab during business hours and FSU Libraries and Computer Labs during their hours of operation. If you have any questions or concerns about the technology requirements of the TEFL course, please contact the front desk staff at CIES. For technical support, you may contact FSU’s ITS Service Desk.

I don't live in Tallahassee. Can I still register for the CIES-TEFL course? Is short-term housing available?

Yes, many people choose to come to Tallahassee for 7 weeks or commute 2-3 days out of the week in order to earn their CIES-TEFL Certificate. Short-term housing can be difficult to find if you are unfamiliar with the area, but there are various options available. Please see the Housing page of our Intensive English Program site for some ideas to begin your housing search, and feel free to contact us for further assistance.

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