TEFL, CELTA, TESOL, DELTA… all of these acronyms relate to one thing: teaching English as a foreign language. The range of courses on offer can be confusing. Whether you are new to teaching or you have been in the teaching profession for decades, the following insights will help you to make an informed course choice.
About the TESOL and CELTA courses
The two most well-known qualifications are Trinity TESOL (Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), both of which are widely recognised by employers and by official bodies. The difference between the two courses is surprisingly little.
The aim of each course is to equip adult learners with the skills to teach English as a foreign language to non-native students. They address some of the issues both teachers and learners face in the classroom. Both courses include academic theory and require you to be observed teaching small classes for a certain amount of time. If you pass either of these courses, then you will be well-equipped to begin your career as an English teacher abroad.
Although TESOL is affiliated with Trinity College London and CELTA with Cambridge University, both courses are conducted at independent study centres such as colleges in the UK and abroad. Although the Trinity TESOL and CELTA courses involve about 130 contact hours and six hours of observed teaching, they are described as being introductory courses. They provide the groundwork upon which you can build through teaching experience. This should give you reason to weigh up carefully the credentials of any shorter online or weekend courses.
TESOL and CELTA courses normally run over a period of four weeks (known as intensive courses) which involve full-time study at a course centre. Alternatively, some course providers run part-time courses at a slower pace (normally around three evenings a week).
Taking the TEFL course
You may be wondering if you should choose online or face-to-face courses. The internet is rife with websites offering TEFL courses. A quick search on Google brings back countless course providers, mostly offering online qualifications in teaching English as a foreign language.
As any course can go under the moniker of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), it is important to be cautious when you are choosing a course provider. It is wise to check their credentials and not to be fooled by authoritative sounding affiliates. As a general rule, though, these TEFL courses are much shorter than the Trinity TESOL or CELTA courses as mentioned above, taking place over a period as short as a weekend.
One advantage of TEFL courses is the reduced price. The average fee for such a course is around £200 compared to £900 plus for the Trinity and Cambridge qualifications. Another advantage is the relatively easy schedule – weekend and online courses on average take around twenty hours to complete. Bear in mind, though, that the comparatively easy nature of these courses is something that potential employers may pick up on. If you are looking for a basic grounding in teaching methods, TEFL courses could be ideal for you because they require little commitment in terms of time or finances.
What does DELTA stand for?
The DELTA qualification (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) is designed for individuals with previous English language teaching experience who have already completed a teaching qualification.
Where can you find teaching jobs?
Did you know that some course providers offer work placements upon successful completion of the course? However, if you want to apply for jobs directly, there are some useful organisations out there to help you. The British Council provides overseas teaching opportunities which are posted on their website. Tefl.com is one of the largest databases which has a very useful search function. The site advertises a large number of English teaching jobs across the globe.
Teaching English overseas could be a life-changing opportunity for you. You could travel the world and live in exotic cultures. You could make a difference to your students’ lives and master a new language. You could enhance your CV and gain invaluable professional skills. When you teach English overseas, you educate people in a foreign country and you become a contributing member of that society. You have a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge with others, learn new things and see the world with a fresh pair of eyes.
Daniella Shannon says
Please send me details of your online TEFL courses. I have a degree in Education, and currently work full time as a teacher, so would have to study in the evenings.
Thanks in anciticipation
Mrs Daniella Shannon
Dorothy Gill-Carey says
I wanted to find out if there were any classes designed to obtain some sort of qualification to enable one to seriously teach English to foreign students So far I have failed in this. Dorothy
I work as a teaching assistant mainly doing interventions with students who speak English as a second language is really like to gain a qualification that shows I can do this line of work.
Pooneh Ala says
I am 60 years old, spending 35 years of my life teaching English as a second language, preparing students for TOEFL and IELTS exams as well. I have moved to England two years ago . Last summer I worked at the Univ. of Portsmouth , teaching English to foreign students and received excellent feedback. However , I do not have any teaching certificate from here and therefore finding a job has become very difficult . Can you please help and guide me . Thank you.
I am a designer, would like more information about the TELF course. Also, once completed can I teach abroad once I gained the TELF training?
Imran Mahmood says
Please send me more information i would like to find out more about tefl i am training to be a tefl Teacher.
Robert John Vincent says
I am interested in doing a TEFL course, I would appreciate any information regarding doing a TEFL course. I live in South Wales.
Jenny Barnett says
I am doing TEFL course with theTEFLacademy.Com
Will qualification from this institute equate to the Cambridge or Trinity as in your article?
Alison Brown says
Please send me details TEFL I am interested in teaching English abroad. Currently I am a Nurse
SAJJID FAROOQ says
I am very interested in teaching ENGLISH overseas and would like to know the way forward. At present I am working at a Hospital in London.
Steve Woods says
Hi please send me details of TEFL please
Thomas Clarkson says
I have been a Court Recorder For 18 years and recently decided to change direction and qualified for driving heavy vehicles and for 12 months I have been driving disadvantaged children to school.
Recently I decided I would take a year off and would like to get a good qualification and travel abroad teaching English as a second language. I have my Victorian VCE certificate and a diploma in Hotel Management from the William Angliss college in Melbourne( TAFE certificate)
Could you please advise me the most appropriate certificate I should pursue to achieve my aim.
Tara mckee says
I have finished the Telf course 160hrs. I would love to start teaching online and I just don’t know we’re to start. Anyone I have spoke to has said Telf is not recognised.
Could you please point me in the correct direction.
Kate Mathison says
I am a primary school teacher who is interested in teaching English as a foreign language to children in the UK or online. Please could you advise me on availability of jobs, qualifications needed, working hours and pay?
I have been teaching for 20years, I am Not expert in Theory but proficient in listening comprehension and apeaking skills. Please advise the right course for me ro teach conversational skills to Speakers of Foreign Languages
Kwarteng Benjamin says
I want to enrol to qualify as a teacher