“What is the difference between CELTA and TEFL?”
This is one of the first questions people ask us when they are trying to decide what English teaching course to do. Initial online research uncovers a bewildering range of websites and courses. And let’s be honest, no one wants to fork out cash only to discover that either the course isn’t really what they need, or doesn’t fully prepare them for the diverse English teaching contexts they may find themselves in
So, if you‘ve been thinking about doing a teacher training course, you’re probably all ears. To simplify things, let’s start with a key question:
“What exactly is ‘TEFL’?”
The term TEFL is an acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) as it is sometimes called. If you want to get into this field of work, it is advisable to obtain a TEFL certificate. Herein lies the confusion between CELTA and TEFL: although the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language is known as TEFL, some teacher training organisations use TEFL as the name of their course and certification.
“And what is CELTA?”
The CELTA course is the TEFL course we offer here at IH Cape Town. CELTA is a teaching award that is moderated and assessed by Cambridge Assessment English and all trainers and centres must be approved by them. This helps to maintain the CELTA standard worldwide.
From a recent study, which examined 600 English language teaching job adverts in more than 60 countries, it is clear that Cambridge Assessment English’s CELTA is still the qualification most often requested by employers. Once you have done the CELTA course yourself, you will come to see why it is so highly regarded by employers.
“Why choose the CELTA course?”
The CELTA prepares teachers well for the English foreign language classroom in a very practical sense. You start teaching from the second day and get lots of feedback on your lessons as well as the lessons of others. This allows you to develop the necessary teaching skills to engage students and to foster their English language development. You also learn how to structure a range of lessons, with awareness of the needs of your students in mind, using a variety of learning/teaching techniques.
It is a rigorous course that has you making exponential progress in just four short weeks. As you go through the programme you get a lot of support in the beginning, and then as you become more aware of what you need to do, you start gaining in confidence and become excited about heading off to find your first TEFL job. Taking the CELTA course makes finding work a win-win situation. Your employer will know what to expect from you when you produce your certificate, and you will have more options open to you when you embark on your new adventure.