Wednesday, 5 July 2017

TEFL, TESOL or CELTA – Which Course Should You Choose?

Are you thinking of taking up the profession of teaching English as a foreign language which also entails travelling around the world? Then by now you must have understood that pursuing a training course on the same is the only way to enjoy a fulfilling career. However while searching for the most suitable training programs most of the aspirants seem to get confused by the array of international courses that are available all across, both in the on-site as well as online modes of learning. And the main elements of confusion are usually regarding TEFL, TESOL and CELTA. Let us discuss this and try and clear up the doubts and queries that cloud up the minds of the teaching aspirants.

TEFL, TESOL and CELTA all three have the same meaning and relevance in the international teaching market. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, TESOL stands for Teaching English to the Speakers of other language and CELTA stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults and refers to Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Therefore it can be well understood that all the three terms are almost similar. The term TEFL is used in most parts of the world whereas TESOL is mainly used in the North America, Canada and Australia.
CELTA is a highly revered teacher training program that is considered by many educational institutes as the benchmark for teaching English in any part of the world. However both are the same product, CELTA having a specific brand name. The University of Cambridge is the affiliating body for all the CELTA courses and since it is such a renowned and prestigious educational institution that is held in high esteem by one and all, hence a CELTA certificate is considered to be more prestigious than those courses accredited by other certification bodies. CELTA courses need to follow and adhere to certain requirements and hence it is a given that the courses are of international standards.
TEFL courses on the other hand provided by various training institutes and are affiliated by different institutes. The course curriculum is also not fixed like CELTA with no fixed curriculum and each institute formulating their own curriculum. This however does not mean that TEFL/TESOL courses are less valuable or holds lesser weightage than CELTA courses;TEFL courses are available in many levels and can exceed CELTA.
Nevertheless, everything depends on the recruiter as to which certificate they are giving preference and importance to. However both CELTA and TEFL can be pursued in the online as well as in-class mode of learning and both give equal importance to practicum classes whereas the theoretical course content comprises of language awareness and learning skills, communication in various modes- reading, writing, listening, and speaking, lesson planning and the various approaches to teaching English to learners who first language of communication is not English, etc.
In order to pursue any of the courses, whether TEFL or CELTA, it requires the aspiring candidates to possess near native English fluency, both in speaking and writing model, and a high school education degree. However CELTA gives preference to those who are 20 years of age and above whereas for TEFL/TESOL the minimum age criteria is 18 years. Also TEFL training courses are available in cheaper variations than CELTA courses. Hence if you are really looking forward to teach English and have a long career in it then pursuing a CELTA course will be beneficial, however if you are not too sure and want to test the waters then pursuing the certificate or Diploma TEFL Course will be a wiser decision. (Also remember nowadays most countries well accept a certified TEFL training certificate).

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