If you want a career that allows you to live and travel anywhere in the world, becoming a TEFL teacher might be the profession for you. The TEFL world can be confusing at times and the myriad TEFL certificates available are no exception. An important thing for aspiring teachers is figuring out what TEFL course will help them become a great teacher and get a great job. Before you take your first step, here are a few things to consider:
- CELTA, TEFL, TESOL – What’s the difference?
- Post-Course Job Search
- Quality of the Course and Centre
CELTA, TEFL, TESOL – What’s the difference?
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. There are many TEFL certificates from as many providers. These vary widely in cost and quality and you should research carefully before choosing one. TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is another umbrella term similar to TEFL, and encompasses many different certificates from many different providers. The difficulty with TEFL is that there are so many different certificates, courses, and providers that it can be challenging to ensure that the one you choose is of a high quality. Employers also know how many different types of courses there are and if they have multiple candidates, most will choose the one with a TEFL certificate that they recognize. This is one of the things that sets the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL apart from most other TEFL/TESOL certificates.
Another reason both these certificates are recognized worldwide is that the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL have a significant practical component – you will teach 6 hours of real lessons and get feedback and support on each. Importantly, every single Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL course is moderated by external Cambridge or Trinity assessors. The Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL are the most respected and recognized TEFL (or TESOL) certificates around the world because employers and schools know that these graduates took a course that has to be high quality. If you opt for an online certificate or one from a less well-known provider, you run the risk that it is not sufficient for a job in many countries. Often times these teachers then end up paying later to do a better course. This isn’t to say that there are not other TEFL certificates outside of the CELTA and Trinity TESOL that are high quality, but these two are by far the most recognized worldwide. Simply put, the Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL are the only TESOL/TEFL certificates that can get you an English teaching job anywhere.
Post-Course Job Search
The most important consideration when choosing a TEFL certificate type is which one will allow you to become a great teacher and get a quality job. In many countries, Thailand included, there is a huge range in the quality of teaching jobs available. Some schools have better pay, better support from management, better materials, and classes that don’t have 40+ students. While other schools can be so bad that the teachers don’t finish their first year’s contract. Similar to other occupations, the best English teaching jobs will go to the most qualified. As we train over 500 teachers in the Cambridge CELTA every year, we have heard a lot of success stories but also a few horror stories from bad teaching situations.
Graduates from CELTA courses at International House always go to the top of my candidate list as the trainers there do a great job providing the skills and knowledge that are essential for quality ESL teaching. Wall Street English Thailand has many IH CELTA grads in its teaching and management teams and if people want to work with WSE but lack a ESL course qualification, I always recommend the IH CELTA course
- Stuart Clarke – Teacher Recruitment Specialist, Wall Street English
Quality of the Course and Centre
This is another important thing to consider: There are a lot of really good teacher training centres in the world and there are a lot of bad ones. Just like in any industry, some focus on profit while some focus on quality. The reason that CELTA and Trinity TESOL are more respected by employers than is that these centres are continually assessed by Cambridge or Trinity College. If you go to a regular TEFL centre the quality may be great, horrible, or somewhere in between. When you go to a CELTA or Trinity TESOL centre, you can guarantee that they are licensed through Cambridge or Trinity College and will be, at the very minimum, a good centre with a good course.
We understand that you have many options for a TEFL certificate and IH Bangkok or IH Chiang Mai might not be possible for you to train at. We would love for you to take your CELTA and/or Delta at one of our centres but even if you don’t, we hope you don’t waste your effort, time, and money on a mediocre TEFL course.
We always recommend that you do your own research. There are many centres in the world and we want you to feel comfortable with whatever centre you end up choosing. If you have any specific questions about our course, centre, or the TEFL Training world in general, please click here to send us a message or email us at [email protected].