Monday, October 12, 2009

Should You Get a CELTA or a TEFL Certificate?

If you're considering getting a certificate to start teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), you've probably come across the TEFL vs. CELTA debate. Which certification is better? Which courses are better? Which prepare you to teach adults ESL/EFL and which prepare you to teach children? Which certificate do employers prefer?

Unfortunately, the answers to these questions take a lot of research and then most of the answers you find are subjective. If you ask someone with a CELTA, they're likely to say CELTA is better. If you ask someone with a TEFL certificate, they're likely to say TEFL is better. This is, of course, also dependent upon the student teacher's particular experiences at their particular TESOL certification course.

When potential EFL/ESL teachers write and ask me which I recommend, I cannot give a strong recommendation about which is best. (I can recommend my particular program, as I feel it did everything it promised and more.) I can only suggest factors to consider when making the TEFL or CELTA decision. You can read more about what to consider on my main website TEFL or CELTA page.

The one thing I strongly recommend is that after you've done your research, bite the bullet and just do choose a certificate and choose a course. Don't let the "paralysis by analysis" bug keep you from moving forward.



Elise Walker said...

I never did know which to choose. But your "paralysis by analysis" hit me more. Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

David Harrington said...

I'm still not convinced that tutors need either certification for most clients and jobs. Often, experience counts more than anything else.

English Language Blog said...

This reminds me of when I was in Spain and I knew a group who had just done their Celta course. I went to the party and someone asked me if I had done Celta in the past. I told them that I went the TEFL route. She just gave me a pity look and carried on drinking.

Daniel said...

I personally got CELTA because it's more available here in Spain. I would say it's useful mostly because it gave me teaching experience right away and demystified it for me. The teachers were good, I had a good time.

Anonymous said...

I am a successful graduate with a CELTA certificate and I promise you it is a waste of time and money. The cost can reach as high as 10 times that of an online course in TEFL, TESOL, or TESL. I knew that going in, but I trusted the Cambridge name to provide a valuable education. That is not what they do. They provide a lot of busy work and little to no information of actual value. I went in as an experienced teacher looking for training. I wanted the best. What I got was really a joke. They keep you busy and that's about it. I regret choosing the CELTA.