Published on:
September 1, 2015

by: Stephanie

TEFL courses – which one is right for me?

There are so many different teaching English certifications on the market, and it’s easy to get confused by the many acronyms- we often get asked by candidates which is most suitable for those wishing to teach English in China. Here’s the lowdown.

TEFL – Teach English as a Foreign Language

Many courses are offered online, meaning you can fit in your study around working or studying full time, and they are also comparatively cheap. You’ll learn strategies to aide students with their learning, and have access to resources which will assist with future lesson planning.

Course duration can range from 40 hours, to 200 hours, however most provinces in China now require teachers to have a TEFL certificate of a minimum of 120 hours. The key thing is that the course is delivered by a reputable provider, and a certificate is issued which states the course duration. TEFL is the acronym commonly used in the UK, while TESOL is commonly used in Australia and the US.

If this will be your first English teaching position, or if you’re an experienced teacher who just requires the certification to fulfil work z visa requirements, this course is likely be most suitable for you. It’s a comparatively small investment to make.

There are many courses on the market, however our candidates get a huge discount on the high quality online courses delivered by TEFL Express.

CertTESOL – Teaching of English for Speakers of Other Languages

This certificate is designed for those with little or no experience of teaching English, and includes observed teaching practice. It equips new teachers with the basic skills and knowledge needed to take up a first post as an English teacher, giving an introduction to the theory and practice of English teaching, and insight into the challenges facing the learner and the role of the teacher. It’s comparable in difficulty to the second year of an undergraduate degree, and as an intensive 4 week full time course (typically 12 weeks if studied part time) it costs around $1,500 (£1,000).

CELTA – Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults

This course is delivered by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, is highly regarded by employers and take an intensive 4-5 weeks to complete in-class full time. They can cost around $1,500 (£1,000) and are therefore expensive in comparison to online courses, however are thorough and include teaching delivery practice. It’s designed for people with no teaching experience and for those wishing to pursue a career in TEFL it’s a great option, and is recognised by schools worldwide.

DELTA – Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults

This is an advanced qualification, and can only be studied by qualified English teachers with a few years of teaching experience. Again, it is completed as an intensive in-class course for between 8-12 weeks, similar to the CELTA and can cost up to $3,800 (£2,500). It’s one of the most prestigious ELT courses, and there’s a stringent application process. Benefits include career progression, a salary rise, a competitive edge, and a deeper understanding of teaching and learning.

If you have any further questions on the confusing topic of English teaching qualifications then please get in touch – we’d be delighted to advise.


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