TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language
One thing to note when thinking about TEFL is that it isn’t specific to a certain kind of academy. It refers to the practice of Teaching English to learners. It is also the most popular term used to refer to Teaching English Overseas. In so many words, a TEFL Certification is used to talk about the training courses and the certificate itself that are requisite when English academies and schools around the world consider hiring an English teacher.
TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Both the TEFL and TESOL acronyms appear to mean the same thing, don’t they? There is a difference between the two, and that difference is where the teaching is done. With a TEFL Certification, the English Teacher is in a foreign country like Spain, Japan, or Vietnam. With a TESOL Certification, the English Teacher is in a country where the first language is English. The students themselves travel from other parts of the world to learn English in countries like Canada, the United States, or Australia, for example. When you’re thinking about TESOL, it’s also commonplace for people to do so under government regulation. It’s also the certification if you want to earn a master’s degree for teaching English as a Second Language in your local public school system. So, if you want to Teach ESL in the City of Toronto, you may be required to get a TESOL, along with a master’s degree in order to work.
TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language
Fundamentally speaking, TESL and TESOL are the same thing in that you are training Non-English speakers in an English-speaking country. A TESOL is required if you want to work with a Public School System in an English-speaking country. However, if you want to work for a Private Academy in an English-speaking country, then a TESL will work fine. If you want to work in a foreign country, then a TEFL Certification would be the way to go.
CELTA – Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
There are two points of distinction between the CELTA and other variations of TEFL Certification. The first point is that it is conferred to candidates after completing a program offered by Cambridge English Assessment, which is located at the University of Cambridge. The second point is in the acronym itself. It certifies the candidate to teach adults. The CELTA is great to have on a resume because of its affiliation with the University of Cambridge, but one should certainly take note of the restrictions that come with it. It does prepare prospective teachers to work with adults, and that’s where they should focus their energies after completing a four-week, 120-hour course.
DELTA – Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults
For English teachers who have had one year of teaching experience, and want to add to your resume, the DELTA may be a good option. If you’re looking to simply teach English overseas, you certainly will not need one. If you are looking to start an English academy of your own, having that diploma could be a good starting point.
So, now that you know what each of the individual English teaching courses are, it’s probably a good idea to see which one works for you. What are you hoping to do with English teaching? That should be the question that you ask yourself before you fully commit to it. The most popular answer to that question is to travel.
Which English Teaching course is right for me?
After taking careful consideration with what each English Teaching course has to offer, the thing to do will first, last, and always be what you want to do as an English Teacher. Do you want to teach English to learners abroad? Do you want to work with them in your own country? Do you want to work with the Board of Education? Do you want to work with Children? Adults? Maybe you want to start your own business, or even your own academy? Whatever your goals are as an English Teacher, make sure that you learn from skilled professionals in established and reputed institutions. This is key to starting your career. Of course, acquiring the necessary skills needed to be able to teach will always be integral. The good news is that the certification that you ultimately receive isn’t as important as you think. A TEFL Course will more than suffice as you will get the necessary intensive one-hundred hours needed to be certified, you’ll get teaching practice, and you’ll be monitored by other trained and skilled English Teachers (many of whom have the distinction of having certification at the graduate level, a DELTA, or the experience to impart onto willing and able would-be teachers).
Whether you want to travel to Europe, South-east Asia, South America, or even remain in your own country, there are many TEFL Certification academies who have the teachers and the curriculum in-hand to help you on your journey. Looking at reviews on Google shouldn’t be enough. Is the institution that you’re thinking about accredited? Do they give you the intensive experience that you will need in order to instill confidence as you move forward? These can be tough questions to answer, but there is a little bit of good news:
Since English Teaching Certifications are used interchangeably, whichever program you ultimately decide to go with isn’t the most important thing in the world. The important thing always will be whether or not the academy itself has the reputation and teaches you appropriately.
The difference between TESL and TESOL is who you’ll be teaching for in your own country, whether it’s for a private academy or a board of education. CELTA and DELTA? The DELTA is typically used for those who want to run English Academies and train prospective English Teachers. The question that underlies the CELTA and the DELTA is how far you want to go with English Teaching. The main difference between the TEFL and the TESOL is where you want to teach, whether it’s overseas or your own country.
So, now it’s time to contemplate, reflect, and ultimately decide what it is you want for yourself in the future. Where do you want to take your new career? Who do you want to teach? What area of English Teaching do you want to get into? Make that decision, find a reputed course, and go for it. The world is waiting for you.