1. What's the difference between a CELTA and a TEFL course?
It depends which TEFL course! TEFL simply stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language, so CELTA is one of many TEFL courses offered by various institutions. CELTA is the most popular and probably the best regarded. It's governed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, part of the University of Cambridge.
2. Why choose the CELTA over other TEFL courses?
Because the CELTA is what employers want. If you apply for a teaching job in a private language school, you'll almost certainly be asked whether you hold a CELTA certificate. In your search for a suitable TEFL course, you will encounter courses advertised as 'CELTA equivalent' – which clearly shows that the CELTA is considered a model course in TEFL and how well the name is known. If you can have the original, why opt for an equivalent?
3. So why is the CELTA so respected?
The CELTA is very much a hands-on, practical course rather than a theoretical, academic one. It gives you exactly what you need in the classroom: basic knowledge and tools for effective teaching. The programme gives you experience of teaching real learners, and your performance is largely assessed on the basis of the lessons you teach.
Additionally, all CELTA courses are inspected by an external assessor to ensure that the course requirements and grading standards as laid down by Cambridge English are being properly observed by the centre and the tutors.
4. Do I really need a qualification to teach English?
Most schools, and for sure all reputable ones, expect their teachers to be qualified for the job. Just being able to speak English is not enough. Also, starting to teach is much easier if you have some idea of how to do it! The CELTA will give you this know-how and help build your confidence in the classroom.
5. Will I be able to get a job after the course?
There are plenty of English language teaching jobs around the world so, armed with a CELTA and positive references, you'll almost certainly be able to find a suitable post. You may at first need to be flexible in terms of where you want to work, i.e. you may not immediately find a job in your dream country or city, as these tend to attract large numbers of teachers with experience as well as qualifications. You should also take into account when most recruitment takes place. For Europe it’s mostly in the autumn, when the academic year starts, but also in January, when the second semester starts.
6. Do you provide help with job placement?
Yes. The course includes a session about finding work, and we have noticeboards with advertisements from prospective employers around the world, including other IH schools. Other schools in the region know we run training courses and often advertise for teachers with us.
You can also take advantage of the recruitment services offered by the International House World Organization: