So there is a huge amount of ESL type qualifications out there and it can be a minefield as to which one is the best qualification for you to do in order to not only better yourself as a teacher but to develop your teaching career. I’m going to share a bit of my 16-year ESL working experience with you as well as my journey in terms of getting a variety of ESL qualifications up to Master’s level.
With regards to entry level ESL/EFL type qualifications, you can basically consider the following: a TEFL certificate, a TESOL certificate, CELTA and Trinity Cert TESOL (of which I completed a TEFL and CELTA early on in my career). Now, all of these qualifications are at a level 5 in the Ofqual regulated framework but that does not necessarily mean that teaching institutions nor schools will recognise them all equally! For example, I worked at the British Council for many years, and the BC only recognizes a CELTA or more recently a Trinity Cert Tesol qualification as pre-requisite qualifications for new teachers. However, if you wish to teach online then many companies do favour a TEFL certificate and for some it’s a must have. (click here to check out a number of great TEFL courses).
The Benefits of getting a TEFL:
- Most online teaching platforms will require you to have at least a 120hour TEFL course but not all
- If you are applying for face to face teaching positions having a TEFL certificate definitely helps your application because you will have some basic theoretical as well as practical knowledge. Provided you have taken a course that combines the practical side of things
- Some countries will stipulate that you must have a TEFL certificate in order to qualify for a visa there. Countries such as: China, Vietnam, Korea, Italy, Greece and many others.
We have done a lot of research into the different TEFL providers and you can save both time, effort and money by selecting Premier TEFL if you would like to improve your employment chances and develop as a teacher. The great thing about Premier TEFL is that they offer a huge variety of TEFL courses and all of them are internationally recognised and accredited to level 5 Ofqual. You can study from 120hours (the minimum required) through to 300hour hybrid courses which include many different elements: teaching IELTS, Business English, TOEIC, Young Learners and a 10hour virtual teacher studio. There are so many fantastic courses to choose from that there’s bound to be something that is suitable for different teaching preferences. Click here to see more information about these great courses.
What’s the difference between a TESOL and a TEFL certificate?
Basically a TEFL course is designed for teachers who wish to solely teach EFL (we could go into the differences between EFL and ESL, but don’t want to confuse too much!) in countries where English is not the first language. Whereas a TESOL course is slightly more flexible, as it’s designed for teachers who wish to teach in countries where English is the first language and those that it is not. Thus, a TESOL course will often be geared towards teachers who are teaching students in an English speaking country and need English to survive there. For example, everyday usages of English, such as ordering food in a restaurant, directions, travel and so on. Whereas a TEFL course will most probably focus more on the academic side of things.
The price of these courses is also a factor which differentiates them. There are many factors to take into account:
- The length of the course, i.e. how many hours is it – the longer and more content it contains the more expensive it will be
- Is there a practical teaching section included in the course? If there is then the price will reflect this but the value of the course for you will be far greater.
- The type of the institution will also be a factor. If it is a well-established university, the price will be a lot higher compared to a purely online school.
We hope that information will give you a better idea of what course is suitable for you. If you are interested in studying a fantastic online TESOL course with the option of doing practical teaching in either Vietnam or Cambodia then we have teamed up with Teacher’s Friend to offer these great hybrid courses. For more information, please click here.