Two English teaching qualifications, two acronyms, two different purposes – it can be confusing knowing the difference between TEFL or CELTA. Here at TEFL Courses Ireland we often get asked ‘which one is better?’ – but it isn’t a case of one being better than the other. Deciding on whether choose TEFL or CELTA depends on your future intentions for teaching English abroad.

What is TEFL and CELTA?

TEFL stands for – Teaching English as a Foreign Language and CELTA stands for – Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.

CELTA is a course designed for those looking to teach English abroad long-term, often at colleges or universities (hence the ‘A’ for Adult). Usually completed by teachers with previous TEFL experience, looking to make teaching English abroad a lifelong career. Due to the in-depth and detailed nature of their course content, CELTA courses often require a students to have a formal English qualification.

TEFL, by contrast, is aimed at those looking to teach English abroad for the first time or perhaps at those looking for a short term teaching contract. With no experience required, TEFL is an ideal option for a first time teacher.

How much? How long to complete?

Two of the biggest differences between these TEFL and CELTA courses is the cost/length of time it takes to complete.
CELTA courses are full time classroom courses running from four to five weeks. Costing over €1000, they require a substantial time and financial commitment.

TEFL by contrast offers flexible learning options, allowing students to fit TEFL study around their other commitments. Starting from the 20-hour TEFL Classroom Course (at dates and locations throughout Ireland), completed over one weekend, to 140-hour TEFL course which is made up of 120-hours online learning and a 20-hour weekend classroom.

What will I need to get a job abroad?

To find a job teaching English abroad we always recommended students complete a minimum of 120 hours TEFL study – which can be completed entirely online or combined with the 20-hour weekend classroom course. The reason we suggest 120 hours is that this is the minimum requirement for the vast majority of TEFL employers/schools. After completing a course with TEFL Courses Ireland you will have exclusive access to the Job Centre at TEFL Org – where over 100 worldwide TEFL jobs are advertised by quality checked employers.

Is TEFL accredited?

Accreditation is a vital measure of the quality of a TEFL course. As the most accredited TEFL provider in Ireland, you can be sure that completing a course with TEFL Courses Ireland will qualify you with a TEFL certificate sought after by international TEFL employers. Find out more about TEFL Courses Ireland accreditation.

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2 thoughts on “TEFL or CELTA?

  1. Do I need Ielts 7 band in order to take the course TEFL?
    I am from Bolivia english student living in Dublin Ireland and my dream is to teach english abroad.

    1. Hello Jose, thanks for getting in touch. Yes, we require all prospective TEFL Courses Ireland students to have a minimum IELTS Band Score of 7. I hope this helps 🙂 – Alan

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