What is TEFL certification?
TEFL certification refers to a qualification specifically for teaching English – abroad or online – to English language learners.
In the world of English language teaching there are a lot of different acronyms, which can get a little confusing! TEFL, TESOL, TESL, CELTA, and DELTA are a few of the most common terms you may have come across but do they all mean the same thing?
Here’s what they all stand for:
TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TESL: Teaching English as a Second Language
CELTA: Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
DELTA: Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults
TEFL, TESOL, and TESL are often used interchangeably, but CELTA and DELTA refer to specific qualifications.
Why you need TEFL certification
Once upon a time it was possible to easily find work teaching English abroad by simply being a fluent English speaker. These days the requirements are a bit more strict, with the vast majority of employers requiring teachers to hold a 120-hour TEFL qualification.
In fact, if you spot a teaching job advertised that requires no qualifications or experience whatsoever it can often a sign of a TEFL scam or dodgy employer – so be aware!
But not all TEFL certification providers are equal, so you need to ensure you do your research. The most important thing to look out for when choosing a TEFL course is accreditation, which ensures a course has undergone quality control by an external body.
There is no over-arching accrediting body for TEFL courses, which means providers can hold accreditation from a wide range of bodies. An easy way to spot the good from the not-so-good is to check if a provider has accreditation from government or government-affiliated bodies.
How do you get TEFL certified?
It’s easy to get your TEFL certification online and fit training in around your existing schedule.
Studying online will put you at no disadvantage when applying for TEFL jobs, with most employers happy to accept an online-only qualification. As we’ve already said, you need to ensure that the course provider is adequately accredited. Budget TEFL courses you can find on discount websites will not be as widely accepted as a qualification from a reputable and established provider.
The great thing about studying online is that it’s self-paced, so you can work through your course at your own speed.