Although there are slight differences in meaning, the terms ‘TEFL’, ‘TESOL’ and ‘ESL’ are basically the same thing: abbreviations and acronyms used to describe English Language Teaching. TEFL refers to ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’, and TESOL refers to ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’, while ESL refers to ‘English as a Second Language’.
TEFL is the generic name for English language teaching qualifications. CELTA and Trinity CertTESOL are the two universally-accepted ‘brands’ of TEFLAidan O’Toole (Spainwise Teacher Training & Recruitment)
So, which qualification do you need to get a job teaching English? Well, everyone has heard stories about people landing teaching jobs simply because they could speak English. However, these are often dead-end jobs with unscrupulous employers and horrendous conditions. Online courses with no teaching practice and leading to unaccredited certificates, for example, might seem like bargains but very often they simply don’t prepare you for the rigours of a real teaching job. The best way to be able to pick and choose the teaching job you take is to have a reputable, internationally-recognised qualification. For the vast majority of employers worldwide that means either the Trinity CertTESOL or the CELTA.
Eight Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Course
- Is the qualification internationally-recognised?
- Does the course include teaching practice with real students?
- Is the course good value for money?
- Where is the course held?
- Has the course provider got a good reputation?
- Does the course provider offer part-time and intensive courses?
- Does the course provider offer access to wifi, computers and research material?
- Does the course provider offer long-term back-up?
When it comes to recognition, Trinity’s CertTESOL and Cambridge’s CELTA are by far the most widely-recognised TEFL qualifications. They both include at least 6 hours of real teaching practice with real students (not your fellow trainee teachers!). There are over 100 Trinity Cert TESOL centres in the world, several of them in Spain. Many of these course providers offer would-be teachers the choice between part-time courses (one morning a week over nine months) and intensive (four- or five-week) courses. Check out the full list of Trinity CertTESOL providers in Spain here.