Why a TEFL Certificate May Be Better Than a CELTA

Why a TEFL Certificate May Be Better Than a CELTA

A CELTA opens up more job possibilities and is more prestigious as it is backed by Cambridge University. Still, a TEFL may be the better choice for you. Let’s take a look at the differences.

  • TEFL – a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • CELTA – a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages



  CELTA TEFL and other EFL certificates
  • It is highly regarded because of its connection to Cambridge University
  • Quality of the course is externally assessed; there is a degree of regularity to it
  • Some of the TEFL courses are internationally recognised
  • The course might not be well-known or accredited
  • Employers typically don’t accept “weekend TEFL certificates”
  • Over 1,500 CELTA courses are available every year in over 80 countries
  • Not available online
  • You can complete the TEFL in any country and also online
  • Many types of TEFL certificates so it’s harder to choose which one is right for you
  • US $1,500 – 4,000
  • Usually no refund if you fail
  • US $200-1000
  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • You need to be at least 20 years old
  • No previous teaching experience is needed
  • Acceptance still depends on the specific CELTA training center
  • No degree required
  • You need to be at least 16 years old. You could even teach before college or university
  • No previous teaching experience is needed
  • Certainly not easy to complete, and needs a large time commitment
  • More challenging for first-time teachers who don’t have any previous teaching experience
  • Not necessarily challenging, and some TEFLs can be completed over a weekend
  • Some online courses ask multiple choice questions and allow you to change your answer immediately if it’s wrong
  • Focuses on teaching adults only, not children
  • The course might not include assessed teaching practice


Most teachers living and teaching overseas have chosen to get a TEFL, since it’s relatively cheaper, easier to complete and faster to get certified. Furthermore, some TEFL certifications can also be obtained online.

TEFL Options

Furthermore, there are lots and lots of TEFL providers that you can choose from and also different TEFL certificates. Some companies, for example, offer introductory certificates, international certificates, and specialised certificates. The latter could be particularly useful if you want to focus on one EFL area in which you may want to specialise or in order to improve your teaching skills. These specialised certificate options range from teaching English online and teaching Business English to teach English to Young Learners and teaching English grammar.

With our special link, you can get a good discount on TEFL courses at ITTT. You can choose one of the several TEFL courses and study from the comfort of your home.

As you can see, there are many options for TEFL certificates. You can find one that really speaks to you and fits in with your budget, time, and reason for wanting to teach English abroad.

Established Standards of TEFL

Even though there are hundreds, if not thousands, of options to choose from for your TEFL qualification, it is worthwhile to remember to choose an accredited TEFL provider. Furthermore, make sure that your TEFL qualification adheres to established industry standards, as schools want to hire people who have received a certain degree of professional level training. The standards that your TEFL certification must meet include:

  • A minimum of 120 coursework hours.
  • Between 6 and 20 hours of live practice teaching and observation with real non-native English speakers as students.
  • A curriculum that is accredited from an organisation that is independent and recognised in the TEFL field.
  • Instruction that is given by an instructor who is qualified with an equivalent to a Master’s degree in TEFL or a related field.
  • The organisation that provides the TEFL course should also offer comprehensive teaching ESL job search guidance (recommended).


If you want to teach English overseas as a short-term plan, a TEFL qualification could be the right choice for you. However, if you want to teach English as a Second or Foreign Language for a few years (or the rest of your life), a CELTA qualification could be the way to go. It really depends on your motivation.

The reasons for wanting to teach English as a Foreign Language are endless. You might have finished your Bachelor’s degree and need a break before starting your professional career. Or you have been working for a while and would like to travel while still earning money. Maybe you’ve decided that you want a career in education.

Once you have decided that you want to teach EFL, the next stop would be to see what qualifications you need to land a job as an EFL teacher in Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan or Thailand. The possibilities where you teach English are pretty much endless.

If you need more information on teaching, contact us.

Begin your TEFL journey with a certificate from an accredited Teacher Training Center.

About the Author

Denine Walters is currently a freelance writer, editor/proofreader and ESL teacher. Previously, she taught online English lessons to students from all around the world and, before that, she lived and taught English to young learners in Taiwan. In her free time, she likes to read, do scrapbooking and grammar quizzes, and travel. For her educational background, she has an MA in Politics, with a dissertation written on post-conflict peacebuilding, a BA Journalism degree, a TEFL and CELTA certificate, and also a few certificates in various other short courses.