Common Questions: Is CELTA Better Than TEFL?

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At BridgeTEFL, I get this question a lot. “Is the CELTA better than the TEFL?” The question itself is founded in a little bit of confusion about what those acronyms mean, so here’s my usual response.

First of all, TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Though we often see it associated with certification courses, it’s really an umbrella term that can be used to describe almost anything having to do with teaching the English language abroad. You could work for a TEFL school, for example, and you would be a TEFL teacher.

So when we talk about TEFL courses, we’re referring to a lot of different programs. Simply saying “TEFL certification course” is like saying “Bachelors degree in business” – a lot of academic institutions offer a bachelors in business, and while each of those programs may teach essentially the same kinds of things to prepare for you for your future job in business, the specific curriculum and approach are different between institutions. The same is true of TEFL courses. While they all seek to prepare you to be an effective English teacher, there are hundreds of different courses that each have slightly different curriculae.

The CELTA is simply one of these TEFL courses – so you see, you can’t really ask “is CELTA better than TEFL?” because the CELTA is a TEFL course. Specifically, it’s one of the oldest and most widely recognized TEFL programs worldwide so, compared to other TEFL courses, it does have some advantages. But if you want to compare it to other courses, you’ll want to ask more specific questions, such as “What are the differences between the CELTA and the Bridge IDELT?”. Now you’re getting somewhere!

As always, if you have questions about the various TEFL courses offered worldwide, get in touch with a BridgeTEFL advisor at 1-888-827-4757.

May 22, 2013