Differences between TESOL, TESL, TEFL, CELTA and DELTA ?


Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

a) TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

This refers to teaching English to non-native speakers in countries where English is a native language. However, TESOL courses have been designed (taking modules from both TEFL and TESL) to allow teachers to teach in countries where English is not a native language. This means that the modules in TESOL are more generalized and less specific than those found in TEFL and TESL.

TESOL seems to be a common choice if one is uncertain about future career goals as this is provides you with a good start in teaching English locally or abroad.

TESOL may be taken as a Master’s Degree in some schools.

b) TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language

Like TESOL, this allows you to teach English to non-native speakers in a native English-speaking country. But many TESL-qualified teachers work in countries like America, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia as the modules in TESL are more comprehensive.

TESL offers an advantage for teachers looking for employment in a country that speaks English as a native language.

TESL is also appropriate for people who are already living in an English-speaking country so that they can enlarge their career options.

c) TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language

This seems to be a popular choice for people wishing to teach English overseas (ie. in a non-English speaking country). TEFL is also the generally preferred certification in many language schools and institutions. You will be tasked to teach English to students who hardly speak English at home.

TEFL does not denote a single international certification standard but is an industry reference which varies from country to country.

Adult learners in a classroom
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

d) CELTA – Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

This certifies you to teach English to adults only in schools locally or overseas. It is comparable to taking a comprehensive, 4-week, 120-hour TEFL course. You would need to have an English qualification to do the CELTA. Some schools may provide job employment services but this varies from school to school.

CELTA is an industry accreditation by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

e) DELTA – Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults

Like CELTA, this is awarded by the University of Cambridge. However, it is only granted to a teacher who has a minimum of one year’s teaching experience. You do not need a DELTA to teach English overseas but some teachers who are looking to enlarge their teaching credentials may go for the DELTA.

Last Word

No matter which English Teaching Certification Course you choose, it is an impressive credential to acquire and this will take some of you to faraway places in your English teaching career.

Published by Ana Yong

Freelance Writer, Blogger and Content Creator. I have written for Unsustainable Magazine, E: The Environmental Magazine and HubPages.

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