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TEFL Or CELTA: Know The Difference While Choosing The Best Certification Abroad

Discover the distinctions between TEFL and CELTA to choose the best certification for your study abroad experience. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is another name for CELTA, or Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (currently called Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Any certification programme that prepares native English speakers to teach the language to others is known as TEFL. Conversely, Cambridge University created the intense ESL teaching credential known as CELTA. It is regarded as one of the most esteemed credentials for overseas English language instructors. Another way to think of CELTA is as a TEFL brand.

For many students, the cost is the primary consideration when choosing a TEFL certification over a CELTA. Depending on the school, earning your CELTA might cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 due to the program’s prestige. Conversely, TEFL courses range from $200 to $2,000.

There are moments when the world of teaching English overseas seems like an alphabet soup of unclear acronyms. In addition to TEFL and CELTA, there are TESL, TESOL, and ESL. Which certificate is appropriate for you, and what does it all mean?

To assist you in selecting the finest option, let’s examine the distinctions between TEFL and CELTA!

Know The Difference While Choosing The Best Certification Abroad

There is no one set certification for teaching English abroad. As a result, a wide variety of providers across the globe offer a wide range of credentials. All of these credentials—including CELTA—are regarded as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), regardless of the source!

Nevertheless, the CELTA is a particularly particular kind of TEFL certification. The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages has replaced the former acronym, CELTA, which stood for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. Cambridge English, a division of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, runs this course.


All online and in-person training centres have similar prerequisites for the CELTA. They demand that you fulfil the following requirements:

  • A high school diploma
  • Over the age of eighteen
  • Native or almost native English proficiency (C1+)

TEFL providers may have very different requirements. While some ask you to fill out an application, others let you just pay for the course and get started. Many recommend that you speak English fluently or as your native tongue and be at least eighteen years old. Compared to in-person options, requirements for totally online courses could be less strict.


It depends on the response to whether TEFL or CELTA is truly required to teach overseas. While a minimum 120-hour certificate is necessary in many nations for teaching positions, some countries only accept applicants who possess a bachelor’s degree.

Some parts of the world—namely, Europe and the Middle East—tend to favour CELTA over TEFL. Nonetheless, both are recognised worldwide. Both can help you land a position in a private language school or, depending on the nation and its teaching professional regulations, in a public school.

To teach online, you can use TEFL or CELTA. Online TEFL courses without prior teaching experience are accepted by many online teaching organisations.

If you don’t intend to pursue a career in teaching abroad, TEFL certificates that are more affordable are perhaps a better option. An inexpensive and short online course can be a better investment if you only need to tick a box to apply for jobs in nations where TEFL certification is required. Furthermore, the common perception among the Asian ESL communities is that a general TEFL certificate is more advantageous than a CELTA in terms of both money and prospects if teaching there is your primary intention.

A CELTA is an excellent option if you’re interested in teaching abroad as a long-term career, particularly in Europe or the Middle East. Along this route, there is also growth. CELTA graduates can advance to the DELTA, which is considered a level seven qualification in the UK, the same as a master’s degree.

When choosing between a CELTA or TEFL course, you’ll need to compare the following aspects of each program:

Which one is more appropriate for you?

After all of this, is a TEFL or CELTA programme preferable? The solution depends on your objectives, financial constraints, and schedule. Here are some things to consider in order to make your decision.

CELTA SHOULD BE YOUR CHOICE. If you wish to work as a teacher in the Middle East or Europe
You want to pursue a profession in teaching for a long time.
You possess the funds to enrol in a course.
You are willing to study part-time over several months, or you have a month to complete an intense, rigorous course.


  • You’d like to become a teacher in Latin America or Asia.
  • You’re on a tight budget or timeline.
  • You wish to work as a temporary teacher or take a year off.
  • You don’t require teaching experience because you wish to learn independently.


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