Teaching English, which qualification?



I read that some members of the board are involved in teaching, and wondered if I could ask your advice concerning courses for teaching English as a second language.

There seem to be 2 main types of qualifications, TEFL (or TESOL) and CELTA. They vary a bit in cost as well. Which one is more widely recognised?

Ultimately, I forsee myself spending some months in Prague - and getting by on teaching english.

TEFL and CELTA websites both claim to be the best course, so someone with practical experience would be appreciated :) ta in advance.

Prior to Prague, I'm going to be away from England for a few months, but fortunately they have centers for such courses where I'm going.
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Wild Horses
I have the CELTA while my g/f has the TESOL and neither of us have had problems getting work. Employers like you to have either and I've never heard a preference stated. The TESOL is geared a little more to teaching people in the U.K. who speak a variety of languages (not individually of course).

It's important to go to a good training centre as it's a very stressful month. But you learn on the job.

Hope this helps.


I definitely think it's important to be in a good centre.

The only time I've heard of preferences given of one over the other is if you went to somewhere that would place you with work on completion.

That's not really a lot of help. Good luck, it's a pretty stressful month/5 weeks :)


I took a 7 week TESOL course.

It was intensive but a walk in the park compared to the demands of a PGCE (day by day, not cumulatively obv).

Make sure your English grammar book is your bedside read for a couple of weeks before starting!


thread death
I tend to recommend TEFL type courses, but more importanttly i recommend that you go to a well established centre - Language schools which give proper accreditation and prepare you to teach people who have paid hard money to be taught properly.

I taught out in czech many years ago( back of beyond - Karvina, right on the Polish border) using my PGCE, at the time they were grateful for Native Enlgish speakers but now i hear that there are very high expectations from the students and that either a TEFL/CELTA qualification is a bare minimum.

Enjoy your time out there.


situation update:

I've missed the (local) CELTA intake's deadline, so thus am going for the TESOL route.

The local training centre offers these options:

1) TESOL diploma
4 weeks full-time

2) Advanced TESOL diploma
7 weeks full-time
training includes 5 specialisations e.g. teaching business english, teaching english to kids (designing word games etc), teaching TOEFL preparation etc.

2) looks really good though it costs about 600 quid more than 1).

I guess my question is, do employers really appreciate the difference between 1) and 2), when deciding to hire you? Is it worth the extra cash?

ta again, in advance :)

* it's the top left school on this page http://www.teachtesol.org/
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Well-known member
hey, i work in an ESOL/ TESOL school, my advice is that while extra training is pretty good (if you can afford it), by far the most important thing is teaching experience, and three weeks extra training is less impressive than 'proper' work in an ESOL school.

also, do you know what type of school you want to teach at? or just general 'bit of this, bit of that'? because you are unlikely to find many schools where you will be teaching young children AND business english (obviously).

basically, just apply to places as soon as possible, there's so many young graduates with TEFL qualifications but no experience who just want a gap-year/ holiday/ short-term job.
if you can afford extra training why not go for it tho...

also if anyone's looking for cheap TESOL courses in Oxfordshire/ Buckinghamshire, PM me and I can give you some info...


Thanks for the advice on the above. Yes, getting the actual teaching experience in front of a class is the important bit.

There seem to be 2 main TESOL schools here (in singapore). One's a full-time school but the only teaching "practice" it provides is with fellow coursemates.

The other school seems to offer mainly distance learning (CD Roms) but includes actual experience of teaching a class of kids from china. Having said that, I'm generally a bit dubious about distance learning (especially when they charge nearly the same fee as a full-time sit-in course!)


apologies for yet another question:

My research shows there to be several kinds of TESOL qualifications.
The most recognised one seems to be that from Trinity College TESOL (certified in the UK).

Additionally, there's Global Tesol College, accredited in Canada.
Does anyone know of this one? Is it recognised in the Czech Republic?

Unfortunately, there are no providers of Trinity TESOL courses where I am at the moment.


Well-known member
how easy it is to find work once you do it? im considering doing a celta course which starts next week which ive been accepted on but dont know when ill be able to actually go and teach. (so might be a while in between things) but im guessing it might take time to find work anyway?


Well-known member
(i only really know about teaching in the UK) it's easy to find work in the summer, and a couple of weeks at easter. as for the rest of the year you will be lucky to get any kind of permanent contract unless you have a decent bit of teaching experience

i'm sitting in a english-language school as i write this.


Well-known member
just a quick note to say that well if youve never taught before and are still finding your feet as a teacher, this celta course is bloody hard work! so intense. half way through now but still, it feels like so much ground has been covered. i need more time.