TEFL Vs CELTA: 10 Major Differences You Should Know

English language is a major language throughout the world. The usage of English language is immense in different fields of profession. There are countries like China, France, and Germany where English is a second language. English is necessary to be learnt for business purposes, travel, and job opportunity. However, to learn English language you must have a good command over Grammar, sentence construction and correct usage of words in written and verbal communication. So, to master this language and make it a profession in your life, it is required to enroll for professional courses like TEFL and CELTA and start teaching English anywhere in the world.

What is TEFL?

It is an internationally recognized certification to teach English as a Foreign Language abroad and is a important certification for applying for teaching job worldwide.

It is important to have a TEFL certification because it helps one to qualify for teaching jobs, gain the required skills to teach abroad, have an added advantage for job applications and thereby earn a higher salary with more reputable schools.

The Online TEFL course is an easy, convenient and flexible way to get a TEFL certification. It is offered at any time during the year with no fixed start dates. Thus, teachers can start online TEFL course training immediately and complete their certification from anywhere in the world. 

What do you learn in a TEFL course?

  • Teach English Language skills that are reading, writing, listening, speaking and pronunciation.
  • Understand the concepts of complex English grammar and simplifying them for English language learners
  • Prepare a plan for delivering effective lessons to meet the objectives of learning and promote productive learning.
  • Learn to manage the classroom and student behaviour and create a conducive and safe environment for students to study.
  • Identifying the student’s study pattern and suggesting a suitable learning style
  • Prepare   a wide variety of  study material  that is, text-based and digital materials that are required for reference
  • Check out- TEFL Certification course in Pune

What is CELTA?

CELTA  is the acronym for  Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adult. It is well-recognized and accepted as the English teaching certification worldwide.  This certification is awarded by the University of Cambridge’s English Language Assessment which is known for its quality education and accreditation. For over 30 years, it has been offered worldwide in over 60 countries by over 350 schools and with over 13,000 graduates per year. 

CELTA is the most frequently sought after qualification for TEFL jobs worldwide.

1.It is moderated by the University of Cambridge every time a course is conducted.

2. Teachers are highly qualified and  experienced trainers in well-established CELTA teacher education centres

3. It is recognized as a Level 5 Qualification by the British Curriculum Authority and it follows an authorised syllabus

4. The CELTA lays emphasis on  real-life teaching practice with actual English learners, in an real classroom environment

Also check- TEFL Certification Course in Delhi

What do you learn in a CELTA course

1.CELTA teaches  about the concepts of English language and how  to apply these in professional practice

2. An initial knowledge of the contexts within which people learn English, their motivations and the roles of the teacher and the learner

Understanding the principles and practice of effective teaching to learners of English

Basic skills for teaching students in the language classroom

Familiarity with  proper resources and materials for use with learners of English for teaching, testing and referencing

Opportunities for your own future progress in the field (for example, job searches, professional development etc.)

How is CELTA taught?

The CELTA is offered in the following formats:

Full Time Course

The full time CELTA certification course is usually a four-week, weekday, nine-to-five time intensive course.

Part Time Course

Another  format is 12 weeks in duration, with two afternoons a week and half a day on Saturday morning.

Online Blended CELTA

This course allows you to complete the majority of the course online and  visit the centre to complete training practice

Who is CELTA for?

  • New teachers starting their career in English teaching
  • First-language English speakers and non-first-language speakers
  • Teachers  who have some experience  and  want to develop their skills in English teaching
  • Teachers who want to travel and teach English

CELTA gives you the knowledge, skills, confidence and hands-on experience to start teaching English.

You may want to check out- TEFL Certification course in

Let us see the differences between TEFL and CELTA


a)CELTA requires participants to complete 120 hours of class time and six hours of actual student teaching  with real ESL learners. Most CELTA  course are offered on a full-time basis and can be completed in four weeks whereas, partime celta certification can be completed on lengthy period of 3 months .

b)TEFL certification program is different as the courses can be short as one intensive week or a minimum of 20 hours  and as long as several months or 300 hours of training


a) CELTA courses are intense compared to TEFL certification course as it requires participant to attend the full time batch that goes on upto a month. So, it requires six hour a day plus a lot of home work that includes lesson planning  for your practicum and four written assignments.

b) TEFL courses on the other hand can be completed in part online and in-class during weekends thus giving students the flexibility to  continue working  while completing the course.

Differences in Price

a) Price is an important factor to decide on the type of certification.  CELTA certification can cost anywhere from $1500 to $4500 depending on the school. Hence, CELTA certification is expensive compared to TEFL certification.  The reason being CELTA is a prestigious and internationally recognized certification. The hiring school can be rest assured that any candidate who has a CELTA certification can deliver the goods as the candidate has already gone through rigorous training during the course completion.

b)TEFL courses, meanwhile, can cost anywhere from $200-$2500.   The TEFL courses are a bit cost-effective compared to CELTA. Alternatively, online TEFL courses typically have a very reasonable price tag.

Kindly check- TEFL Certification Course in Colorado

  Differences in Value

Why is the cost of pursuing CELTA higher than TEFL?

1.      It is internationally recognized course hence CELTA- holders have an upper hand when it comes to job opportunity as compared TEFL  and other certifications which may have lesser known accreditation.

  •   CELTA is externally assessed by University of Cambridge. Hence, you need not spend lot of time ascertaining the validity of certification as compared to TEFL where it is necessary to research the validity of the certification. Hence you can feel more safe and secure with CELTA certification.

Having said that there few instances where CELTA may not be the right course for you. They are as follows:

  • CELTA is designed for teaching adults only and hence if you are interested in teaching kids and teenagers then a TEFL certificate will be of use to you.
  • CELTA holders are given access to job boards through the inbuilt program while TEFL certifications may offer in-depth job placement services.
  • CELTA courses are conducted on the school premises which means the students have been physically present in the class to get the training. On the other hand, TEFL programs can be completed online with help of a laptop and internet connection.
  • CELTA has some precondition that is you need to have a high school diploma and must be 20 years of age. If you are younger then the TEFL course may be suited to you if you are 18 years of age.

Choosing Between a TEFL or CELTA Certification

The choice between the two certifications depends on some factors like your financial status, time limitation , audience, and interests.

TEFL program is an ideal platform to teach in schools whereas CELTA is a robust platform for teaching the adults. TEFL is designed in such a way that you can teach English from anywhere in the world in the form of online  and physical classroom.

 CELTA course is more stringent than TEFL. It requires the students to work hard and complete many tasks.

   Certification and Credibility

TEFL certification is globally accepted. It  a reliable course provided it  is from accredited institute.  It is also credible course to pursue as this course provides a minimum of 120 hours of training combined with both research and practical experience.

CELTA credentials are internationally recognized. It is a better opportunity to pursue this course as the success rate of becoming an English teacher is higher than TEFL as the trainings are more rigorous than the later. However, both the courses are valuable and offers more or less the same result.

Career Prospect

The career prospect for both the certifications are incredible  to reach your goal and pinnacle of success. However, like in any other field one has to work hard and smart to achieve the desired goal and give their best to attain job satisfaction and remuneration.


To pursue the TEFL course one needs to be over 18 years of age and should be able to speak fluent English. It does not require higher credentials.

However, for CELTA course participant has to undergo rigorous selection procedure including personal interview and needs higher credentials. One should also have good command of the English language.


TEFL and CELTA both are equally important. One can choose between the courses based on their requirement . CELTA is gaining popularity worldwide and so is TEFL that is more popular because of the ease of completing the course and getting employment.  Both the course are  popular in countries like the United States, UAE, Japan, China and Malaysia. Without these degrees, one cannot  work overseas and get a salary hike. Thus, it is important to complete in any one of the course.

Advantages and Disadvantges

Both the courses have its pros and cons. TEFL is a short term course whereas CELTA is a long term course. TEFL is more versatile in terms of employability and level of teaching than CELTA. It is a short-term and low-cost investment. The minimum age for TEFL is 18 years whereas for CELTA it is 20 years. CELTA is long term and costlier course, but it enables you to become a subject matter expert in English. After completing any of the courses, one can expect a reasonable standard of living as it makes you an independent individual.


If you want to teach English and have a good career in hand then you must be willing to work hard and be dedicated in your work. One must not lose focus and concentrate on getting certification. Once you complete the certification, the doors of job opportunity will open for you and you can make the most out of it.

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