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Differences Between TEFL, TESOL, DELTA and CELTA

Differences Between TEFL, TESOL, DELTA and CELTA | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Hello, it's Liza here. While I'm waiting for more people to join us let me introduce myself for those who will watch it as a recording. So my name is Liza and I am a TEFL expert at ITTT. I am also a self-employed online ESL teacher. I am a non-native English speaker and I am based in Yekaterinburg, Russia. I hope that today's session will be useful for as many people as possible, because it basically covers one of the most controversial topics in TEFL certification. So the main point of today's session is what are some differences between TEFL and TESOL, and other certifications such as CELTA and DELTA.

Watch the live session here

Please let me know if you can hear me clearly and see me well, there is a chat box so you can communicate with me via the comments. So if you can hear me clearly please let me know. Today's session will be quite brief and it won't take too much time, so that everyone can just spend some time here and then go and do their own thing. Okay, I can see that Selma is here, hello nice to see you. When you join us please let me know where you are tuning in from. Today here in Russia it is quite cold, about 20 degrees below zero. Tuesdays are my favorite day actually because I go skiing right after these sessions. So I am so amazed and happy to see you all and then I get to do my favorite hobby.

Hello guys, welcome to today's session. Okay, there is Ali from Pakistan and Karen from Australia. Thank you for joining me today. Also Melanie from the Philippines, nice to see you. Okay, today's session is a bit different because the introduction is so long for some reason and many people are joining a little bit late. Anyway, let's just go to the main point of the presentation because I have already introduced myself. Today we are going to talk about some differences between TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, and DELTA.

These are the most famous teaching certifications and many people who want to start their career in ESL teaching have doubts about which certification to enroll in. That's why I'm going to cover this topic today. So let me change the slide and please let me know if you see me clearly and hear me clearly. There is a chat box and you can communicate with me so that I know that I'm not alone here. You may hear that I'm a little bit nervous, that's because I am a bit conscious about speaking in public as it's something I don't do on a regular basis. I say that just because I'm not a native English speaker and I don't normally have this all-English environment. So hopefully this session will be comfortable for you.

Let me start with this slide by introducing you to these different certifications. So there are actually more of them, but the most famous ones are TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, and DELTA. Usually, when students want to take one of these certifications to start their teaching career they just ask what's the difference and as you can see TEFL and TESOL are actually equal, but there is a huge difference between TEFL and TESOL and CELTA and DELTA. So let's see what they are exactly.

What's TEFL and TESOL?

When we talk about basic, preliminary teaching skills we usually refer to TEFL or TESOL as these two certifications do not require any previous teacher training or teaching experience. To take one of these certifications all you need is fluency in English. So basically if you have a level of English equal to b-2 or above, this certification is possible for you. If for example you were trained as a manager or a doctor but you want to change your career path, this certification will be more suitable for you because it covers the most primary skills in teaching. The most important factor to take this certification is that it helps you to understand about teaching English in general.

For example, I can share my own story. I studied at a linguistics department and I learned English by heart but I didn't study how to teach English and this was the most challenging issue when I finished my university study. When I obtained the bachelor's degree the only option I had six years ago was to start tutoring because I was fluent in English and it was quite easy because no one asks you about your degree about your experience and whatever. So I decided to become a tutor and later on I wanted to go to China but I just didn't have the understanding of how to prepare my lessons and how to explain different grammatical things to my students, that's why it was the best idea for me to take a TEFL certification. And here is my certificate and if you ask me what type of certification I chose it was a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which is the TESOL certificate.

At the bottom of this slide you can see the main differences in these two abbreviations. So TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. So, who can take a TEFL course? This should be people willing to work in native English speaking countries and teaching English to people whose first language is not English but they live in a native speaking country. The reason I chose TESOL was that I wanted to go to China and the country of my origin where I had my tutoring position was also not a native speaking country. So I taught in Russia first and then I went to China, that's why I decided that TESOL would be more appropriate for me compared to TEFL. However, these two certifications are basically the same and it's up to you which heading to choose.

Let's see what benefits these two certifications have. So first of all if you take it with ITTT you can be sure that your certification will be accredited, and TEFL and TESOL are both worldwide recognized so you can be sure that this certificate will be recognized by almost all employers around the world. When I applied to different positions in China this certificate helped me to find a position quicker. The other benefit is that it is quite fast training. For example, if you take an online course it will take up to 180 days, but most people can get through the course within two or three months. When I passed this certification it took me two months to finish all of the units and it took about a month to finish my writing assignment which was quite challenging. I needed to create a lesson plan and just because of my previous experience I was a little bit unaware of my planning so that was the most difficult part of the course for me.

Probably the most beneficial thing about TEFL and TESOL courses is their pricing. Here you can see that the basic TEFL course at ITTT starts from $239, so it's quite affordable for many people around the world. I will just show you the difference with the following courses and you will see why it's this affordable.

What about CELTA?

Okay, when you talk about some initial but advanced teaching training you will probably choose CELTA. It is not the same as DELTA because CELTA is a certification course and DELTA is a diploma in teaching course. CELTA would be the initial teaching training but at a slightly more advanced level compared to TEFL and TESOL. CELTA actually requires you to be over 20 years old and you should have a clear c-1 level or above. If you look at this grading you will see that if you passed IELTS you will need 7.5 plus in writing and in speaking. I also have my IELTS statement here and unfortunately according to my IELTS I cannot take a CELTA course. But I believe it's also very subjective, so if you enroll into a course the training center will probably assess your speaking abilities and writing so if you have scores in writing a little bit below this number they will probably give you an opportunity to take the course. One more thing to mention is that CELTA used to be a certificate in teaching English to adults, but nowadays it's a general course as well. It's a certificate that focuses on teaching English to speakers of other languages like TESOL, but it's a bit more advanced.

CELTA is also recognized worldwide and it also has a really strong theoretical base. When you take a full-time course it includes a really intense teaching practice, which is the main difference between this course and TEFL and TESOL. If you take a TEFL or TESOL course you can choose between the online option, an in-class option, and a mixed course, but the CELTA has to be taken in-class and there are just two different options, full-time or part-time. If you take it as a part-time training course you will need to spend longer to pass the whole course.

The most important issue for many people is the course pricing. Because it's a full-time course and you need to visit the test center regularly, you will need to pay up to $2,800. It can be even more in some test centers, but for example in Russia they charge you this amount. And not every training center can provide you with an appropriate cell for training because only Cambridge accredited centers can provide this course. One more thing, you have to study for three months non-stop as it's not self-paced at all because you need to have constant communication with your trainer and with the group.

Hello everybody, I can see your comments and I will go back to the comments section a little bit later when we have a Q&A session. For now I just want to concentrate on the main point of the presentation, but stay tuned because at the end of the main part we will have a quick chat and we will also share a course discount bonus with you.

And what is DELTA?

Okay, going forward with the main point, when it comes to more advanced teacher training, people often choose DELTA. But the main problem with DELTA is having a reasonable amount of previous teaching experience. Unfortunately, you cannot take a DELTA course if you don't have a prior TEFL level certification. When you apply for DELTA training you need to first have an international TEFL certificate. It can be a TEFL certificate or a CELTA. Sometimes test centers consider applications without a TEFL certification, but you have to provide your university statement that shows you finished a BA in education or English teaching or something similar. The minimum amount of experience is up to two years or even more, so you need to be experienced in teaching practically and also you must be able to work with various groups of people. Your English level should be from c-1 to c-2, but probably they will look at your c-2 proficiency.

Okay, here are some benefits. I believe that the most important thing about DELTA is that it enables you to develop your career and prepare for senior teaching positions. So for example, you have been teaching English for several years already as an ordinary teacher at a school but you want to become a teacher trainer or an elite teacher at your school. So for this reason you might need to take a DELTA. What is also important to know about this diploma is that it consists of three modules and basically you can prepare to pass those modules on your own. You don't need to take any special training courses, you can just prepare by yourself and take any module you want first. For example, if you want to finish the theoretical module faster you can schedule your exam and take the first module first. If you want to get the practical skills done you would choose a different module to pass first.

But some other things may be drawbacks for you and the most important one would probably be that this certification takes a lot of time and effort. You can prepare by yourself but you need to make sure you understand everything completely. The price can also become really unaffordable. You basically pay for each module separately and as an example the second module is focused on training teachers, it's when you become a senior teacher or something like that and are allowed to work with people who are specialized at teaching other people. You need to pay around $2,000 to take this module, which is quite a lot really. I should also say that you will get your DELTA diploma only after you finish all of these three modules.

So this is where I finish the main part of this presentation and start my Q&A session and I can see that there are some comments in the comments box. I would like to look at them, but if you have any questions please use the comment section and let me know and I'll try my best to help you and answer as many questions as possible.

All right, so Katya suggests that it is important to finish reading first for module 1 and take a course to prepare.

Yeah, I believe that’s probably true. If you want to stay on the safe side and pass this module successfully it's better to take some primary course or something like that.

Okay, I can see that there are many greetings from different places. Thanks guys for joining me today, I hope that today's session will help you. So Katya asks me to talk about module three a little bit more. Unfortunately, I cannot go into that too much as I'm not specialized in DELTA and the only thing I know is what is written on the Cambridge website. I'm so sorry, I just don't want to mislead you by giving you bad information. What I suggest you do is refer to the Cambridge website if you want to know more about DELTA because this training is provided only by Cambridge test centers.

One more thing to mention is that today we share a 30% discount if you want to take a TEFL course with ITTT. You can scan this QR code right now and it will have a link with this 30% discount. I'll also share a direct link right now so that you can just click on it and go to the website directly.

Katya says that she has already taken module one.

Congratulations, I hope it was easy peasy lemon squeezy for you. I am willing to take the DELTA, but right now I'm preparing for the Cambridge proficiency test. I hope that I'll pass it maybe in December or January. I'm not sure yet because I know that I have to work a lot on my English speaking and on my general English skills, so I believe that teaching certifications will be after that. But yeah DELTA is something really interesting for me because I have already worked a lot on my teaching career and I believe it's something really valuable. Thank you Katya, I hope that your experience may be interesting and useful to other people. What if we have a chat with you sometime? Let us know, you can direct message me and maybe we will have a talk about DELTA a little bit more.

Are online TEFL courses equivalent to the in-class ones?

So, when you get your TEFL certification there is no statement that you passed it online. For example, here is my certificate. I hope you can see it, but there is no information that I passed it online which makes it equal to the in-class certification. Of course it's up to you whether you let the employer know that you passed an online training course, but if you want to make sure and stay on the safe side just mention that you have the certification and that's all. Your employer can also check that the certificate is real because there is a number on it and on the ITTT website there is an option to check if the certificate was taken by you or by someone else. Okay, so basically online courses are equal to in-class courses.

If there are no more questions, let me show you something else. I know it's like a kind of advertisement, but if you are on Clubhouse already find me and Linda because we are willing to network and create a room about TEFL teaching. I haven't come across any teaching rooms yet or teaching clubs so what if we become the first ESL teaching club on Clubhouse? So, if you are on this app already, find myself and Linda, we will be really happy to communicate with you and maybe have a chat related to teaching sometime. So here are our profiles, I hope to see you sometime on Clubhouse.

And the last thing to mention is that ITTT is presented on various social networks. We constantly try to communicate with our graduates and those who are just looking to start their career in teaching. We share different useful stuff on a regular basis, so follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Here is another question on TEFL. What's the difference between taking a masters in TESOL and the courses you're offering?

Well the main difference is that with a masters in TESOL you are studying at university and you will get a teaching diploma from the university. We are providing TEFL certification that can be taken by anyone at any time or place. So this is the main difference I believe. TEFL certification is a great addition to those who don't have professional teaching training, so if for example a person finished university as a manager or I don't know as a doctor or someone else they may take a TEFL certification to start teaching and change their career.

Thanks for the question and if you guys don't have any further questions, I think we can finish today's session. It was really productive and I hope that you found something useful and you now have a clearer understanding of TEFL and other certifications. I wish you good luck with your teaching and hope to see you soon. Linda's live stream will be next Friday and my live streams are on Tuesdays, so see you next time and don't forget to like us and subscribe.

Bye, bye guys. Thanks for joining me today.

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