Author - Áine

CELTA TEFL which is better

What’s the difference between CELTA and TEFL?

When embarking on a career in teaching English abroad, the first thing you will probably realize is there are so many different options out there! Therefore, it can be difficult to know what to  look for when choosing a qualification in teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL). So, what's the difference between CELTA and TEFL, and which will get you a better job? 

What is CELTA?

The CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), is an internationally recognised qualification in teaching English as a foreign language. It is usually regarded as the most prestigious TEFL-related qualification to have because it requires in-class learning and teaching practise and takes one month to complete. In addition, it is accredited by Ofqual (UK exam regulator).

A key factor of the CELTA is you undertake hands-on teaching experience – something which can only be taught by those who are CELTA-certified. If you are after a high quality course, the CELTA might be the course for you.


  • Hours: 120 hours
  • Duration: 4 weeks, Monday – Friday (full time, classroom based)
  • Delivery: Face-to-face/classroom based. However, some providers do offer online and combination courses, although these are less popular options.
  • Cost: Varies from provider, on average it costs around £1,400 (£1250 at Foyle International)

The CELTA course covers 5 main areas:

  1. Teaching Practice: CELTA trainees spend time each day on the course teaching real students over the period of 4 weeks – (2 weeks teaching one level i.e. Beginner and another 2 weeks teaching another level of English i.e. Advanced). Therefore, you get experience in teaching different levels of English.
  2. Classroom observation: 6 hours of the course is when you observe other teachers – giving you the chance to gain notable skills from others.
  3. Written Assignments: Throughout the course there are 4 written assessments, as well as on-going homework.
  4. Methodology of Language, Teaching and Learning: A key part of teaching English as a second language – how to implement classroom management techniques and effectively communicate and convey meaning to students
  5. Language Awareness: CELTA ensures teachers will have a strong foundation in grammar, structure and content.

What is TEFL?

When we refer to a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate, the terminology is quite broad. Unlike CELTA, there is no central authority which offers TEFL courses. There are literally hundreds of providers in the marketplace, and in addition, many of the TEFL courses you find online are not actually accredited by any notable institutions.

Because of this, it can be confusing, and somewhat problematic) to know where to start when looking for a course!

..There are so many TEFL courses out there! 

There are some key providers out there who are more recognized than overs, and unlike CELTA, TEFL courses can be taken online, in-class or a combination of both.

Each TEFL course varies in length, but most commonly either a 120 hour or 150 hour course.

The course varies widely depending on the number of hours, method of teaching (online/classroom based/combination) and which country it is offered in.

CELTA vs TEFL: Which will get me a better job?

In a nutshell, there is no denying that the CELTA qualification offers significantly more opportunities in comparison to generic TEFL certificate. It is internationally recognised and schools all over the globe appreciate how intense the course actually is.

The English Language teaching space covers a wide range of education levels, from Kindergarten to University level, across private and public institutions. The most prestigious jobs – in bilingual schools, private international academies, universities or within business organizations, generally require the CELTA as a benchmark to get a job.

FACT 3 out of 4 English teaching jobs require a CELTA.*

With CELTA you are much more likely to get teaching jobs that offer better salaries at the top of the pay-scale. Even if you have your heart set on a less competitive job at a public school, your application will stand out from the crowd with a CELTA certificate.


Time is a big factor to consider when deciding which certificate is right for you. A CELTA course will require a full month out of your schedule, as you need to complete it in class.

A TEFL is much more flexible as it has several modes of delivery, with variable durations in length.

FACT Some providers offer CELTA part time (over the course of a few months) and some also offer a blended/ combination delivery. However, face-to-face 4 week course is the most popular.


Cost is of course an important factor to consider. The CELTA costs on average, £1400, as well as 4 week commitment to the course. As the course is most commonly delivered full time, Monday – Friday, with evenings usually taken up with homework and assignments, full time and even part time work may not be possible.

On the other hand, TEFL courses vary widely in cost, with some costings as little as £100, and are flexible in how much time you can spend completing.

So, CELTA or TEFL? Whats the verdict?

To conclude, both CELTA and TEFL will kickstart your English language teaching journey, both have their own advantages and disadvantages.



  • Internationally recognised
  • Prestigious reputation
  • Hands on teaching experience
  • Access to better and higher paid jobs
  • Access to jobs worldwide
  • Intense course, equips you with all you need to excel in EFL teaching


  • More expensive than TEFL
  • Time commitment – 4 weeks Monday – Friday, full time most popular form of delivery) is not accessible to everyone
  • Usually need to take work sacrifices to complete the course as full (and usually part-time work) is not possible



  • A lot cheaper in cost
  • Still job opportunities with a less recognized qualification
  • Flexible methods of delivery
  • Variable duration of courses


  • Less recognized internationally/by academic community – less access to jobs and countries in comparison to the opportunities with CELTA
  • Although there are some TEFL certificates available that cost £100 or less, it is worth remembering that a course at that price is unlikely to be accredited by a notable institution and may be of lower quality – for example, you may be viewing pre-recorded videos.
  • So many different courses in the market place – varying prices, durations, methods and locations – meaning it can be difficult to find the best course for you

Ultimately, it is recommended that you research the type of jobs and countries you want to work in. A specific country or school may have such high demand for teachers they don’t even require teachers to hold a certification. But for those who would like to keep their options option to be able to work across different schools and education levels, anywhere in the world, the CELTA really is your passport to the world.

*Read more


5 Reasons to Study Abroad in Derry

Location is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing where to study abroad. 

Different places suit different students, depending on what you are hoping to achieve and what type of experience you are looking for. 

Foyle International is located in a unique and fairly unexplored English-speaking destination: Derry, Northern Ireland

The north eastern province of Ireland, known as Ulster, is actually governed by the UK, so in many respects we have the "best of both worlds" - we have the best of British education and healthcare, but with all the culture, literature, hospitality and stunning landscapes for which Ireland is famous. 

1. Derry is a friendly city with a rich culture 

The people here are famous for their warmth and friendliness - something our students comment about all the time. People in Derry just love to talk so you'll find yourself probably talking more in Derry than you've ever done before! 

Derry is one of the finest Walled Cities in Europe with walls dating back to the 17th century. In the Bogside area of Derry, there is a street which illustrates the history of 30 years of conflict, known as The Troubles, through wall murals. 

Derry was voted the UK's first every City of Culture and is affectionately nicknamed Ireland's "City of Song" Derry is home to many talented musicians and artists.

There's a real feeling of community in the city and, by the end of their stay - be it long or short - our students feel they've become part of that community. 

Peaders bar in Derry Photo: Tourism NI

2. It's cheap and affordable 

Northern Irish cities are the most afforable in the UK, with Derry ranking as the #1 most affordable city in 2019 (Lloyds Bank 2019). Its also considerably cheaper to other major cities in the Republic, such as Dublin and Galway. 

3. Ideal location to improve your English 

Many students, when going to learn English for the first time, choose a big city such as London, New York, Sydney etc. However, in big cities, it can be difficult to actually meet and talk to locals (and therefore native speakers) as there are such large numbers of language students, tourists and transient workers. 

If you are trying to learn a language, there is only one way to do it.. and that's to meet and talk with native speakers, and immerse yourself in the culture! It's all about communication, and the more you use your English, the more fluent and confident you become! 

Foyle International students at Free DErry Corner in the Bogside 2019

4. A buzzing food and drink scene

Our region of Ireland boasts some of the best produce in the country. Derry's close proximity to the coast (you are never more than 15 minutes from a beach!) and being surrounded by fields and greenery, it's not surprising the quality of the food is great and fresh. 

Derry is a great "foodie" destination, with many of the local restaurants focusing on scouring local ingredients as much as possible. There is a range of fine dining, relaxed restaurants and street food options available across the town. 

Derry also has a vibrant nightlife, with an abundance of bars in the city centre, many of which provide live music and entertainment on the weekends. 

The Sooty Olive restaurant, Derry
Pyke 'n' Pommes
The Bishops Gate Hotel

5. Derry is an ideal base to explore the rest of the region 

Derry is the ideal base to explore the North West region of Ireland. To the East of the city lies the stunning North Antrim Coast, home to the Giant's Causeway. To the West, you will find the stunning natural beauty and wilderness of County Donegal, famously voted "Coolest Place on Earth". (National Geographic 2017)

To travel to the other main cities is also easy from Derry - it's a 1.5 hr bus journey to Belfast, or 3.5 hrs to Dublin. 

You can also fly to other parts of the UK and Europe from Derry and Belfast - ideal for a city break weekend to relax from your studies! 

CELTA testimonial

What our CELTA graduates say about the course

For years, we have been successfully helping students to begin their journey to teach English as a foreign language and kickstart their career as English teachers. The CELTA qualification is the most widely recognised teaching qualification in the world and is awarded by Cambridge English. See what some of our CELTA graduates have to say about heir experience of taking the CELTA course at Foyle. "The course content is excellent, every area was covered and I particularly appreciated the attention given to professional development once the course is finished, for example with tips for interviews and useful websites. This aspect felt very supportive and genuinely caring of our success, something I have rarely seen in other courses or universities. The centre had very good facilities and a lovely IT team to help any time, so big thank you them. Everyone was always available to help or even just to have a friendly chat, I particularly want to thank reception, who have been wonderful all along this bumpy road. Our tutors were fantastic: passionate about their profession and incredibly supportive. Watching them teach was an inspiring experience. Their feedback was always constructive and oriented towards personal growth and the inputs were carefully tailored towards our needs. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and patience."

Marjorie Frick

Completed the CELTA in 2019

"I completed CELTA in Foyle International in the summer of 2019. I had already completed an online TEFL. After much deliberation I chose to enrol on the CELTA course. I’m very happy I did enrol on the course as it helped build best practice into my teaching ability. Although it was difficult, it was a rewarding and challenging course for me. The tutors that delivered the course were the best. After completing CELTA, I realise now how superior this course is to any online version of TEFL. The difference is night and day.

My only advice to anyone considering CELTA is to be really sure you want it and when you realise it is what you want, put your heart and soul into it. If you enrol for the month long course, cancel everything in your diary for that month and focus 100% on CELTA. The difficulty of the course will be rewarded by gaining the qualification, as CELTA has opened up doors for me from the moment I started the course. I am now working in a language school in Spain.

Foyle International is a great school to deliver it. The facilities are great, it’s centrally located, the staff are the best and they deliver an excellent course with top notch tutors. I would consider CELTA THE door opener for your career as a TEFL teacher."

Martin Mullan

Completed the CELTA in 2019

"Although I had previously obtained a degree in teacher English as a foreign language, to actually teach English I required a qualification that assessed my practical teaching skills. Therefore, I chose to take a CELTA course, so that I could receive a qualification that is world recognised and that would provide me with opportunities to teach and also travel the world. The CELTA course is a compact course that lightly covers different teaching methodologies and learners’ learning styles as well as a great amount of practical teaching skills, teaching preparation, classroom management and a whole lot more! I loved the teaching practice sessions where we could apply the skills we had learnt in a real classroom situation with real students. Another great opportunity was being able to observe experienced teachers work their magic in the classroom. Despite being a huge amount of information packed into a very short space of time this system gives you an idea of what it is like to be a real teacher, planning and teaching with limited time Foyle International provided with everything we needed and every member of staff was very helpful and friendly. I had brilliant tutors, they were very helpful and had a great sense of humour. Such a beautiful team, together with my course mates. It was such an amazing experience!"

Victoria Duddy

Completed the CELTA course in 2018

Previous Next

If you are interested in applying for the CELTA, please get in touch with

Do you still have questions about CELTA and/or TEFL courses? Check out this blog post. 


Why the Occupational English Test is your best route to UK employment

There are several exams which you can use to prove your English proficiency for your UK visa application, but the Occupational English Test (OET) is still the only healthcare specific English language test than can make your dream of living and working in the UK a reality. 

Here are 5 reasons why the OET is your best route to working in the UK: 

1. The Occupational English Test (OET) is accepted by NMC, GMC and UKVI 

The OET exam is accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the General Medical Council (GMC), as well as various other Royal Colleges for registration. OET Grade B is required. 

The OET is also accepted by UKVI for your Tier 2 (employment) visa to enable you to legally work in the UK. That means there is no need to sit an additional English exam, such as IELTS. 

2. The language is specifically for healthcare professionals

Unlike IELTs, which is geared towards more academic/university use, the OET has been designed specifically with healthcare professionals in mind. There are specific papers for different profession, i.e. an exam paper specifically for Dentists or for Doctors. 

This is particularly important as the scenarios described in the exam will be familiar to your profession, i.e. listening to a patient describe his symptoms, or reading patient notes. Whereas with other General English tests, the topics of the language could include anything from global warming to a study on dolphins! 

3. Prepare for success in your new UK career

Our OET Medical English courses are designed not only to prepare you to pass the exam, but to prepare you for work in an English-speaking medical environment. 

Foyle International specifically prepare nurses to work in the UK. Our International Nursing Programme combines OET preparation with the Route to Employment programme - a course which provides you with an 8 month paid work placement in healthcare here in the UK. 

For further preparation to work as a nurse in the UK, check out our Route to Employment programme, where we prepare nurses after OET to take an additional 2 qualifications here in Derry (OSCE 1 and OSCE 2), to work as a Band 5 nurse in the UK.

4. UK employers prefer OET to other General English Tests

The OET exam is preferred by employers as they can see the value of improving English language specifically for a medical environment, and many hospitals believe that the higher pass rate in OET gives nurses a greater chance of achieving the desired grade in the first sitting, saving the candidate time and money, and allowing the hospital to recruit employees faster! 

5. OET will increase your confidence

Many candidates who take the OET exam feel it has given them much more confidence in their English language, compared to other General English tests. This is likely because the language and vocabulary used in OET exams and preparation is actually applicable to their day-to-day working life.

Want more information? Get in touch with or download an application form here.