Because any school offering the CELTA must adhere to strict standards and employ teachers that have been certified by Cambridge, it is often perceived as being the most prestigious of all TEFL program options — in fact, you’ll sometimes see job offers for English language teachers citing the CELTA specifically as a prerequisite to be hired.
That said, CELTA is far from the only worthwhile TEFL certification. Many other programs offer equivalent standards — and some even go above and beyond a CELTA course. The main difference is that while with a CELTA, the quality of the course you’re paying for is pretty much guaranteed, with a TEFL, you’ll need to do a bit more research to make sure the program is offering what you’re looking for.
To help you decide which one is right for you, let’s break down the difference between CELTA and other TEFL programs.
CELTA requires students to complete 120 hours of class time and six hours of student teaching (practicum) with real ESL learners. Most CELTA courses are offered on a full-time basis and take four weeks to complete, but some CELTA schools offer part-time CELTA certification, which can be completed in up to three months.
The duration of the program will certainly be a factor in deciding which course you take, but bear in mind that however long it takes you to earn your certificate, a worthwhile program will require at least 100 hours of class time (completed on-site or online) and at least six hours of teaching practice before awarding you your certificate.