The Difference Between TESOL and TEFL

Today’s blog will cover some common questions asked about TESOL/TEFL certification programs and how to pick the program best for you.

Question 1: What is TESOL? 

Answer 1:

  1. TESOL represents a billion-dollar industry that has fundamentally advocated for, promoted, and presented the English language as a tool to improve all sorts of economic endeavors. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) has become a steadfast industry component due to the vast amount of cultural, technological, and economic influence wielded by the nations that utilize English as their native tongue. 
  2. Under its umbrella we have created a slew of related enterprise, as illustrated via the following acronyms: ESOL, ESL, EFL, TESL, TEFL, EAP, ESP, ELL … (all contain the letter E = English).

Question 2: What is TEFL?

Answer 2:

TEFL is another certificate program offered and stands for Teaching (in) English as a Foreign Language.

Question 3: Which certificate is better or the best: TESOL or TEFL or TESL or CELTA or DELTA or Bridge or LAT-TESOL?

Answer 3:

  1. All certificates are simply documents that represent a process. This process aims to prepare the candidates for a prolific experience as a teacher of the English language in the global TESOL industry. 
  2. Not all certificates are created equal. The processes involved in certifying a candidate vary greatly. The “best” certificate is one that shows the successful completion of a program whose theoretical component is based on the practical application of the CAT (Communicative Approach in Teaching). Currently, the standard in this respect is the LAT-TESOL Course for International TEFL/TESL/TESOL Certification. 

Question 4: What are the certificates used for?

Answer 4:

  • Certificates allow prospective employers to get a feel for the candidates skills, abilities, and qualities. 

Question 5: How much does it cost to obtain the certificate?

Answer 5:

  • Costs will vary greatly. Let’s get mathematical about it: Any viable program will have at least 90 clock-hours of practicum and theory. A realistic course will charge at least $15 per hour. 90 x 15 = $1350.00. Add extra costs in respect to materials and admin fees, and the result is a minimum of $1550.00 for a TEFL/TESL/TESOL certificate that has been field-tested and respected by recruiters, prospective employers, and advocates of the CAT. 

Question 6: What are the requirements to obtain each certificate?

Answer 6:

  1. Be fluent in the English language.
  2. Be aware that the program is a commitment of time, effort, and money.
  3. Be aware of the fact that the certificate is NOT a diploma and that it cannot be used in lieu of one to obtain a teaching assignment. 
  4. Understand well teaching is NOT a piece of cake. 

Question 7: How long does it take to get each certificate?

Answer 7:

  • The process for a viable certificate should take from 3 to 6 weeks to complete. 

Question 8: How long does a typical certificate last?

Answer 8:

  • There is no expiration date.