What is the difference between Trinity CertTESOL and Cambridge CELTA?
By Francis Marín Brady
Hi, my name’s Francis. I completed the Trinity CertTESOL course at the Tefl-in-Spain academy in Malaga in December 2015, and have been teaching English at their language school, Málaga Lenguas, since January.
Less than a year ago I decided I wanted to become an English teacher. First and foremost, I had to search on the Internet what course to do and where to do it. I can’t tell you how many websites I visited before I could clearly tell the difference between the acronyms TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)and CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). Way too many details and very few clarifications. Well, lucky you, I am going to save you some valuable time and enlighten you.
THE 99 ICE CREAM SIMILE
Have you ever taken a 99 flake ice cream? Let’s assume you did (for the sake of your childhood memories). Do you know it’s real name? I mean, not the brand, which is 99, but the name for the type of ice cream when it was first invented. I’ll tell you: CONE. However, I am pretty sure you would order a ninety-nine if you ran into an ice cream truck anytime. Well, it happens the same with TEFL, TESOL and CELTA.
Understand TEFL and TESOL as the product, being CELTA only a brand. Or if you prefer it with the ice cream simile: TEFL and TESOL as the cone, and CELTA as the 99. Regarding the flake… well, the flake has no equivalent in this story but damn, it tastes good.
ENGLISH TEACHING COURSES
Now that we have clarified the bottom line, it’s time to take it a step further. Although TEFL and TESOL are used interchangeably in the English teaching industry, when it comes to English teaching courses, not all TEFL courses are the same. Amongst the different modalities there are only two accredited key qualifications – the Trinity Cert TESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults). These courses are the only two recognised by the British Council and reputable language schools worldwide. Both classes are the only classes from TEFL to be ranked on the UK NQF (National Qualifications Framework).
SO… WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM?
Apart from some petty differences in their syllabus, course fee, age access requirements and extension, the only fact that really distinguishes them is the awarding body behind them. In the case of the Trinity Cert TESOL it’s the Trinity College of London, the oldest language board in the world, who validates the qualification. For the CELTA it’s Cambridge ESOL, part of the examinations board of the University of Cambridge, who validates it.
WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
In terms of job expectations, you are as likely to get a job with any of the previously mentioned courses (Trinity CertTESOL and CELTA). Nevertheless, the Trinity Cert TESOL can boast about having a module specifically targeted for Teaching Young Learners, while the CELTA only focuses on adults (as mentioned in their acronym). What you certainly need to look for when choosing the centre in which you intend to complete the course is the location, the careers service and testimonials.
For some further clarification, below is a chart showing some more information and comparing both of the classes.
|Trinity CertTESOL||Cambridge CELTA|
|Minimum course length||130 hours||120 hours|
|Hours of observed teaching practice||6||6|
|Duration||Minimum 4 weeks with the intensive course||Minimum 4 weeks with the intensive course|
|Validated by||Trinity College London, the oldest language board in the world||Cambridge ESOL, part of the examinations board of the University of Cambridge|
|NQF (National Qualities Framework) Level||5||5|
|Course fee Rome||€1599 (early bird fee)|
€1750 normal fee