Which is better? CELTA qualifications or Level 5 TEFL certifications? Choosing a course can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack without the proper research. Most people aren’t aware of the differences between CELTA qualifications and TEFL certifications. We’re going to explore the similarities and differences to help you pick the right course for you!

What Is a CELTA Qualification?

CELTA, TEFL, TESOL; all of these acronyms can seem mega confusing at first. But once you break them down, they’ll start to make a lot more sense. Let’s get straight into helping you find the right course.

A CELTA qualification (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is a very prestigious one. It is provided by Cambridge English Language Assessment and enables you to teach English as a second language. It also enables you to teach English to speakers of other languages. 

In order to get certified, a teacher must complete a 120-hour course alongside 6 hours of observed teaching practice with real students. A great aspect for those who love the idea of teaching practice! The vast majority of CELTA courses are completed over 4 weeks and are full-time. However, part-time courses are also popular and can take a little longer. 

One of the most important things to remember about taking a CELTA course is that it’s mainly targeted at those who want to teach adults rather than children. This means that this certificate may not prepare you specifically for working with younger learners. An important aspect to consider if you also want to teach children in the future. 

Another key benefit of taking a CELTA course is that upon completion, it allows you to teach English in both native English speaking countries and countries where English isn’t a native language.

What Is a Level 5 TEFL Certification?

Level 5 TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses prepare you for the best TEFL jobs across the world and at home. With 168 hours of study, these internationally recognized courses can be completed in as little as 6 weeks. They can open up a lot of teaching doors for you, but they do require a lot of work. Level 5 courses would typically help you secure a higher paid job rather than just an entry-level role. 

A Level 5 qualification will certainly give you a big boost when it’s time for you to start your job hunt. It would also give you a more in-depth training experience, so when you’ve completed your course, you’ll feel even more prepared to be confident in the classroom.

TEFL, or “teaching English as a foreign language,” is a specific type of certification that primarily enables teachers to travel to non-native English speaking countries to teach English to a variety of students. You will have slightly different TEFL training depending on which school, course, or online certificate program that you ultimately choose.

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Are CELTA Qualifications and Level 5 TEFL Courses Accredited?

Both CELTA and Level 5 TEFL courses are regulated by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) according to their qualifications framework. As part of this framework, there are nine qualification levels. In simple terms, the higher the qualification level, the higher the difficulty and better the qualification. 

CELTA qualifications and Level 5 TEFL certification are the equivalents of a diploma of higher education (DipHE), a foundation degree, or two years at university. Both qualifications sit between an A-Level qualification and a Bachelor’s degree on the qualifications framework. 

In terms of the level of qualification, a CELTA qualification and Level 5 TEFL certification are each other’s equivalent. However, there are a few key differences that might help you choose which one is better for you. 

What Are the Differences Between CELTA Qualifications and Level 5 TEFL Courses?

Both qualifications will appeal to aspiring teachers depending on how long quickly they want to complete their studies. A CELTA course can be completed in 4 weeks full-time, and usually within 2 months for part-time. The majority of these courses require you to study in-person so it can be tricky for people who have other commitments.

A Level 5 TEFL qualification can be studied quite quickly. The flexibility of this kind of course suits a lot of teachers. When studying for a Level 5 TEFL course, you’ll typically have up to 6 months to complete it. A lot more people are studying online nowadays so Level 5 courses are really appealing because of their flexibility and accessibility.

When it comes to the prices, studying for a Level 5 TEFL certification is generally less expensive than a CELTA qualification. Does that mean that a Level 5 course is a reduced quality? Not at all! 

Can I Study for a CELTA Qualification or TEFL Certification Online?

You can study for both these qualifications in-person. However, CELTA and Level 5 TEFL courses online have become increasingly popular for new teachers who want to be able to study in their own time online. 

An online CELTA qualification is usually a blended learning course that combines online self-study and hands-on teaching practice. Our 300 Hour Hybrid Master TEFL Course with Teaching Practice is a more affordable way to obtain a Level 5 teaching certification. This hybrid course is perfect for those who wanted a blended learning experience with our virtual teacher studio

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Which Course Should I Choose – a CELTA Qualification or a Level 5 TEFL?

There are so many ways to become a TEFL teacher and get certified to teach English. There’s a number of factors that should be considered when deciding which course you are going to take. 

This will include how long you envisage yourself teaching English. Do you see this as a long-term career or something that allows you to earn some extra money? You should also consider how much time you have to commit to studying and how quickly you’d like to be qualified as both courses differ in length. 

A Level 5 TEFL qualification is a great investment that will allow you to teach children and adults, both online and abroad. But CELTA qualifications are usually geared more towards career-seeking teachers with adult students. So, if you are looking for something long-term, maybe a CELTA qualification is for you. Otherwise, a Level 5 TEFL course is generally a more affordable and flexible option for teachers.

Some people assume CELTA qualifications are better quality because they are more expensive, but this isn’t usually the case. It depends on what type of job you are looking for. Whilst CELTA certainly is widely respected, the vast majority of English teachers who land jobs online or abroad don’t have a CELTA qualification. 

Instead, many teachers choose to take a TEFL course. This is because it gives them a qualification that will allow them to teach English online and abroad. So when you look at the available opportunities for new English teachers, you’ll realize that having a CELTA doesn’t necessarily make you any more employable than a TEFL certification does.

What’s Next?

Now that you understand the differences between CELTA qualifications and TEFL certification, you’ll be able to make a decision on which type of course is right for you and your goals.