TEFL Certificate Courses


The majority of trainee teachers who would like to teach take a certificate course in teaching EFL/ESL. A certificate course provides basic grounding in teaching, lesson development, managing students and, in particular, the different stages of teaching English. Certificate courses are great for trainee teachers who have no experience of teaching – perhaps have a degree or experience in a totally different field – and want to ensure that they are well prepared for their first ‘real’ class (as a trainee teacher, part of your certificate course will be to experience practical teaching in a classroom). Most certificate courses are intensive and run over a four or six week period. You can take distance-study courses or take a certificate course on a part-time basis over several months.

Once you have a certificate in teaching English, you can start to apply for jobs at schools around the world. Although there is no single qualification, there are two main certificate courses: University of Cambridge CELTA and Trinity College London Cert.TESOL. Either one is well recognised around the world.

Aside from these two main certificate qualifications, many school, colleges and universities have their own certificate course developed in-house. Make sure that you ask the course provider about their qualification and if they will provide assistance finding a job once you have completed your course.

As well as the basic certificate course, you can also study for additional modules that will gain you experience and qualifications in specialist subjects (see also the section on ESP); for example, teaching young learners or teaching business English.

Certificate Qualification Providers

When you look at the different courses on offer you will find they provide a range of different certificate courses. There are a number of certificates awarded by different organisations – they have different names, provide emphasis on different types of teaching but all have the same goal to ensure that you are able to manage your first class teaching English. The main organisations offering certificate awards are:

University of Cambridge ESOL

Trinity College London

Pitman / City & Guilds

School for International Training (SIT)


Filed in: TEFL Courses