What's the difference between TEFL certificate and diploma courses?
There are basically two types of initial TEFL training - taking a weekend certificate course plus optional add-on modules or taking a longer intensive
4-week course. After qualifying and gaining at least one year's (preferably two years') experience, you will have the chance to extend your
qualifications by taking a diploma course. There are also online TEFL courses, but these are not discussed here. Please search on the main menu for
information about these. Below are some typical details about each type of face-to-face TEFL course to help you understand the comparison more
20-hour Weekend Certificate courses
* Great if you want to travel on a gap year to teach abroad.
* Helpful if you aren't sure how much of your life you want to commit to TEFL teaching
* A good taster to give you an idea if are suited to teaching.
* Represent superb value for money and a relatively short time investment
A school expects a teacher with this qualification to:
* Need some support in their first job
* Be able to plan lessons on their own after some initial help in the first few weeks
* Deliver fun, interesting and informative lessons
However, they don't expect you to know everything and will probably be very understanding if you make mistakes initially.
Many schools abroad and some in the UK accept teachers with this type of training. Various agencies, for example Cactus or i-to-i [see below] offer
training courses and can find teaching placements abroad for you. Some of these schools will also ask that you have a Bachelor's degree in any
subject, but many well accept teachers who have no additional qualification.
There is no formal exam at the end, but it is still possible to fail this type of course depending on the tutor's assessment of your capability and
suitability. Assuming you pass, you will have a good launch pad from which to start teaching and you will gain experience very quickly in your first job.
Course content incl