Comparing the Cambridge CELTA vs Trinity CertTESOL

If you’ve come to this page, you’re seriously looking at the more premium TEFL certifications available. The Cambridge CELTA certificate or the Trinity CertTESOL, also better known as Trinity or CELTA.

Both great courses, their certification are really well respected, but what’s the difference, if any? In this article, we’re going to break that down. Let’s have a quick explanation of both.

Cambridge CELTA consists of 5 levels of TEFL certification and it really well known across the world. Being “Cambridge” certainly doesn’t hurt because most people around the world know of Cambridge and Oxford.

When taking a CELTA you can be graded: PASS. PASS B, and PASS A. The CELTA also leads into the most well recognised higher certification DELTA, which is often a requirement for director of studies (DoS) positions.

Trinity CertTESOL also has 5 levels of TEFL certification, and if recognised internationally, although probably not to the same degree as the CELTA. It has one distinct advantage in that it’s a premier TEFL certification that is slightly more affordable than the CELTA.

Similar to the CELTA, it has a higher certification for TEFL management, like a Dos role, and that’s called the DipTESOL.

A misconception.

In theory (and it’s only in theory) there is a difference between TESOL and TEFL. In this case, TESOL is represented by a Trinity course and CELTA is in the TEFL camp.

Originally, the difference would be TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages. This would be English teaching that takes place in a country that uses English as it’s first language. Normally by immigrants who want to be able to become part of society.

Traditionally, the TESOL would be more focused on practical English. The kind of language that would be practical if you were living in an English speaking country. Going to the doctor, filling out a form, these kinds of things.

TEFL was more focused on teaching English in non-English speaking environments, the English they would need is more related to work or travel.

In essence, slightly different components of the language, slightly different needs.

But teaching English has evolved. These days, both formats realize the necessity of covering all aspects, and with globalization, the world is a lot smaller and many industries are in English, including medicine, education, tourism and business.

So, there is no real difference. Not when you look at the syllabus. However, that doesn’t mean that the entire industry doesn’t recognize that. Some people still recognize a difference and I’ve found that some parents want their kids to do a TESOL because they did, or similarly, some schools prefer to be recognized as a CELTA school.

Sorry, I can’t be more clear. The syllabi are very similar, teachers from both will cover the same material, however in some pockets of the industry, they prefer one over the other.

As a language school owner, I would be happy to receive teaching applications from either.

To my mind, the CELTA is more recognized and so, therefore, I would definitely see that as the major advantage. On the flipside, if money is really tight and you’re sure you want a TEFL course that is considered “premier” then the TESOL is an awesome choice. For you, it might be the sweet spot.

Practically, they are both courses are around 120-140 hours in length, they both classroom-based and they both require assessed teaching practice. That’s what really matters. However, if money is really tight, there are some online courses too, and you can find out more about them here.

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