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Are all CELTA/Trinity courses alike?

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  • bobbyz
    17 January, 2013 at 15:47
    • Total posts: 2

    Hello all,

    Grateful for any advice, please!

    I’m new to TEFL. I’ve looked at TEFL courses, the ones with some in-class studying and 100 or so hours of online studying – but I’ve heard that if you want to work in London (which I do) these are worthless.

    I have looked at CELTA/Trinity courses, which unless I’m mistaken, have the most gravitas and provide better opportunities for work in London.

    My question is this;

    Some course providers don’t have an end of course exam, others do. Some just have continued assessment, via the course tutors. Some have assessment and exams which are independently marked e.g. by someone from Cambridge or Trinity College.

    If at the end of the day, I get a CELTA/Trinity certificate, regardless (if I pass the assesssments/exams) does this mean that you can have a comparatively easier course experience if you went for one that didn’t have an exam? (for those who hate exams).

    Some CELTA/Trinity providers seem quite strict in terms of their assessments/exams, others say things like ‘95% of our students pass first time’ etc – does it really matter then if I do a course with harsher marking/exams, seeing as i’ll still get a certicate endorsed by Cambridge or Trinity?

    Why is there so much difference in the marking/assessments?

    Many thanks….and apologies for the long-winded question….


    21 January, 2013 at 8:29
    • Total posts: 9

    Reply To: New to TEFL, are all CELTA/Trinity courses alike?? Help!

    Hi Bobby

    If you are looking to find work in London, I suggest the CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL (specific Trinity course) are indeed your best options, since they are the most well known, established and they are very good. This is assuming you have a degree?

    Exam or no exam should not be important because they want to see you are a great teacher, not a knowledge bank under pressure! For that reason make sure you choose a course with as much teaching time in it as possible … not just for them but for your own confidence. That was the most important bit for me when I did my CELTA ten years ago.

    Remember too that once your CV starts adding up with good teaching jobs you have under your belt, the less important your initial course becomes because that’s when the real learning happens :) So also consider teaching abroad now and then too – short term stuff if you have commitments in the UK.

    Good luck!

    Julie Johnson

    21 January, 2013 at 9:17
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: New to TEFL, are all CELTA/Trinity courses alike?? Help!


    This has been really helpful- thank you!

    In terms of a degree, I don’t have one, the ‘biggest’ qualification I have is a BTEC in Business I did at college over 20 years ago.

    In terms of experience, I have just under 20 years of working in the Civil Service, managing people, and working in contract management, and procurement.

    I also have a Life Coaching Diploma which maybe might help beef up my applications a bit? :)

    My intention was to teach in London, but I do understand that it’s comparatively easier to work abroad first….

    Thanks again…

    21 January, 2013 at 12:37
    • Total posts: 158

    Reply To: New to TEFL, are all CELTA/Trinity courses alike?? Help!

    Without a degree then you’ll be a bit restricted about where you can work abroad, regardless of which TEFL qualification you have.

    There are some countries which will take a teacher without a degree, however, notably:

    * Argentina
    * Colombia
    * the Czech Republic
    * Ecuador
    * Indonesia
    * Mongolia
    * Myanmar
    * Russia
    * Venezuela

    ICAL – TEFL Courses & TEFL Resources

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