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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Types of ESL Certificates

Posted By: Ciaran Bellew <>
Date: Friday, 11 July 2014, at 7:22 a.m.

Many people here seem to be asking about the varying qualification identities one can find in ESL teaching. Compare them to medical training and you are more or less there. FOR EXAMPLE

1) A person with an STQ (Secondary Teacher Qualification)as a professional - BEd, PGCE etc- equates to a surgeon or consultant physician.
2) A person with PTQ (Primary Teacher)= a General Practitioner. To Whit someone with a much wider field of consultancy than a specialist in one single field.
3) Nurses and Paramedics would equal the DELTA (the Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults). The training you cover with the DELTA would not make you a fully qualified real teacher but it is far higher than:
4) A Tefl/TESOL which would equate to a First Aid Certificate, as in; you can deal with the immediate job in hand but must refer higher for any other work to be covered.
5) I would say `if you can stick a plaster on a grazed knee you would have a "CELTA" `. But maybe that is being a little harsh.

There is nothing wrong with a CELTA in itself, for what it is. To whit the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. However so many esl employers are ignorant of that basic fact and mistakenly believe it has the word Cambridge somewhere in its title. Which magically means apparently that whoever has the CELTA must be a very clever chap indeed, and has achieved a post graduate degree from Cambridge University. Deliver me!
The CELTA is half a TEFL/TESOL, in that it only deals with adults and at a very basic level. It irks me to see CELTA holders get positions above and before better qualified individuals; and to see for example some private primary school manager/owner advertise for an esl teacher, with the added proviso `Must be a CELTA holder`. That is like advertising for snow white`s dwarves in a pantomime and stating `must be at least eight feet tall`.
I hope this helps aids those who have asked somewhat. To the ones who plan to write a response commenting on some minor pedantry, frankly I could not care less. Maybe one pantomime did have a professional basket ball team playing the dwarves, but again, who cares? The guide lines I have set out are accurate for those making a start in Teaching. Much as I hate to admit this but the CELTA does work if, only for the reasons already outlined. Best of Luck

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