What is TESOL? How is it different to TEFL? How does this relate to my funding?
What is TEFL?
The TEFL sector can be a little confusing! Some people do a degree in TEFL and others do a one-hour groupon course!
FYI: Like FYI, TEFL is just an acronym, it means 'Teaching English as a Foreign Language'. There are thousands of different TEFLs out there - with no overarching or official provider of TEFL! The acronym simply refers to a broad array of English teacher training and certification schemes, of varying quality and value.
CertTESOL, CELTA or Gatehouse l5?
In the TEFL sector, there are two leading entry-level qualifications, these are the Trinity CertTESOL and the CELTA, they are roughly equivalent in terms of quality and prestige and are both Level 5 qualifications under Ofqual (UK). These have the highest standing around the world of entry-level TEFL qualifications, and are accredited by well-respected institutions globally. Our favourite is the Trinity CertTESOL, most of our team have done it. We currently offer it to all candidates on our 6+ month programmes.
For candidates on our programmes of fewer than 6 months in duration, we offer a course that is broadly equivalent to the above - this is the Gatehouse Ofqual Level 5 course. We offer this as it is considered to be an equivalent course and is more achievable within the constraints of our short, intensive work placement programmes. In 2023 we moved to offering this for those on our short duration placements because we wish to prioritise ensuring that all of our candidates are able to graduate from a good quality TEFL course. Subject to funding, anyone that graduates this will be offered access to an upgrade onto a Trinity CertTESOL or even a DET QTLS conferring programme - please email us for details on this.
Please note, any course that meets the three criteria below can be considered to be broadly equivalent to the CertTESOL/CELTA:
1.is externally validated by a reputable examination body (usually a university or recognised examination board) and/or accredited by a national accrediting body such as Ofqual in England
2. contains at least six hours’ supervised teaching practice (i.e. teaching practice where a qualified and standardised assessor observes the trainee teacher teaching real students and gives feedback on his or her performance)
3. contains at least 100 hours of TEFL/ELT/TESOL input
TEFL Insight Programme
In-house at Gotoco, we also offer a basic TEFL course (TEFL Insight Programme), this is significantly lower commitment than the options above. This TEFL is designed to prepare you well for your time abroad, while making you eligible for entry-level TEFL jobs.
When you apply, we will select which pathway you are given (more info here). You are usually offered the basic TEFL by default if you are recruited by your university to do one of our primer programmes, these are usually short-term (usually about one month) and in Europe (normally Spain or Poland). If you wish to do our other programmes in Europe or to go beyond Europe, you can only receive our full funding if you enrol on the Trinity CertTESOL or TESOL equivalent course.
You can read more about our three TEFL programme types on this link.