What's the difference between TEFL and TESL certs?

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What's the difference between TEFL and TESL certs?

Unread postby syanon » 17 Mar 2004, 23:29

Auntie Lucy,

I am planning on teaching English abroad once I graduate with my B.A. (in a little over a year) and would like to get a TEFL certificate. There is something called a "UC extension" in my city, which is connected with the University of California system but is not actually part of the university, that gives TESL certificates. I worry about trying to get a TEFL certificate through distance learning and having it turn out to be worthless because it was not accredited or something along those lines, so I would feel safer going with the UC extension. However, the UC extension gives "TESL" certificates...is there any difference between that and a TEFL certificate? Will it be accepted in the same way by prospective employers, or will it not qualify?

Thank you for your help,

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TEFL versus TESL

Unread postby Lucy » 21 Mar 2004, 13:12

Dear Syanon,

I understand your concern and agree with you that it is preferable to have a teaching qualification that is accredited.

For this, you need to check whether it is moderated by an external body or not. An example of this in the UK would be UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate), I'm not sure what the US equivalent is.

People tend to use TEFL as a blanket term in the UK and TESL in the US. In the UK, we would use TESL to refer to a learner from India (for example) where English is commonly used as a working language but is not the first language of that country. Techniques and activities for teaching these students are different from teaching an Italian learner (for example).

For a fuller discussion of the differences, you can look at the Teflnet webpage, go to quick links and look under teacher training. There is a TEFL course database on this website and also on http://www.englishclub.com

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