TEFL – Getting Started

1. TEFL/TESOL/ESL? What’s the difference?

Although there are slight differences in meaning, the terms ‘TEFL’, ‘TESOL’ and ‘ESL’ are basically the same thing: abbreviations and acronyms used to describe English Language Teaching. TEFL refers to ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’, and TESOL refers to ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’, while ESL refers to ‘English as a Second Language’.

2. Do I really need a qualification to teach English?

Everyone has heard stories about people landing teaching jobs simply because they could speak English. However, these are often dead-end jobs with unscrupulous employers and horrendous conditions. Similarly, online courses with no teaching practice and leading to unaccredited certificates might seem like bargains but very often they simply don’t prepare you for the rigours of a real teaching job. The best way to be able to pick and choose the teaching job you take is to have a reputable, internationally-recognised qualification. For the vast majority of employers worldwide that means either the Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge English CELTA.

3. How do I choose from the different qualifications on offer?

Think about …

Recognition (Trinity’s CertTESOL and Cambridge’s CELTA are by far the most widely-recognised)

Teaching Practice Component: (You can’t learn to ride a bike online, and the same goes for learning how to teach)

Price (Cheaper rarely means better)

Location (accessibility, both for you and to the potential jobs market, is important)

Reputation (What do others have to say about the course provider?)

Course Duration (What suits you – a 4-week intensive or 13-week extensive course?)

Resources (Does the course provider offer access to wifi, computers and research material?)

Post-Course Support (Does the course provider offer long-term back-up?)

4. What’s special about Spainwise’s Trinity CertTESOL Teacher Training Course?

Recognition: Spainwise’s Trinity-accredited CertTESOL is one of the most widely-recognised qualifications in the world.

Teaching Practice Component: Trainees on our intensive courses teach on almost every day of the course, starting on day 2!

Price: Spainwise offers special discounts for early bookings or teachers at schools which are members of FECEI.

Location: Because of its central location, Cordoba is one of the most accessible cities in Spain, with 3 international airports within easy reach and high-speed train connections to most major cities, including Seville, Malaga, Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona.

Reputation: Hundreds of top employers in Spain have been trusting Spainwise for their recruitment needs for over a decade.

Course Duration: Choose from our 4-week full-time courses and our nine-month part-time courses.

Resources: The Spainwise Teacher Training Centre offers access to wifi, computers, photocopying facilities and an extensive EFL library.

Post-Course Support: Our graduates enjoy VIP access to the national TEFL Jobs Fairs which Spainwise has been organising for more than 10 years, and receive regular newsletters with details of teaching opportunities throughout Spain.

5. What does “Trinity-accredited” mean?

The Spainwise TEFL Certificate course — the Cert TESOL — is accredited by Trinity College London, which means that …

  • It is an INTERNATIONAL qualification, recognised and respected around the world.
  • The course content and Spainwise’s training methods have been evaluated and approved by Trinity College London.
  • Spainwise’s teacher trainers meet the rigorous qualification standards demanded by Trinity College London.
  • The Spainwise premises have been inspected and meet Trinity’s requirements.
  • Spainwise’s Trinity Cert TESOL programme is moderated by independent representatives of Trinity College London.
  • Spainwise’s Trinity Cert TESOL is accepted as an initial TEFL qualification for teachers by organisations worldwide, including FECEI (the National Federation of Private Language Schools in Spain) and the British Council.

The Trinity CertTESOL is accredited on the British National Qualifications Framework at Level 5.

6. Can I take the course online?

Since March 2020, this course, including teaching practice, can be done online.

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