Can I teach English without a CELTA?

If you want to teach English, it pays to arm yourself with the best qualification you can get

You can teach English without a CELTA (or equivalent) but it is advisable to obtain some kind of English teaching qualification if you are intending to earn a proper living as a teacher for a decent amount of time.

The Cambridge CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) is one of the two most prestigious and internationally recognised teaching qualifications – the other being the Trinity CertTESOL – and it is these two certificates that will open the door to the most competitive teaching jobs the world over. Read more information on the CELTA and CertTESOL here.

After these two certificates you have equivalent and online ELT (English Language Teaching) courses. Equivalent courses include certificates such as the TESOL, the SIT TESOL and the TEFL certificate and they cover teaching skills, language awareness and teaching practice much like the CELTA and CertTESOL. They are generally cheaper and are sufficient for teaching jobs in parts of the world where there is less competition or if you intend to teach on a voluntary, informal or temporary basis.

Online courses are a flexible and convenient way to learn about English Language Teaching (ELT), but as they do not provide teaching practice they are more appropriate if you already have teaching experience.

In summary, you don’t necessarily need a CELTA to teach English: a CELTA (or CertTESOL) will give the best chance of finding work upon completion of your course, but other qualifications and factors such as teaching experience and previous education (see Do I need a degree to do an ELT course?) will also affect your job prospects.

Visit Cactus TEFL or call 0845 130 4775 for advice about any aspect of ELT courses or jobs.

Cactus TEFL is an admissions and advice service for quality teacher training courses worldwide. We work with the majority of well-known course providers to offer CELTA, Trinity CertTESOL, equivalent and online courses in over 90 locations across 36 countries. Cactus TEFL also offers free post-course careers advice and support, as well as access to our very own TEFL jobs board and job alerts.


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