Online TESOL Course or CELTA Course?

Online TESOL Course or CELTA Course?

Online TEFL or CELTA?

It is a key question for the thousands of new entrants to the TEFL profession each year and one we are asked a lot at Global English. Now as an online TESOL provider you can probably guess which way we lean, although you may be a little surprised at the outcome if you read on... and I promise I will try to be objective! In fact, I do have experience of both training routes, having originally completed a CELTA and subsequently being heavily involved in the writing/delivering of online courses.

Let's start with the CELTA/Trinity TESOL.

Firstly, what is a CELTA/Trinity TESOL?
A CELTA is the Certificate in Teaching English Language to Adults course run by the Cambridge exam group. Typically the CELTA is completed in class over 4 intensive weeks. A key component of the course is that trainees teach 6-8 hours whilst being observed and critiqued. You can do a CELTA in approved centres across the world. Often there is a workshop atmosphere as you are learning with other TEFL trainees, planning and delivering lesson segments. According to Cambridge, 10,000 people take this qualification each year. You can now take an online CELTA in certain locations although you must still take the in-class element at a local school. During the pandemic, live practicums have been conducted online.

The Trinity Cert TESOL is 5 week intensive taught course, similar to the CELTA in that it is classroom based, only available at approved centres and observed teaching is a core component of the course. Years ago the CELTA/Trinity courses were about the only way to enter the TEFL profession. 

Here’s an overview of both the positives and negatives of the CELTA/Trinity. 

CELTA/Trinity positives:

  • Both are well-known across the world.
  • Courses are likely to be of a similar standard across the world, no matter where you take them.
  • The course is usually completed in one month or 5 weeks. 
  • Teaching practice is helpful. 

CELTA/Trinity negatives:

  • They can be expensive: £1000-£1500 depending on where/how you take them. Plus you will usually need to give up work to complete them. A significant online course will cost much less.
  • They can be very intense, which is not good if you need longer to consolidate information, don’t react well under pressure or a significant life event occurs that means you can’t complete the course.
  • They don’t lead to more money necessarily. Whether you have a CELTA or good online course, your earnings are not likely to be greatly different.
  • In English speaking countries which tend to prefer the CELTA/Trinity – much of the work is seasonal and so this qualification will not guarantee you year-round teaching work.

Online alternatives to the CELTA
The last few years have seen an explosion in online options to get TESOL qualified. These courses offer you alternative and less expensive ways to study. The online options come with the flexibility of studying when you want to, from the comfort of your own home. You can also add on young learner or business elements, making your training more customised. Increasingly, courses are now looking at more specialised areas, such as teaching English online. None of that is available within the strict confines of the CELTA or Trinity TESOL courses. 

But what about their status when compared to the CELTA? How can you be assured of quality if you choose an alternative?

Quality of online courses
This is where online industry can let itself down. Whatever online course you choose, you want to be sure you have the skills, methodology, and let's face it, the confidence to take money for your teaching services. It is not always clear in an unregulated online market which courses are good and which courses offer poor value. This may have you running for the CELTA were it not for a few organisations that exist in the UK, seeking to raise standards in the distance TEFL industry.

The most well-established organisation among these that accredits TEFL/TESOL courses is 
. Any UK-based distance TEFL organisation with this accreditation will have had to meet strict external criteria. Therefore employers can be much more sure of course quality. With institutions accredited by ACTDEC, you do have the option to purchase a certificate awarded by the accrediting body direct upon successful completion. This prestigious certificate is extra proof of course quality.

For a premium online course, the Global English TESOL Professional course, accredited by ACTDEC to their Level 5 standard, is one of the most advanced, accredited, entry-level course possible online. While this is not a CELTA qualification, in some areas it goes further than the CELTA, looking at areas such as phonetics, phonology and linguistics, teaching English online and to business people,  leading to advanced certification.

For much of Asia and online teaching, employers will want to see a good, accredited TESOL course of 120 hours minimum. A CELTA is usually not necessary for these large teaching markets. 
For such markets, the Global English 120 hour TESOL Premier course is recommended and is most popular.

Where can I teach with a good online TESOL?
As well as private language schools, many online TEFL graduates are freelancing, teaching immigrants, hosting and teaching English in their own home and teaching English online. Most of these positions will not require a CELTA. A good online TESOL provider will assist with links to TESOL jobs with international schools and agencies. At Global English TESOL, our newly trained teachers are in great demand by international employers across the globe. 

While some employers may still ask for a CELTA and accept no other (more so in English speaking countries) the real truth is that, pandemic aside,  the demand for qualified English language teachers abroad has always been absolutely huge. There are different geographical preferences, but if you have English as your native tongue (especially English/Irish/American/Canadian/Australian/NZ/S. African passports) a good quality TESOL and a degree, much of the non-English speaking world is open to you.

Hold your arms out as wide as you can. This represents your chances of employment worldwide as an EFL teacher if you have a CELTA + degree and are a native English speaker. Narrow your reach slightly, and this represents your chances with a good, online TESOL certificate + degree and native speaker ability. In short, if you're flexible about where you go, there's not much in it.

A final word
The CELTA certainly has its place if you can afford both the time and expense involved. If you want every possible work guarantee and can learn intensively, then it could be a good choice for you.

But if you prefer to have more flexibility in the way you study, an in-depth online course, with an accredited certificate and possibly customised optional specialisms can suit your pocket and get you where you want to go. An advanced online certificate of good length and verifiable quality should stand up well to employer scrutiny.

------------------------------------- might also like:

TEFL or TESOL - what do employers want? 
My teaching life with an advanced TESOL qualification – graduate Lea Hook in Thailand
250-hour TESOL Professional course: a real online alternative to a CELTA
* An innovative, cost-effective teaching practice option option


Watch the video with Global English TESOL tutor and CELTA trainer Steve Button, about the differences between taking a CELTA or a Global English TESOL course...


Need more advice on TESOL/TEFL?

Contact us direct: or phone + 441392 411 999 or our
Our Facebook group is the perfect place to ask your TEFL questions and get answers directly from us - join here now

  • Author: Louisa Walsh
  • Date: 05/09/2019



Thank you for such an informative article.

I had made a decision recently that I would like to make a career move and go into teaching English abroad since my own children have grown up and I have finally completed my OU degree. Now seems to be the perfect opportunity for me to complete a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course. I looked at a number of job vacancies and noticed that only a small number of potential employers (especially in Dubai) ask for a CELTA, most ask for a lot less.

Therefore I started looking at the available courses. Then I came across this article, which has answered a lot of my questions.

I am not fussy where in the world I work, I just want to get out and about; I can do distance learning and I don't have the time or the money to do a f/t CELTA. So this article has consolidated everything in my head, I shall now go ahead and go for a good TEFL!

Louisa Walsh

Thanks, Caroline for your comments. I am glad the article was useful and we were able to clarify a few things. There are some great alternatives to CELTA, including our accredited online TESOL courses: or feel free to get in touch directly if I can help further:

Geoff Nunney

Good article. I don't possess a Celta. I did complete an Online Certificate and managed to find 5 years work in Eastern Europe.

I decided to return to the UK, but am concerned that my chances will be limited here in the UK.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Louisa Walsh

Thanks, Geoff. Your chances may be limited in the UK but that partly depends on where you are in the country. Also, in many areas of the UK, work dries up outside of the busy spring and summer months anyway - regardless of your TEFL qualification. I would advise being creative in the job search locally and we have a few ideas on teaching English in the UK in our fact sheet here: Do click on the comments tab because our online TESOL course graduates have written about how they are making their Global English TESOL qualification work in the UK. Really hope this helps.

Lesley Smith

I found the info on this site interesting and helpful in confirming my decision in the choice of TEFL that l have recently made. I decided to go for a TEFL home study course that gives me two certs which takes 10 months. One for the course as well as a level 3 cert as once completed means l will be trained to Practitioner Level. Would be interested to know what people think.

Brian Thurlborn

I Keep seeing this CELTA thing cropping up ,I only have a BA and a TEFL , BUT have been teaching since 1997 and have even managed a language school ,surely with ALL the experience i have over this many years ,i DO NOT need a CELTA !!!!

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

Thanks for your comment, Brian. I would expect you don't need a CELTA at your stage but for new entrants to the profession it is a valid question and one I hope we have addressed in the article. As mentioned, we have good online CELTA alternative in our accredited level 5 TESOL:


Ms Louisa,

I want to enroll myself. I would rather choose CELTA. I am from the Philippines. Do you think if i take an online CELTA course, will I have a job from my chosen country, which is the Netherlands?


Kind regards,

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

No, Leedail. I'm afraid it is unlikely. A CELTA or any TESOL qualification will not help unless you have the legal right to work in the Netherlands.
The Dutch tend to speak English very well and so competition is high even for those that do have the legal right to work there


Id like to enrol the course but I have a doubt:
I have a 3 years Degree in Tourism Management in Spain, now I live in England and I was wondering if I get this certificate, could I teach abroad with it?Eg. China, Thailand, these kind Of countries.
Do I need any other previous certificate in english?

Thanks in Advance.

Bobbie Stewart

I'm already an experienced English teacher in FE. GCSE & A-level but lots of my students have ESOL issues. I'm retiring early, sick of the exam treadmill and want to diversify by teaching EFL-lots of opportunities & needs where I live. Can afford to do CELTA fulltime but do I need the classroom training element? If I do online it would fit in with summer working/travel plans. Please advise which would be best for me?

William HIll

I am a retired naval administrative petty officer that has recently completed my BA in General Studies (Minors in English, History and Business). I also have an AA in Secondary Education and Business Administration. The concentration of my studies (60sh) is in English, yet the University of Mississippi does not offer a degree in English. I have, however, completed 4 education classes including SPED. I would like to complete the CELTA online and teach in Asia, as I spent most of my career in Japan and the Philippines. I am currently a substitute teacher, but I still have limited classroom experience. I work two jobs so online would be most convenient. Which test provider would you recommend if I wanted to immerse myself in the program?

Tina Nadzan

Hi Louisa,
Thank you for the informative article! I am an experienced teacher, native English speaker, with two Master's degrees--one in Reading and a second in Special Education-- I was laid off five ago and have not been able to get back into teaching in the public school. I have taught adult ESL for two years and found that to be a wonderful experience! I would like to pursue my TEFL certification and hope to teach online. How likely would that be? I am afraid to invest more time and money into pursuing teaching without feeling certain that I would be able to work. Do you have any idea of possible earnings?

I appreciate any assistance you might provide,


Louisa Walsh

Hello Tina
Thanks for your comment. Firstly, there are lots of opportunities to teach online so it is a realistic possibility. Often you can set your own timetable which is a bonus - although it often does not pay so well. I would also look to freelance in my local area and offer Skype lesson in that capacity, too. Do see how our teacher, Lea Hook found teaching English work online: I hope you find this helpful.



When you say "university degree", do you mean just any degree? Or is it a language degree? I have a Bachelor's degree in English.


Lynda Ziemba

Hi…the article was great, but I'm still so undecided about which way to go as I pursue a TEFL/TESOL Certification.

I have an MSW degree, have worked in many African countries as a Social Worker, and have also taught Social Work & Sociology (both Undergrad and Graduate courses) at 2 US based Adjunct Faculty.

I'm semi-retired, and hope to return for several months a year to Zambia, where I have many friends, to teach at one of the many International Schools.

I've looked into ATI, i-to-i, and read every thing I can find online in regard to the many different programs out there.

Any further suggestions anyone??

Thank you,
Lynda Z

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

Hello Lynda
Thanks for your comments and questions - The key for you is that you have contacts out there already and while a TESOL or CELTA is not normally enough for international schools that teach the school curriculum in English - you also mentioned some of the teaching you intend to be doing in your email to me. So with a good, accredited TESOL, you will have the qualification you need. I know you have just signed up with us on a Global English TESOL and so welcome! We look forward to more news as you seek to return to Zambia.

Sarah Harvey

Hi Louisa!

I'm having a right struggle trying to find answers to my current problem. Your article was helpful, thank you, but still I need some help.

I'm a 20 year old native-speaker (Brit) with no degree. I got myself a TEFL (140 hour- 20 hours of which were "practical"). I've taught English in Vietnam for 5 months, Italy for 3, and Maldives for 1 but I am here until December (which will make about a year and a half ESL experience in total).

Since I don't have a degree I'm interested in more training and qualifications. I was trying to get hold of Cambridge but it seems impossible. There is no centre in Maldives, so they told me even for an Online CELTA I would have to travel to the nearest centre, which for me would be a flight to Sri Lanka. Seems unnecessary!

I was tweeting them and I asked why I need this 6 hours of "face to face" experience when I currently work 30 hours a week at a Language School in Maldives. Sigh.......

I've researched a bit about a "Distance Delta" but that requires a CELTA and more teaching experience than what I have. So I'm a bit stuck here.....

Any advice? :)

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

Hello Sarah,
and thanks for your post. I suppose my first question to you is, why do you wish to take further qualifications? If it is to improve your range of skills and 'marketability,' then there are a range of online follow-ons for continuing professional development which you can study from the Maldives. At Global English TESOL, for example you can brush up on your grammar, take a 1-1, business or young learner course or take a course in phonetics and phonology. You can see more here: Certainly any of these will help with your teaching and tell employers you are serious about continuing to learn and improve. Is this the kind of thing you are looking to do? I will also email you, Sarah in case you want to continue the conversation further.


i have a bachelor in English and more then 10 years of experience in teaching English to nearly all different ages . i will be moving to Dubai next month will taking a CELTA help in getting a good job there . or is other alternatives which could be more convenient.

Louisa - Global English TESOL

Hello Reem, You don't see many positions advertised for Dubai in the international jobs website for TESOL and so this suggests that they are hiring well qualified locals or expats. If you have the legal right to work there, your experience and the fact that you are in-country will be enormously helpful. A good TESOL qualification is the next step. Being a native speaker will help. There will be some schools that will prefer a CELTA there or even Masters in TESOL. There will be others that will look for a good, solid TESOL, accredited to a high level. Our Level 5 TESOL is accredited, online and more convenient and cost-effective.It can also be started in your country and completed from Dubai: I hope this helps.


HI Louisa! I have a question. I have a Master of Arts degree in teaching English language and literature and Spanish language and literature and 10 years of experience in teaching both these languages. I am moving to Ireland and would like to know if my diploma and work experience would be enough to my future employers. Tesol and Celta are courses of 130 hours teaching you the basics of language teaching and I have studied that for 5 years and could probably give these courses (since I am finishing my PhD at the moment). Will the employers still be looking for the mentioned certificates?


Hi Louisa! I currently live in Wisconsin in the U.S. I do not have a degree. I would like to take a CELTA course however I do not see any offered nearby. I am fine taking a CELTA online course however I am unsure if there are any options for that as well (for my location). Are there any options for me? Also I would like to teach abroad. Perhaps Germany, Spain, etc. Does this seem like an option for me.

Thank you!

Kev Avery

I am interested in teaching English in Indonesia. Which course would you recommend? I am British but currently in Norway. I want to take a course, pack up find a tefl job and a visa and move to Jakarta in the spring or summer. Would like to get some classroom experience.

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

Hello Kev
Thanks for your post. You will need a degree to work legally. We offer accredited online courses which you can do from Norway. You can also add on an optional 20 hour in-class practicum which is one of the most flexible around. We certify the teaching you obtain locally:

I've emailed you direct about this and hope you find it helpful.


Hi Louisa!
Im confused of which course i need to take to open more opportunities. I am from the Philippines but currently in Cambodia. I have a bachelors degree in Development Communication (journalism), however i have been teaching English to foreigners (Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and Cambodians) online and offline setting for 6 years now though i have no certificates of those kinds.
Could you advise me of what course i need to take. I am planning to go other countries for teaching English. What certificate is widely being asked?
Thank you so much!

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

Hi Pam and thanks for your post. I agree, the choice is bewildering! I have responded by email direct to you but it seems what you need is a good, accredited certificate to formalize your experience. The fact that you have a degree and have experience will be attractive to employers. My suggestion is you take one of our level 4 courses since they are externally accredited (which employers like to see) and offer a qualification with a good number of hours. You can see them in yellow here:

Hope this helps, Pam. Regards, Louisa


Hello Louisa!

I have a Masters degree in Tourism Administration from India and a bachelor's in hospitality management. I have an IELTS score of 8.5 bands and have worked in the travel industry for almost a year and a half. I have no teaching experience. What course should I chose that allows me to work internationally, specially Europe?

Louisa Walsh Global English TESOL

Hello Harry
Europe will be difficult unless you have the right to work in the EU. Elsewhere there are many countries which will prefer English speakers from around 7 countries: UK, Ireland, USA, AUS, NZ, S.A, Canada - this may be due to Visa regulations - so your options will be more limited. However, you may have success in Japan, China and online, for example. The course I would suggest is at least our level 4 TESOL since it is accredited to a high level:
I will email you, too in case you have further questions.


Hello Louisa!

Thanks a lot for very interesting article. I would like to get some information about online TEFL course. I am living in Asia. I would like to ask about TEFL course fee. Thank you in advance.


Hi, Ms. Louisa!

I'm Claire from the Philippines and I would like to work as a kindergarten teacher in Hong Kong. Since there are no CELTA courses offered here, I am thinking of taking the TESOL and Teaching English to Children courses instead. Do you have any suggestions or checklist on how i can assess the legitimacy of the center i will be enrolling to?

Thank you and God bless!

Louisa @ Global English TESOL

Thanks for posting,Claire.

Do see our level 4 TESOL with young learners which is really popular in Hong Kong:

The checklist I would suggest for any provider is:
*Externally awarded certification option from a non-profit provider (ACTDEC in our case.)
*Not just an online course but tutor support and feedback on lesson plans. This is very important.
*Flexible study – start when you like with plenty of time to complete. Some courses only allow a short time and then the course expires
*Number of years in operation. Global English began in 1997. We are one of the most established in the UK
*Good, in-depth reviews on an independent site:

I hope this is helpful, Claire!


Hello Louisa,
I am Nadia from Bulgaria. I graduated English philology(a bachelor degree) and before that I studied at English high school. I would like to ask you if you consider possible for me to teach abroad Englsh? Since I am not native speaker I know that the chances will be not so much for me. I have teaching experience-well, for that moment it is almost one year. I would like to start maybe TEFL. Could you please advise me if it is better to start a TEFL or a CELTA/DELTA/TESOL? I would like to teach both children and older people-is CELTA only for adults? I do not have the possibility to take this certification if I would be not able later to find any work, therefore, could you advise me sincerely if there are more than 50% chance for me to find a job if I become certified? Is a master degree also required for teaching in private schools? I am interested to teach in Spain or Austria for that moment. Thank you in advance!

Louisa @ Global English TESOL

Thanks, Nadia for your enquiry. It is not easy if you are non-native but it can be done. It helps to be in the location you want to teach in so you can get in front of employers. Also, once in country, there are more opportunities to freelance, teach kids after school 1-1 etc. Also, consider teaching English online since you can do that from anywhere in the world.
Make sure your English is free from error (maybe you were writing quickly above.) The issue for you is not CELTA Vs. TESOL; it is getting in front of employers to prove your capability and expertise in English and teaching.

CELTA is geared towards teaching English to adults. We offer a TESOL with young learners (see more on our courses page) which covers the age groups you are interested in. You don't usually need a Masters degree to teach in private schools. I have some top tips for non-native English teachers and will email you privately. Hope this helps in the meantime. Regards, Louisa


Hi, I'm Marvin and I am looking for the right course for me, I want to get into teaching foreign students English, preferably adults for advanced English. To consider doing it away from this country as a possibility but also would like it to be viable here.

I looked at delta but as it's 1 month full time I am unable to get that much time off work to do that one.

I'm looking for a good Alternative and thought to post here, to find out which to Avoid and which to pursue.

ps: I have also found that Delta offer an online version for £720 that starts in October until February but I have heard not all International House programs are as good?

After reading this article I would like the Celta to give me the most opportunities, I am not against paying for it if it is to help my career, I would love the options to work in the US, Mexico and Here Ideally but also Spain and Italy would be nice.

Obviously I mentioned the full time Celta is not possible for me as I am at work a lot during the week, but is the online Celta through International House a good one to pursue?

Thank you


Louisa Walsh @ Global English

Thanks for your post, Marvin
Just to be clear; a DELTA is a further qualification you can usually only take after an initial TESOL qualification and 18 months experience in teaching.
I have not heard anything negative about International House but the issue is who offers an online CELTA close to your home? The online version is still attached to a physical teaching centre since you need to complete your practical.
For the UK and the USA, the CELTA is a good idea. Otherwise, if you prefer the flexibility of an online TESOL you can take from anywhere and at your own pace, I can recommend our level 5 TESOL. See more on our courses page. Hope this helps. Kind regards, Louisa

Gill Dennett

Just read your article Louisa - thank you for sharing.
I'm heavily involved with an orphanage/school in Cambodia and wish to return to help the teachers teach English. The main problem is the teachers' English, which isn't brilliant.
I'd like to be able to teach the teachers to teach English more effectively especially their pronunciation. They can't pronounce some words themselves, nevermind teaching them to children.
I am retuning in October, hopefully for a few months.
What course would you recommend that I could do online as the local college doesn't start their CELTA until October?
Your advice would be appreciated.
I have training qualifications & also completed a City & Guilds teaching qualification.
Thank you

Louisa Walsh - Global English

Hello Gill
Thanks for your post - and picture (always nice to put a face to a post) and for detailing some of the great work you are doing. I have a couple of options for you; our 70 hour short course will help you get to grips with the communicative TEFL methodology which you can then pass on. It covers all the essentials but it isn't overkill, keeping in mind that you may do the CELTA in October. On the other hand, the shorter courses do not go into as much depth on pronunciation as our more extensive courses - and it could be you take this short course with a 30 hour follow- on in phonetics and phonology. I'll send you an email, Gill to ask a few further questions to ensure we direct you to the best course. Regards, Louisa

Khwaja Hussain

Hi Louisa, how are you?

What are the chances of getting a job abroad if I do CELTA course online in India.

Thanks & Regards

Louisa Walsh - Global English

Hello Hussain
Thanks for your post. It is a good question. There is a bias towards native English speakers from the UK, USA, NZ, Ireland, S. Africa and Canada and Australia regardless of qualification and so I can't say it will be easy. In addition, for Visa reasons, you won't be able to work in some countries with an Indian passport. But, notably there are Indian teachers with good qualifications and experience teaching in the Middle East, also online and Japan (and elsewhere in the world.) Partly, it depends where you want to go, whether you have a degree and strength of accent. I will email you further to see how I can help. Regards, Louisa


Hi Louisa!

I'm Jonah from the Philippines. I have taken 12+ years of education with English as the medium. I graduated AB Psychology. I am interested to teach the English language in Japan. What would be the best kind of certification that will be helpful in getting employment as an English teacher in Japan?

Thank you for your time.

Louisa Walsh at Global English

Hi Jonah.
Thanks for taking the time to post.

My suggestion is our accredited, 180 hour online TESOL level 4 with business: since business English is in high demand in Japan and it can help give you the edge in employment since few in TESOL have a specialisation. It is certainly our most popular course for Japan.
We offer the same course but shorter and accredited to a lesser level: our 100 hour online TESOL level 2 with business:
which is also very popular for Japan and ideal if you want to qualify more quickly.
See more on our courses page. Hope this helps but I have emailed you personally, too. Kind regards, Louisa


Dear Louisa,
I am not an English native speaker. I have an engineering degree, and I am looking for a career change. I enjoy teaching! And that is what I am aiming at.
However, I have little experience- I taught entry to mid level English to kids and adults in Korea, and taught Spanish to kids. Total teaching experience (about 6 months).

My question to you is- If I want to work in an English language school in Spain (I have a residence visa) will employers ask me for a CELTA? , what course/certificate would you recommend me to take/get in order to teach English in Spain? Also, I see you mentioned in several responses about teaching online, how would that work?
Thanks in advance!

Louisa Walsh - Global English

Thanks for taking the time to post, Claudia. I have emailed you personally but hope the following helps for anyone else reading:

There will be some who prefer a CELTA but there is plenty who won't specify. Certainly, take a good, accredited TESOL to show you are well trained. The bigger barrier I'm sorry to say is that you are non-native. Having said that, if you can prove your language skills with a formal English exam like IELTS, this will be helpful. Or, send a voice file with your CV. Ideally, you will want to be in place to get in front of employers so they can see and hear you. Perhaps you can offer to teach another language in addition? Play to your strengths and ensure your experience is highlighted on your CV.

Our level 4 with young learners TESOL is most popular for Spain since it is substantial, accredited to a high level and has a specialism that is in demand and that few have - so it can help you stand out. In addition we help our trainees with job leads, resume/CV checking and can suggest other ways to maximise your freelance opportunities there.

Hope this helps, Claudia. Kind regards, Louisa

Claire Banthorpe

Hello Louisa, I have been working in a secondary school for 13 years the last 6 as a senior cover supervisor. I do not have a degree, but do have a TEFL 150 hours. I am interested in moving to a Spanish speaking country to teach but the majority of schools require a degree. I have lots of experience and would like to give something back to society and have looked into South America.

Louisa Walsh - Global English

Hello Claire
Thanks for your comments. Don't let a lack of a degree put you off - that's my advice.
Actually, in Spain or much of the Americas, a degree is not needed for visa reasons. It is a preference only. I would apply anyway to the positions you see since your experience is quite impressive.
However, you don’t see lots of jobs advertised for the Americas so you have a few options.
You could start teaching English online which is what a few of our TESOL graduates do and then you will have an income so that when you move overseas you can continue with the online work and look for work on the ground. There is so much more opportunity once in the country of choice. Plus there are the options for freelance work etc.
You could also volunteer on one of the schemes that exist for Chile and Ecuador for example, and then you will be in situ for getting paid jobs. I've emailed you direct, too, and hope this is helpful.


I don't have a degree but would like to teach English to foreign students, especially in Latin America, which course should pursue? TELF or CELTA?


Louisa Walsh at Global English

Hi Erica. A good TEFL/TESOL should be sufficient for most schools in Latin America. Do see our TESOL courses in the tab above for some great options. Hope this helps.


Hi Louisa,

Greetings !

I'm Alvin, currently teaching English as Foreign Language in the Middle East. I am not actually an English major, but I fell in love in the English teaching profession. It started when I passed the placement test and the interview of a known English Institute in the Middle East. They hired me although I was not an English major. They've told me that I have the qualities and skills of teaching the English language to most of the Middle Eastern people.

My question is how will I be able to avail the one you are offering specially the CELTA course, preferably online CELTA. Currently, I have a limited time during weekdays since I work on weekdays. Please be informed that there's time differences in my place and the rest days for all the workforce are on Fridays and Saturdays.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you very much.


Louisa Walsh at Global English March 2016

Thanks so much for your post. It is great to hear how you obtained this role. It is usually very competitive to get English teaching positions in the Middle East – certainly if applying from overseas. You must have really impressed them. Also, it does help to be in the country. Well done!

Just to be clear, we don’t offer the online CELTA. This is a course you have to take at an approved Cambridge school/centre which is also where your teaching practice will be completed – even if most of the CELTA will be done online. If you are sure this is the course you want to do, you can check out the locations of the approved centres here:

However, do you need a CELTA? It is true that many employers in the Middle East favour it but the situation is quite different as you know when you are already in the country and teaching.

As an alternative we offer an advanced online TESOL qualification: our 250 hour online level 5 TESOL:

You can do this in your own time, at your own pace and with the full support of a personal tutor. If you wish you can add on a 20 hour teaching practicum whereby we certify the teaching you do at your school – subject to certain criteria:

There is 10% off the total for booking 2 courses together.

Hope this is of interest. Do come back if I can assist any further. Kind regards, Louisa

Doreen Fleisch

I have a BA in psychology and would like to know if i need experience to teach english i do not have a tefl certification yet, thanks

Louisa Walsh at Global English March 2016

Hello Doreen
Thanks for posting. You do not need experience to teach English. Some schools will prefer it but it it not essential to get started as there is high demand. A good, accredited TESOL, such as the ones on our courses page is a good place to start. However, I will email you direct to find out more about your needs so I can advise further. Regards, Louisa

Msrcus Murphy

I would like to ask is 44 to old to enter the world of teaching? I have recently completed a TEFL course and enjoyed it very much. I have a background of around 20 years in retail and finance but do not hold a degree. I was considering undertaking a TESOL or CELTA course and teaching in Russia. My wife is a Russian native and we were considering relocating there. I am doing some voluntary teaching to build up experience with Russians and Ukrainians at a supplementary school she helps with here. I would be interested in any thoughts or feedback any one could provide.


Dear Louisa,
I am a non-native speaker with an MA in English (Hungary). I have 25 years teaching experience, almost all walks and ages. I also spent a Fulbright exchange year in the US. All this is apparently irrelevant for teaching internationally if I do not hold a TEFL/TESOL certificate. I haven't got the time (or the money) for a full time course. What do you recommend that can be used in European countries? Is it only CELTA?
Thanks in advance.

Louisa Walsh at Global English June 2016

Thanks for your question, Agnes. Firstly, your experience etc. will be impressive to employers. Since you are an EU citizen you can generally work freely in the EU.

The only issue is that a lot of schools will ask for native speakers as almost a first criteria. A TESOL with specialism could be the the answer: consider our online 180 hour TESOL with business course:
It is great for freelance teaching (many business people learn 1-1) and few in TESOL have a specialism which can help you stand out. Also, a lot of business people are more welcoming of non-native English speaking teachers since they deal with a variety of English/accents etc. in the course of doing business. It is also helpful to get in front of employers if possible to prove your accent/language skills.

I've replied in greater depth to you by email but I hope this is helpful to others in similar circumstances. Louisa


Dear Louisa,

Thank you very much for the article. I am from India, and would like to teach English abroad, preferably in the Middle East or Far East. With a CELTA or TESOL, I am still confused on teaching opportunities for Non-Native Speakers of English. I have a Postgraduate degree in English literature, am pursuing Ph.D. in English and have University-level teaching experience of two years with a near-native fluency in English though I don't have a native accent.

Can you shed some light on opportunities for people like me?

Thanks a lot again.



Hello, thank you for the article! id like to ask for an advise if possible. im russian living in Spain, i want to find job here, as a teacher of English, and i cannot choose what certificate is better for this here in Spain. Will be happy for any answer, thank you.

Louisa Walsh at Global English TESOL

Hello Yulia
Thanks for your post and interest.

The good news is you are living in Spain and as you are probably aware, there is a real drive in Spain to learn English and it helps to be in the location. Do you have the legal right to work there? If not, finding work will be more difficult.

However, it may be possible to freelance and/or teach English online as this is a huge market and many of our TESOL graduates teach online.

In addition, you will find a preference for native English speakers.

My suggestion in that case is to take a TESOL with an extra business specialisation. This will help you stand out, equip you to teach both general and business English and enhance your appeal to the adult learning sector in Spain, online classes and freelance options (many business people learn 1-1.)

Our 120 TEFL premier course is of a good accredited level:
and our 30 hour business course will give you the specialisation I mention:

Hope this is helpful. I have replied by email directly to you so do get in touch if I can help further.



I'm from the UK and I live and work as a TEFL English teacher in Shenzhen, China. Looking into further education, so that I'll be able to continue to teach in Europe (possibly France, Spain or Germany). I was looking into a BA degree, but the length of time and funding is not on my side... I have a foundation TEFL course qualification. What would you suggest for me? CELTA or LEVEL 5 TESOL ? I will still need to be working in China whilst taking an online version of the course. Much appreciated advice wanted. Thanks,

Louisa Walsh @ Global English TESOL

Thanks for your question, Kate. For Germany and France in particular, what is more important is to be in place with a TESOL qualification and with experience if you can. This is because few jobs get advertised on the net. The CELTA is less in demand in both. My suggestion is our online level 3 or 4 TESOL (see courses page above) plus our 30 hour business English specialism. Teaching business English is in high demand in both countries. Spain has a well established TESOL industry and jobs get advertised on the net: 9 month contracts are the norm but again, it is possible to freelance, teach online and work for schools. Lots of options for you with an online TESOL which is less expensive and will allow you to continue working in China. Hope this helps but feel free to contact me for more information.

Sadaf iqbal

I want to start my career as online English language not native speaker by im afraid to invest too much money what will be good option for me TESOL or CELTA.can u please suggest me some good online TESOL/TEFL institute .

Louisa Walsh @Global English TESOL

Hello Sadaf
Thanks for posting. I'd suggest something like our 120 hour Premier course:

It's accredited, online and reasonably priced. Good luck and let me know if I can help further.

Add your own comments on this story

The information you provide will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Return back to listings

Search Blog

Blog Archive

Want the Latest TEFL jobs & information? Sign up to our e-newsletter now

Privacy Policy

Country Guides
See where your TEFL can take you - just type a country:

View all countries

Which TEFL course is best for me? Read our handy guide now.

Employers - have you got a position to advertise on our website and through our fortnightly newsletter? Click here.

Employer enquiry form

We offer online and weekend TESOL courses from 20 hour to 350 hours. If you will accept our graduates from one of these courses to fill your vacancy, (you can decide which courses you will accept) we can display your job advert for free.

Please enter your details address below and we will email you a job vacancy form to complete:


"For the past two years I have worked here in Tuscany teaching all levels. I have already recommended your courses to one of my prospective teachers..."

Alison Salmon, English World, Italy