FAQ’s about TEFL

Our TEFL course to teach adults leads to a CELT qualification, which is an internationally recognised qualification. The CELT is awarded by QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland), which is the Irish government’s validation and awarding body.

How is CELT different from TEFL?

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificates will allow you to teach English abroad in Non-English speaking countries. The courses vary in content, hours, and cost. The major difference between the CELT and TEFL courses is that on most TEFL courses you are not required to do any actual teaching. Many are delivered online. Realistically, to learn to teach English you will have to stand up in front of a class full of non-native speakers at some time and do it. Just having the knowledge of how to teach is not enough. OK, maybe an exaggerated example here, but would you consider yourself being able to drive a car by just reading the manual. The teaching practice component of the CELT course will give you invaluable classroom experience which cannot be found on TEFL courses. The other major advantage that the CELT has over a TEFL course is that the CELT allows you to teach in accredited English Language Institutes in Ireland, the UK, Australia, and other English speaking countries. If you are considering taking a TEFL course and think that you might teach in a QQI-recognised English Language school in Ireland at some point, you should make sure your teaching training course is recognised by QQI. Most TEFL courses, especially the online ones are not.

What is the difference between CELT and CELTA?

Essentially they are the same. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching of Adults) is awarded by Cambridge University, whereas CELT is awarded by QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland), which is the Irish government’s validation and awarding body. Both courses require a minimum of 120 hours contact during the course, which includes a minimum of 6 hours of assessed teaching practice. On the CELTA, you are required to complete 4 written assignments, but on the CELT the number of assignments is 6. Both courses require trainees to complete a portfolio by the end of the course. Both are internationally accepted teaching qualifications.

Is it essential to have a good knowledge of grammar?

A good knowledge of grammar is essential to be a good language teacher, but we are not expecting you to have any deep knowledge when starting out as a trainee. There are language analysis sessions on the course and one of the written assignments on the course focuses on this aspect of being a teacher. But teaching is not just about grammar, you will also learn how to teach vocabulary, reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

For the purposes of the application and the interview it is more important that you show a basic appreciation of the different forms of words – nouns, verbs and adjectives, etc. – and can explain the difference in meaning between two similar words or grammar structures. Conveying meaning is the most important part of language teaching. If you can explain the meaning of a piece of language, you will probably make a good impression at interview.

After we offer trainees a place on our CELT course, we do advise them all to do a bit of pre-course reading to get a head start with the grammar. Bringing even a basic knowledge of grammar will come in useful. Knowing the different word classes (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) and the names of all the major tenses (Present Simple, Past Continuous, Present Perfect, etc.) will benefit you greatly when you start the course as we use a lot of meta-language like this in the different input sessions.

Check out these websites to brush up on your basic grammar.

Talk English.com




Before starting the course we also recommend that you buy a good grammar book. You’ll need this to help you with language analysis. We recommend the following book. It provides a detailed guide to English grammar with exercises for self-study (including answer key) and information on common student problems.

Martin Parrott, Grammar for English Language Teachers (second edition) Cambridge University Press, 2010. (ISBN: 9780521712040).

What kind of career prospects are there after the CELT?

Teaching is a wonderful, fulfilling, and rewarding profession. Many trainees who complete the CELT travel abroad to teach. Others stay in Ireland either teaching year-round or in one of the many seasonal summer centres. The CELT is your passport to thousands of teaching jobs all over the world. You can teach for a short period in one country and then move on to another or work for longer periods. The choice is yours and who knows you may never decide to return.

How stressful is the CELT?

We’re not going to lie to you. The CELT can be stressful, particularly the full-time course. But that said, there is a lot you can do to minimise stress and ensure that you get the best out of the course. Time management is the key. We strongly advise you to draw up a plan of work for the duration of the course. Make a note of what is due and when. It’s also very important to factor in some downtime in your plan.

Smartphone technology has made it much easier to plan our time. As well as the calendar and reminder apps that are standard on most smartphones, there are many clever apps available for both iPhone and android. Here are a few good apps:

Remember the Milk

This is a great app which allows you to keep track of your time on many different devices. You can also use it with Google Calendar and even integrate it with your email. It helps you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them wherever you are.


Although it doesn’t have a calendar yet, this is a fabulous app for keeping track of your notes. It’s ideal for anyone who is studying. You can clip entire webpages or parts of web pages and keep them in separate notebooks for easy retrieval later. You can even take photos, record voice memos, create to do lists, and share your notes and files with your friends, or fellow trainees. It has many more useful time saving tricks. Evernote can also be synced with Remember the Milk to really optimise your time.


Any more questions?

Just contact us or leave your question below.



October 20, 2015at 10:19 am

Can the CELT qualification be accepted in lieu of the CELTA qualification? Or are the two not mutually interchangeable?


    October 27, 2015at 7:44 pm

    Hi Adam,

    Thank you for your enquiry. The CELT and the CELTA are essentially the same qualification and are recognised worldwide as the same. CELTA is regulated by Cambridge University whereas the CELT, which is an Irish qualification, is regulated by QQI. Both courses are based on the same methodologies and principles for teaching English as a foreign language. Unlike TELF courses, the CELT and CELTA require an element teaching practice, where trainees have to teach real classes and be assessed on their teaching.

    I hope this answers your question.


Abbie McDonogh

March 9, 2016at 11:57 pm

How old do you have to be to take part in the CELT/CELTA?


    March 11, 2016at 2:26 pm

    Hi Abbie,

    The minimum age to join our CELT course is 18.



April 18, 2016at 3:57 pm

Hi there,

I have a 120 hour TEFL qualification – am I eligible to work as an english teacher in Ireland or do i require a CELT as well?



    April 10, 2017at 5:12 pm

    Hi Lauren,

    Thank you for your message.

    If your 120 hour TEFL course is accredited by ACELS, you are qualified to teach in Ireland. You can check the ACELS website for more details. http://www.acels.ie If your course also included a minimum of 6 hours teaching practice, there is probably a good chance that it is accredited by ACELS.


Aileen Carey

March 11, 2017at 12:44 pm

Is there an age limit to join?

Jean Paul

March 29, 2017at 10:58 pm

Hi Billy,

I’m writing to inquire about the teacher training course. I’m a non-native English speaker and I would like to do a level test in order to sign up for it.

Looking forward to your response.

Thank you


    April 10, 2017at 5:07 pm

    Hi Jean Paul,

    Candidates are selected through an application process and an interview. However, as a non-native speaker of English you must show proof that you level of English proficiency is a minimum of C1. If you haven’t done so already, you can take the Cambridge Advanced or IELTS exams. I’m afraid we cannot accept you on the CELT course without this qualification.


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