Published 12th March 2018

If you are in any way involved in the field of teaching English as a Foreign Language you will know that a TEFL certificate is your first step to being able to teach. With your 120-hour TEFL certificate, doors to teaching jobs will open all over the world. You can work in whatever capacity you want and you could happily spend your days teaching for many a year.

But, if you are passionate about teaching or find that you have a talent for making English easy to learn, you might find that soon you are keen to delve into something a bit meatier than TEFL. After a few years of teaching you will realise there is a whole world of TEFL waiting to be discovered and that your TEFL is only meant to be an introduction or foundation to your career.

So where do you go after a TEFL?

If you are interested in Continuous Professional Development in order to maintain your effectiveness as a teacher then you might consider studying further. There are numerous short courses you could do to upskill yourself or you could consider a lengthier option. The two most common options for further development which take more than a few weeks are the DELTA and a Master’s.

The DELTA

If you have taught English as a foreign language for more than a year, then you qualify to apply for the DELTA. The DELTA is the Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The DELTA is a Cambridge Assessment qualification, so it holds a lot of prestige. It consists of three modules which can be done concurrently or at different times. Two of the modules can be done through distance learning but one needs to be done face-to-face – either part-time or full-time.

Master’s degree

The other option is to do a Master’s degree in TEFL or TESOL. This is usually a one- or two-year degree, depending on whether you do it full-time or part-time. There are a few distance learning options with a requirement to attend a certain amount of lectures on campus but the majority of these degrees are face-to-face.

In terms of content, the DELTA and the Master’s are very similar. The difference between the two lies in the practical aspect of the course. The DELTA is a further teaching qualification so it places a lot of emphasis on classroom teaching and so incorporates very practical methods. The Master’s, on the other hand, looks a lot at the theory of teaching and while there may be a classroom teaching component, this is not a major aspect of the degree.

All in all, if you’re wondering which is more worth your while, it’s not so easy to say. As a further teaching qualification, the DELTA holds a lot of weight in the TEFL world and it is highly valued by employers. The Master’s degree is respected but employers would like to see proof of your teaching as well. Having said all that, though, which one you choose to do completely depends on you as a person. Both of them are tough and take time and dedication, so this is a decision which requires serious thought and consideration.