TEFL vs TESOL: Difference and Comparison

There are many professional courses to be a qualified English Teacher. TEFL and TESOL are both courses that are studied to obtain the necessary certification to work as a competent English instructor.


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Key Takeaways

  1. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) focuses on teaching non-native English speakers in countries where English is not the primary language, while TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) encompasses both TEFL and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) methods.
  2. TEFL is more suitable for teaching abroad, while TESOL applies to native and non-native English-speaking countries.
  3. Both certifications enable teachers to teach English, but TESOL offers more job opportunities.


TEFL is a certification that is used when considering teaching English to non-native speakers in a country where English is not the primary language. TESOL is a certification that is used when considering teaching English to non-native speakers in any context, regardless of the country.


A TEFL certification is a certificate for teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is internationally recognized and permits bearers to teach English in other countries.

TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is an approved teaching professional certification that permits the bearer to teach English to non-native English speakers.

Comparison Table

  Parameters of Comparison  TEFL TESOL
PurposeFor teaching English as a Foreign LanguageFor teaching English to non-native English speakers
RegionIn the countries where English is not the native LanguageIn English speaking countries where English is a native Language
UseMore internationally compatibleLeast Required
Educator EligibilityNon-native English SpeakersNative English Speakers
Course Duration 30 Days 30 Days

What is TEFL?

TEFL courses are designed to give teachers the skills they need to teach English to pupils in nations where the language is not their first language.

A TEFL certificate is the most generally accepted form of teaching qualification in non-native English-speaking nations throughout the world due to the large number of countries where this type of Teaching of the English language is required and relevant.

Furthermore, the TEFL certificate earned from renowned organizations, such as prestigious colleges and universities, is more well-regarded than TESOL courses.

Once you have a TEFL certification, you can choose from a variety of non-native English-speaking nations to call home. TEFL-certified English teachers are always in demand in China, Japan, and South Korea.

A TEFL certificate is useful when applying for a variety of teaching positions. It may even be a necessary certification in some cases, while it may be a substantial resume addition in others.

for teaching english as a foreign language

What is TESOL?

TESOL courses were developed more recently than TEFL and TESL courses.

This certification is approved by authorised and recognised institutions and is published on the UK Ofqual Qualification Register.

The course is available at more than 100 accredited and recognised institutions. However, the subject is only offered at five higher education institutions.

For those who are undecided about their future job choices, obtaining a TESOL certification may be the best solution. TESOL might be an excellent place to start for individuals interested in teaching English both at home and abroad.

However, certain job seekers may face obstacles if they have a TESOL certificate. Because TESOL is a newer qualification, it may not be as well-regarded as a TEFL, as international curricula prefer TEFL-qualified individuals.

teaching english

Main Difference Between TEFL and TESOL 

  1. The education criteria do not apply in TEFL, while the educator criteria for TESOL necessitate that they are from an English-speaking nation.
  2. TEFL is considered to be a better certification in comparison with TESOL.
Difference Between TEFL and TESOL
  1. https://www.goabroad.com/articles/tefl-courses/tefl-tesl-tesol-whats-the-difference
  2. http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/career-education/difference-between-tefl-and-tesol/

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