FAQ about Teacher Training

What is the difference between TESL, TESOL and TEFL?

The simple answer is that they are often used interchangeably. However, sometimes the following distinction is made although it may vary from country to country:
TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language. This term refers to teaching English in countries such as Canada, the US, Australia, etc., where English is the language used in the community.
TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This term refers to teaching English in countries such as Korea, Spain, Brazil, etc., where English is not the language most commonly used in the community.
TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This is a newer, umbrella term that encompasses both
English and non-English speaking countries.

>>>Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESL

There are many other acronyms used for teaching English which you may come across, for example:

ELT   = English Language Teaching
TEAL = Teaching English as an Additional Language.
EAP   = English for Academic Purposes
ESP   = English for Specific Purpose

Why is it called the IHC in TESL?

We use the term TESL as the governing body for recognizing English Teaching programs in Canada is TESL Canada (www.tesl.ca). TESL can be considered to be the most standard term in Canada. At other International House Locations, the certificate is often referred to as the IHCTL (International House Certificate in Teaching Languages).

What is the difference between IHC and CELTA?

They are very similar and actually share the same origins. On either course you will follow a similar course of study and syllabus and receive similar standards of training. Both courses have high expectations and require trainees to attain a set standard.

The main differences are:

  1. The CELTA is considered a global gold standard for initial English Language Teaching certificates. It is awarded through one of the most famous universities in the world and strict standards are set for all centres running CELTA courses. In order to maintain these standards, CELTA is moderated by Cambridge English and every course has a Cambridge-approved assessor visit to ensure the grading and quality of the course. This IHC does not currently have this level of external moderation. This extra element is one important factor in CELTA courses having higher tuition fees.
  2. The IHC can be used for teaching languages other than English when combined with the additional relevant teaching practicum, whereas the ‘E’ in CELTA means it is only for English (see below for further details).


  1. The entry requirements for CELTA are slightly stricter in relation to candidate selection in terms of English language proficiency (please see Course Overview Table for details https://tesl-vancouver.com/renew/teachertraining/ )

It is important to remember that doing any teacher training with International House, either the CELTA or IHC, will ensure a high quality course.

Is the IHC only for teaching English?

No. As noted above, the IHC can be used for teaching any language. At IH Career College, we offer the IHC in English but it is very easy to add other languages to your certificate. For example, if you are a native or fluent Chinese (Mandarin) speaker, you can do a short practicum at one of our Chinese teacher training centres (Xi’an or Qingdao) to have Chinese teaching added to your certificate.

Is the CELTA and IHC only for native speakers?

No. Both courses are open to native and non-native speaker candidates. However, non-native speakers must meet English language requirements during both the application stage and the course itself. For details regarding the different requirements for each course, please see the Course Overview Table https://tesl-vancouver.com/renew/teachertraining/ .

How do I apply?

You can complete the registration and submit it online. We will then contact you to arrange the pre-course interview. Alternatively, you can download the fillable PDF form and email that back to us. In either case, we will contact you to arrange a follow-up interview.

How many other students are in class with me?

We maintain a ratio of six trainees for every teacher trainer. Therefore, if we have two trainers on the course (which is typical), the maximum number of trainees is 12. All trainees receive the input sessions together before splitting into smaller groups for teaching practice.

What is the registration deadline?

There are no set registration deadlines. However, once a course is full, we will only accept registrations onto a waiting list.

Do I need a university degree to take the course?

No. Minimum entry requirements are a high school diploma and a minimum 20 years of age. However, you will need a degree if you wish to apply to TESL Canada for professional certification.