CELTA FAQ’s

FAQs – intensive CELTA training

I’ve heard that the CELTA is very intensive – is that true?

Yes. You should be prepared to devote five days a week (including some evenings) to the course, and to spend usually one day of each weekend on course-related work. You should have no other commitments other than the course itself.

There is one Monday during the course that I will not be able to attend. Can I still register for the course?

No. You must attend 100% of the course. If you have to be absent due to illness, you will need to provide a doctor’s letter. All absences are recorded and must be accounted for.

What’s the difference between TEFL/TESOL and CELTA?

CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is the name of the initial teaching qualification. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is the name of the profession, although the terminology is changing and many professionals now speak of ELT (English Language Teaching).

There are many TEFL (ELT) courses offered in the UK but the CELTA along with the Trinity Cert-TESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are particularly well respected by language schools recruiting teachers with a TEFL (ELT) qualification.

I have never taught before and I am nervous about standing up in front of a class for the first time. Is CELTA a suitable course for me?

Yes. CELTA is a beginners’ course, designed for those who have never taught before. It gives you the basic skills needed to teach English to adults. You will get a lot of support from your tutors at the beginning of the course.

I have been teaching for 10 years but don’t have a formal qualification. Can I do CELTA?

Yes. Many experienced teachers come on CELTA courses. If you have a CELTA qualification, you can work in accredited language schools across the world. Since the course emphasizes group work you may find your experience is useful to others on the course. You will certainly add new techniques to your repertoire and build on your existing skills.

How can I find out if my English is good enough to do a CELTA course?

You need to be a near native speaker of English. That means English does not have to be your first language but you should be able to speak and write English almost as well as you can your first language. If you are not sure, fill in an application form. You will only be called for interview if your English appears to be of the required standard.

Do I need to have a degree to do the course?

No. It is recommended that you have educational qualifications that would allow entry to Higher Education but your previous work experience will also be taken into consideration. In some countries a degree is required in order to get a work permit (e.g. Japan). You are advised to consult individual embassies for accurate information and advice.

Is this course recognised?

The CELTA is recognised all over the world and is often a requirement to gain employment in English Language schools. If you want to work in the public sector in the UK you will need to gain further qualifications.

What is the interview process?

You will be asked to complete some language awareness tasks and a short piece of writing. The interviewer, a CELTA course tutor, will then follow up points of interest in the task by asking you to comment and expand on your answers. The tutor will then describe what the course consists of, and answer any questions you have. At the end of the interview the tutor will decide if we are able to offer you a place on the course.

Is the price the same for both options?

Full-time and online fees at MCSE are exactly the same, £1,290.

Is it easy to find a job after the CELTA?

Work is plentiful in the UK during July and August and also over Easter. At other times of the year it is more likely you will find employment if you are willing to be flexible about working hours. Most newly qualified teachers initially find work overseas. Towards the end of the course you will be given some general advice on looking for work. We also have a notice board where we display advertisements for jobs and can provide references for those candidates that need them.

If I decide to drop out of the course, will I be eligible for a refund?

No. That’s why we interview potential trainees very carefully and provide as much information as possible, so that you know exactly what you are getting into!

Is there an exam?

No.  You will be assessed on Teaching Practice (including lesson planning), assignments and professional conduct.

How will I be assessed on the course?

Assessment on the course is continuous and integrated, taking into account teaching skills, written assignments and professionalism, with each assessed component contributing to the overall grade. Trainees are given feedback by the tutors on their teaching and have two tutorials during the course at which they discuss their progress. All tutors working on the course discuss each trainee’s progress before deciding on the final grade.

What grades are awarded at the end?

The possible grades are Pass A, Pass B, Pass, Withdrawn or Fail. It is very rare to get an A and not that common to get a B. The majority of candidates get a Pass.

But no-one fails, do they?

Yes, they do! You will fail if your teaching has not reached the standard specified by Cambridge. You can also fail if you don’t pass three out of four assignments. Candidates who withdraw but do not do so in writing will also be given a Fail grade.

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