Tuesday, May 10, 2022
The CELTA course is something you may have heard about, or you might even know someone that has done it, but do you really know what it entails? There is so much information on the internet that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to go about understanding it in more depth. In this post, we’ll aim to answer the five most fundamental questions that you may have about the course.
The Cambridge English CELTA course has been running since the late 80s and is one of, if not the most prestigious English teaching qualification in the world. The CELTA course is described on the Cambridge website as a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which is specifically focussed on the teaching of English to adults (over 16s), hence the original ‘A’ at the end of the acronym.
The course is incredibly practical in nature, and combines instruction on practical teaching techniques with the theory behind them. What’s more, trainees teach real students from the second day of the course and continue to teach assessed classes throughout the duration of course. As well as assessed teaching practice, there are also four assessed written assignments which the trainees need to complete in order to pass the course.
There are more than 350 authorised centres around the world that deliver the CELTA course, which further demonstrates its global reach. At London School Teacher Training, we have been authorised to deliver the course since 2014 and since then we have trained over 300 teachers from all over the world. Find out a little bit more about what it’s like to study on our course on our website.
The CELTA is suitable for teachers and non-teachers alike. For those who haven’t ever taught before, it’s a fantastic way to get a crash course in teaching and being in front of a class. For those who already have teaching experience, it’s a way to perfect your teaching skills, developing specifically in the area of teaching English as a foreign language and the skills this requires. Although the course itself is based around the teaching of adults, it’s suitable for those who wish to become, or are English teachers of any age group.
The CELTA is a course for both native and non-native speakers of English, all that’s required is a high C1 or C2 level of English. This level is assessed through presentation of language qualifications, in the interview and in the pre-interview task. Due to the intensive nature of the CELTA, it’s essential for each potential trainee to demonstrate an excellent level of written and spoken English, so we can be sure they’ll be able to keep up with the demands of the course.
The courses we run are usually a mixture of experienced/non-experienced teachers and native/non-native speakers of English. Whatever your age, background or prior teaching experience, everyone has the chance to succeed on the CELTA course and become excellent teachers by the end.
The course consists of 120 contact hours and around 80 hours of self-study. With the most popular courses being the 4-week full-time intensive courses, it goes without saying that each day is packed with activities. The morning is dedicated to teaching practice, whilst the afternoon is made up of two input sessions.
A typical day on the course starts at 9:00 and finishes at 17:15. Each trainee teaches a total of 6 hours, and these are broken down into sessions of 40, 45 or 60 minutes. The assessed TP block of 2 hours is shared between 2 or 3 trainees.
Here is a breakdown of what a typical day on the intensive CELTA course might look like:
9:00-10:00 – Lesson Preparation.
10:00-12:00 – Assessed TP (Teaching Practice).
12:00-12:30 – TP Feedback
12:30-13:15 – Lesson Planning
13:15-14:15 – Lunch
14:15-17:15 – Input Sessions (x2)
For the part-time course, trainees complete the assessed TP on Tuesday mornings (9:00-13:00) and the input sessions on Friday afternoons (16:30-20:30) over a period of 20 weeks.
According to research conducted by Cambridge, a CELTA qualification is ‘the most often requested by employers; three out of four English language teaching jobs require it.’ The majority of our CELTA trainees go straight into employment in institutions all over the world for which the qualification is a requirement. The CELTA course really does open doors and enable you to develop your teaching career wherever your feet may take you. Just a quick search on the website tefl.com will reveal how many jobs there are available in different countries which are only open to those who hold an official ELT qualification.
At London School Teacher Training, we run all of our courses face-to-face at our centre in San Sebastián, Spain. We run between four and five full-time courses and one part-time course each academic year. The full-time courses are four-week intensive courses, and the part-time course is run over twenty weeks.
You will be assessed on your suitability for the course through a pre-interview task and pre-course interview. Not everyone is accepted onto the course, and this is usually due to an insufficient level of English or being unprepared for the intensive nature of the course. For those who have little or no command of English grammar, we highly recommend and sometime require trainees to complete an online grammar course prior to starting the course.
In order to apply, you must complete the application form online. As soon as we receive it, we will be in touch to send you the pre-interview task and arrange a convenient time to conduct the interview. This can be conducted in person, in San Sebastián, or online.
We hope this information has been useful and has provided a little insight into what to expect from the course. If you’re inspired by what you have read and are keen to find out more, check out our webinar ‘What to expect from CELTA’ or alternatively send us a message via the ‘contact’ section of the platform.