CELTA FAQs: Everything you wanted to know!

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Before investing time and money in a CELTA course it’s inevitable people have questions that need to be answered. Read on to find out the answers to the questions most commonly asked.

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Where is the best place to do a CELTA course?

CELTA courses are standardised throughout the world. Each course has a visit from an assessor who checks the grading is in line with CELTA standards. Prices differ according to the centre. If you’re not planning to do CELTA in your hometown you need to factor in accomodation costs. Bear in mind that as CELTA is so intensive, a friend’s sofa is not a good option for 4 weeks. You’ll need somewhere to work on lesson plans and assignments in the evenings and at weekends and you will almost certainly need printing facilities and internet access.

What happens in the interview process?

For more detailed information on the interview process you should read this post. Basically you will be asked to fill in an application form, complete a language awareness test and have a one-to-one interview, normally with a CELTA tutor. After this you will, hopefully, be offered a place and required to fill in registration documents. A centre is only allowed to offer you a place on the course if they believe you have a realistic chance of passing. Sometimes applicants are not offered a place due to weaknesses in their language awareness but centres also look at how candidates would respond to feedback and work in a team.

How do I get a “Pass A”?

I have been teaching for over 20 years now and have never once been asked at an interview what grade I got when I did CELTA. However, some people feel it is important to achieve the highest grade possible, i.e. a Pass A. By focusing on the grade, however, you are no longer focusing on what really matters – the students! During your CELTA course, try not to get caught up with what grades you or your fellow trainees are awarded and concentrate on writing thorough, student-centred lesson plans, comprehensive written assignments and during teaching practice, focus on your students’ needs and listen carefully to feedback. This is far more likely to get you a higher grade!

Which course should I do; CELTA or TEFL?

Again, there are a couple of separate blog posts on this question here and here but to sum up CELTA and Cert. TESOL are the main qualifications that are recognised internationally. TEFL is actually the field (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) but there are plenty of online TEFL courses to be found. Before you sign up for one of these, ask yourself whether a teaching course that doesn’t give you any teaching practice is going to be much cop!

What’s the difference between CELTA and Delta?

CELTA is a preliminary teaching qualification and Delta is the more advanced diploma. To do Delta, you normally need CELTA or equivalent and at least one year’s teaching experience. Delta is a modular course (3 modules) whereas CELTA is done either intensively (four or five weeks) or part-time (normally once or twice a week over a couple of months).

Is CELTA worth doing if I am a non-native speaker?

You can read some non-native speakers’ experiences here. Non-native speakers have an advantage over native speakers in that their language awareness is generally better as they have learnt the language differently. Traditionally, non-native speakers are at a disadvantage when it comes to finding jobs after the course. However, this is gradually changing (and about time too!) and language schools are realising that non-native speakers have as much to offer as native speakers!

Do you have any questions that have not been answered here? Feel free to post them below!



Author: Amanda Momeni

A CELTA tutor, English language tutor and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to CELTA

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