100% CELTA Online: Anything to Lose?

Many of you will have seen that Cambridge is offering the CELTA course fully online during these strange times, something which has never been possible before. So what are the advantages and disadvantages or is this a purely win-win situation?

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  • You can get a CELTA certificate without having to leave your home.
  • Your certificate is the same as a face-to-face course.
  • Most centres are offering completion within the same time scale as a face-to-face course.
  • You save on travel and accomodation costs.
  • You can complete your CELTA course anywhere in the world.
  • You don’t need to worry about visa restrictions.
  • You have the same quality of tutors.
  • You still get teaching practice as well as input sessions.


  • You might not have the same atmosphere among your peers online.
  • Teaching practice is done online.

So from a quick look at the pros and cons, surely there’s no doubt that the temporary 100% CELTA online is a good deal? Yes definitely, if you are planning on only teaching online in the future. But, and this is a really big BUT to my mind, if you want to be a classroom teacher, the online course cannot prepare you as thoroughly for this as a course with face-to-face teaching practice does. Having experience in classroom teaching and in online teaching, several things are the same in both, such as checking understanding of instructions or using visuals to clarify new language. However, several things are very different, for example monitoring or collecting errors for delayed error correction.

So my advice would be to think very carefully about your future teaching and about which option will prepare you best for the type of teaching you intend to do. After all, if you’re spending so much money on a course, you surely want it to prepare you thoroughly ?

I’d love to hear your opinions on this, whether you’ve done the face-to-face course or the temporary online version. What do you think?


Author: Amanda Momeni

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

13 thoughts on “100% CELTA Online: Anything to Lose?”

  1. Hi Amanda, thank you for the post. I took the face-to-face CELTA course last summer, now that everything is done online, I wonder if there’s any cause for concern doing the teaching online and using the CELTA techniques there. My question is: What would you recommend doing if from now on, we’ll have to be teaching online more, and how to adapt all the CELTA course received face-to-face to online sessions.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Ruslan, thanks for your message. I think CELTA techniques can definitely be transferred online- clarfying new language through visuals, realia, checking understanding, clear instructions, pair work, checking in pairs etc area ll just as important in online teaching. There are some great free online courses for teaching online eg the MOOC on Future Learn so do a couple of those. I find Zoom is best to use- ideally pair up with another teacher to try it out first and then learn by doing! I hope that helps and good luck with your online teaching. Bw Amanda


  2. Hello Amanda! I’m about to start my online CELTA course soon and I’m not concerned at all about lack of face to face teaching experience, mainly because I’ve been actively teaching for some years already and to me this is just an easier, more convenient way of getting a certificate. But you’ve got a point here – I can imagine that being an inexperienced teacher or a teacher-to-be this would bother me and I’d give it a second thought… Great site – thank you!


    1. Hi Anna, thanks for commenting. Yes I think if you’ve got classroom experience then it’s a different matter. I’m glad you find the site useful, please do come back after your course and tell us how it went- Good luck! Amanda


  3. Thank you Amanda for your reply. I definitely think CELTA works online actually it does, I’m using all of it and it does work, up to the point of using gestures and so on, except that you can’t anchor or do a walking gallery, which is funny to think about.. I wonder those doing TP online, will it have even more difficulty than face to face TP, or even easier…just curious. Anyway thanks for the great post ))) Wish you a good day )))


    1. Having spoken to some tutors running online courses, it does really seem to be effective. They say the trainees’ classroom management is excellent!


      1. Very much! Thank you)) One more issue which keeps me quite concerned. It is about using textbooks during the online lessons, I remember we quoted the source and put it at the end of the page, on the CELTA course. Now that we do these Zoom sessions, or Skype sessions, or whatever, what is the way of using the textbooks? Do we have to create our own materials, or we are still able to use the textbooks as in normal life? Prior to the lockdown, I bought a lot of Cambridge textbooks, including those for FCE, IELTS, CAE, TOEFL exams, now I’m wondering if I can use those in electronic way or not…anyway, I’d appreciate some guidance and insight on the matter. Thank you )))


        1. As far as I know if you have bought the coursebook you can use also it in online lessons. There are digital versions of lots of coursebooks which are great for online lessons but another expense of course!


          1. Thank you for your prompt reply. I bought paper editions. I downloaded electronic versions but it is an online document anyway. Anyway, thank you. Pleasure to be in touch))


          2. I also think of creating my own PowerPoint presentations but base them on, let’s say, Murphy, or Destination, what d’you say? Would that make sense?


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