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Your Questions About the CELTA Course

You probably have lots of questions about the CELTA and we have tried to answer the most common ones below.

If you still can't find the answers you need, please contact us for more information - we are always happy to help!


CELTA General Questions

No.  The vast majority of people who take our course do not have any teaching experience. The CELTA course is designed to give you the necessary skills for the classroom.

Yes. While previous teaching experience can be an advantage, it is a Cambridge requirement that candidates complete all aspects of the course fully.

You will be teaching real students at two different levels over the course . There will be between 5-15 learners in each lesson. They know you are in training and are enthusiastic to get English classes for 2 hours.

A lot of teaching is about developing the skills of a learner.  So, you will be getting learners to do reading, listening, writing, and speaking and helping them to become better at this skill.  You will also teach grammar and vocabulary during your teaching practice.  We give you a student’s book and notes concerning what you need to teach. 

To meet the assessment requirements, candidates must attend a course and:

  • Practice-teach classes of the relevant age group and size for a total of six hours
  • Observe experienced teachers teaching classes of language learners for a total of six hours
  • Maintain and submit a portfolio of all coursework including all written assignments and materials related to teaching practice

Assessment is continuous and integrated. There are two components of assessment:

  1. Planning and teaching
    1. By the end of the six hours of assessed teaching practice, candidates should have demonstrated successful achievement of all of the teaching practice assessment criteria
  2. Classroom-related written assignments
    1. Adult learners and learning contexts
    2. The language system of English
    3. Language skills
    4. Reflection on classroom teaching

No.  It is not necessary to have a university degree in order to do the course.  You may not find work in Ireland or the UK without proof of a Level 7 degree (Ireland), Level 6 degree (UK) or equivalent.

Candidates must have a standard of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education

The short answer is no. The course is developmental. We want to see you improve each week and be able to reflect accurately on your performance. Failing teaching practices towards the end of the course is therefore is a lot more significant than at the beginning of the course. It is quite common to have a below standard grade for one TP. Having a second below standard TP is cause for concern and at this point your tutors will do everything they can to support you.

Absolutely not. We are looking for applicants to have a good advanced (C1) or proficiency (C2) level.  You will be screened during your interview to see if your own use of English is to standard. We might ask you to complete a task if you do not have a recent certificate to prove your level. We find non-native speakers do quite well on the course as they have been in the position of the learner and have greater knowledge of the language system.

CES often recruits teachers who have successfully completed their CELTA with us.  We also liaise with schools abroad so there is often the opportunity to find work in countries such as in Japan and China.

As well as having access to the official Cambridge platform, we also give all our candidates access to our very own CES Moodle platform.  This has been developed by our experienced team and contains plenty of extra invaluable content that helps to enhance the learning experience.  Our tutors are also always here to take any questions throughout the entire course.

Fill in our application form and email it to [email protected].  Upon receiving the application form, someone from our team will contact you to arrange an interview.  It is a Cambridge requirement that all applicants are interviewed.  Before the interview, you will be asked to complete a pre-interview task.  During the interview, you will be asked questions about teaching, why you are doing the course, answer some language awareness tasks, as well as doing a short writing task.

100% Online CELTA

Yes. While there are some differences, the online course is essentially the same as the face-to-face one. While many CELTA centres are using self-directed learning with Cambridge materials, we at CES (Dublin) do the vast majority of input through live, hands-on, Zoom sessions as we feel this is what benefits our candidates most. 

Again, the answer is yes. The 10-week course uses Cambridge designed material for self-directed learning. The only difference between these two courses is teaching practice is done online through Zoom. The only time you need to be online is on your scheduled TP day.

No.  Completing the course in an online manner will allow you to teach in a regular classroom. The certificate, which successfully candidates receive, does not state how the course was taken (i.e. face-to-face/online/full-time/part-time)

You need to have good internet access, a video camera, and a microphone and be computer literate. CES will host all Zoom meetings so you do not need to pay anything extra. While we do a little training on using Zoom before and during the course, it is a good idea to have some basic knowledge before you start. It is not a technology course, nor is it a grammar course. It is a course to help prepare you to enter the position of teaching English. It is advised to practice using Zoom before the course commences.

4-Week (Full-Time) CELTA

This is a full time course (Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm), with participants required to attend all morning input sessions and afternoons. If you need any time off during the course, you should mention it during your interview.

You must teach on eight occasions (6 hours) and these teaching practices take place in the afternoon from 2pm until 4pm (with feedback being done afterwards).  Candidates usually teach twice a week during this time. Every day, we also have a period set aside for teaching practice preparation, which is your opportunity to ask any questions which you may have.

On average, candidates may spend 25-30 hours per week outside of the course timetable.  This time is spent preparing for lessons and completing assignments. Some candidates may be put off by the intensive nature of the course, but the course schedule is designed to help you manage the workload and your tutors are always there for guidance and help.

10-Week (Part-Time) CELTA

On average, including teaching practice, the course takes approximately 20 hours. This time is spent on:

  • Planning, preparing and teaching for your teaching practice each week
  • Completing 4 assignments. You have 2 weeks to complete each assignment.
  • Observing 6 hours (out of an available 10) of experienced teachers in the classroom and online
  • Engaging in the 30 course units. Much of your development comes from your actual teaching practice and feedback. The course units offer more information on the theory and practice of teaching. Candidates are encouraged to engage in group discussion on forums. We recommend working through 3 units per week.
  • Keeping administrative records up-to-date

You teach on just one day every week for 45 minutes. TP days are on Saturday or Sunday or Monday from 10am – 2pm. You pick the day(s) that suit you best.

You will teach in a group setting. Generally, participants work in a group of three where each of you will teach for 45 minutes. This means the lessons will be 2 hours and 15 minutes in total. You will get feedback after each lesson as a group and you will then plan for the following week.

Yes, of course, if you need this. Generally, the TP day is enough time with your tutor. The best means of contacting your tutor during the week is via email.

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