If you are looking for a job as an English teacher or an ESL teacher, you may have noticed the CELTA acronym often comes up among the search results.
CELTA now stands for Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or, formerly, Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. Being the gold standard of TESOL programs, a CELTA certificate is valued by employers all over the world. The reason is that CELTA is accredited by Cambridge University, which makes it arguably the most sought-after TESOL program.
What is CELTA?
CELTA is one of the most known and internationally-recognized training programs for anyone who wants to teach English. CELTA was the first TESOL/TEFL certificate course, which was established about 40 years ago. The CELTA program is accredited by Cambridge University, one of world’s most prestigious universities. CELTA teachers can be confident that they will find a teaching job in almost any country in the world.
The CELTA English course is a practical course with an emphasis on hands-on classroom teaching experience. In addition to ESOL theory and methodology, you will practice teaching in a real-life classroom and get feedback from your CELTA teacher trainer. CELTA certification also gives you an opportunity to study theory and methodology online and then undergo real-life trainings with students in a classroom.
If you already have an initial teacher training qualification and at least one year of English teaching experience, then you may opt for a course other than CELTA – DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). As with CELTA, this course is available both on a full-time and part-time basis.
History of the CELTA certificate
In 1962, International House London established a certificate course for teaching of English as a foreign language (TEFL). From the 1970s until 1988, it was run by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
In 1988, Cambridge English Language Assessment concluded an agreement with the RSA to take over the conducting of TEFL courses. As a result, the CTEFLA (Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults) was launched. By 1996, the abbreviation was changed to CELTA.
In 2011, Cambridge English Language Assessment in cooperation with IH London lanched their common combined CELTA course: CELTA Online, which consists of learning theory online and practicing in a real-life classroom.
Why choose CELTA?
The CELTA teaching course stands out amoing other TESOL courses, and here is why:
- High standards. Cambridge University strictly regulates the CELTA course, making sure that it adhere to highest quality standards.
- Best teacher trainers. With years of teaching experience, CELTA teacher trainers were trained to become CELTA teacher trainers and are approved by Cambridge University.
- Individual approach. When taking the CELTA course, you always receive individual attention and detailed feedback, because a trainer is responsible for no more than 6 people at a time.
- Recognition worldwide. Having a CELTA certificate will open the doors of prestigious educational institutions from all over the world.
How do I get CELTA certified?
There are many institutions offering the full-time, part-time, and online CELTA courses. You can take your CELTA course in one of 300 approved centers located in more than 70 countries all over the world. The following options are available:
- Full-time course, which lasts about 4–5 weeks
- Part-time course, which can last from a few months to a year
- Online course, which combines online self-study with hands-on teaching practice
The certificate for an online CELTA course is recognized equally with classroom CELTA training.
For a CELTA application, the following prerequisites should be met:
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree
- Level of English knowledge that equals to at least C1
- Strong will to teach English
Is CELTA the right certification for me?
If you really want to teach English, including teaching to foreigners in countries other than your own, then it is the right certificaion for you. Besides, you can ask yourself the following questions to check if CELTA is exactly what you need:
- Do I love the English language?
- Do I have an understanding of the way English works?
- Am I a quick learner?
- Do I get along with other people?
- Do I want a practical teaching qualification?
- Do I know my own strengths and weaknesses?
- Can I give clear explanations?
- Am I ready to work hard for 4-5 weeks?
If the answer is “yes” to all of these, then a CELTA course is definitely the one that you need.
A completed CELTA course will give you not only an internationally-recognized certificate, but also the confidence and experience to handle any classroom situation. No matter who you will be teaching, children or adults, be sure that you will earn respect from your students. This will be the most rewarding part of CELTA course completion.