The full-time CELTA course lasts four weeks. It is very intensive with a minimum of 120 hours of training. All applicants need to bear in mind that in addition to the course hours, a further minimum of 80 hours is needed in the evenings and at weekends for the required reading, research, written assignments and lesson preparation.
Candidates are required to attend all input sessions, teach classes of the relevant age group and size for a total of 6 hours, observe experienced teachers for a total of 6 hours, and maintain and submit a portfolio of all assessed written work and materials related to teaching practice.
The full-time course is essentially from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Most evenings and some part of weekends will be devoted to lesson preparation and written assignments. It is therefore, a very full-time and intensive course. We advise trainees that they should be in good health and without outside commitments which might affect their full attendance.
The morning is devoted to learning about teaching - how to manage groups, how to analyse language for teaching purposes, different approaches to pronunciation and so on. The course programme is designed to reflect the syllabus as set out by UCLES. Each course will also take into account the needs of the individuals within the group, as reflected by negotiable sessions and regular revision of techniques.
The afternoon is devoted to putting it all into practice. Trainees are divided into 2 or 3 groups and these teaching practice groups work with their trainer to advance the learning of practice students. Each trainee spends 2 weeks teaching each student group, guided each day by the trainer who is supervising them. The trainers endeavour to create a real-life teaching situation by having trainees work with contemporary published materials, keep attendance records and so on. After teaching there is group or individual feedback, the opportunity to comment on what has been more or less successful and why. As well as learn from the experience of teaching and watching their peers, trainees also observe 8 live lessons taught by an experienced teacher on the staff.
There is no final examination. Candidates are graded and assessed by the trainers on a continuous basis in two areas:
- Component 1: Planning and Teaching
- Component 2: Classroom-related written assignments (of which there are four in total).
An external assessor, appointed by Cambridge ESOL to moderate the course and the assessment of the candidates, visits all courses. The certificate is awarded to candidates who meet the course requirements and whose performance meets, or exceeds, the criteria in both assessed components. Provisional Recommended Grades are issued shortly after the end of the course. These results need to be confirmed by the assessor and by Cambridge ESOL and then certificates and reports are posted on to candidates between four and six weeks after the course.
The CELTA course syllabus, as defined by the University of Cambridge, is designed to help candidates:
- Develop an awareness of language and the description of English and apply these in their professional practice.
- Develop an understanding of the contexts within which adults learn English, their motivations and the roles of the teacher and the learner.
- Develop a familiarity with the principles and practice of effective teaching to adult learners of English.
- Develop basic skills for teaching adults in the language classroom.
- Develop familiarity with appropriate resources and materials for use with adult learners of English for teaching, testing and for reference.
- Identify opportunities for their own future development as professionals in the field.