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It's easy to think of all those different course names as just a load of mumbo jumbo; but, in fact, the different qualifications can be used for different things. Let's take a look at CELTA...
It’s a simple enough question, so here’s the equally simple answer! CELTA is the acronym for a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.
If you’re looking to do English Language Teaching (ELT) or teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) to adults (which amount to the same thing - all these acronyms are merely here to confuse us!), then a CELTA course could be for you. It will equip you with all the skills you need to teach English to students across the world.
Anyone over the age of 18, providing you can speak English. Even if English isn’t your native language - if you can speak it, you can learn the skills to teach it.
The truth is that you don’t need any teaching experience to do a CELTA course - you’re fine as a novice. However, this course is very demanding and requires 100% commitment, so if you have a little teaching experience already, this is an excellent course to continue your development as a teacher. The CELTA courses train students from all walks of life and lay the foundations for a secure career in ELT and many students take the course on this premise.
Seeing as a CELTA course is made for newcomers to the world of TEFL, it will whip you through all the basics while giving you enough skills to build a proper career in teaching English as a foreign language - if this is what you fancy.
A CELTA course will help you to develop the principles of effective teaching as well as harvesting practical skills that will prove invaluable when you roll up at a teaching job with nothing more than a piece of chalk and a class full of eager students!
You’ll also get some teaching practice under your belt, observe experienced teachers in the classroom and complete practically-focussed written assignments.
It depends which course you take. If you’re in a hurry to get qualified, you can do the intensive full-time CELTA course that typically lasts for 4-5 weeks, or if you’re too busy to learn full-time, you can take the 12-week part-time CELTA course which can be taken in a few months or over a year.
All over the place! CELTA courses are run at 280 approved centres spanning 54 countries. Over 900 courses take place each year so you shouldn’t struggle to find one. You can get a full list of CELTA centres from the Cambridge EFL website.
After you’ve completed a CELTA, you’ll be awarded an A, B or pass. How well you do will depend on how you perform in your teaching practice and in the written assignments.
Yes! A CELTA is one of the elite teaching qualifications as it’s accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). It is considered to be on par with a Trinity College TESOL (QCA), making it one of the most widely-recognised teaching certifications in the world.
If you’ve been snooping around TEFL sites you might have come across the ‘Cambridge CELTA’. Don’t worry - it’s not a superior version of the CELTA! It’s actually because the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) award the CELTA. This affiliation with a world-famous university adds an extra shine to its international reputation.
There’s no reason why you can’t apply the teaching skills you’ll learn from a CELTA course to teaching English to a range of students. However, it's intended to prepare you for teaching adults. So if you are thinking about teaching kids or a mixture of student age groups, then you may want to consider an all-round teaching qualification such as an internationally-accredited TEFL certificate. Or if you purely want to teach children, then you can take the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners (CELTYL).
What can’t you do after a CELTA course would be an easier question to answer - the words 'world' and 'oyster' spring to mind! As soon as you have a CELTA you have the golden ticket to a world of teaching adults in your back pocket. So whether you fancy teaching as you admire mangroves in China or on the idyllic archipelago of Indonesia, the sky’s the limit.
If you want to develop your English teaching career further and you have gained a minimum of two years' teaching experience (1,200 hours of full time teaching), you can take the next-level qualification DELTA (QCA) (Diploma in English Language teaching to Adults).
The DELTA focuses more on the theory of teaching alongside written assignments and observed teaching practise, which is also offered via distance learning. Many centres offering this course may ask that candidates hold a degree before doing this course, however there may be centres that don't ask for this.
For more information, follow this link: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/teaching-awards/delta.html