The course in detail
You are asked to complete a pre-course task which helps you to prepare for the course.
The CELTA syllabus is set by Cambridge Assessment and covers the following areas:
- language awareness
- the learner, the teacher and the context
- planning for effective teaching
- classroom management and teaching skills
- resources and materials for teaching English
- professional development
The CELTA course is very intensive and should not be undertaken lightly. We cover a lot of work in a relatively short time.
The course runs from approximately 09:15 to 17:30 hours each day, Monday to Friday, with just 90 minutes for morning, lunch and afternoon breaks. This equals at least six clock hours per day of classroom work, or a minimum of 120 contact hours during the four-week course. The evenings and weekends will be spent on written assignments and on lesson planning.
The course is not compatible with a busy social life or other time-consuming commitments.
There will be approximately 60 hours of input sessions focusing on language awareness, teaching skills, methodology, phonology and professional development. This will mirror the teaching techniques trainees will be expected to use themselves in Teaching Practice.
There will be 6 – 7 hours of observation of lessons given by experienced teachers. While you will be required to teach only at two levels, generally Pre-intermediate and Upper Intermediate, you will have the opportunity to observe a broader range of levels.
A certain amount of classroom time is set aside for lesson preparation but you will be expected to prepare the bulk of your lessons at home in your own time.
Teaching Practice and Feedback
Trainees will teach 6 hours over all, spread over two levels – generally Pre-intermediate and Upper Intermediate. Guidance and support will be given, particularly in the early stages, and withdrawn gradually as you become more confident and self-sufficient. Verbal and written feedback will follow each teaching session and you will have an opportunity to reflect on and learn from your own and from others’ performance. Teaching practice is an assessed part of the course.
Candidates write four assignments over the course and some of these are multiple part. For these, your writing should be of a high level of accuracy, should be easily comprehensible and should reflect a knowledge of discourse, grammar, punctuation and spelling. You will also need to demonstrate that you are familiar with the key concepts of methodology, can relate practice to theory and are sensitive to relevant aspects of professional development.
Assignments are an assessed part of the course. There are 4 assignments, although these are broken into smaller parts:
- Focus on the learner
- Language-related task
- Language skills related task
- Lessons from the classroom
There are two or, where necessary, three tutorials during the course in which your tutor will discuss your progress with you.
You should understand the importance of professional development and be able to show that you can assess your own strengths and weaknesses. You should be prepared to listen to, and learn from, feedback from tutors, peers and students, be willing to liaise with colleagues, and to act supportively.
Assessment on the CELTA course is continuous and integrated. The assessed components of the course are the teaching practice and the assignments. Trainees are kept up to date with their development and you should be in no doubt as to how you are doing throughout the course. You will receive both written and spoken feedback on teaching practice and on assignments, as well as in tutorials.
There is no examination at the end of the course but to meet the course requirements, candidates are required to attend the course and to:
- teach classes and be assessed while doing so for a total of six hours
- observe experienced teachers teaching classes of adult learners for a total of six hours
- maintain and submit a portfolio of all coursework including all written assignments and materials related to your teaching practice.
It is possible to fail the course but the failure rate is very low thanks to our stringent selection policy.
Pass level: Certificates at Pass level are awarded to trainees whose performance meets the criteria They will still require guidance and support in their first teaching posts.
Grade B: Certificates at Grade B indicate trainees whose performance of the written assignments meets the criteria and whose teaching skills exceed it. They, too, will require support during the first months of professional teaching.
Grade A: Certificates at Grade A go only to candidates whose classroom teaching skills, planning skills and awareness of teaching and learning processes exceed the criteria. These teachers, though newly qualified, will be able to work independently from the start. Only a very small percentage of candidates achieve this grade.
Small classes and personal support
The course has a maximum of twelve trainees for input sessions and a maximum of 6 trainees in Teaching Practice groups. We have two to three trainers on each course. The trainer for your Teaching Practice group will be available to give you personal advice and guidance every day in lesson-planning time and will also give you one-to-one tutorials on your progress.
The differences in the Online CELTA course compared with the CELTA course In-person
- The qualification is the same. You will receive the same certificate if you pass. It won’t say Online teaching on it. The course aims to prepare you to teach online and face-to-face.
- Both the Training sessions you receive and the Teaching Practice you do with students are via Zoom
- Pre-course and post-course dates: there 3 days before the start and 2 days after the course have an induction and to complete units from the access course.
- The course is divided into Online Access sessions and Live sessions
- Online Access:
- made by Cambridge Assessment, who design the CELTA course, set the rules and assess Studio Cambridge’s delivery.
- consists of an Orientation module, 30 units and an observation of a video lesson
- can be done at a time of your choosing each day, but you need to keep up with the access course day-to-day as it supports and extends the live training sessions
- Live sessions consist of:
- Input or Training sessions when you receive training from a tutor
- Feedback on your teaching practice the previous day – these don’t usually take the 1.5 hours scheduled. There is some time to finalise lesson preparation for the Teaching Practice.
- Observations of online classes taught by qualified teachers
- Tutorials – 1-to-1 meetings with your tutor
Guidance for your career in teaching
Our trainers have experience of teaching English at home and abroad. In the final week of the course, you will have sessions on professional development and on how to find work.
Teaching opportunities at Studio Cambridge
Studio Cambridge has always had the greatest confidence in its newly qualified teachers and we like to offer work to the teachers we have trained. Our successful CELTA graduates are guaranteed the offer of an interview for one of our summer teaching positions.
CELTA results and success rate at Studio Cambridge
|Year of course|| Number of
|Number of students
who completed course
|% of students
who passed exam
This is an example of a typical one-week CELTA certificate course timetable:
1 & 2: 09:15-10:45
|Course intro and info
|Vocabulary 1||Classroom observation||Classroom observation||Presentation:
3 & 4: 11:15 -12:30
|Foreign language lesson||Receptive skills 1||Presenting new language||Present tenses||Review: Setting context,
eliciting, board analysis,
drilling, guided discovery
|13:30 – 15:00||
Teacher & Student Roles
Demonstration of photocopier
|Teaching practice feedback and preparation||Teaching practice feedback and preparation||Teaching practice feedback and preparation||Feedback on teaching practice, Week 1 tutorial and lesson preparation|
|15:30 – 17:30||Teaching practice||Teaching practice||Teaching practice||Teaching practice||Teaching practice|