The CELTA is a certificate-level TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course provided by Cambridge University exclusively through authorized Cambridge English Qualification Centers worldwide. The course aims to enable candidates with little to no teaching experience to start their careers as English teachers. The course is also aimed at teachers with some teaching experience who have received little practical teacher training or who wish to gain an internationally recognized qualification.
Theory and Practice
CELTA emphasizes theory as well as practice, but it is the strong practical element that demonstrates to employers that successful candidates have the skills to succeed in the classroom. Indeed, the TEFL industry is becoming increasingly regulated, and more and more countries and employers now require teachers to possess an initial teaching qualification, regardless of whether or not the teacher is a native speaker. Candidates who successfully complete the course can start working in a variety of English language teaching (ELT) contexts around the world.
Pass or Fail
It is both Cambridge’s name on the certificate, and the stringent, demanding nature of the course that make the CELTA the most sought-after entry-level qualification in the ELT (English Language Teaching) industry. To be allowed on the course, candidates must have English language skills equivalent to C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or an IELTS score of 7.5. Once on the course, candidates are assessed on written work (assignments) and, more importantly, teaching practice sessions with real students that total no less than six hours. While most participants pass, candidates can, and sometimes do fail, and it is this rigorousness that reinforces the value of the course. Upon successful completion of the course, candidates receive one of three grades: a Pass A, Pass B, or a Pass. CELTA is regulated at Level 5 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework for England, Wales and N. Ireland.
In an effort to adapt to the new circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cambridge Assessment has temporarily allowed centres to run a fully online CELTA course. All the elements of the course will be conducted online, including input, assignments, teacher observation, teaching practice, assisted lesson planning, and feedback.
The content, assessment criteria, and final certificate are the same for the online course as for the face-to-face course. Crucially, there is no mention on the certificate of whether the course was taken online or face-to-face.
English for Africa will offer a series of free pre-course training sessions in order help candidates get used to using the online platform.