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Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)

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Course Description


The Cambridge ESOL CELTA certificate is recognised worldwide as an excellent initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience and opens up a whole world of exciting opportunities for teaching English. This is a highly practical course that provides training in the teaching of English as a foreign language to adults.

The course aims to develop and broaden the prospective EFL teacher's knowledge of English language teaching methodology, language awareness and language skills. In addition, it gives teachers an ability to have a critical analysis of existing coursebooks and materials as well as  to supplement and create their own.

Study Formats

This is a full-time course which involves four weeks of intensive study, Monday - Friday, 12.00 pm - 19.00 pm, for those who wish to gain their teaching qualification within a short period of time.  The Cambridge ESOL Certificate requires an attendance of 120 hours over 4 weeks. Class size is limited to a maximum of twelve candidates.

Entry Requirements

  • University degree or qualification permitting entry to Higher Education (e.g. A Levels, International Baccalauréat)
    * A good standard of written and spoken English (C2 or C1 – Grade A or B on the CEFR or IELTS 7.0)
    * Age 20+
    * No previous teaching experience is required

Course Content & Structure (Full-time Course)


During the course, you’ll attend seminars and workshops where you’ll learn all the essential techniques of teaching. These sessions are practical rather than theoretical and look at ideas that you can immediately use in the classes that you’ll be teaching. The following areas are among those that will be covered:

  • Techniques and approaches to English language teaching
  • Classroom management. Classroom dynamics
  • Motivate learners. Different types of learners
  • Lesson planning: design, staging, defining aims
  • Presenting and practicing grammar
  • Presenting and practicing vocabulary
  • Teaching pronunciation
  • Developing receptive skills (Listening and reading)
  • Developing  productive skills (Speaking and writing)
  • Error correction
  • Using authentic materials (articles, songs, stories) in the classroom
  • Teaching exam classes
  • Teaching Business, ESP & 1to1
  • Choosing and using teaching resources
  • Professional development

Teaching Practice and Observations

During the course, you will be working in a small group with a maximum of 5  other trainee teachers. Each group has their own tutor assigned to them, which means there is a ratio of one tutor to every six trainee teachers (1:6), a standard set  by the University of Cambridge.

The tutor's job is to guide you in preparing your lessons, observe your teaching and provide feedback on areas of your classroom teaching that were successful as well as those that need improvement.

During the course, each trainee teaches a total of 6 hours of assessed classroom lessons. The total teaching time consists of lessons of varying lengths, starting with 20-minute lessons and working up to 60 minutes by the end of the course. When trainees are not teaching, they observe their class of students being taught by one of their peer trainees. In total, each teacher is responsible for teaching nine separate lessons to at least two different levels of language learners.

The students you teach on the CELTA course are actual ESL students learning English and are in classes specially created for Teaching Practice. Classes vary in size and may have up to 12 students, who are all adult learners, and vary in age from 18 to 60. You’ll teach classes at two completely  different levels, a lower level and a higher level, so you’ll get experience in teaching a wide range of levels of language learners while on the course.

After lessons, your tutor will set up feedback workshops to discuss the classes: what worked, what didn’t and what could have been done differently. This is an opportunity for trainees to reflect on how they taught, listen to peers give their views, comment on others’ lessons and hear the tutor's comments. The aim is to give constructive feedback honestly and supportively so that trainees learn from their experiences and are able to put this into practice when they prepare future classes. The tutor also gives detailed written feedback on every lesson taught.
Each trainee is given a lot of help in preparing lessons and in becoming more independent as the course proceeds. The aim is for trainees to be independently planning and executing lessons by the end of the course.
During the course you’ll also  observe at least 8 hours of lessons given by experienced teachers.

Written Assignments

In addition to CELTA teacher training, trainees will have to complete  four written assignments, 750-1,000 words each. They are very practical in nature and include:

  1. Language Related Tasks Assignment
    An analysis of language for teaching purposes
  2. Skills Assignment
    A focus on the receptive skills of reading and listening and the productive skills of speaking and writing
  3. Focus on the Learner Assignment
    A more detailed evaluation of one students language abilities
  4. Lessons from the Classroom Assignment
    A n analysis of what has been learned from teaching practice and observations


There is no final examination on the CELTA. The assessment is continuous (throughout the course) and integrated (all components count towards the final grade). Assessment is based on candidates' evaluation throughout the course both in teaching practice and written assignments. There are three Click to enlarge picturegrades – Pass, Pass ‘B’ and Pass ‘A’. 
You are also required to maintain a portfolio of your  work during the course. The course is assessed in accordance with University of Cambridge ESOL guidelines.
You will have two individual tutorials to monitor and discuss progress. You’ll also be informed of your progress through feedback of your teaching practice and written assignments.

The assessment for CELTA certification is externally moderated by an assessor approved by the University of Cambridge. The assessor visits the center during the second half of the course and looks at candidates’ portfolios and observes teaching practice.
Admission to and regular attendance of the course alone do not guarantee the CELTA Certificate will be awarded.

Candidates will get provisional grades a few days after the course which will be confirmed by Cambridge ESOL. All successful participants will receive a detailed personal teaching profile provided by Language Link. This is sent in addition to your official University of Cambridge CELTA certificate.
The course tutor's decision is final and there is no appeals procedure, although there is a complaints procedure.


This can be arranged on request.


Alexander L. G. Longman English Grammar. Longman
Gower R., Phillips D., Walters  S. Teaching Practice Handbook. Heinemann
Harmer J. How to Teach English. Longman. 
Murphy  R. English Grammar in Use. CUP
Ur  Penny. A Course in English Language Teaching - (CUP)       
Scrivener  J. Learning Teaching. Heinemann
Swan M. Practical English Usage.  OUP

It is advisable to buy your own copy of Scrivener, Swan and Murphy and Harmer prior to the course.
Additional books will be available for reference at Language Link.


CELTA Timetable:

On this page is an example of a week's timetable for a CELTA course to give you an idea of what is in store for you if you come on the course. Remember that the timetable on your course is unlikely to be exactly the same as this one.








Feedback from previous day’s teaching  & Guidance for teaching practice


Language Awareness

Teaching Reading


Classroom Management

Checking Understanding




Language Awareness Overview

Phonology Sound Work

Grammar Lessons

The Learner

Lesson Planning




Lesson preparation


Teaching Practice


LRT 1*


Application Procedure

1. Fill out the On-line Application Form.

2. We will then contact you to invite you for an interview with our Course Manager (a telephone interview may be possible if you live at some distance from Rostov)

3. A Pre-Interview Test has to be completed before the interview (we will email it to applicants who are unable to attend the interview in person)

4. A successful applicant will get a pre-course task which will introduce h=them to some of the areas covered on the CELTA course. You are not supposed to submit the task but it would be beneficial to work on it to facilitate  the coursework.


CELTA course FAQ's

Who is CELTA for?

CELTA is designed as an initial teacher training course for applicants with no previous experience. It may also be suitable for applicants with some experience but little formal training in the field of ELT.

Is the CELTA course only for native speakers of English?

No. However, you must have a high level of English, awareness of language and competence in written and spoken English that enables you to follow the CELTA course. This competency requirement also applies to native speakers.

 Is there an age limit for CELTA applications?

No, but you must be over 20 years old by the end of the course.

 What is the pre-course activity? How much time and preparation is involved?

The pre-course task involves about 12-15 hours of work. Although it isn't assessed or marked, it's very useful as initial preparation for the course, especially the sections on Language Awareness and Phonology. We'll send it to you as soon as you've confirmed your place with payment.

Will the CELTA help me in making teaching my career?

Yes. Most schools recognise the CELTA as the minimum specialist qualification for teachers of English as a foreign language.

 Do I need a University degree to apply for the CELTA course?

No, but most CELTA trainees have a tertiary qualification. The minimum requirement is a qualification that will allow you to enter Higher Education in your own country.

 How can I teach without using the learners' native language?

You need to give clear demonstrations, use simple language in your instructions, clear explanations, and use visual aids and gestures where necessary. With low level learners you need to ensure your language is graded to their level, while still remaining natural.

How much grammar should I know?

You are expected to have an awareness of most language areas so that you can help students with their problems. Your learning of the grammar really takes place when you teach it, because you have to research it when planning a language lesson. But we also include some input sessions on the course to help you develop this area.

Is personality important?

Everyone has a different teaching style. What is important on the course is being able to co-operate with and listen to other people, accept criticism, be flexible and be considerate to your fellow trainees.

 Is the CELTA course stressful?

Yes. You will often be in stressful situations, since your lessons will be observed by your tutors and other trainees. You have to be able to meet deadlines in lesson preparation and written assignments. It helps to be organised and to be able to manage your time well.

 How is the CELTA course assessed?

Assessment by the tutors is continuous, and you will be graded on your teaching practice, your written assignments and professional development. You will be given feedback after every lesson and there will be at least one progress tutorial during the course. Self-awareness and the ability to reflect on your teaching are important considerations. The CELTA course is also externally assessed by an assessor appointed by UCLES.

 Can I apply for a teaching position with Language Link after finishing a CELTA course?

Yes, we always welcome applications from successful trainees but we cannot guarantee your employment.

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