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Common CELTA Questions

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Hnin Pwint Thaw Da says

Hi Dave,
I have paid fees for the coming June full-time course. I am really nervous and afraid. As I am a non-native speaker, I am worried that I won’t understand the instructions. However, I have over 2 years teaching experience. The most stressful thing for me is the writing assignments. Could you give me any idea how to overcome my fear? Thank you in advance.

Reply
    David says

    Preparation is really important for your written assignments. Start them as soon as you receive the brief and don’t leave it until the last minute. You’ll then have lots of time to check your work against the instructions before submitting, and this will give you more time to spot any problems.

    Your written assignments will expect you to use the new knowledge you have gained so far in your CELTA course, so be sure to refer to your notes and, very importantly, use the new terminology (e.g. learning styles, eliciting etc.)

    If the worst happens and you fail an assignment, don’t worry – you will get a chance to re-do it using tutor feedback, and re-submit it.

    Reply
Karrie says

Dear David,

Thank you for all the help you provide so readily to everyone here. You’re great!
I am an experienced teacher of English, non-native, 31, with a double Masters in English.
I recently applied for the CELTA course at the British Council and have not yet received a reply.
My only question is, do the CELTA offices take very long to reply initially or have they decided
that I am ineligible and simply overlooked the courteous rejection part of it?
Please help. Thanks!

Reply
    David says

    Hi Karrie. Thanks for your kind words! CELTA centres have a professional image to maintain and British Council is one of the most highly respected names in the industry. It’s very likely they will get back to you soon. Why not try giving them a quick call and politely check that they received your application?

    Reply
omid Saeedi says

Dear David

I appreciate your attempts in order to made us have a clarified vision of CELTA. I would like to know what percent of applicants who do the interview usually are able to take the course and can pass the interview task successfully. Best regards

Reply
    David says

    Hi Omid. I don’t have that kind of information, as it will be individual to each CELTA centre. It’s a great question however, and I’ll be sure to ask some CELTA tutors when I get chance.

    Reply
Tugce Kilic says

Hello David,

I’m doing my CELTA in Istanbul and it’s highly probable that I will get PASS. This is my first year in teaching indeed and do you think the PASS grade is somehow not good enough?

Reply
    David says

    A standard pass grade is a fantastic achievement and is certainly good enough for most language school jobs. A pass B or pass A will just help your initial job application a little bit.

    Reply
Sarasvathy says

Hi David I’m from Malaysia . Currently doing my degree in English Studies in one of the private university. Will be completing my degree in April 2016. After my degree i am planning to take up CELTA to enhance my teaching skill in English Language. Please advice me on how should i go about it. Thank You

Reply
    David says

    Well this entire website and my newsletter is designed to help you on that journey. I suggest reading through all the guides here and signing up for the exclusive tips I send each week via the newsletter.

    Reply
Anthony says

Hi David,

Brilliant website – thanks for creating it.

I will be startin the CELTA course in about 15 days.

I know you’ve talked about this already in one of your posts/articles, but what would you say are your top 3 tips for achieving a Pass A or Pass B grade on the CELTA?

Thanks in advance. A

Reply
    David says

    My 3 top tips for an A or B would have to be:

    1) Demonstrate a growing independence in the second half of the course. By this, I mean you should be starting to become self-sufficient in your lesson planning and teaching. You can achieve this by really listening to your CELTA tutor’s advice and incorporating it immediately into that way you work.

    2) Understand and react to the needs of your learners. This means noticing if they are struggling to grasp something; recognising if it requires attention immediately (i.e. mid lesson) or can be addressed individually with the student afterwards; and if necessary be confident enough to modify your lesson to address it. Regardless of your written lesson plan. Just be sure to properly explain yourself in your self-evaluation afterwards so your tutor can see your reasoning.

    3) Smash your 4 assignments. Understand the briefs, study the examples, ask for tutor direction, and be sure to incorporate all the proper language you’ve learned up to that point (e.g. monitoring, eliciting, learning styles, L1 interference etc.)

    4) An extra tip! Seriously, ask your tutor directly what you need to do to push your grade higher. “Hey Paul, honestly, in your opinion, what are the priorities I really need to work on to improve my chances of getting an A?” Some CELTA students from other cultures really struggle to ask such a simple question because they don’t want to be seen as arrogant. It’s not arrogant, and your not a school kid. You’re an adult training for a new career, and to be blunt, you’re paying a lot of money for help and guidance.

    Good luck Anthony, don’t forget to report back to us!

    Reply
Jamila says

Thanks David for your advice! Especially on how to get. Pass A or Pass B!! You’re website is very helpful! Please keep writing!

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Kerry says

I’ve just started a part-time CELTA course and am finding this website really helpful.

I, too, am interested in what distinguishes the A and B students from the large majority who just achieve a pass grade, so thanks for the advice above. I doubt I’ll get an A or B, as, unlike some of my fellow students, I’ve never taught before, but it usually makes sense to aim high, right?

I was told that only two per cent of students at my college get an A grade! Apparently, one student managed it earlier this year. All I know about her is that the tutors praised her incredible creativity. Did you go out of your way to make your lessons original and different, or is that less important than the points you mentioned above? I suppose that the independence you mention could mean coming up with your own ideas.

Reply
    David says

    What a fantastic question! I would certainly NOT recommend aiming to make your lessons very original or different – the point of the CELTA course is demonstrating that you can plan and teach a class using proven methods. Trying to be overly creative could backfire spectacularly.

    When they refer to her creativity, they might be taking about her ability to adapt the teaching materials and help make them more engaging. I tried very hard to lift the activities from the (boring) textbooks and offer them to my students in ways that brought their focus towards using their skills. I know this sounds kind of vague right now, but you’ll understand more when you get started on the course. One example might be to re-type the new vocab and print them in a large font; that way they can be stuck to the board through the lesson as you encounter them – and they remain easily visible to your students.

    So please please, don’t disregard the traditional teaching methods and try to be too original. Instead show your tutors that you understand them and can use them when appropriate, but that you can also anticipate the opportunities to improve your teaching material to help achieve your lesson aims.

    Reply
      Kerry says

      Hi David

      Thank you very much for taking the time to give me your advice. What you said makes sense and hopefully I’ll be able to put it into practice as the course progresses.

      The course has been an eye-opener so far, especially my first teaching practice session! (What I’d rehearsed didn’t go as well as planned, whereas what I had to make up on the spot to fill in time, worked fairly well). So far, I’m finding it an unpredictable and challenging course, but I suppose that’s normal.

      Reply
Kaygen says

Hi David

I am thinking about taking the CELTA course in the upcoming summer after I finish my second year in university and I wanted to know whether you can please answer a few posed questions I have.

As I live in London I have looked at centers near me. Two I am drawn to are one in Barnet college and one is at UCL. Does it matter where I go. I think if I go to UCL it is much reputable and as it is in central London it will be equipped with better teachers (I hope).

In regards with books, I have taken a look at your recommended ones, But could you please highlight the best ones in each category in your opinion and if you yourself have used them. From the names I think the “Grammar for English language teachers” will be good for grammar, “learning to teach English” and “Teaching practice…” will be good for teaching materials. But I do not know and would appreciate it if you can guide me in which ones in all three categories are the best in your opinion. By “Best” I mean for it to be clear, simple, resourceful and to the point; even though I understand you may have not read or studied all of them.

Are English Teachers in demand and would what are the usual rates (you think Approximately) that people get accepted as a Teacher?

Is there any common problems/difficulties ‘students’ (people you you were teaching) have in learning that could be a ‘head-up’ for us to look out for and to reconcile and be prepared for before hand. Like did they mainly struggle with speech, grammar, and did they all have a ‘base’ of ‘communicative English’ understanding? by communicative I mean that when I speak to them they will understand what I am saying and we could create a communication and reciprocal understanding between trainee teacher and student.

Could you please cover each point/question and I appreciate you putting time to reply.

Anyway I would like to thank you and thank you on behalf of everyone using this website for it has helped and guided us extremely well.

Thank You and Hope to hear from you soon

Reply
    David says

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m really happy to help.

    All CELTA centres are closely assessed by Cambridge ESOL. They’ll teach the same core syllabus and the CELTA tutors are all assessed too, meaning that, in theory, the standard should be much the same regardless of where you study your CELTA course. In reality however, some tutors are just naturally better than others at improving students’ weak areas or communicating concepts in general. So although all CELTA centres will offer a minimum standard of course, I would recommend that you search for past graduate recommendations if available. I chose my CELTA centre on the back of a personal recommendation and I’m glad I did.

    Here’s an in-depth post on choosing a CELTA centre

    Books… I’d definitely recommend Murphy’s ‘English Grammar in Use’. Any good CELTA centre will have a library of books to use, but I’ve continued to use Murphy’s in many of my lessons. With regards to dictionaries, the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD) is pretty good and their website is also useful as it provides the spoken phonemics for each work – perfect for your students’ pronunciation.

    English teachers are always in demand – the industry is huge. Note that the demand is very seasonal for private schools, as they hire for their next intake of students. Summer is also a very busy time as a lot of foreign students visit the UK to study English and perhaps stay with a host family. Rates are not amazing for EFL teachers in typical private schools, but it’s a living salary and pretty much recession proof. The real money comes with teaching private classes or business classes.

    That’s quite a complex question! You’ll teach 3 levels of learner: pre-intermediate, int, and upper-int. The pre-ints sometimes lacked the ‘meta language’ (this is the technical term you’re looking for) required to discuss the target language. It meant I had to dramatically reduce the range of vocab I used in their lessons, talk slower and over-pronounce a lot of words. Sometimes, a student simply couldn’t understand, even after I’d exhausted every way of explaining something. That was a big challenge. On the other side, the upper-ints were a lot of fun to teach, and they possessed enough meta language to discuss their lesson in depth and have a good laugh too.

    Some learners – especially those who study at home from books – have strong grammar, but not much real-life communication fluency. Others might have learned listening and reading from the internet and movies, but not understand how to construct their own speaking and writing… recognising individuals’ needs is one of the key elements you’ll learn on the CELTA course.

    Reply
      Kaygen says

      Hi David

      Sorry for the late reply; as I was not notified about your response. But Thank You nonetheless for the full depth reply that you gave me and others.

      I have a few more questions which is with regards to the “Recommended Teaching Methodology Books”, I wanted to know whether they are of good use and even if you use it yourself and which one do you think is best?

      And in your opinion, as you’ve experienced, is ‘English grammar in use’ better than ‘grammar for English language teachers’?

      And how long beforehand should I apply for the course? e.g. if I want to take it in August should I apply in January time or in April/may, or does it not matter?

      I would once again appreciate it greatly if you answered the questions above.

      Thank You Very much

      Reply
        David says

        I prefer ‘English Grammar in Use’ (Murphy) as it’s really easy to use and gives lots of examples for each grammar rule. It also has 62 5-star reviews on Amazon as opposed to 15 for ‘Grammar for English Language Teachers’.

        I don’t have the Longman dictionary, but I use the OALD and MacMillan versions. Both are very good and offer excellent supporting websites. Your learners often use one or the other.

        A dictionary is not really essential for the CELTA, but you’ll need one for your future teaching career anyway, so it doesn’t hurt to pick one up now in case you want to use it on your CELTA.

        Regarding how long before you should apply… let’s see: I applied in January for the April course, but it might depend on how fully booked your CELTA centre is. I’d always recommend applying early so you’re not disappointed.

        David

        Reply
          Kaygen says

          Thanks for your reply and comment

          I will let you know and keep you updated when I apply and after I finished the course in order to keep you and others interested aware of any new things happening in the syllabus and to offer in any way I can to others after I finished the course (hopefully).

          Thank You once again and I will most definitely get back to you when I am done (hopefully in August). In the meantime I got University to do and in between I will practice out off the recommended grammar books.

          Take Care

          Sapere Aude

          Reply
Manisha says

Hi, I am a non-native speaker and want to be an English teacher. Can you please tell me except CELTA course, what else can I do in order to teach here in New Zealand?

Reply
    David says

    Well, I’d obviously recommend the CELTA or Trinity equivalent. Without them, you’re competing against qualified teachers. If you mean what other ADDITIONAL things can you do to improve your career – classroom teaching experience is definitely the top of the list. Find out if you can be an unpaid classroom assistant for a while; you’ll make valuable contacts in the industry and pick up important skills.

    Reply
Lesley Barclay says

Hi David,

I am 4 weeks into my CELTA course in Edinburgh and I am finding myself struggling a bit and am so happy to have discovered your much needed hints and tips!

The major things for me which are completely alien are concept checking questions and eliciting as well as lesson planning.

I look forward to touching base next time and thank you1

Best,

Lesley

Reply
    David says

    Thanks for dropping by, Lesley. Keep us posted on your progress.

    Reply
Yvonne Farrell says

Hi. I’ve been called for interview to get on the CELTA course, there are tasks to be done at interview on Language Skills & Teaching ideas. Have you any idea of what they want to hear???? Please help!!

Reply
    David says

    Hi Yvonne, have you read my CELTA application guide? It goes into some detail about the interview tasks. Remember that the tasks are for your CELTA centre to understand your starting point, and to get your thinking in terms of the course content. Just be honest in your interview tasks as they help your tutors to see your strengths and weaknesses. And don’t stress, the interview questions don’t count towards your CELTA grading at all!

    Reply
Mounir says

Hi David

I am Mounir Jamaaoui. I am a Tunisian teacher of English working in Oman (Gulf Country). I am planning to take the CELTA course this summer here and I would be so grateful if you can help me with some sample questions about the pre – course task and some tips about the course itself.

Regards

Reply
    David says

    Hi Mounir. There’s some samples in this CELTA interview article, but remember that all CELTA centres are free to write their own pre-course task, so your questions will be different. The questions will generally revolve around establishing your level of grammar understanding and your ability to identify and correct mistakes in sample texts. The CELTA pre-interview task is not part of your overall assessment; it’s there to help the tutors understand the level of support you might need during the course, and to help you understand your own strengths and weaknesses.

    Reply
Zuhoor says

I have my CELTA interview next week …I need some tips on how to pass it …best regards

Reply
    David says

    No problem… there’s a lot of useful tips in this article – CELTA interview tips

    Reply
Larisa says

I need same help for taking Celta course. I’d be very happy for any tips. Thanks a lot.

With regards, Larisa H.

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Abdallah says

Hello. I am taking 4-weeks CELTA course this August, however I feel a little bit hesitant about the amount of job I have to do including TP. My language is good and I have strong will to pass- my major problem is that I am unconfident talking to native speakers. Any advice to go smooth through it.

Reply
    David says

    Lesson preparation makes a huge difference. The more you know your lesson plan and the activities your students will be doing, the less stressful teaching practice becomes. In fact, before my teaching lessons, I completed the book activities myself at home, so I knew exactly what my students were doing and I could mostly predict their difficult questions ahead of time.

    Normally, most stress happens when the lesson deviates from your plan, and when you don’t know your source material.

    Finally, I recommend you learn your students names and have a laugh with them! If they enjoy your lesson, then that positive energy will feed back into your own confidence.

    Reply
Laura says

hello! what I great site! I’m looking to move to Greece to be with family and thought this course might be handy for some work.

are there any class tasks from previous courses to get an idea what I’m in for? is anything sent out before the class starts because teaching 12 on the second day sounds daunting to me!

I would like a head start so I’m ready, like a precourse.

Reply
    David says

    Hi Laura. CELTA is always handy for finding work in Europe.

    Are there any class tasks from previous courses to get an idea what im in for?

    When you say class tasks, are you looking for the kind of activities that you will be teaching to learners? Or what you will learn in your studies with the CELTA tutors?

    Is anything sent out before the class starts because teaching 12 on the second day sounds daunting to me!

    It is daunting! But it’s best to get the first time out of the way early 🙂 Your CELTA tutor will assign you an activity before your first lesson, for example, you might have to take the learners through a listening exercise, or you might have to explain some grammar rules. But you’ll get some time to prepare beforehand. Think of the first lesson as the benchmark with which to measure your progress… it’s going to be stressful and feel like a disaster, but your learners know it’s your first time and will enjoy seeing you improve as the course progresses.

    Reply
Sarah Barratt says

Hi David!

Fantastic to see that you have compiled such a useful and comprehensive website for ‘wannabe’ English Language teachers! It was also great to see how Casey has developed her teaching career through her unique marketing strategies…very impressed.

I just wanted to mention that the Cambridge University Press resources are fantastic – I’ve been teaching in a Secondary school since the beginning of this academic year and regularly use sample materials taken from past KET and PET exams. Also to highlight is a series of textbooks for Starters to Advanced – A1 to C1 in the CFER (Common European Framework of Reference for languages) entitled ‘English In Mind’. This scheme is specifically aimed at motivating teenagers in the classroom.

Keep in touch and well done again,

Sarah

Reply
    David says

    Hi Sarah, thanks for those book recommendations. I imagine teenagers are a challenging group to teach, depending on their motivations for learning. It’s great that someone has developed some textbooks specifically for them.

    Reply
Phil says

Hey David,

I’m currently waiting for my CELTA results and wanted to know what you did in order to receive a ‘Pass A’? If you don’t mind sharing, that is.

Thanks

Phil

Reply
    David says

    Hi Phil,

    Congrats on getting through to the end. It’s a great feeling on that last day, isn’t it!

    I’ll probably post my story in more depth later, but I was really only on track to get a standard Pass for the majority of the course. It wasn’t until the final 3rd that I really understood what was expected of me.

    I believe the key is to:

    Start incorporating all the new concepts and terminology into your lessons, and explicitly state so on your lesson plans (this helps your CELTA tutor to know when to expect them in your lesson.)

    Don’t be a slave to your lesson plan. Many times I saw CELTA trainees fall apart in the lesson because things had deviated from their plan, and they felt panicked and unprepared. Instead, use your plan to demonstrate your intentions to your tutor (lead-ins, monitoring, eliciting, time estimates etc.) but learn to respond to the needs of the students as a priority. To put this into perspective, I scrapped a whole exercise mid-lesson because it was apparent the students didn’t have essential basic knowledge. But I was lucky enough to always include a backup activity in my lesson plans!

    Evaluate your lessons properly! I can’t stress this enough. For example, if you show your tutor that you noticed a problem with X, and you decided to extend the grammar teaching as a result, then he/she won’t think that you just lost track of time and mark you down.

    Assignments – Don’t waffle. Keep to the brief. Refer to your notes to use the correct terminology. Understand what core skills each assignment is designed to test. If in doubt, do your best draft early and ask your tutors for their thoughts. They’re not allowed to direct your assignments, but they may draw your attention to any glaring omissions.

    Please do stop by and share your experiences with us. Perhaps you’d like to do a CELTA graduate interview with us?

    David

    Reply
      Amy says

      Hi David,
      very interesting to read about your experience through the CELTA course. I am currently doing my CELTA course and just finished my TP6. I haven’t got any above standards yet, and when I asked my tutor to tell me what I was doing that stopped me from getting an Above Standard he pretty much said I was doing everything right to a high standard but will never get an above standard without saying why or giving any advice on what I need to do. Do you have any suggestions for my situation??

      Reply
        David says

        Hi Amy. I like to think the best of people, but that doesn’t sound like a good CELTA tutor in my opinion.

        If it was me, I wouldn’t let the question drop. I recommend politely but firmly asking to speak to him, and repeat your question… “I need your advice on how I can achieve an Above Standard”.

        If he refuses to offer advice then he’s not doing his job, and I would then speak to the school director. After all, you have paid a lot of money for your tuition. The last thing the director wants is a complaint submitting to Cambridge.

        Don’t be confrontational, just persistent. Very, very persistent 🙂

        Reply
          Amy says

          Thank you David. I will try to persist. I wait at least two days to ask since I get emotional and I know that doen’t help. I will treasure your advice and persist.

          Amy

          Reply
Konstantinos Kemparis says

I’m doing a CELTA course here in Greece. So far I have done 7TPs. 6 out of 7 TPs have been awardwd with S+ (Above Standard). I have also completed two (2) of the four (4) written assignments that we have to do throughout the course. The first was on Language Focus whereas the second one was on Language Related Skills.(using an authentic text to detail a 60-minute lesson). Both of them got a Pass with very good comments/remarks. They were both accepted and submitted at the first time, without having to write them again.

Do I stand a chance to get the certificate with an A? Please help me. I’m going to do anything that is needed in order to achieve my goal.

Reply
    David says

    Hi Konstantinos,

    Well done, it sounds like you’re doing great! First thing… be sure to ask your CELTA tutor this question directly. Tell them that a Pass A is your goal and ask what you can do to improve your chances.

    In general, if you’re getting S+ for all your teaching practices – including your lesson plans, which is very important – then you’re on your way for top marks. To work out your final grade, your CELTA tutor will assess your performance against a very big list of skills. This includes your ability to take on board feedback and your sensitivity to the learners’ needs.

    Just make sure you use your lesson planning and self-evaluation to clearly state how you have incorporated areas of weakness from your tutor’s feedback. Don’t be shy about saying: My area of weakness was identified as too much teacher talking time (for example), so I intend to improve this by doing X in the lesson.

    I only got S+ for the second half of the course, and I was awarded a solid Pass A. So I think you’ll be just fine 🙂

    Reply
      Konstantinos Kemparis says

      Dear David,

      Thank you for your immediate reply. I really appreciate the fact that you devote a couple of minutes in order to answer me.

      I want to assure you that I take into account the feedback that my tutor gives me (the spoken and the written one as well), before attempting to write the evaluation of my teaching practices. I write down in the reflection section both my strengths and the weaknesses that my tutor has pointed out during each teaching practice. Then the tutor reads them, make a comment and signs them. All the comments I had been given so far were: “Absolutely”, “I have nothing to add”, “shows awareness and clearly understands what to focus on”, “shows awareness” and things like that.

      As far as my lesson plans are concerned, all the comments I had been given are: “Detailed enough”, Detailed thorough” and stuff like that.

      Last Wed Me and my tutor completed the tutorial on the blue book. She gave me S and S+ for most of the criteria concerning my teaching practices. But she also gave me one N in skill that was related to the listening, meaning that I have to keep working on that area. It is the only N I have but I’m pretty worried about it. I reiterate that this “Not to standard” was given only in one skill in the blue book when we were completing the tutorial.

      I really can’t tell my teacher that I’m aiming at A. I don’t want to think of me that I’m an arrogant or something similar. Don’t laugh but I have already put my mother a couple of times to phone at her and ask her if I’m doing well and if it is possible to get an A. They told her that I’m doing well in the course, but the final grade is not only based on their comments, but Cambridge will make the final judgement, so they can’t say for sure that I’ll pass it with Distinction.

      Reply
Tina says

Hi David,

I’m a masters examinee in English literature. I’m so much eager to have CELTA course after masters examination. But I’m in tense about the required entry level. I am informed about the interview. As I’m a non native speaker which type of interview will be taken? Will it be a written task or viva? Is IELTS score ll be needed as for preliminary eligibility?

Could u help me by giving suggestion to complete the CELTA? I would be really grateful to you.

Tina

Reply
    David says

    Hi Tina. IELTS score may be taken into consideration, but in general your English should be around level C1 (I think that’s around IELTS 7). Eligibility is usually assessed by completing some interview questions, sending them to the CELTA centre, and then discussing your answers on the phone (or Skype). So yes, there is a written element to CELTA eligibility, but no big essays 🙂

    Reply
Joy says

Hi David,

I recently got on to a CELTA course that starts in March 2015. I have been told that i will be a good candidate for the course but that i have to do a lot of work to get up to speed before the start of the course. Do u offer a service where i can get support before the start of this course as it is my aim to get a Pass B. I struggle in the areas of explaining grammar, could you help me with this on a paid one-to-one basis?

Reply
    David says

    Hi Joy, that’s great to hear you’re booked onto the CELTA. I’m happy to help with any questions posted here – that way everyone can benefit as the website continues to collect answers for all CELTA trainees. No need for official payment!

    Of course, if you do want to say Thank You, we’re now gratefully accepting donations from the button in the sidebar 🙂 This will help pay for website hosting and domain renewals etc.

    Reply
Anonymous says

Is it possible to get an A if you have got a resubmission for one of the assignments?

Reply
    David says

    Really interesting questions and I need to research this. I’ve heard lots of stories of people getting a Pass B with resubmits, but I can’t be completely sure about Pass A. I think you had better ask your tutor directly – and report back of course 🙂

    Reply
      Andrew says

      I got a Pass A with one resubmission in May, 2014.

      Reply
      Pass A, Australia, 2016 says

      I got a Pass A and I had to re-submit 3 out of 5 assignments (I passed them all on the second go). Re-submissions make no difference to you grade.

      Reply
        David says

        Congrats on your Pass A! Great achievement.

        Reply
Chris says

Yep. I agree 100% just entered week 4 of the Celta course and everyone is almost completely drainer physically, mentally and emotionally..anyways teaching tomorrow so time to go back to lesson planning..lol

Reply
    David says

    Hi Chris. Thanks for dropping by. Not far to go now!

    Reply
Miffed from Manchester says

Hi, I,m really pleased that everyone on this site is doing so well with their CELTA grade. However, I would really like to know if there is a marking criteria for CELTA. I was awarded Pass marks for my assignments – none of which had to be resubmitted. My overall summary page stated 6 Excellent, 21 Good and 1 Standard. At what point is the B pass awarded? I would have expected – mainly Excellent = A, mainly Good = B, and mainly Standard = Pass?

Reply
    David says

    Great username from one of my favourite cities 🙂 There is a clear marking criteria for awarding a standard Pass grade, according to an complex matrix of skills you’re expected to learn and develop. However, achieving a Pass B or A is far less definable and includes more of a subjective decision by your tutors.

    Remember a standard Pass covers a huge range of performance. It’s possibly to perform excellently and receive a standard Pass, and that’s absolutely a great achievement. I know it’s human nature to push for the highest marks, but a Pass B or A will only really help you at the very start of your career; beyond then it becomes less relevant compared to experience.

    The best way I’ve heard it described to me is: in addition to meeting all the standard Pass criteria, Pass B and A students tend to demonstrate sensitivity to the needs of the learners (as individuals and as a class) beyond the limits of the lesson plan. They tend to develop good rapport with the class, to encourage a learning environment. And they tend to understand the narrative shape of a lesson (that’s a complex idea), in which they can lead their learners from the introduction of some new language right through to practicing and producing with it.

    I recommend you directly ask your tutor what you need to do to push your grade higher.

    Reply
Nara says

Hi! just one question :Since I am outside of EU is it possible to get an school invitation letter so I could get studying visa in UK?
thx for all answers in advance!

Reply
Maggie O'Keefe says

Hi David,

Thank you for the information you have posted here, it is very useful. I have a Humanities degree (English & Writing) and a PGCE in English & Drama. I taught secondary school English & literacy for 15 years (also some Primary & have a Further Ed. Cert). More recently, I took a TESOL course intensive weekend -I’ve still got 100 hours online to do.)

My question is, after taking early retirement and moving to Malta, I’ve been offered P/T work in a private college. In order to do this, I’ve been told I will need an A level in English, which I don’t have as I entered as a mature student. I have taught some A level English. This is what the Monitoring Board requires. I know another retired English teacher who was refused a work permit as he doesn’t have CELTA. It is not highly paid here. I would really like to take up the P/T post and wonder if you think I should take an A level in English (which seems a bit crazy to me?) or take a CELTA course? – which I might never recoup the cost of and the P/T vacancy will disappear before I complete it. The school want me, they prefer mature, experienced Teachers. Have you any advice about how to overcome this? Thank you.

Reply
    David says

    Hi Maggie. That’s a difficult one for sure. It’s really bizarre to request an A-level if you already have a PGCE, a degree (both of which are higher than an A-level or a CELTA in the framework)If it were me in this situation, I would definitely not try to get an A-level as it wouldn’t help me in any other area of my life.

    A CELTA would be much faster to acquire compared to an A-level of course. It’s likely your vacancy will disappear before you have any of the prerequisites. Is there no way you can write to the Monitoring Board about exceptional circumstances?

    Reply
Melina Tsintari says

Hi David, i have currently completed almost all of my assessed teachings with the last one coming up this Monday. I have also finished all of my TP assignments but have to resubmit 2. Currently i have had 2 Non-standard lessons. I am getting worried as I don’t know whether I will pass the CELTA. My tutor told me that the problem in my last assessed teachings was minor (fyi: i was struggling with the structure of the lesson eg: test-teach-test, lesson from a text etc..) and if i solve this issue i will pass. So my question is if I get graded standard on my last assessed teaching and pass my 2 resubmits will i successfully complete the CELTA or have I failed?

Thank you!

Reply
Elina says

Hi everyone! Hi David and many thanks for all the useful information.

I have a question myself in case you have an answer..
A really good friends of mine has an official backround is in Biology, however, she is seriously considering a career switch into English teaching, mostly because of its interest and flexibility as a job.
So, do you think that a CELTA course will be enough for her to take up a carreer in english teaching? To your knowledge, is it only people with an academic background in english and/or teaching who have chances to success and get employed afterwards?

Your answer would be more than helpful ..Thanks a lot in advance for your time 🙂

Reply
    David says

    People with all types of academic backgrounds can do well teaching English. This is what makes English language teachers so unique – the fact they can each bring a different approach to the classroom. I know English teachers with previous backgrounds in corporate office work, insurance, fresh out of college etc. There’s no reason why your friend would struggle with a background in biology!

    Reply
Sushma Karn Roy says

Hi David,

Thanks for the information on the forum. It is quite helpful. I have my CELTA interview tomorrow. I am a non native speaker and I can speak English fluently. I have fear of explaining the technicality of the grammar. What would you suggest for tackling this? Is there any specific grammar pattern in which the interviewer asks the questions?

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William Gist says

Hello David,
Is a CELTA necessary if I have an active teaching certificate from one of the states?

Reply
    David says

    Depends on the type of teaching certificate. The important thing about the CELTA (and equivalents) is that is includes hours of real lesson planning and teaching practice in front of a live classroom. Be wary of certificates that have no practical element, as language schools don’t always accept them.

    Reply
Sadik Hussain says

Hi David,
I am interested in the CELTA course in Coventry University, UK. They have a centre number but I noticed they are not on the approved Advanced Learner Loan Scheme (ALLS). I’m just wondering whether this was an error or I actually won’t get any funding. I contacted the university, they have’t had any students who had ALLS but did say they are open to them. Any input is appreciated. I will be making an application to see if they accep the funding.

Reply
    David says

    Hi Sadik. The Advanced Learner Loan Scheme applies only to centres on the approved list. The CELTA was only very recently accepted into the ALLS, so this really is the first wave of approved centres. I expect many more to become ALLS approved next year when they see how popular this is.

    You may want to call the ALLS department of the Student Finances team and ask how you can encourage your CELTA centre to apply to be included. They may just not be aware of the opportunity yet.

    Reply
Mona Turcitu says

Hi, there, greetings from Romania, if I have a BA in English dated 2002 plus a Cambridge certificate in Business English proficiency would I still benefit from also taking the CELTA? Would much appreciate your help, please. Thank you!

Reply
    David says

    Hi Mona. I visited Transylvania many years ago, and had a wonderful time in Romania!

    Great question. While you are well qualified in English skills, you will still need to prove you can plan lessons and teach a class. This is why CELTA is primarily a teaching skills certificate.

    Does that help?

    Reply
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