The Cambridge CELTA course currently has 4 possible grades:
Pass – The majority of CELTA graduates achieve a Pass grade. It shows a new teacher understands the basic principles of teaching English as a foreign language, and is capable of planning and teaching lessons, but initially they may benefit by some support from their employer as they enter the TEFL industry for the first time.
Pass B – A smaller percentage of graduates achieve a Pass B. In addition to the above, it demonstrates the teacher is able to clearly retain and build upon teaching methods and classroom management, and has the potential to manage a classroom with little need for support.
Pass A – A tiny percentage of graduates achieve a Pass A. In addition to the above, it demonstrates the teacher has consistently developed throughout the CELTA course, identifying and addresses any areas of weakness, as well as planning, teaching and evaluating their lessons to an extremely high standard. It is likely Pass A graduates can manage themselves and their lessons with very little need for support.
Fail – Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out to immediately teach English, and a Fail grade reflects that CELTA students have not developed to the level required by the stringent assessment criteria.
The criteria for awarding these grades is complex:
In order to determine your final pass grade, your CELTA tutors will maintain your personal performance matrix. This document outlines a number of skills that you will be expected to develop and maintain throughout the CELTA course, and it includes everything from your lesson timekeeping skills right through to your ability to use constructive tutor criticism to improve your lessons.
Essentially, a CELTA trainee will be assessed against these criteria at various points in the course with a mark of either NS (Not to Standard), S (at Standard) or S+ (above Standard).
This process is a whole post in itself, and I hope to be able to share more with you soon!