Why you should take Cambridge CELTA to start teaching English abroad

Why you should take the Cambridge CELTA to get you ready to teach English abroad.

See how you can get the best start to a career in English language teaching.

What is Cambridge CELTA?

  • Cambridge CELTA – The Certificate in Teaching English Language to Adults is an introductory course for candidates with little or no previous English language teaching experience. It may also be suitable for candidates with some experience but little previous training.
  • Cambridge CELTA courses are designed by individual centres based on the Cambridge ESL syllabus.
  • You can take a CELTA course in around 300 approved centres in 70 countries. There are almost 1,500 CELTA courses every year.
  • You can take CELTA full time (typically four to five weeks), or part time (from a few months to over a year).
  • You can also take a blended CELTA course where you can study partly online. The teaching practice takes place in the course training centre.

Based on the University of Cambridge site: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/about-the-celta-course/

Celta course aims

You will:

  • gain knowledge of the principles of effective teaching
  • acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners
  • demonstrate your ability to apply your learning in a real teaching context.

Entry Requirements

Candidates will need:

  • a level of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education
  • a C2 or high C1 level with an A or B pass for non native speakers
  • to be aged 18 or over with many centres taking only trainees over 20
  • to have an awareness of language to be able to follow the course and carry out all written assignments.

Syllabus overview

The syllabus consists of five specific topic areas:

  • Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
  • Language analysis and awareness
  • Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
  • Developing teaching skills and professionalism.

Course programmes

  • Programmes are designed by individual centres using the syllabus and course objectives.
  • Courses will have a minimum of 120 contact hours including:
    • input
    • supervised lesson planning  teaching practice (six assessed hours)
    • feedback on teaching
    • peer observation
    • observation of experienced teachers (minimum six hours)
    • consultation time

How does Teaching Practice work?

  • Teaching practice is an integral part of the course.
  • You will teach at 2 different levels, sometimes 3.
  • Teaching practice is usually organised in small ‘teaching groups’ of 5-6 trainees.
  • You will usually teach classes of volunteer students.
  • Your tutor will organise feedback sessions where your teaching will be evaluated.
  • Trainees are expected to work with the other members of their groups outside classes to plan their practice lessons.
  • Candidates will need to dedicate a minimum of 80 hours for the required reading, research, pre- and post-session tasks, assignments and lesson preparation.

Continuous assessment

You will be assessed throughout the course, with no final examination. An external assessor, appointed by Cambridge ESOL, moderates each course.

There are two components of assessment:

  • Teaching practice – You will teach for a total of six hours, working with classes at two levels of ability. Assessment is based on your overall performance at the end of the six hours.
  • Written assignments -You will complete four written assignments: one focusing on adult learning; one on the language system of English; one on language skills; and one on classroom teaching.

To be awarded the certificate you must pass both components. There are three grades – Pass, Pass ‘B’ and Pass ‘A’.


See some of Crossroads Languages’ favourite CELTA centres here.

Where can I take CELTA?

Where can I take CELTA?

See some popular CELTA courses in the UK and abroad.

CELTA courses
Try out a free online TEFL course

Try out a free online TEFL course

If you are not sure that you will enjoy teaching, then why not try a free online course and learn what it means to be a TEFL or English language teacher.

The course answers some key questions -
- What is ELT and what does it involve?
- Where can you teach English?
- Who are your learners?
- What do you need to know about the English language?

Try a free online TEFL course