CELTA - Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults


What is the CELTA?

The CELTA is a qualification for people wanting to teach EFL and who have little or no previous experience in this area. The scheme is administered by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.

CELTA can also be taken as Module One of the Certificate in Further Education Teaching Stage 3 with the Certificate for ESOL Subject Specialists, which is a qualification for teachers who want to specialise in teaching English in Further, Adult and Community Education in England and Wales.


Who is CELTA for?

The recommended age for entry on CELTA courses is 20. From January 2001, applicants between the ages of 18 and 20 have been accepted at the centre's discretion.

You must have a standard of education which would allow you to enter higher education in your own country.

Non-native speakers need a command of English that will stand up to the pressures of the course. (We suggest Cambridge Proficiency Level or IELTS 9)

You do not need to have any previous teaching experience or be able to speak another language, although this may help. We also consider people with teaching experience but no formal qualifications.

You must have an awareness of language and a competence in English, both written and spoken, that enables you to follow the course - and this is necessary whether your first language is English or not. This means we expect you to be able to write coherently, using correct punctuation and spelling.


What does CELTA involve?

You can take CELTA full time (typically four to five weeks), or part time (from a few months to over a year). Your chosen course: 

  • teaches you the principles of effective teaching
  • provides a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners
  • gives you hands-on teaching practice
  • builds your confidence.

There are five main units of learning:

  • 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 contexts
  • Developing teaching skills and professionalism.

There is no final examination. 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 on specific areas of the syllabus totalling a 3000 words: 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'.


How do I apply? 

CELTA courses are designed by individual centres, based on specifications produced by Cambridge ESOL. They are available at over 286 approved centres in 54 countries, providing almost 900 CELTA courses every year.