What is CELTA?

CELTA is an initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience and opens up a whole world of exciting teaching opportunities. Because it is awarded by Cambridge English Language Assessment, part of the world-famous University of Cambridge, you can rely on its quality and recognition.

Over 10,000 people successfully complete a CELTA course each year.

How does CELTA relate to TEFL/TESOL?

'TEFL' or 'TESOL' are terms often used to describe qualifications for English Language teachers. CELTA, the most widely taken initial TESOL/TEFL qualification of its kind in the world, was previously known as CTEFLA and the 'RSA certificate'.

Who is CELTA for?

CELTA is suitable for a wide range of people. It is the ideal qualification for those who want to start English language teaching anywhere in the world. It is also suitable for people who want a career break or change and for those already teaching English who have no formal qualification.

What does CELTA Course involve?

Our CELTA course is full-time and runs over four weeks. The Cambridge CELTA 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.

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.

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:

  1. Teaching practice.
    You will teach for a total of 6 hours, working with classes at two levels of ability. Assessment is based on your overall performance at the end of the 6 hours.
  2. 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'.

Who recognises CELTA?

CELTA is accepted throughout the world by organisations which employ English Language teachers. The Cambridge CELTA has been accredited by Ofqual (the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) at Level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework for England. Cambridge ESOL also works with international ELT organisations to ensure the acceptance of CELTA globally.

Am I eligible to apply?

Ideally you should:

- have a standard of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education
- be aged 20 or over
- have a standard of English which will enable you to teach at a range of levels

We may still accept you if you do not have formal qualifications at this level but can demonstrate that you would be likely to complete the course successfully. Our centre may accept applicants aged between 18 and 20 if we feel that they are likely to complete the course successfully. Our interview procedures are designed to assess your suitability in all areas.


How do I apply?

CELTA courses are designed by individual centres, based on specifications produced by Cambridge English Language Assessment. Each centre has its own application form and pre-interview task and you can download ours here:

- Download the application form and pre interview task

We also accept the application form and pre-interview task you may already have completed for a CELTA course at another recognized CELTA centre.

The CELTA Syllabus

- Download the CELTA Syllabus here

- Download the CELTA brochure here


Cambridge ESOL website

Find out more about Cambridge English
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"Getting the TEFL qualifications opened so many doors for me. Only some of them were academic and professional, the rest were to do with personal development. I cannot recommend it highly enough to those who have a sense of curiosity and a spirit of adventure."

-Chris Bonnington - CELTA course tutor

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