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Course Programme & Assessment

The CELTA course programme is designed to enable candidates to:

  • Develop an awareness of language and a knowledge of the description of English and apply these in their professional practice
  • Develop an initial understanding of the contexts within which adults learn English, their motivations and the roles of the teacher and the learner
  • Develop familiarity with the principles and practice of effective teaching to adult learners of English
  • Develop basic skills for teaching adults in the language classroom
  • Develop familiarity with appropriate resources and materials for use with adult learners of English for teaching, testing and reference purposes
  • Identify opportunities for their own future development as professionals in the field

The course features are:

  • Extensive teaching practice every day (six hours in total)
  • Practical experience teaching students at different language levels
  • Detailed feedback and discussion sessions with a course tutor
  • Observation of qualified teachers  (six hours in total)
  • Guided observation of videoed lessons
  • Seminars and demonstrations to improve language awareness
  • Classroom management and lesson planning

Syllabus Overview

The syllabus consists of five units of learning that deal with specific topic areas in the teaching of ESOL.

  • Unit 1 Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
  • Unit 2 Language analysis and awareness
  • Unit 3 Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Unit 4 Planning and resources
  • Unit 5 Developing teaching skills and professionalism

Units 1, 4 and 5 focus on the preparation and delivery of ESOL teaching programmes. Units 2 and 3 focus on the content of ESOL teaching programmes as well as the pedagogic knowledge required for teaching language and language skills.

Assessment & Grading

You will be assessed throughout the course, with no final examination. Rest assured, trainees are always kept informed of their progress during the course and an external assessor, appointed by Cambridge English, 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 and show that you can:

  • assess learner needs, and plan and teach lessons which take account of learners' backgrounds, learning preferences and current needs
  • demonstrate language knowledge and awareness and appropriate teaching strategies
  • demonstrate knowledge about language skills and how they may be acquired
  • plan and prepare lessons designed to develop learners' overall language competence
  • demonstrate an appropriate range of teaching skills at two levels and show professional awareness and responsibility

There are three grades — Pass, Pass 'B' and Pass 'A'.  The majority of candidates receive a PASS grade.

A Pass is awarded to candidates whose performance overall in the teaching practice and in the written assignments meets the specified criteria. They will continue to need guidance to help them to develop and broaden their range of skills as teachers in post.

A Pass (Grade B) is awarded to candidates whose performance in the written assignments meets the specified criteria and who have demonstrated in their teaching practice a level of achievement significantly higher than that required to meet pass-level criteria in relation to:

  • classroom teaching skills

They will continue to need some guidance to help them to develop and broaden their range of skills as teachers in post.

A Pass (Grade A) is awarded to candidates whose performance in the written assignments meets the specified criteria and who have demonstrated in their teaching practice a level of ability and achievement and a level of awareness significantly higher than that required to meet pass-level criteria in relation to:

  • planning for effective teaching
  • classroom teaching skills

They will benefit from further guidance in post but will be able to work independently.

Candidates who fail to meet criteria in any or al assessed components will receive a Fail.

Candidates are ineligible for the award in cases where dishonesty or plagiarism is brought to the attention of the Cambridge English Teaching Awards.

Further Information

Candidates are strongly recommended to read the CELTA syllabus and assessment criteria, available as a PDF download from the Cambridge ESOL website:

www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/about-the-celta-course/