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Frequently asked questions about CELTA at Warwick

If you want to become an English language teacher and are looking for an internationally recognised teaching qualification, the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) is ideal. CELTA is an initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience and helps to open up a whole host of exciting teaching opportunities around the globe.

‘TEFL’ or ‘TESOL’ are general terms sometimes used to refer to qualifications for English language teachers. CELTA is the best known and most widely taken initial ‘TEFL’ qualification of its kind in the world. The Trinity Cert TESOL is another equivalent qualification, but other on-line or ‘introductory’ courses do not carry the same level of recognition worldwide

You may be looking to begin a long-term career in English language teaching and see CELTA as a springboard into a good teaching post in the country of your choice. You may be a graduate looking for a qualification that gives you a firm grounding in the fundamentals of language teaching practice, together with the confidence to take control in the classroom. Perhaps you want the opportunity to live and work abroad? You may just be looking for a way to see the world and live in another country for a year or two. In all these cases, CELTA is a good start. It is possible to get teaching work abroad with no qualifications as a native speaker, but you will find that many more opportunities are open to you with a recognised qualification. You may be an existing English language teacher with no formal qualifications. CELTA will help to sharpen your teaching practice, confirm your ability, and may even lead to internal promotion or a better teaching job. Whether you wish to teach English for the short or long term, CELTA gives you the training you need to help you adjust to a dynamic and challenging new profession.

CELTA is accepted and respected throughout the world by organisations that employ English language teachers. The Cambridge CELTA has been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) at level 5 on the National qualifications Framework.. Cambridge ESOL also works with international ELT organisations to ensure the acceptance of CELTA globally.

Cambridge have recently introduced this mode of delivery and some centres have started offering CELTA on-line. Despite its name, you do still have to do the teaching practice face to face in a designated centre. However, the input is delivered on-line. At the present time, Warwick does not offer this option. The final qualification is the same whichever delivery mode you choose.

The CELTA course at Warwick is a full time course over 4 weeks with attendance at the University 5 days a week. The course will teach you the principles of effective teaching and a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners. You will have hands-on teaching practice, observe experienced teachers in the classroom and complete four practically focused written assignments.
You will be assessed throughout the course, with no final examination. An external assessor, appointed by Cambridge ESOL, moderates each course. There are three 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; two on teaching and learning English at adult level; one on the language system of English; and one on classroom teaching.

Professional Development – This component assesses your overall performance on the course.

Assessment on the course is continuous and trainees are given written and oral feedback by the tutors on their teaching and written feedback on their assignments. Trainees also have a mid-course tutorial at which they discuss their progress.
All tutors working on the course discuss each trainee’s final grade and their decisions are unanimous.

To be awarded the Certificate, you must pass all three components. There are three grades – Pass, Pass ‘B’ and Pass ‘A’.
I have heard that the course is very intensive – is that true?
You will be expected to devote five days a week to the course, from 9.00 – 5.30 and also spend a good deal of your free time on course-related work, perhaps 15-20 hours a week.

Here are some comments from former trainee teachers:
‘It’s a fascinating, fun and demanding course.’
‘Although I had been warned about the amount of work involved, I still was surprised about how demanding it was.’
‘I cannot remember either working so hard or enjoying a course so much.’
‘The most intensive course I’ve ever done.’

You are expected to attend 100% of the course. In special circumstances, for example, illness, we can make exceptions, but if you miss input you will need to show how you will make this up. You must complete all 6 hours of observed and assessed teaching practice in order to pass the course. Please ensure that you can make this commitment.

What else would I be expected to do outside the timetabled hours?
You should expect to spend time:
• liaising with colleagues in your teaching practice group in order to produce a cohesive timetable of lessons for your learners.
• planning your own lessons: although you may be teaching for relatively short periods it is quite normal to spend at least 3-6 hours preparing.
• working on written assignments; four 1000 word assignments. These are course-related and practical in nature.
What is the course timetable?
The course is divided into methodology sessions and teaching practice with feedback. Even if you are not actually teaching that day you will be expected to attend teaching practice to observe your colleagues discuss their lessons with them and the tutors.

A variety of activities such as discussion of tasks in groups, demonstration of teaching techniques by tutors, observation and analysis of teaching videos, analysis of teaching materials, peer teaching in groups and so on. There is a high level of trainee participation, often in pairs or groups.

In the first week of the course. At the beginning of the course we just want you to ‘have a go’. As you receive input from the methodology sessions and from feedback on your teaching and that of your colleagues, you will be expected to try and put this into practice. A lot of your learning will be through trial and error.

Groups (between 8-20) of adult foreign learners. Some live here permanently and others are new to the country. They are all volunteers and are aware that you are trainees.

Feedback refers to the time after teaching practice when you have the opportunity to reflect upon and discuss your teaching with your colleagues (there are usually six trainees in each teaching practice group) and one of the tutors. This part of the course is extremely important because it should help you to develop an increasing awareness of your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher.

No one ‘method’ is taught on the course: It is an introduction to the theory and practice of Teaching English as a Foreign Language and introduces trainees to a variety of current procedures and techniques in the field.

This depends on where you want to work. If you want to work overseas, it’s easy to find work almost anywhere. In most countries you can expect to earn enough to have a good standard of living in that country, but probably not to save much. In the Middle East and Far East it’s possible to make good money but note that work permits in these countries are only given to people who have a degree (this does not have to be in English or a related teaching subject). You will be given some help and advice while on the course, though the University does not provide a job placement service as such.
It is generally difficult for newly qualified teachers to find work in the UK. It is possible, but it is very likely to be part-time and hourly paid (ie no work/ money during school holidays etc). Getting a contract is very difficult. If you want to work in the UK, CELTA is a good initial qualification, but you will need to do further study to get Qualified Teacher Status. This may be a PGCE, a Cert Ed or a DET. It is possible to study for these whilst you are working in a teaching job.

In some countries, especially in the Middle East and Far East, a degree is required in order to get a work permit. Other countries will accept you without one. You are advised to consult individual embassies for accurate information and advice.

Ideally you should:
• Have a standard of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education
• Be aged over 18 or over
• Have a ‘near native’ standard of English. This will mean that you can produce ‘virtually error-free’ written and spoken English.

You may still be accepted if you do not have formal qualifications at this level but can demonstrate that you would be likely to complete the course successfully.

The course is open to native and non-native speakers of English and as a non-native speaker, you have the advantage of having made the language learning journey yourself. This is very important and useful and potentially makes you an excellent role model for learners. However, you will need to have a standard of English, both written and spoken, that is near to native speaker competence and is ‘virtually error free’.

If you are a current UOW student you can apply for on-campus vacation accommodation for the duration of the CELTA course. The link for vacation accommodation will go live from week 7 or 8 of term 3 HERE
Please note that there are a limited number of rooms available and bookings are made on a first-come-first-served basis.

Alternative on-campus accommodation is available through Warwick Conferences:
Additionally, there is a wide-range of accommodation available in the local area. You can find details HERE.

Information regarding travelling to campus by car and where to park can be found HERE.

Information on travelling to campus by public transport can be found HERE

During the course you will be based in the Social Sciences Building which is located on Central Campus. For campus maps, including an interactive map with a room search function, please click HERE