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Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

Course summary

CELTA is a highly practical qualification that gives you the essential skills, knowledge and hands-on teaching experience you need to teach English as a second language to adults. It is recognised in the UK and internationally as the gold-standard teaching qualification needed to teach English. By studying for your CELTA qualification at UEL you will benefit from learning in a supportive University environment with experienced trainers, while having access to all the excellent resources and facilities on our campus.

The course is very practical and enables you to link theory to practice through extensive classroom training overseen by experienced teacher trainers. You will learn all the professional skills you need in an authentic context, preparing you in the best possible way for your future career whether you want to teach English, pursue a full teacher training qualification or simply develop pedagogical skills.

This course is ideal if you’re completely new to teaching, or if you have some teaching experience but want a recognised qualification to help you gain employment. Reputable employers across the world request the qualification as a basic requirement for teaching English. The certificate is accredited as a level 5 qualification and is awarded by Cambridge English, which is part of the University of Cambridge.

CELTA is the Gold Standard teaching qualification for English Language Teaching.

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Gold Standard

CELTA is the Gold Standard teaching qualification for English Language Teaching, equipping you to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English as a Second Language (ESOL) courses.

Teach around the world

The qualification is recognised globally, giving you the chance to teach anywhere in the world. CELTA is highly valued by employers, with 70% of job advertisements specifically requiring the qualification (Cambridge English 2015).

Professional development

CELTA is ideal for recent graduates, career changers and practising teachers who want a formal qualification.


Priya Chawla

CELTA, 2019

The course has been both challenging and informative.  It has helped me develop lots of skills.  I am grateful for this experience and would like to thank the tutors for being great, supportive tutors.

Entry requirements

Applicants must:
be at least 18 years of age
Candidates should normally have, as a minimum entry requirement, a standard of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education
have an awareness of language and a competence in both written and spoken English which will enable them to undertake the course and prepare for teaching a range of levels
have the potential to develop the necessary skills to become effective teachers and to complete successfully the written assignments and the assessment of teaching practice.
There is an assessment prior to entry.
The course is suitable for native and non-native speakers. In addition to having a level of education equivalent to that required for university entrance, applicants must have a high standard of written and spoken English language use. Previous teaching knowledge or experience is not required. Suitability for the course will be determined through selection tasks, which include tests of written and spoken language as well as language awareness.

Where is the interview located?
All interviews take place at Cass School of Education and Communities on the Stratford University of East London campus.

The University of East London
Cass School of Education and Communities Helpdesk
Ground Floor – Education Building
Stratford Campus
Water Lane
E15 4LZ

Please note parking is not available on campus. We recommend using public transport. 

When you arrive
Please enter the campus via the main entrance on Water Lane (E15 4LZ) and ask the staff at the main reception to direct you to the Cass School of Education and Communities Building.
Please ensure that you arrive on time for your interview. We may turn you away if you are late. 

What do I need to bring?
You will need to bring the following:
A copy of the email inviting you to the interview with the date and time to show Cass Helpdesk staff;
Original level 3 qualification certificate if you have one;
Your original passport or photo driving license.  You will not be permitted to attend your interview without photo ID;
Your marriage certificate if your educational certificates are in a maiden name.
*If your qualifications were gained overseas, you will need to verify their equivalence with UK NARIC. They can be contacted on 0870 990 4088 and either at interview or as a condition of offer written verification will need to be provided

What should I expect on the day?

The entire interview process lasts for up to three hours. It will consist of the following tasks: 
Two language awareness tasks.  The following areas will be tested:
a)    Analysis of language (grammar, vocabulary and phonology).  You will be asked to name some tenses (for example past simple, present perfect);
b)    Work out the differences between pairs of words that are similar;
c)    Mark syllable stress on words;
d)    Name parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective);
e)    Work out the function of modal verbs (must, could);
f)     Do a proofreading task.
We strongly advise you to do some pre-interview research on these areas; the following resources are helpful:
·         Practical English Usage by Michael Swan;
·         Teaching Tenses by Rosemary Aitkin;
·         English Grammar in Use (Advanced) by Raymond Murphy.
 There are also lots of online resources.
 You will also do a piece of free writing and have a 1-1 interview.

What happens during the interview?
Our aim is to find out as much as we can about your attributes, skills, and knowledge about language in order to ensure you have the capacity to pass successfully should you be offered a place on the course.  In addition to having a level of education equivalent to that required for university entrance, you must have a high standard of written and spoken English language use, and this will be assessed through the tasks.

Attendance is every Thursday evening from 5.30 - 9 from September to March, and 12 Saturdays from 10 - 4.30 during the same period (ie September to March).

What you'll learn

Throughout the course, you will acquire essential knowledge of the English language and develop familiarity with the principles of effective teaching. You will put this theoretical knowledge into practice and acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners.

You will have the opportunity to apply your learning in a real teaching context and, once you have completed the qualification successfully, you can begin working in a variety of ESOL and EFL teaching contexts around the world.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • 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 their learners’ overall language competence;
  • demonstrate an appropriate range of teaching skills at this level and show professional awareness and responsibility.

How you'll learn

We teach using a wide variety of methods to ensure your learning experience is diverse and that different aspects of your course are suited to develop specific skills. You will benefit from a mixture of classroom teaching, practical teaching experience, independent study, tutorials and written assignments - all of which will develop your theoretical and practical understanding in different ways.

Our superb academic staff have a wealth of teaching experience and will assist you with supervised lesson planning, provide feedback on your teaching experience, and guide you through observation sessions with peers and qualified teachers.

The timetable is also designed to meet the needs of students who are currently in employment, so you can juggle work and study. From January to June you'll study one evening a week for 20 weeks, (5.30pm - 9.00pm) and 11 Saturdays (10.00am - 4.30pm).

Who will teach on this course

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

What you'll study and when

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up-to-date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change.

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

How you'll be assessed

2 components of assessment: practical and theory.

Practical: 6 hours of teaching practice working with adult learners at 2 different levels
Theory: 4 assignments: a) focus on adult learners and learning contexts b) focus language systems c) focus on language skills d) focus on reflection on classroom teaching and the identification of action points. Assignments are between 750 – 1000 words

Course specification

Your future career

The CELTA course gives you a practical, vocational qualification that is highly respected by employers across the world. You'll be able to teach EFL and ESOL courses in a variety of contexts, whether in Further Education Colleges, adult and community learning settings, or in private language schools.

Teaching English is a hugely rewarding profession, which gives you the chance to help people grow and develop new skills, while constantly challenging yourself to learn more about the English language and the practice of teaching. The skills you learn during the course are extremely valuable and highly transferable in many settings, and can be a stepping stone into other careers such as academic management, materials authoring, teacher training and private tuition.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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