Course Structure & Content

Things you need to know about the CELTA course

The Cambridge ESOL CELTA course involves 120 hours working with tutors and colleagues as well as the same amount of time spent on self-directed study and preparation outside class time. This can be completed intensively (usually over four weeks).

ESOL_AC_Teaching_Awards_rgb The course is conducted over 20 working days.
What is a typical day on the CELTA course like? In a word: it’s busy. At our centre we run intensive courses over four weeks, Monday-Thursday 10:30hrs-18:30hrs/10:30-19:30hrs on Fridays.

The schedule of a typical day on a course at the HAMBURG SCHOOL OF ENGLISH

  • 10:30 – 12:00: Input session #1 (e.g. learning a specific area of teaching methodology like Task-Based Learning)
  • 12:00 – 13:30: Input session #2 (e.g. improving your students‘ pronunciation or learning about basic literacy)
  • 13:30 – 14:00: Feedback on Teaching Practice from the previous day*
  • 14:00 – 15:00: Lunch
  • 15:00 – 15:30: guidance for the next day’s Teaching Practice
  • 15:30 – 16:30: Break
  • 16:30 – 18:30: Teaching Practice

As you can see, while there is some time available during the course day for you to work on preparing your lessons, most of this work, as well as completing the written assignments, needs to be done on your own time. For this reason, you need to be prepared to clear your social schedule completely for the duration of the course and be prepared to devote about 2-3 hours each day plus at least one full working day over the weekend to course-related work. Especially on the Full-Time course, strong time management skills are essential.

How will I be assessed?

In order to be awarded the Cambridge ESOL CELTA qualification after completing a course with us, you need to have shown consistent and satisfactory ability in all of the assessment areas laid down by Cambridge ESOL.

Click here to view the Cambridge ESOL official CELTA Syllabus

If you succeed in doing this, you will be awarded one of the three pass-level grades (PASS; PASS B; PASS A).
Here are recent statistics comparing how candidates at our centre perform in comparison to global statistics:

Cambridge ESOL International grading statistics (2000)*
Pass „A“ Pass „B“ Pass FAIL withdrawn
4% 25% 63% 3% 5%
HAMBURG SCHOOL OF ENGLISH Grading Statistics (2009)*
Pass „A“ Pass „B“ Pass FAIL withdrawn
5 % 27% 62% 3% 3%

* = results have been rounded up or down to nearest round number

It is worth bearing in mind that while „A“ grades are attractive, only about 3-4% of all trainees worldwide reach this level of expertise during the course, and it is much wiser simply to aim to become one of the 65% or so of all trainees who gain a PASS grade.

To help you do this, you will complete two types of assessment during the course: Teaching Practice and Written Assignments. These two components of the course add up to your formal Assessment Portfolio.

To ensure that you are being assessed fairly, every single CELTA course is inspected by a Cambridge ESOL-approved external Assessor, so you can be confident that you are in safe and fair hands.

Teaching Practice

Ler_2362As a trainee teacher on the CELTA course, you teach six hours (360 minutes) of formally assessed Teaching Practice Lessons with specially organised groups of real students. You will work with lower-level students for 50% of this time and higher-level students for the other 50%.

During this time you will be given the opportunity to teach a range of lesson types, including:

  • grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and function (the language systems)
  • reading & listening (the receptive skills)
  • speaking & writing (the productive skills)

You will initially receive a great deal of support from your tutors, who will encourage you to try out strategies and techniques that you are introduced to during Input Sessions, but as the course proceeds, and assuming you develop in basic classroom competence, you will be encouraged to take more responsibility for the planning and execution of your lessons.

Written Assignments

During the course you will submit four formally-assessed Written Assignments. Though each assignment is short and practically rather than theoretically oriented, they will still require a significant amount of time and application to successfully complete.

The titles are:

  • Language Related Tasks (LRT) Assignment: this involves the analysis of vocabulary and a number of grammatical structures for teaching purposes
  • Language Skills Focused (LS) Assignment: this involves the production of materials to develop learners‘ reading, speaking and writing skills
  • Focus on the Learner (FoL) Assignment: this involves evaluating the needs of an individual learner of English
  • Lessons from the Classroom (LfC) Assignment: this involves reflecting on your development as a teacher

Learning more

If you want to find out if the CELTA course is for you, then try this little questionnaire

Click here if you would like to meet the trainers

Find information about course dates and fees here

Need help with accommodation? Let us help

Want to know what our graduates do next and how we support them? Find out about after the CELTA course

If you feel you need any more information about the course, you can contact us here.