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International House Mexico
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CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)

Frequently Asked Questions CELTA

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General Information

The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) has been administering examinations in English as a Foreign Language since 1913. In September 1988, it took over the administration of the Certificates and Diplomas for Teaching English as a Foreign Language formerly administered by the RSA Examinations Board. In 2003 University of Cambridge English Language Assessment began overseeing teaching qualifications. The model of the course was originally designed by John Haycraft in the 1960’s and in 1977, in consultation with International House, the model was adapted, developed and piloted with other organisations. Revisions to the Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (CTEFLA) were introduced via phased piloting throughout 1995 and 1996. From the 30th October 1996 the Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (CTEFLA) was renamed the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). IH Mexico has been running CELTA courses since 2004.

What does CELTA stand for?

Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.

Is CELTA a TESL or a TEFL certificate?

It’s both. CELTA covers methodology and techniques used in both TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). CELTA is often called an ELT (English Language Teaching) certificate because it is applicable to all types of English Language Teaching.

Do you offer “the TESL certificate”?

There is no such thing as “the TESL certificate” just as there is no such thing as “the B.A.”. There are several kinds of TESL/TEFL/TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificates offered by many institutions. CELTA is one of those certificates. CELTA is an ELT (English Language Teaching) certificate, which encompasses TESL and TEFL. It is the most widely recognized and respected international pre-service certificate offered in Mexico and in the world.

Who recognizes the CELTA certificate?

CELTA is administered through the University of Cambridge English Language
Assessment Examinations and is recognized internationally by both private and public institutes. Within Mexico, we are the only institution which offers CELTA, and we are recognized by the Ministry of Education (SEP) and regional TESOL organizations.

Can I work in Mexico and other countries with CELTA?

Yes. CELTA is one of the most highly regarded qualifications for working in a private language school in Mexico. Many college and university ESL/EFL programmes are run much like private language schools and will hire teachers with a CELTA certificate. CELTA is the most requested pre- service teaching qualification by both public and private employers overseas. When checking websites advertising English teaching jobs, you will often see CELTA listed as the preferred qualification.

Why is CELTA so highly regarded?

CELTA is a standardized course overseen by the University of Cambridge English Language Assessment Examinations, which is part of Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. Cambridge English Language Assessment ensures that all CELTA courses meet their standards regarding curriculum and methods of assessment. Cambridge-appointed assessors visit every CELTA course in the world to ensure standardization. IH Mexico runs 20 CELTA courses per year, in 4 different locations, and is therefore visited 20 times per year by Cambridge assessors. Because CELTA is offered in centres all over the world, employers have become familiar with what the course entails. They tend to know what they are getting when they hire a person with a CELTA certificate. Employers have confidence that anyone with a CELTA certificate has received effective, practical, real-world training that has prepared them to go directly into a teaching position.

Can I do the course if English is not my first language?

Yes, your English needs to be of a near-native level. This means that you need to have a command of English that allows you to complete all written assignments and teaching practice requirements to the University of Cambridge standards.

Do I need teaching experience to take the CELTA?

No. Prior teaching experience is not a necessary prerequisite to being accepted onto a CELTA course.

I’ve heard that CELTA is really hard. Why is this?

CELTA is not hard in the sense that the material is complicated to understand. The course is often considered difficult because it is very intensive and there are many deadlines to meet in the space of a month (or 16 weeks in its extensive form). When taken intensively, it is a full-time commitment for 4 weeks. Evenings and weekends are devoted to completing assignments and preparing lessons for teaching practice. Time management skills are very important to success on this course. Furthermore, assessment is continuous. Each day there is a 2-hour teaching practice with real students drawn from the community. During that time, you have to put into practice what you have learned. The teaching practice is assessed by one of the course tutors and you are given written and oral feedback from your tutors and peers.

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Can I take the course part-time?

At IH Mexico we offer the course part-time, over 16 weeks. We are one of the very few centres around the world which offer this part-time option which allows local candidates more time to prepare and reflect on their teaching practice.

Does the centre offer help in finding jobs for its successful candidates?

We provide you with the website addresses of major recruiters of ELT teachers worldwide. We encourage you to contact them so the recruiters can then forward lists of current world-wide teaching vacancies. We often receive job ads from employers, specifically seeking our CELTA graduates. Likewise, we put you in contact with IHWO and their head of recruiting, so that you can pursue job opportunities you might be interested in. Additionally, IH Mexico has hired many CELTA graduates in the past. IH Mexico also has schools in Ih Veracruz, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Queretaro, Aguascalientes, Puebla, that hire CELTA graduates. However, IH Mexico does not guarantee employment as it is your responsibility to pursue those job opportunities you are interested in.

Are there any additional costs?

There are no mandatory additional costs, however we strongly recommend that you buy the recommended books. There are some recommended books you are advised to buy as soon as you get accepted on the course. You may purchase these books or use the copies in the CELTA resource room. Most candidates prefer to purchase some of the books so that they have them at their disposal during the course. All the books are very valuable resources that many teachers buy for their personal libraries and continue to use after they complete the CELTA.

Do I need a computer?

Many people prefer using a computer to handwriting assignments and lesson plans. You will do a lot of writing on the course so if you want to use a computer and you have your own laptop, then by all means bring it with you and use our wireless network. We currently have five computers, which are connected to a printer in the CELTA resource room. These facilities are available for all candidates to use during course hours. We use Microsoft software and all computers provide Internet access. For the Blended course, you must have access to your own computer/laptop to work online with peers and the tutor.

Who teaches the CELTA course?

The CELTA tutors are highly experienced teachers who have also received CELTA Trainer accreditation through the University of Cambridge. They have completed both the CELTA and Delta qualifications and have many years of both teaching and training experience. Some of them have MAs in TESOL, Teacher Education, Applied Linguistics and ELT. We also have two CELTA Assessors on our team of trainers (Orlando Delgado Mata and Ricardo Fajardo), and one Delta Assessor (Orlando Delgado Mata, our Director of Teacher Training & Development).

Does ih México provide accommodation?

IH Mexico and IH Riviera Maya provide different types of accommodation at an additional cost. CELTA candidates can choose from home stay, residence or apartment-hotel options. Details are provided upon request at interview. Ih Guadalajara helps with information about accommodation too.

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