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Would you like to teach English to adults in the UK or abroad?

If so, a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) qualification is for you.

The CELTA is a recognised qualification which provides people with little or no English teaching experience with the opportunity to teach English to non-native speakers in the UK and all over the world. You can choose to do the course full-time or part-time; they are stimulating but demanding courses, and last for 120 hours. During this time you will receive around 50 hours of input sessions, complete 6 hours of assessed teaching practice and spend 6 hours observing experienced and qualified teachers. You will be given guidance and support with lesson planning, and there will be tutorials to help ensure you are getting the most from your course.

CELTA is great for recent graduates, people who are changing career, or teachers who want to gain a formal qualification and to progress in the future to qualifications such as the DELTA.

Information for EU Applicants

If you are a EU citizen and have not lived in the UK for the past 3 years, you will be asked to confirm your immigration status by providing a 'Share Code' from the gov.uk website after applying. For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status

Why Highbury College?

  • We have over 6 years’ experience of running CELTA courses.
  • Our pass rate is 100%
  • Our tutors are committed to helping you to become an effective teacher and they have nearly 80 years’ combined teaching experience between them.
  • We listen to your feedback, act on your comments and adapt the course.
  • Previous trainees have found the course stimulating and fun.
  • We have mixed nationality classes for teaching practice.
  • You will be taught in a modern, spacious and lively environment.
  • Highbury College is one of only two places in the South-East recognised by Cambridge English as offering 19 + Advanced Learner Loans to help you with the cost of the course. Click here for more information

Advanced Learner Loans at Highbury College CELTA courses



What’s the difference between TEFL/TESOL and CELTA?

CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is the name of the initial teaching qualification. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is the name of the profession, although the terminology is changing and many professionals now speak of ELT (English Language Teaching).

There are many TEFL (ELT) courses offered in the UK but the CELTA along with the Trinity Cert-TESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are the gold standard.

“The CELTA is difficult”. Is this true?

Our 4-week and 5-week intensive courses will certainly challenge you in ways you’re not expecting: physically, emotionally and mentally.

The input sessions, the teaching planning-practice-evaluation, and the written assignments are a lot of fun… but the amount of new methodology and practical skills you’re expected to absorb and put into practice give the CELTA its reputation as a stressful course.

No-one ever says the CELTA is a “walk-in-the-park”, everyone finds different elements of the CELTA course difficult, some struggle with lesson planning for the first 2 weeks but find the written assignments a bit easier.

You definitely need to be disciplined and dedicated, but you’ll know you’ve earned your certificate at the end!

What attendance is required?

The CELTA is designed in such a way that if you miss a day you will miss important information and methodology to help with your teaching / lesson planning. There is very little available time to make-up for lost hours. We recommend that you put your life on hold for the course duration, so if you are not able to commit to this DO NOT apply.

How do I know if I am eligible to do a CELTA course?

The recommended minimum age of entry on the CELTA is 20, and you should be a graduate (although younger applicants may be considered if you have university entrance qualifications). It is not necessary to have a degree but it is recommended that you have educational qualifications which would allow entry to Higher Education but your previous work experience will also be taken into consideration.

The course requirement is that your level of English is good enough to teach at a range of levels (up to CEFR1 Level B2 / upper-intermediate level). This means you should have a level of English at CEFR high C1 / C2 level, (IELTS 7) i.e. English does not have to be your first language but you should be able to speak and write English almost as well as you can your first language.

You will be asked to complete a pre-interview task to assess your language awareness, and an assessment during the interview, if it is not to a required standard you may be asked to attend our Language Awareness Course as a requirement of being accepted on the main CELTA course. This means we expect you to be able to write coherently, with a good standard of punctuation, spelling and grammar.

You need to be very organised with good time management skills to cope with the course. It is a full time commitment, and you’ll need to dedicate your evenings and weekends to assignments and lesson planning. But you’ll find it’s worth it – it’s a challenging course, but worthwhile and enjoyable.

How will I be assessed on the course?

There is no final exam, but it is essential that you are organised with your paperwork and can meet deadlines.

You will be assessed on 6 hours of Teaching Practice (including lesson planning), 4 assignments and your professional conduct.

Assessment on the course is continuous and integrated, taking into account teaching skills, written assignments and professionalism, with each assessed component contributing to the overall grade. You will be given feedback by the tutors on your teaching and have tutorials during the course at which you will discuss your progress.

There are 4 written assignments, which focus on:

  • analysing and responding to learner needs
  • analysing language for teaching purposes
  • teaching language skills
  • reflecting on classroom teaching and professional development.

Do I need any special equipment to do the course?

Assignments and lesson plans can be hand-written but if your handwriting leaves a lot to be desired you will need to submit these in electronic form. It is essential that you have access to a laptop or home computer. You will also be sent electronic material and coursework to access before and during the course.

If I decide to drop out of the course, will I be eligible for a refund?

No. That’s why we interview potential trainees very carefully and provide as much information as possible, so that you know exactly what you are getting into!

Can you fail the course?

Yes. You will fail if your teaching has not reached the standard specified by Cambridge and it is clear that you are not making any progress despite all the advice and help from your tutors. You can also fail if you don’t pass three out of four assignments.

See what our students say...

"I have really enjoyed the CELTA course. The trainers are so knowledgeable and experienced and I feel like I have learnt something valuable every day. The trainers were so kind and went out of their way to help us whenever we needed it. I have felt incredibly supported and I feel like, even though only five weeks have passed, I have become a much better teacher. I wish I could stay on the course for another five weeks!"
Stephanie Walford

"I would 100% recommend completing the CELTA course at Highbury College. It is intensive and takes over your entire life but it throws you in head first, tears you apart and then rebuilds you as a competent teacher able to guide the students towards learning. The trainers are supportive but definitely encourage independent learning."
Sam Le Butt

"The course is well designed and the tutors at Highbury are excellent at injecting some humour into it. We were all encouraged and pushed, and our whole cohort learnt a great deal."
Laura Prince

Useful links

If you'd like to learn more about the CELTA please follow the link: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/explore-elt