CELTA course aims
► Preparing lesson plans and allocating appropriate timing for different stages of the lesson
► Selecting, adapting or designing appropriate materials, activities and resources
► Using ELT terminology correctly
► Using a wide range of teaching techniques
► Giving clear, efficient instructions using simple, natural language
► Establishing good rapport with learners and building a positive classroom atmosphere
► Monitoring, evaluating students’ progress and giving appropriate feedback
CELTA at AVO is a face-to-face full-time course lasting 4 weeks. It is very intensive and it requires a lot of commitment and a lot of work. You will have classes all day and will spend most of your evenings and weekends preparing lesson plans and written assignments.
Please note that CELTA is a course-based award and candidates are expected to attend the whole course. Absence from the course may affect your chances of successfully meeting the assessment criteria. We would certainly recommend that you ensure you have no professional or personal commitments during the period of the course.
CELTA at AVO School is a great opportunity to learn a lot in a short period of time, to meet different, intelligent and open-minded people, to observe different ways of teaching and to build your own teaching techniques. I would put CELTA in the must-to-do list if you are planning to become a teacher. Anna, CELTA 2013
Benefits of face-to-face CELTA training
► The real-life Input sessions with our CELTA tutors are a great opportunity in terms of providing not only detailed knowledge about the language teaching, but also an excellent model of teaching practice to be followed.
► Opting for a face-to-face course means that you will have 120 contact hours - a one-off chance to gain invaluable teaching experience while learning on the spot from the experience of your CELTA tutors.
► Doing your CELTA course away from home allows you to immerse yourself in the course, without having any other distractions. It will give you the focus, drive and experience to succeed in teaching English in any country in the world.
► Last but not least, enrolling on an intensive face-to-face course gives you the opportunity to put immediately into practice all the exciting ideas and activities, new teaching methods and techniques that you have learned.
All things considered, face-to-face CELTA proves to be the best option for a rapid and worthwhile progression throughout the course.
The syllabus of CELTA courses is set by Cambridge English Language Assessment and consists of five units of learning that deal with specific topic areas in the teaching of ESOL:
• Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
• Language analysis and awareness
• Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
• Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
• Developing teaching skills and professionalism
Here is a typical timetable on an intensive CELTA course at AVO Centre, Sofia:
Monday – Friday:
09:00 - 12:00 Input sessions
13:30 - 16:00 Teaching Practice
16:15 - 17:00 Feedback on TP
17:00 - 18:00 Assisted Lesson Planning
In the input sessions we all collaborated and learned together; we shared our experience which was both fruitful and fun. I found the feedback sessions of particular help for further improving my teaching. The tutors at AVO-Bell are real professionals who dedicate their time and effort to give us a really constructive feedback with lots of useful ideas and helpful suggestions. Diana, CELTA 2013
Each trainee will have 6 hours of TP over the course. There will normally be between 8 and 12 trainees on a course and TP is organised in two or three groups. The students will be at different levels, ranging from elementary to upper-intermediate. TP is observed by a trainer and by the members of the TP group. The groups rotate during the course, so teaching is assessed at two or three contrasting levels.
Supervised Lesson Planning is an opportunity for trainees to talk to TP supervisors about the lesson they intend to teach the following day/week. At the beginning of the course, trainees receive detailed guidelines from their supervisors as to content and appropriate procedures for their TP lessons. This guidance gradually diminishes as the course goes on and TP groups become responsible for planning and preparing their own lessons.
Feedback on TP is given in the form of summary notes from the supervisor and in a post-lesson discussion with the supervisor and the rest of the TP group.
Each trainee will observe 6 hours of teaching done by experienced teachers in addition to observing fellow trainees during TP. Observation is organised so that trainees have the opportunity initially to see classes at the level that they are teaching in TP. Although trainees are not required to teach beginners or very advanced students, they will have the chance to observe those levels when they are available.
Observation is task-based and trainees are directed to focus on particular aspects of teaching/learning in each observed lesson. Notes written during/after observation also provide the Course Tutor with an indication of what is being learned from the experience.
Input sessions tend to be seminars/workshops rather than lectures and cover three broad areas: language awareness, phonology and methodology.
The Language Awareness sessions are an introduction to the structure and meaning of English (centred on verb forms) from an English language teaching (ELT) perspective. They will relate to some extent to the needs of TP, but they are intended to provide trainees with a basis for developing their pedagogical awareness after the course. Often these sessions require trainees to research a particular area of language and present their findings to the group.
The Phonology sessions are an introduction to the sounds of English – again from an ELT perspective. Sessions are devoted to word stress, sentence stress, pronunciation (vowels and consonants), rhythm, intonation and features of connected speech.
Methodology covers a wide range of classroom approaches, procedures and techniques. Topics include classroom management, the use of aids and resources, teaching and practising new language, developing language skills, adapting lessons to suit learners from different backgrounds, lesson planning and using course books, etc.
There will be four assessed written assignments of a practical nature. In addition to these assignments, trainees are required to hand in their lesson plans for TP and language analysis sheets.
Reading references will be given throughout the course, but these will tend to be articles or chapters from books rather than entire books. Reading on CELTA is also of a practical nature – teachers' handbooks rather than theoretical material.
However, trainees are strongly recommended to do as much reading (especially grammar books) before the course as possible.
The assessment is continuous and covers all aspects of the course. There is no final exam. There is, of course, an expectation of overall progress throughout the course, but lessons are not individually graded and assessment is not based on the final TP.
Trainees are given a clear idea of their progress throughout the course. In addition to regular feedback on performance in TP, there is usually at least one tutorial and in the event of a trainee being considered “borderline”, s/he will be given explicit indications of the areas in need of improvement.
• Assessment of Teaching Practice: You will teach for a total of six hours, working with classes at two levels of ability. The assessment is based on your overall performance at the end of the six hours.
• Written Assignments: There are four written assignments to complete. Two assignments explore aspects of teaching and learning English, one involves work on the language system of English and one is a reflection on classroom teaching. Your written work is moderated by an external assessor appointed by Cambridge ESOL.
To be successful, you must pass all components. Other factors are taken into account too and may be especially significant in the event of a borderline assessment. Trainees are also expected to develop their own self-awareness and the ability to assess their own performance in TP and that of others.
Every CELTA course is moderated by a Cambridge ESOL Examinations-approved Assessor. S/he visits the course and observes input sessions, coursework and TP.
The main role of the Assessor is to assess trainees' teaching practice, written work and contribution to the course, and to ensure that grading is in line with Cambridge requirements. In addition, s/he is there to check overall course standards, to ensure that regulations are being met and to suggest ways of improving course quality.
In the absence of a final examination, the assessment system is a guarantee that trainees receive (broadly) the same course and are judged according to the same standards wherever they may happen to be doing the course.
Grades and certificates
Successful candidates receive a Certificate awarded by Cambridge English Language Assessment, part of the University of Cambridge. The certificate is awarded to candidates who fulfill the course requirements and whose performance meets, or exceeds, the criteria in all assessment components.
There are three grades – Pass, Pass B and Pass A.
According to Cambridge English Language Assessment regulations:
• The Certificate at Pass grade is awarded to candidates whose performance overall in the teaching practice and in the written assignments meets the specified criteria.
• The certificate at Pass B grade is awarded to candidates whose performance in the written assignments meets the specified criteria and who have demonstrated in their teaching practice a level of achievement significantly higher than that required to meet pass-level criteria.
• The certificate at Pass A grade is awarded to candidates whose performance in the written assignments meets the specified criteria and who have demonstrated in their teaching practice and lesson planning a level of ability and achievement and a level of awareness significantly higher than that required to meet pass-level criteria.