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Do you really need to do a TEFL course in order to gain employment?

Most schools, not only in Europe, but also in the rest of the world expect their teachers to be trained to teach English. The Cambridge CELTA is probably the most respected and best-known training course and is accepted throughout the world by organisations which employ English language teachers.

Is the CELTA offered in Bulgaria the same as in other countries, for example, Britain? Will I receive the same certificate?

Yes, the CELTA course is standardised throughout the world, as it is accredited and regulated by Cambridge English Language Assessment. The certificate is also the same.

Looking around, I'm swamped by acronyms: CELTA, TEFL, EFL, ESL TESOL, Trinity Cert, ESOL. What is the difference between CELTA and the rest, and why should I choose it?


It can be very confusing. Here are a few of those acronyms explained:


EFL: English as a Foreign Language – in countries where English is not the first language. The industry name

TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign language – Teaching it

ELT: English Language Teaching – the term that covers EFL and ESL

ESL: English as a Second Language – to people who live permanently in an English speaking country, but whose first language is not English (often immigrants and refugees). The closely related but different industry

(T)ESOL: (Teaching) English as a Second or Other Language – pretty much the same, except it recognises that for many people English is their third or fourth language.

Trinity Cert: Another body that provides a pre-service 4-week courses


CELTA is by far the best known and most widely taken initial 'TESOL/TEFL' qualification of its kind in the world, taken by over 10 000 people every year. CELTA is accepted throughout the world by organisations, which employ English Language teachers. The Cambridge CELTA has been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) at level 4 on the U.K. National Qualifications Framework. Cambridge ESOL also works with international ELT organisations to ensure the acceptance of CELTA globally.

Is it regulated by Cambridge English Language Assessment?

Yes, just like every CELTA course around the world, it is regulated by Cambridge English Language Assessment, which includes a visit from a Cambridge English assessor towards the end of each CELTA course.

Is it possible to fail?

Yes. This is something you must be aware of before deciding to do the CELTA. It is very hard work and it is possible to fail. However, at AVO Language & Examination Centre we have a very high success rate.

Why is the success rate so high?

We aim to give as stress-free a course as possible. In addition, AVO CELTA/DELTA tutors strive to assist trainees to achieve their full potential, providing a supportive environment.

I've never taught before; will this be a problem?

No. The CELTA course is designed for people with little or no teaching experience, as well as for those who have more experience. Many trainees who have never taught before do extremely well.


Can I prepare for the course in any way?

As part of the application process, candidates are asked to complete a Pre-course task that helps prepare for the various components of the course, including language analysis and methodology.


You can reduce the heavy learning load during your CELTA course by doing some pre-course studying. Besides, doing the whole Pre-course task (in case of successful application we will send it to you along with the Letter of acceptance), read the recommended methodology books. Read as much as you can before the course starts as you will have no time for in-depth reading during the course. Work on improving your language awareness, and particularly your understanding and knowledge of English grammar.

Recommended Books to buy for CELTA

We would recommend to purchase a methodology book and a grammar book which you can refer to while doing the pre-course task, as well as during and after the course.


Methodology reference books:
Learning Teaching, John Scrivener (Macmillan)
How to Teach English, Jeremy Harmer (Longman)


Grammar reference books:
Practical English Usage, Michael Swan (Oxford University Press)
An A-Z of English Grammar & Usage, Leech, G., Conrad, S., Cruickshank, B., & Ivanic, R. (Longman)
Grammar reference sections of course books like: New Headway, Total English, etc.

How much work does the CELTA course involve?

A lot! The CELTA course is hard work, at times confronting, and often a transforming experience. You will learn a lot about yourself and about the others, and will find yourself constantly challenged. We would certainly recommend that you ensure you have no professional or personal commitments during the period of the course.

How busy is an average day on the CELTA course?

The CELTA course at AVO Language & Examination Centre is very intensive. It takes place 5 days a week, Monday to Friday. Input sessions start at 9:00 am and continue, with breaks, until 12:30 pm. Teaching practice starts at 2:00 pm, followed by feedback on lessons taught and then preparation for the next day's teaching, finishing up around 6:00 – 6:30 pm. It is a frantic timetable, and you should prepare yourself to work extremely hard for the four weeks of the course. You will also have to devote most of the evenings and weekends to prepare your written assignments and lesson plans for your teaching practice the next day.

Is the CELTA course stressful?

Yes. You will often be in stressful situations, since your lessons will be observed by your tutors and other trainees. You have to be prepared to receive and give positive and less positive feedback. You have to be able to meet deadlines in lesson preparation and written assignments. It helps to be organised and to be able to manage your time well.

How is teaching practice (TP) organised?

TP is a two-and-a-half hour block and it takes place every day. CELTA trainees are divided into 2 TP groups, and each TP group, with one trainer, is responsible for a class of students. When trainees are not teaching they are observing their colleagues.

What is teaching practice (TP) feedback?

Usually TP feedback follows immediately after TP. The trainees and trainer discuss the lessons that took place in the previous TP session, with the trainer naturally taking the leading role in the discussion. Contributions are invited and welcomed from all the trainees during the feedback; with the trainee who taught the lesson also being expected to comment on his/her performance. Developing an ability to evaluate one's own teaching is a very important component of the course. Trainees often find TP feedback demanding, especially when they feel they have given a poor lesson and then have to comment on it. By the end of the course however, many trainees agree that it was TP feedback sessions that turned out to be one of the most useful aspects of the course.

What computer facilities do you provide at AVO Language & Examination Centre?

There is a computer room equipped with 8 PCs with good Internet connection. Please note that we are using Open Office. There is also a laser printer (black and white only).


There is also free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the entire school.

Should I bring my laptop with me?

Yes, we would strongly recommend bringing a laptop with you. You will find it very useful especially for lesson plans and written assignments.

What is the dress code at AVO Centre?

We expect you to be dressed smart and casual, clean and comfortable. No suits or ties are necessary.


How much money should I bring for living expenses during the course?

Obviously this depends on the lifestyle you choose while you are doing the course, for example, how often you eat out in restaurants. It should be possible to live quite comfortably on 80 - 100 EUR (excluding accommodation costs) per week. One advantage of doing CELTA in Sofia is the lower cost of living. In general, you can expect to pay about half what you would in London, Paris, or New York.

Will I have time to work or study while I am doing the CELTA course?

Definitely not! The CELTA course at AVO is offered as a full-time intensive course and you will need to devote all your time to CELTA.

I will be looking for teaching work after the CELTA course. Is there much in Bulgaria?

Yes, Bulgaria has many private language schools that are looking for qualified, native-speaking English teachers.

Will I have time to see the country?

There will not be much time during the course to travel around Bulgaria, but after it finishes, you can see a lot of the country at a very reasonable price.