Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a selection of frequently asked questions. Please read them carefully and if your question is not answered here, check the website or contact us. For further information please visit the Cambridge ESOL website.

What's the difference between TEFL and CELTA?

CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is the name of the initial qualification. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is the name of the profession. There are many TEFL courses offered in the UK but the CELTA along with the Trinity TESOL are particularly well respected by language schools recruiting teachers with a TEFL qualification.

I have heard that the CELTA is very intensive - is that true?

Yes. You should be prepared to devote five days a week (including some evenings) to the course, and to spend usually one day of each weekend on course-related work. You should have no other commitments other than the course itself.

How many trainees are there on the course?

Courses run with a maximum of 12 or 18 participants.

Do I need to have teaching experience before I start the course?

No previous teaching experience is required as this is an initial qualification for those who want to go into teaching. Previous experience can be useful but we do not presume that you have this as we will train you for your first job.

Can I do the course if my first language isn't English?

We welcome applicants to the course whose first language is not English. You will need to demonstrate that you have an advanced level of English before you start the course. You can either send us any certificates or diplomas you have or we can send you a short language test.

Do I need to have a degree to do the course?

No. It is recommended that you have educational qualifications that would allow entry to Higher Education but your previous work experience will also be taken into consideration. In some countries a degree is required in order to get a work permit (e.g. Japan). You are advised to consult individual embassies for accurate information and advice.

What is the interview process?

You will usually be interviewed alongside another CELTA candidate. You will be asked to complete some language awareness tasks and a short piece of writing. The interviewer, a CELTA course tutor, will then follow up points of interest in the task by asking you to comment and expand on your answers. The tutor will then describe what the course consists of and answer any questions you have. At the end of the interview the tutor will decide if we are able to offer you a place on the course.

How would I be assessed on the course?

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. Trainees are given feedback by the tutors on their teaching and have two tutorials during the course at which they discuss their progress. All tutors working on the course discuss each trainee's progress before deciding on the final grade.

What are the possible grades?

There are three pass grades - Pass, Pass B and Pass A. A small number of candidates fail the course. If you are in danger of failing, your tutor will write you a letter telling you what you need to do to pass. The majority of trainees achieve a Pass grade.

Is this course recognised?

The CELTA is recognised all over the world and is often a requirement to gain employment in English Language schools. If you want to work in the public sector in the UK you will need to gain further qualifications.

Is it easy to find a job after getting the CELTA?

Work is plentiful in the UK during July and August and also over Easter. At other times of the year it is more likely you will find employment if you are willing to be flexible about working hours. Schools in the UK are more likely to offer work to teachers with at least a couple of years of experience. Most newly qualified teachers initially can find work overseas, and at present the areas most in need of English teacher are Central and Eastern Europe, the Far East and South America. Towards the end of the course you will be given some general advice on looking for work both in the UK and overseas. We also have a notice board where we display advertisements for jobs and can provide references for those candidates that need them.

Why should I choose British Study Centres?

We are serious about teacher training. We are the only school in Oxford to offer the Cambridge ESOL CELTA , DELTA and overseas teacher courses. All our trainers are qualified and experienced and have undergone extensive teacher trainer courses themselves. We do not believe in hidden extras so unlike other centres, we do not charge you a registration or materials fee.

We are a well-equipped, modern friendly school situated in the heart of Oxford, close to shops. You will have access to a full range of teaching materials, the student library, free use of the photocopier and Internet.