+1
I decied to start a career in English and heard about the CELTA after doing alot of research I decided it would be a great chance for me.
I took the CELTA in Vienna, Austria . I was very excited and in the beginning it was alot of work. But right away I and ALL my colleagues noticed many things that were not fair.
A couple of our colleagues who didnt take the course seriously, would come in late or wouldnt come in at all (two weeks absent). One of the colleagues I would see on more than one occassion writing his lesson plan minutes before the class, while I stayed up late into the night preparing mine.Yes his lesson was horrible and during our input session we would get the same grade "a pass". Which would infuriate me. But I knew better to say anything. Then I might get a lower grade under "getting along with other teachers".

So I would just sit, smile and take it. There were a few times he would actually come in smelling like beer. I worked hard and thought my hard work would pay off in the end. I watched during the four months as my beer drinking colleague sailed through the course without a care and thought he would surely fail.

Finally came the day, for our reports which we received in the mail one week after our course was done. I eagerly opened it. What was written: PASS
PASS!! I couldnt believe it!! Under the comment section they (our Tutors) didnt even write anything personal it was a standard template issued with a Pass grade something along the lines of: bla bla will need furthur guidance to become a succesful teacher.
Which lets face it once you start teaching in the classroom you are on your own.

I spoke with my colleagues including my beer drinking one and found out that only one of us received a PASS B. No one received a PASS A. During our observations I wouldnt even give my tutors a PASS A. But anyway the point is that the grading system is a very strict, unfair whatever word you want to use. I am very upset that I would be put into the same grade category as my beer drinking teaching friend who also somehow managed to pass!!
I worked really hard!! Juggling family, work, and traveling to this CELTA center (three hours) for four months.
Luckily I can get over it. But I have to add that many of my colleagues are very discouraged and many arent pursuing English positions as they should be.
So let this be a warning to all who are considering in taking the CELTA course. I was told in the END that only about 5% of people receive a PASS B, and 5% Fail. The way the fail is by being absent, I dont know how many times they have to be absent since one of our colleagues missed about two weeks.

NEVERTHELESS...I have to say I learned wonderful teaching methods!! I met wonderful people! At this point I cant stay I regret taking the course, but I wish someone would have told me in the beginning.

Maybe I could have saved myself some heartache.

Let me know what you think.

Sincerly,
A disappointed CELTA Graduate

The good thing is you do learn great teaching methods from CELTA. ALso alot of teaching institutes only want CELTA teachers.

So good luck to you.
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Comments  (Page 4) 
Hey,
An observation I made was that CELTA most definitely did NOT produce good teachers by any measure. In fact, in over ten years of teaching, some of the worst teaching I have ever seen was during CELTA observation of teachers who had received Pass A and Pass B, absolutely disgraceful. Not to mention CELTA dumps teachers out with little or no experience and a Pass A or B and basically tells them that they are a step above the rest, when in fact some of them are outright terrible at what they do. Good information to be learned in CELTA for sure, but worth $2500...not really and frankly nothing you couldn't get from doing some personal reading and making your own observations of a variety of experienced teachers, English and otherwise. Finally, in many Asian countries the CELTA is a worthless piece of paper, I have never once in ten years been asked for any kind of CELTA certificate, what they want is experience teaching what they need (i.e. TOEIC, IELTS, TOEFL, and multi-skills). However, I am sure the European inspired countries do enjoy asking for the 'prestigious' CELTA.

Cheers
Thank you for your comments. Wish I had seen this before I wasted £1200 on a course that nearly crippled me. I managed to get through 1.5 weeks of the 4 week course in London before becoming so ill that I was shaking and throwing up. I have not experienced anything so draconian in my entire life - and I have a law degree. I did not have money to waste, and it was a humiliating experience. I feel for the first letter writer who worked so hard and saw the beer drinker (I am sure this is just a metaphor) pass without appearing to work very hard. I saw some of my own classmates take it all in stride, while I was in tears.There was no time to take in any of the actual knowledge that was being thrown at us, and while I appreciate that the tutors treated us like adults, in that they thought they should run off at the mouth at 90 mph and then look at me like I was stupid if I didn't manage to tease out the instructions from the abbreviated assignments....on and on...I withdrew and went straight to hospital and then home where I slept straight for almost 48 hours just to get over those first 10 days. I may be allowed to go back in a few months to tackle it on the part time course - and I might actually make it. But even then, if I am working more than part time - it won't happen. It is cruel and the only teacher training I actually felt like benefited me was the getting up in front of people and overcoming stage fright. I think that reading some of the texts and methodology ahead of time would have helped enormously also. That is what I plan to do - but as I never intend to be a grammar teacher in a room full of people anyway (want a more 1-2-1, advanced conversation platform and do not intend to leave the UK to do it), I am not sure that this was of any benefit to me at all. Just another crush to my self-esteem that I did not need at a point when I do need a job desperately. I liked the tutors by the way, but did not appreciate the abrupt way they took for granted that they were clear in their explanations - they weren't. Not by a long shot and the superciliousness was not kind.

Ekaterina
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I have just failed the Celta course and I can concur with everything that Ekaterina has written above.
Other blogs (Tefltastic) have dimissed Celta failures as miserable losers who couldnt make the grade.
But in my defence I'd say I have an English degree from a redbrick university, a postgrad in journalism and 15 years experience working in broadcasting, at national level, so I should know a bit about the English language and how to use it.
I also know about working in stressful conditions to tight deadlines but nothing could have prepared me for Celta - it was just off the scale in terms of pressure. A total level of commitment and effort is expected by course tutors and the workload, once you have taken lesson planning and assignments into account, is easily a 14 hour day. I just cannot understand how some people, mentioned elsewhere on this blog, missed two weeks of the course and were still awarded a pass. Nothing less than a perfect attendance record was acceptable where I studied. Even getting back to class three minutes late, if you had just popped to the toilet, met with a reprimand. I can absolutely see how people get ill on this course, and many Celta trainees, like Ekaterina, are concientious, hardworking professional people.

You are expected to get your head around an enormous volume of information in a very short space of time on Celta and if you can't keep up, or need guidance, you will soon find yourself in trouble. The way the course is structured eg breakdown of how the four main skills will be taught, isnt made clear. You turn up for college not sure why you are doing one thing one day and another the next. We werent issued with a reading list a couple of months ahead, which would have been a huge help. But the most baffling thing is the marking and grading structure. On the first assignment "Language Skills" every single person on our course failed at the first attempt, and apparantly this is quite common. But you can pass an assignment or fail it and really have no clue as to why one worked out and one didn't. It's never really explained to you. I often came away thinking the tutor just would have done things a bit differently himself and is marking accordingly.
The course feels that it lacks hard criteria - it's down to the way your work is interpreted.

My place wasnt great on communication and feedback so I am still not sure where it went wrong for me. I failed one assignment, although my classes were going pretty well on the whole. I suspect the assessor, who came up from Cambridge, checked out my portfolio, read the offending essay and gave me the thumbs down as I felt cut adrift after that, with the tutors largely ignoring me.

Luckily for me this wasnt a career change, I just wanted a new skill and Celta seemed a good thing to do, but I didnt check it out properly before signing up and that was a big mistake. This has been a blow to my confidence, not to mention thirteen hundred quid up the swanny. My friends can't understand it, as they joke that I always get everything I apply for, and on the whole that's true.

It's only now the course is over I can see how much I hated it and how miserable I was. Objectively I know I am not cut out for teaching. But what I would say to anyone thinking about Celta is to check it out thoroughly before applying and speak to other people who have done it. Have no illusions about what you are letting yourself in for and dont believe the PR blurb, people DO fail this course and even more withdraw after a couple of weeks when they realise they can't manage it.
I just know it was too much for me.
Slight correction - the OP took 3 months to do the CELTA, so the people who missed two weeks and passed probably only missed two input sessions. As you said, you can't pass after missing even a couple of days of a 4 week CELTA - I think the minimum attendance in 80%, but you'd hard-pressed to catch up if you missed more than half a day.
I've been reading the posts on this list for about an hour now and it's really very sad to see how unhappy people are with the CELTA. I've been involved in ELT for 30 years and have trained a lot of very good teachers on a lot of different courses in various countries and contexts, and I've always rated the CELTA as a great 'toolkit course'.
There is such bitterness and anger here that I am amazed. As someone who has fairly recently returned to CELTA training, I hope that that the observations here do not represent the consensus. (Since upwards of 7,000 people do CELTA each year, I imagine that they don't.)
I would urge anyone who is considering the CELTA to read these comments, by all means, but also to look beyond this list before deciding.
Granted, not all trainers are good trainers, some are competitive, some do seem to favor one trainee over another, and they may not all know everything they should. But most of the people I've worked with over the years have been exceptional. Most care about trainees - and about teaching and learning.
I've also seen excellent teachers come out of a CELTA course. Pass As and Pass Bs are not given lightly (although I think there should probably be more of them).
What those grades are meant to convey to a recruiter or employer is that 'this person has completed an entry level qualification and he/she has shown an ability to work independently and creatively but will still need support and guidance'. And, as an employer, I will hire (and have hired) a person who has a CELTA because (due to the draconian standards described earlier by someone who clearly didn't enjoy or benefit from the CELTA) I know what that piece of paper means.
So, I'm going into week 3 of an intensive CELTA course tomorrow, (already pretty exhausted) and I'm going to do the very best I can for those ten trainees. I want them to do well on this course and to succeed so that they get a chance to do the job that I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy.
TEFL is fun and we're lucky to have the chance to do it. CELTA just makes it easier.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I'm incredibly surprised by the low standard and wonder if CELTA can be obtained so easily.

I graduated from it, and it was the toughest month of my education ever. There was no time to do anything but prepare for the next class and sleep when we finished class each day.

I did it at the most respectable university in our city, and gained a job there right after.

The interview process was tough because they do not want people who will fail to get in. It looks bad for the course operators too and I can understand a slip of standards elsewhere where anyone can get in just to make money.
My observation in life, people who think they deserve more and are unhappy with their lot in life are generally not going to be so good at what they do, despite the amount of effort they put in.

A lot of people I know who are talented, manage to keep a balanced lifestyle and still produce excellent output are people who are easygoing, happy, feel happy for other people's achievements, and are mostly satisfied with their life. It doesn't mean you accept your miserable lot in life, but rather, if you keep positive, happy and are NOT JEALOUS of other people, life will shift and you'll find yourself in a good place......

I got a pass A, and I prepared myself before the course. Most of the time I wrote my lesson plan right before lesson planning. I kept a happy, cheerful, positive attitude and supported my colleagues. I kept a balance of exercise, eating right, sleeping well and a bit of partying too. Attitude, in my opinion, is what gets you through life.
Anonymous've been reading the posts on this list for about an hour now and it's really very sad to see how unhappy people are with the CELTA. I've been involved in ELT for 30 years and have trained a lot of very good teachers on a lot of different courses in various countries and contexts, and I've always rated the CELTA as a great 'toolkit course'.There is such bitterness and anger here that I am amazed. As someone who has fairly recently returned to CELTA training, I hope that that the observations here do not represent the consensus. (Since upwards of 7,000 people do CELTA each year, I imagine that they don't.)
I had very similar feelings after reading this thread. I have been in TEFL for half of my teaching career, and been involved in RSA, CELTA. Trinity Dip TESOL and other TEFL training for over five years.Whist I have to admit that there are some less-than satisfactory trainers around, the majority are very competent indeed. Regular inspection by Cambiridge and Trinity College of courses they validate ensure a generally high standard. Many employers in Europe and elsewhere insist on inexperienced teachers having one of these two certificates, because experience has taught them that the 4-5 week courses turn out beginning teachers with a sound knowledge of good TFL practice.
AnonymousWhat those grades are meant to convey to a recruiter or employer is that 'this person has completed an entry level qualification and he/she has shown an ability to work independently and creatively but will still need support and guidance'.
Precisely. Both validating bodies make this very clear.

The courses are pretty intensive. They have to be if they are to produce moderately competent teachers after only about 120 hours of work. It may seem unfair but, as others have pointed out, some people are just born with a natural aptitude, and can get through the course with apparantly far les effort, and sometimes achieve much better results, than others. This is true of most things in life.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I also took my CELTA in HCMC at ILA Veitnam. It was a very well organised course, but very hard work. My other half did his course in the UK and it was alot harder for him because the UK course was not as well organised.

Always look carefully into what people have written about your course provider, there are some very good ones, but also some disorganised courses.
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