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.

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 5) 
Liz001Always look carefully into what people have written about your course provider, there are some very good ones, but also some disorganised courses.
That is true. Unfortunately, one has no guarantee that an establishment that provided a first class course one month will do so next month. Course-providers are like any business - they depend on the people actually delivering the product. Sometimes they have no alternative to employing second-rate trainers.
I have spent the last 3 months, maybe more, researching CELTA and to be honest I am beginning to have serious reservations about it.

Literally, right up until today, my attitude was wholly positive. It was only a case of trying to decide where I wanted to go after the course was completed. I used to be fluent in french when I was 15/16, thanks to 3 years of being taught by a brilliant Irish nun, but alas I'm no longer fluent and can barely remember how to say hello. So I thought maybe France. I would love to be fluent again.

Also, I truly believe being able to communicate with the students, in their own language, is far more beneficial to them than jumping up and down, with a carrot in one hand and a melodica in the other, like a deranged monkey on speed. EVERY thing I read on the www about CELTA was great, no negativity, no complaints, everyone was just so happy clappy and filled with the joy of CELTA!!! How my common sense didnt kick in until today I'll never know.

But today, thank God it did. And, this is the first site I've found with (what seem like) genuine, articulate and rational concerns about the CELTA courses.

When I rang them today, I was promptly (but very nicely) told that I would not be able to speak to a tutor/manager or anyone, except during the interview process!!! I was however, invited to send in an email if I so wished, detailing whatever questions I may have. A tutor would then reply at the earliest opportunity, which was promptly followed by the offer of a tutors email address (which the trained monkey...aka receptionist, knew I could find on the webpage). My heckles and suspicions were now raised! So I declined. " No thanks, I would much rather have spoken directly, on the phone" I said. I am not going to pre-arm the "tutor" and give them the opportunity to "script" an answer. I am more interested in the first five seconds (after I ask the questions) than I am in what he/she actually says, that pause can be far far more revealing than any amount of contrived script they might have up their sleeve!!

However, in order to arrive at this "interview" I would need to:
1. Print off and fill out an application form.
2. Complete the pre-interview tasks, (which would involved buying and/or consulting a list of books - money maker scam if you ask me.
3. Put the completed appl. form and tasks into an envelope and
4. Send it off to the course provider.

Then, sometime, either upon reciept or after receipt (timeline indeterminate) I would be rang by a tutor to determine a mutually convienient date/time for the interview. "When?" I asked. "I'm not sure" was the reply, "the tutor will decide that" Now, not only was I suspicious, but my heckles were also raised!! Don't get me wrong, there wasnt even so much as a hint of beligerence or rudeness about this receptionist. I can almost bet she's a very well trained parrot!! This poor girl was so straight in her answer, it was patently obvious she couldn't see past the script to what she was actually, but unwittingly telling me.

I can walk up to the homeplace of the Head of State here in Ireland and speak to Enda, in person, if I so wish..yet I can't even get a Celta teacher to talk to me on the phone, at a time when it suits me!. Yet I'm the one forking over the bones of £2000 to them, to pay this "tutors" salary!! Go figure! as the americans say!

Well, I can assure you, no matter how important they are, this is one very serious red flag as far as I'm concerned, This particular establishment will not be getting a single penny off me.

I will be ringing a few more Celta providers around Europe over the next few days. If I get a similar response to the one I recieved from the Irish one, then I'll be looking into the Trinity TESOL. If they're as bad, I wont be doing any course. I will go abroad and simply offer free initial lessons and build from there. I will teach myself. I'm an engineer, a mathematician and I've taught myself everything from particle physics to nutrition to house renovations, I think I can cope with self-tuition on teaching techniques. And, I'd rather invest £2000+ (course fees and accomodation) in teaching material's and books. Hell, I'd rather give free lessons in a straw hut for a whole year, and use the money to live on, than have it robbed of me by some over inflated, self important God complex, who thinks they're so important, that they don't have to give 5 minutes to a prospective student!!!

Interview my ar*e.

And, if I ever find out who is CEO, Chief, or whatever title they have..they will be getting a first hand taste of the temper us redheaded Irish women are famous for, and that's not maybe!!
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
I think that the tutors can be very different. Our group had one tutor who was brutally honest and stuck to the CELTA process and timing. The other felt that all people had things to offer. although they kept saying that 100% attendance was mandatory, one student missed three full days and a couple of half days, and taught some very unusual lessons with incorrect grammar, but still passed. I watched an experienced teacher crumble under the intense scrutiny. No A or B pass from this group. We gave soem clear feedback to the external moderator, but the tutors reported back that they had been told that nothing needed to be changed! Pretty weird experience. all up.
AnonymousI can walk up to the homeplace of the Head of State here in Ireland and speak to Enda, in person, if I so wish.
Well, you must live in one of the few countries in the world where you can do that.
AnonymousI can't even get a Celta teacher to talk to me on the phone, at a time when it suits me!.
The training establishment as you describe it does not appear to come out very well, but I think you may have slightly unreasonable expectations. At all the training establishments in which I have worked, the trainers spend a fair amount of their working day delivering training sessions, observing lessons, and giving individual trainees support and advice. The reception/welfare/admin staff have been perfectly able to deal with most initial questions from would-be trainees. If enquirers wish to speak directly to a tutor, then this can usually be arranged, but most schools cannot afford to have tutors sitting around waiting for some caller who might wish to speak to them without warning

You see to be very suspicious of email responses, but they can often be useful. First of all, trainers can respond as soon as they have free time; you don't have to wait for a pre-arranged phone call. Secondly, tutors have the chance to gather information that is not to hand. For example, on two courses in which I was a trainer, I was the only one delivering the phonology sessions. If you had wanted a detailed answer about some aspects of that part of the course, the other trainers might not have been able to give it to you. Thirdly, sitting at their computers, trainers have access to a wide range of materials that might be useful in answering your questions in as much detail as possible. This does not mean that they are working from scripts, merely that they are being efficient.
AnonymousI am more interested in the first five seconds (after I ask the questions) than I am in what he/she actually says, that pause can be far far more revealing than any amount of contrived script they might have up their sleeve!!
Well, you almost certainly wouldn't buy a course from me then. Depending on the question asked, I might well take a few seconds to compose a coherent, relevant response.
I have to agree with the previous comments.

I took the CELTA and have to say that my tutors weren't helpful at all. In fact, they would make things even harder (sometimes I even got to think that I had some issues). During the planning process if you asked any questions you would get an answer like: Should you do it?? Do you think that's appropriate?? and you would end even more confused.

They would say that the lesson plan and the tasks were perfect right before the lesson and the give you a "not to standard" because the lesson plan wasn't accurate or the tasks were not good. So, shouldn't you ask any questions? and if you can't ask them anything, then, What are they doing there??

Now that it's finished I think I would take a different course or take it somewhere else. Definitively not what I expected. Those "tutors" if you can call them tutors made me feel miserable, and the last day they pushed to make me withdraw from the course (which I find insulting, because they could've said something earlier, not before TP9).

They might be great English teachers, but they're not great Teaching Teachers, and don't have a clue when it comes to managing human resources
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Dear disappointed teacher
I read your message with great disappointment. the history of CELTA is very complicated. Years ago people just waved an English passport in order to become a TEFL teacher then about 40 years ago International House in Lomdon started seriously training teachers, but no academic qualification was allowed except RSA (royal society of arts) which had only been for shorthand and typing. Then slowly with the energy of John Hayward (RIP) the international community started to recognise his ability to train TEFl teachers to a very high standard of direct-method unknown till then. So Celta and finally delta which is equivalent to an MA.

Unfortunately, since then the whole business has become warped.
it is still important to get a qualification and there are still teachers who give a great training but in the end you yourself with creativity and guts will enjoy a profession which will bring you very little money but a hell of a lot of satisfaction.
good luck
Thank you for your post.I also want to have this course in China. But I do no think what you said is unfair. You know many Chinese students have much better ability in English grammar than many well-educated native English speakers';therefore staying in the English grammar class will be very boring for most Chinese students. They think that attending such class would be waste of time because they can still get reasonable mark even though they are absent from grammar class. Similarly, your beer drinking classmate might have already possessed the abilities,skills and knowledge that you learned in the first two weeks of this course.
Anonymous many Chinese students have much better ability in English grammar than many well-educated native English speakers'
In 9 years here, I have never noticed this.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Anonymous. You know many Chinese students have much better ability in English grammar than many well-educated native English speakers';
My experience in China suggested that many Chinese learners have a pretty good knowledge of the rules of grammar given in books written by 'famous' Chinese professors. Some of the rules were very interesting, but not infrequently simply wrong.
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