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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 8) 

I went through a similar experience at a recent CELTA course. I had sleepless nights juggling work, family life and a very stressful course. Some students did not attend for weeks, others were helped with assignments and some only had There was a lot of favouritism and some of the lessons were awful. The teacher was very unprofessional and unapproachable and so feedback was a nightmare at times. I learned a lot!!!!!! The way to get a CELTA B is to do your lesson plans at the last minute, be over confident, get the answers from the Teacher and suck up with the person who makes the final assessment decision

Hi you couldn't disclose where you took the course? I'm worried now!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

You could do the CELTA in 3 weeks in my opinion. It is hard but not THAT HARD. Some of the people on here act like they were forced to walk on hot coals and swallow knives or the like. I think the negativity towards the CELTA displayed here is due to people not being as smart as they thought they were and being confronted with this fact by their poor performances. It is a hard course for people serious about becoming ESL teachers. BUT it is a foundation 101 type course for absolute beginners. In my opinion it is not so mentally challenging. Do not expect to be able to work part time or do any other things during your CELTA. The word "intensive" is thrown around a lot to describe it for a reason.

I did mine at IH Mexico City and I have no complaints other than us starting late almost every single day and the printer not being available as often as is required. The tutors were all excellent and incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Two people dropped out but nobody failed. At least one or two people were borderline fail but I think considering they completed all the tasks and did everything required they deserved to pass. This is not a qualification to get you teaching at University level or the like, this is a very BASIC qualification for an introduction to teaching ESL. If you don't want to do it but end up working in ESL, you will eventually do it anyway due to the fact that it is a foundation qualification that is required to get promotions or do further specialised study.


If you have the money, the time, the dedication and the ability to be humble and actually learn you will not regret it. It is the first step to being a professional,qualified and actually effective ESL teacher.

This sounds almost exactly like me recent experience. I’ve passed but the experience was very odd. One tutor was rude, dismissive and showed astonishing favoritism toward 2 trainees in the group. Their lesssons were chaotic and often just very bad (no proper staging) incorrect English used and one kept trying to date a few girls who were our students but received nothing but praise from this tutor. These two students went into the second part of the course full of arrogance and poor teaching methods. The second tutor tore these two students apart because they were teaching in the manner they had been praised for by the first tutor. It was so odd.

This is a very good point and well done to you for highlighting it!

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies

Jesus. I think im going to do the part time course.

I've been so rude to family members telling me to take the less intensive route which I now feel awful about. Honestly, after reading all these posts, I really don't think I'm clever enough to do the intensive course.

I still want to get the certificate, but I don't want to kill myself in the making.

Cannot agree at all. I got PASS A after a great deal of careful preparation, study and writing (long nights included). Everything I did was focused on what my students HAVE ACTUALLY LEARNED from my performance in the class (and not on my performance in the class itself, if you know what I mean). Also I did all my writings scrupulously according to the requirements. My only advantage was that I had already had some pedagogical background. I believe if you do have a spark for teaching, CELTA will definitely make you a better teacher.

I agree with you, pen papaya. I recently completed the CELTA course and I would say that it is definitely worth it!

Something that maybe many people who think about attending the CELTA course do not know is the fact that every course is assessed by an external Cambridge assessor as well; this means that before the end of the course the assessor visits the center, attends some teaching practices and the trainees have the opportunity to talk to the assessor in person, if they want to. The assessor meets the trainees without the tutors' presence and the trainees have the opportunity to let him know if something is wrong. This means that not only the trainees are assessed by the tutors, but each center and the CELTA tutors are constantly assessed by Cambridge. Assessors even visit the centers without prior notification from time to time to make sure that the standards set by Cambridge are met.

Do you think the tutors would like to compromise their reputation for the sake of a beer drinking trainee? I don't think so!

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

It was a horrible experience. Trying not to be melodramatic here, but possibly the worst experience of my life. I did the CELTA at ITI in Istanbul. The tutor was a bit of a sadist and definitely had her favorites and definitely made it known. I did the five week course and left (withdrew, dropped out, give it whatever name you want to give it) after week three. My advice? Do not do the CELTA. Or, if you feel you must, first get some teaching experience. In spite of what they tell you, those who had some experience did much better and found the course easier than those of us who had none. I personally feel the CELTA is total bullspit. Believe me or not, please don't waste your money on this travesty.

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