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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  
I am also a CELTA Grad and have heard this before!!
Hi,

I really feel for you on this, i know how hard it is when you put your best into your course and others dont yet still get the same grade.

I have heard other stories but unfortunately a lot of School only like to employ teachers with a CELTA qualification this is also becoming popular in the African countries.

At least you will be a successful teacher after your experience.
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I live in England and am glad I found this post, I have been thinking about doing my Celta.Also looking for information.

This is something worth thinking about.

Thanks and sorry about what you went through.

Jan
I am from England and have been thinking about doing my Celta as well. This post has given me something to think about!

Thanks
Jan
I'm just about to start the course in the Uk. Thank you for your warning although I am a great believe that you get out of something that you put in. Your beer drinking friend may have the same grade as you, and although it is clear that the qualification was all that mattered to him, I doubt he got a lot less knowledge than yourself.

I will be happy with a pass and improving my language skills the rest is then down to me.

I'll keep you informed.

Dave
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I am considering the same course in Vienna. Can you tell me the name of the institute where you took this? Also, do you need any German language skills?

thanks.
No. It is purely English except you might have a lesion in a language they don't expect any of you to know (we were taught in Russian for an hour) to demonstrate that English is all you need. I didn't do my CELTA in Vienna but they are all supposed to be taught in a similar manner. I think the course is excellent, it is very hard work but very rewarding. I got a pass and was pleased with it even though I couldn't fail (there is no exam just continual assessment, and you have to pass 3 assignments out of 4 and show if you struggled in you teaching practice you solved your problems by the end. I passed all 4 assignment - although resubmissions are allowed and passed all my TP). You will learn a lot and get what you put into it.
Hi, I've just read your post. I didn't actually do CELTA and fell into teaching ESL almost by accident. I agree totally with what you say about 'being on your own in the classroom', this is the only way in which you gain experience as a teacher. It can take a few months before you start to feel entirely confident. I now have TEFL certificate but I achieved this by completing an online course and teaching in the field.

Anyway, I hope that you won't be disheartened by your experience and start your teaching career. It's often very rewarding and occasionally exasperating!
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