My CELTA Experience

I wrote about my CELTA experience on this blog both for self reflection, and to give advice to anyone who might be considering taking the CELTA. So, below is a general reflection on my thoughts after taking the CELTA, as well as links to detailed posts about specific aspects of the course.

If anyone reading this has questions about doing the CELTA, please feel  free to email me at, and I will try my best to help.

About the CELTA

Reflections on CELTA

I don’t yet know if my CELTA certificate will help me get a better job or better pay, I just started searching for my next job – I will update this post when I have more to report.

However, job prospects aside, I’m really glad I did this course. There are a lot of TEFL / TESL courses and certifications out there, and some of them are probably pretty good, but I was very satisfied by the content of the CELTA. I really think it will help me become a better English teacher – and even if I decide to move outside of the ESL world, I think the student-centered approach favored by the CELTA has given me a good teaching foundation.

I am VERY glad I did a full-time, in-person certification program. I’m convinced programs like the CELTA, with lots of real observed teaching are 1000X better than the online paper-mill certificates that some people take. Also,  it really helped focus my attention in a way that a part-time program would not have done. And being able to lean on the shoulders on my fellow trainees really helped me get through the program – we may never meet again, but for that one month we were best friends and family.

It’s also really important to say that the full-time CELTA is a REALLY stressful experience. To be honest I had a lot of trouble learning to be a student again after being out of school for 3 years. I had a little time to relax on the weekends, but sometimes I wish I had opted to do extra work instead of relaxing. There is no time for serious travel DURING the CELTA, but it’s a good idea to set aside at least a few days vacation time immediately after.

My certificate

I completed my CELTA on August 26th, 2011. IH Bangkok then had to make my evaluation and send it, along with all my lesson plans, to Cambridge University in the UK for final evaluation. I recieved my final certificate on November 10th, 2011.

There are a total of 4 grades possible for the CELTA – “Fail”, “Pass”, P”ass B” and “Pass A”. I got a “Pass”. This means that I met all of the standards set by CELTA. It’s not a bad grade, it just means I still have things to work on as a teacher. It’s really hard to get a “Pass A,” and as far as I know nobody in my group of trainees received one. Most people in my group also got Pass grades, with a few “Pass B” grades, at least two people got a “Fail” grade.

My Report

  • Areas of achievement
    • Good rapport and engagement
    • Supportive monitoring
    • Varied practice activities
    • Effective eliciting, modeling and drilling
    • Student-centered lessons
  • Areas for future development
    • Planning in adequate detail and time (Don’t procrastinate!)
    • Avoid oversimplification of language (Don’t “pull a Seth“)
  • Overall comment

Seth was a thoughtful trainee who contributed perceptively to input sessions and feedback. Although he came to the course with some experience, Seth was not used to planning lessons. By the end of the course, his planning was student-centered and often creative, but would still have benefited from more detail. He had a quietly sympathetic and encouraging classroom presence, he could grade his language well and give clear instructions and he became increasingly able to apply techniques for clarifying meaning, form and pronunciation. He showed an ability to generate student talking and to provide varied opportunities for student interaction. With further support and guidance, he should develop into an effective and sensitive teacher of English

Well, that’s all I have to say for now. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and I think it will help me a lot on my ESL teaching journey. Again, if you have any questions email me at


CELTA Website

International House Bangkok – My CELTA center

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74 Responses to My CELTA Experience

  1. Rosemary says:

    Good blogging!

  2. Abc says:

    Dear Sir,

    I read your blog and found it really interesting. Even I am going to take CELTA at London. Being a non native speaker I am really worried. Just two months are left and I am so confused with my preparation. English is so vast that sometimes I don’t understand what to do and what to skip. Although I am reading grammar book by Micheal Swan, The Practice of ELT by Harmer but still I am unable to understand what else to prepare or collect. I don’t know how my students will be, neither I know in particular what I have to teach. I even consulted at the institution on which I was being answered to brush up the basics and rest will be clear in the classroom.Can you please guide me on the preparations to be done beforehand?
    I still have one and a half month.
    Thank You

    • workislove says:

      First, thank you for reading my blog – and try to stop worrying. I promise the course is different than what you expect, and the CELTA instructors go easy on you the first week. Just listen to them and do your best.

      Second – in my class the non-native speakers were usually better teachers than native speakers. I had a Russian woman and a Persian man in my group – both of them were often better at explaining English ideas than me.

      Non-native speakers remember what mistakes they made when learning English and can help their students avoid the same mistakes. Think about when you were a student; what were good English classes and bad English classes? What helped YOU learn the most? It’s probably the same for your students.

      Also, non-native speakers always know more about grammar than native speakers – because non-native speakers have to remember the rules of grammar, but native speakers just do what comes naturally and “sounds right.” So maybe you already have an advantage.

      Last, are you a new English teacher, or do you already have experience teaching English? Can I ask where you are from?

      • Abc says:

        Thanks for the spontaneous reply.
        I am from India.Although I am from Management background but have taught English to non native adults from Congo (South Africa) for almost a year. It has been a great experience.I have chosen CELTA because:
        – Firstly I love to travel and teach all around the world.
        – Secondly while I was teaching, I have found certain areas to improve upon.

        • workislove says:

          Wow, sounds interesting, I’ve never met anyone who taught in South Africa – Where were you in SA? City or rural?

          You shouldn’t worry too much, it sounds like you have some great experience for the CELTA. To prepare for the course, it’s good to know your own weaknesses, like you said already. And if they gave you a pre-course assignment, I suggest finishing it.

          Other than that, wait for the first week of the course and watch the instructors carefully. Don’t just listen to WHAT they teach you, but watch HOW they lead the class. My instructors liked to demonstrate the CELTA teaching methods on the teacher trainees.

          If you have any future questions about the course, let me know :^).

          • Anonymous says:

            Thanks a lot.
            I have never been to Africa.Actually through international exchange programme, students from Congo, Nigeria and other parts of the world are coming to India for higher education. It’s a growing trend these days.They speak French or Lingala and find it very difficult to converse in English or Hindi.So I just got an opportunity to teach. Initially it was baffling but gradually it became one of the best teaching experiences of my life.

          • workislove says:

            Ahhh, I misread your comment – I thought you said …”(in South Africa)”. Still, that sounds like a lot of work, but very interesting work.

      • Doc says:

        Discovered your content very exciting without a doubt. I genuinely apaicerpted reading it and you simply make very some fantastic details. I’ll bookmark this internet site with the long run! Relly great report.

    • Hakime says:

      They are very prejudiced against people who are not natives of The UK, USA or Australia. I am far better than my fellow trainees in English, pronunciation included. I have much more experience teaching non-native speakers and I have been extremely successful. I got 9/9 on the IELTS. My lesson plans and class management and teaching are so good that I got private students from among those who attend classes taught by CELTA trainees. I even know more than my trainers in terms of phonetics, Reading and Grammar. But they deliberately evaluate me as “AT” standard and a “white” who is not at all anywhere close to me in terms of any component relevant to TESL as “ABOVE” standard.
      I wish Cambridge would evaluate our work directly and not allow people lessqualified than us to evaluate us.

  3. Abc says:

    oops! may be due to some internet problem I re-posted my comment.

  4. Dylan says:

    Thanks for your detailed and awesome CELTA experience blog! I’m from Canada, but I’m living in Brazil and I’m going to take the CELTA in Sao Paulo in January. I’ve got a years experience teaching English, but until now I’ve just been kind of making it up as I go. I’m excited to take the course so I can get some real input and (hopefully) a valuble certificate. You’re blog really helped me to know what to expect, I’m sure I’ll read it again a few more times before the course starts.

    I have a couple questions if you don’t mind.. I’m wondering how long you were teaching English before you took the CELTA. Did you take any other course before the CELTA, or do you have a university degree? You said that you did a lot of last minute planning, how much time do you think you should spend each day planning your lessons?

    Thanks again!

    • workislove says:

      I taught English in South Korea for close to 2 years before doing the CELTA. I didn’t take any other official teaching course, though the school I taught at did some pre-job training and on-the-job training.

      Are you taking the full time or part time course? I think the part time course gives you a bit more wiggle room – but if you’re taking the full time course, just start your lesson planning early (like right after input sessions) and work until it is done. Keep in mind that you should spend MUCH MORE time planning your CELTA lessons than you ever will in real life. So, if a real life lesson would only take 1-2 hours to plan, you could easily spend 2-3 times that on a CELTA lesson. The whole point of the course is to make sure you think through every part of the class – the activities, the students, the grammar, the expected problems, your own body language, etc… much more than normal.

      For my first two lessons, I spent 2-3 hours prepping, and that was more than enough. But then again those lessons were the types of lessons I had already been teaching in Korea.

      It was lessons 3, 4, and 5 where I didn’t leave enough time – I just got complacent. Then the final lessons took a lot longer – but they also gave us a lot of time to plan the last 3 lessons – we chose all our topics a week ahead of time, and had everyday after class plus the weekend to plan them out. I spent several hours on lessons 6 and 7, and then asked fellow trainees in my group to help me by giving their opinions on my lessons.

      The last lesson was the hardest, because it was unlike anything I ever did before. There was no specific skill to work on, it was just a reading comprehension lesson. I decided to be creative and choose a real newspaper article. But before I could even plan the lesson, I spent two lunch breaks talking with students to get an idea what topics they might like to talk about. They all talked about their dream of getting a job in America – so I knew I had to do a lesson about that. Another teacher was already planning a lesson on HOW to get a job and do a job interview, so I had to find something related but different.

      Then I spent an hour searching the internet for interesting newspaper articles. Once I found a good one, relevant to my students, I spent maybe 2 hours or more editing the article to simplify it for my intermediate level students. Then I finally got around to lesson planning, which took one whole weekend afternoon, then another evening after class.

      That sounds like a lot of time to spend on one lesson, and it is – but again, you’ll spend a lot more time than normal during the CELTA. Every day, JUST before teaching practices, the computer room was PACKED with teachers trying to prepare their lessons last-minute – printing handouts and writing their written lesson plans for the CELTA instructors to review. Just try to never be one of those people – have all your class materials and written lesson plan done and printed before lunch on the day you are teaching.

  5. Dylan says:

    I’m taking the full time course, at a school called UP Languages. I would have done it at IH but they were full and didn’t have good payment options. Sounds like I need to not procrastinate, not be distracted, and lots of interaction with the students and my fellow trainees. Thanks for the quick reply and good advice!

    • workislove says:

      Great. Don’t know how the course might differ between schools, but I wish you good luck!

  6. Liz says:

    I to did a CELTA in Vietnam and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have a great respect for everyone who passes the course.

    I found that most important thing for me was to look after myself. It is all too easy to work till the morning, not get much sleep because you can’t switch your brain off and not make time to eat.

    Like you say, your fellow trainees help a lot, not only in brainstorming ideas for lessons but also for looking out each another and making sure everyone takes time to eat and chill out a little.

  7. Tim says:

    Do you know the reason for the two who failed?

    • workislove says:

      I would say the main reason is that both of them failed to adapt to the CELTA program.

      One of them was an older teacher with a lot of experience and was very set in his ways. No matter how much we reviewed the ideas of CELTA, the methods of presenting to the class, etc… He just couldn’t change from the way he was used to teaching, which was not very interactive. That’s not to say that the CELTA course is dogmatic – but you have to at least give their methods a try, the whole point of being there is to learn something new.

      The second one was a relatively new teacher. He’d mostly had tutoring experience, and had some experience teaching physics classes. He was good with grammar and language analysis, he certainly knew his material better than most of the other native speakers. However, he spent the whole class lecturing, with very little student-to-student interaction. The few practices that he did have were very simple and limited, not really giving them the chance to try out the language points being reviewed.

      A central idea of CELTA is that teachers should spend a limited amount of time lecturing – the idea is that students figuring practicing skills and even figuring things out for themselves is always better than just being lectured to. They try to train teachers to be facilitators, not lecturers. I think the people who failed understood this idea, but just couldn’t put it into practice.

  8. Mary says:

    Excellent blog!
    Just wondering did you or any colleagues fail a TP or an assignment if so what happens?

    • workislove says:

      I didn’t fail any TPs, but I did fail one assignment – the grammar analysis assignment.

      If you get ANYTHING wrong on an assignment, the instructor will mark which parts are wrong (but won’t tell you why) and you have one chance to resubmit the assignment for a higher grade. Whichever grade is higher – the original or the resubmission – will be your final grade. Failing one assignment after resubmitting means you can still pass, but you can’t get the highest “Pass A” certificate. Failing two assignments after resubmission means you can’t pass at all. But I think it’s pretty hard to completely fail two different assignments – there are only 4 of them, you have a week to finish (longer if resubmitting), and they cover very different topics.

      Failing a single TP doesn’t necessarily have any effect on the final result – especially if it’s early in the program. Everything is analyzed as a whole, and what they really want to see is at least slight growth and improvement throughout the course. The final grade isn’t the really important part – it’s the self evaluation and feedback.

      For example, my 5th TP was terrible. It wasn’t a complete fail, but it was marked as below standard. But I helped myself out by doing a brutally honest self-evaluation afterwards, which showed I was at least aware of what mistakes I had made. I also made sure not to make the same mistakes in future lessons. That actually made me look good in the end – it showed I was capable of learning, growth and self reflection.

      The absolute worst thing you could do is teach a bad lesson and then write a glowing self-evaluation, or not listen to the instructor and peer feedback in future lessons.

  9. chista says:

    Hi, thanks a lot for these useful information. A question: which level should be? C1 or C2 ?

    • workislove says:

      Wow, I didn’t even know what C1 or C2 meant, I had to look it up. I’m from the USA and we don’t use that system here. The CELTA requirements say C1 or C2, but since I don’t know those levels, I can’t say personally.

      • Shaaz Nazan says:

        The levels are required for non English speakers who want to be certified as language trainers i.e CELTA
        The requirement is usually a test of English IELTS or equivalent.
        If you have written IELTS English exam ,the level you passed is mentioned on the score card you receive. This can be found on the bottom right corner in a box with other details . Depending on your band score you are awarded C1 or C2
        Hope this information helps

  10. habiba says:

    hello, I recently enquired about a CELTA course in Milton Keynes UK, have received the info pack and was overwhelmed by all the requirements, but since I discovered that I enjoy teaching so much I definitely wanted to do this course. your blog is by far the most informative that I have found on the internet and I cannot thank you enough for showing me the real picture of CELTA. you have put a lot of detail into it and I don’t feel so lost now 🙂

    • workislove says:

      Glad I could help :). If you have any follow up questions during your course feel free to message me.

      Good luck!

  11. simpson says:

    give suggestions how to write bad and good learning experiences .To day i want to send the application for celta programme.

    • workislove says:

      I’d like to help, but I’m not sure I really understand your question. I think I need something more specific. Are you talking about lesson planning? Or the application questions / essay?

  12. Elmira says:

    Hello. First of all, I just want to appreciate you because of your complete and helpful experiences. That’s just perfect. T be honest, English is not my native language or mother tongue, but I personally have a passion for English, and I like teaching it. So, I’ve decided to participate in CELTA course. I have some questions as following: 1. Would you please explain me “input” , “modeling”, and “lesson planning” more? 2. How will be these demo sessions? 3. What are assignments in this course? I hope you have enough time to answer my questions. Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Regards.

    • workislove says:

      Hey Elmira. I just read your comment, and I’m a little busy right now, but I’ll try to give you better answer tonight or tomorrow 🙂

  13. Natalia says:

    Hello!!! This blog really helps! I am from Spain and I am going to study the CELTA course in July. What tips do you have to get relax? English is not my native language and I have to improve my pronunciation. What do you recommend me?

    Thank you very much,


    • workislove says:


      Great to hear you’re accepted and taking the CELTA program, I hope you find it useful! As far as how to relax – I’m really not sure, because I really relax myself until the program was over! Sometimes stress can be a good thing, it keeps you sharp.

      Don’t worry about English not being your first language – I truly think the non-native speakers in my program were the best teachers. For native speakers, English is too easy – native speakers don’t have to think about grammar and pronunciation, their words just naturally come out correct, so they often have trouble helping students with difficult parts of English. On the other-hand, non-native speakers often had a much better technical understanding of English, especially grammar and pronunciation, because they remember what it was like when they learned all the different concepts for the first time.

      Imagine trying to teach the “strange” parts of Spanish to an English speaker – the gender of words, conjugation (-a, -as, -amos, -an, etc…) or helping a student with the pronunciation of “-ll-” “-ñ-” or rolling r’s (I spent 5 years studying Spanish, and STILL can’t roll my r’s). You’ve always known these things, so it’s hard to think of tricks to help students learn these ideas. But when teaching English, you probably still remember what parts of English gave you the most trouble when you were a student, and maybe which parts are still confusing for you – that lets you help students in a way that I may never be able to as a native speaker.

      Do all the pre-work and pre-reading, make the class your #1 priority when you’re taking it, and keep an open mind about the teaching methods they cover, and I think you’ll be fine. And when planning your classes, try to think back to your own experience as a student – what made classes good? What made classes boring? Who were the best teachers you had, and why? Even the people in my program who had trouble passing the program learned A LOT and said they were better teachers after taking the course.

  14. Greg says:

    I am 56 and looking for something different to do when I stop work – mining, not teaching – in the next couple of years. I came across this blog as I started searching TEFL, and soon realised that maybe CELTA was the way to go. I would like to know if a teaching background, whilst clearly not a requirement for enrollment on the course, not a necessity to succeed.

    • workislove says:

      It’s hard for me to say, because I has 2 solid years of teaching experience before I took the course, and a bit of tutoring before that. You can certainly pass the technical and conceptual requirements without a teaching background, as long as you have an open mind and make an effort to adapt their methods.

      The harder part would be the practice teaching sessions, which is half of the course. My first few teaching sessions were so much easier for me compared to the non-teachers in my program, because I already had a good feel for how to plan a class and pace myself. Also I understood a lot of mistakes that students commonly make and could predict them ahead of time. And the adult students were so polite and serious compared to my previous middle school kids, it made everything so much easier.

      If you decide to try it, think back to ANY experience you have with teaching other people. If you had some opportunity to teach safety or operations to people at the mine, if you helped family or friends with schooling, or if you yourself have any recent student experience. Anything that can help you get inside the mind of a beginner – remembering the types of problems that new students have.

      Also, if you have any ability to work with students (adults or kids) before you do a serious program like CELTA, that can be very helpful. For example near me there are volunteer programs to help non-English speaking immigrants, and other programs to help kids read after school – I think any time spent as a teacher will REALLY improve your chance of success and your application.

    • Ben says:

      Did you take the CELTA, Graig? I am 58 and am considering this course, but I’m concerned about my age being a detriment to finding a decent job. Have you had any luck?

  15. S says:

    ‘Never judge a book by its cover’

    I had a very bad experience with the CELTA and this has overwhelmingly formed my opinion so there is a large ammount of bias on my part but I feel like it will at least have some relevance. As stated, most people find the CELTA to be a comprehensive preparation for teaching so take this comment with a large grain of salt

    • workislove says:

      Thank you for sharing, if you have any details or a particular location to avoid it feel free to share here. I do feel it’s the kind of experience that can be made or broken by the attitude of the instructors or the center teaching the course, do I completely understand if you had a bad experience that seems to differ from most people’s experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a traumatic experience with the celta . If you are Muslim and from a developing country you should not dare to dream to teach abroad and do celta. As native teachers won’t allow you to run the course, anyhow you will be forced to drop the course. However, you will get the selection as part of their business benefit.

      • workislove says:

        I’m really sorry you had this experience. I will say that this can’t represent every CELTA program out there – as there were several muslim people in my group, and the majority of my students were from Pakistan and other Muslim countries. I believe that each CELTA location manages their own staffing and policies, they just copy the same methods and standards. So it definitely pays to research your individual location.

  16. Gisele says:

    I’m beginning the CELTA course in a week! I have to tell you how wonderful and relieving it is to be able to read someone’s experience! Thank you so much for writing about it and sharing it with people who are so nervous about taking on a challenge like this. Congratulations on your PASS!

    I do have a couple of questions if you don’t mind answering them! What’s the one thing you wish you would have done differently? What are the four assignments like? How did you go about correcting students who made mistakes that weren’t related to the particular lesson you were teaching? Did you stop and correct them, but also explained the difference? Or did you just simply correct them and continue on with the lesson?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!


    • workislove says:

      Hi Gisele! Sorry I didn’t get around to reviewing your comment until just now – I’ve been so busy this year and let my comments languish. I hope you did well in the CELTA program, wish I could have answered your questions when it would have been more helpful :(.

  17. Alexandra says:

    I am wondering if you finally found work? Did you keep in touch with classmates, and did they find work? One of my fears is going through the program and then not being able to find work.

    I don’t have teaching experience, simply a Bachelor’s degree in English.

    Thank you!

    • workislove says:

      I’ll give you the good news first – with a Bachelors in English, I gaurantee you can get SOME kind of decent job in East Asia, where I did my teaching. You just have to be careful and do your research about where you work first. Now back to my experience with CELTA.

      I did find further work in Korea, and it moderately bumped my pay. However after returning home to the states between gigs I got sucked into another world. I’m still teaching, but now I’m teaching woodworking at a makerspace in San Francisco.

      I’ve kept in touch with a couple people from my group. Two of them went on to work in China – one of them said it helped increase their pay, the other just went back to her same position she’d had before. Two people worked in the middle east, and their employers really valued the CELTA – one of them even had his course paid for by his employer.

      I think the reputation (and therefore usefulness) of the CELTA varies widely depending on where you go. I mainly taught in South Korea, and the CELTA is a nice-to-have qualification, but not a necessity. It normally gets you a bump in salary – for example from 2500 won/mo to 2700 won/mo in public schools -and it can make you stand out as a more serious candidate when applying for popular positions. I’ve also heard it can help in China and the Middle East in general, but other places not as much.

      If you have NO experience it’s hard to say what approach is best. We only had 1 fresh graduate in our CELTA class, and he really struggled. I was REALLY glad I had some teaching experience before taking the course, because it was so much easier to relate to a lot of the information they gave. I felt like if I’d taken the CELTA straight out of college it wouldn’t have served me quite as well. But that might be different depending on your general approach to work and life.

      I can only offer career advice pertaining to East-Asia. If you plan to work in South Korea or Japan, then you’re already basically qualified for entry level work. You could look at programs like EPIK / GEPIK in South Korea, or JET in Japan, all of which provide basic training and place you in public schools. These are not the BEST gigs, but they are reliably decent and have a good track record. The alternative is a myriad of private after-school programs – some are great and offer higher pay than public schools, some are awful and try to take advantage of you, try to research the specific employer before deciding, even talking to former employees if possible. There are also university programs, but I’ve never taken that route, personally.

  18. celtatrainee says:

    I’d just like to say that I’m doing the CELTA at Bangkok right now and reading your blog has helped a lot, so thanks!

    • workislove says:

      Glad to hear it! Best of luck!

    • Syed says:

      Hi, there can you please share with me your experience of IH Bangkok, how are things moving for you? I will start my CELTA in April any advice will highly be appreciated

  19. Syed says:

    Hi, this form is full of knowledge. I will start my CELTA in April from IH Bangkok. Any one here doing CELTA from IH Bangkok?

  20. J says:

    This is super helpful, as someone who is considering this course.

    Thank you!

  21. kumar udhay says:

    I have applied for the course and am waiting for pre course interview and assignments. I have some experience as a a facilitator. I wanted to work for a outward bound learning institute. The experience was very interesting and I did develop a liking for the concept of facilitation. Hope CELTA is suitable for me. I have always been a keen student of English and would love to learn more about how to facilitate self learning English.

  22. Mr. W. says:

    Dear Seth,

    I would like to thank you for this detailed information on the website! I have learnt a lot from it, and I feel I am ready to start the course! Have a great Day!

    Best Regards,
    Wael Jizi.

  23. Khusboo says:

    Kudos for such a brilliant and detailed explanation of CELTA. It is extremely helpful. I am a techie with 8 years of experience in the Indian IT industry but feel like an alien there. Somehow, I have always been fascinated by English. Please advise me about the career opportunities in India or abroad and what are the resources that would be helpful to find the appropriate career options. Thanking you in advance.

  24. Aanal sheth says:

    Hi, your blog is very informative. I am from India and have no experience in teaching. I want to be a teacher and would like to know if taking up CELTA can help me secure a job in countries other than India.

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  27. Jerry Raoul says:

    I’m surprised you got an ordinary ” Pass”. Most Language schools will only employ you if you have an “A” or “B”.
    My CELTA experience at the Durban Language Centre was a nightmare. This is South Africa 2015 where apartheid died 21 years ago. But it was alive and well at this Centre. The irony was that one of the trainers was British. If you were anything but white , you were treated differently and with bias. I am totally disgusted and feel sick when I think of my experience at DLC.
    The “A” and “B” passes are for white folks only (SIC)

    • workislove says:

      I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience at that center, I guess such prejudice takes a long, long time to die – I definitely get the impression that the different centers can vary A LOT – people writ me on here all the time telling me that their interviews were COMPLETELY different, for example. At my center both the teachers were white British, but they seemed quite fair to me. The only two people to fail the program were white, one of them part of the commonwealth himself. The only people that got high pass marks were east asian and south asian, everyone else got passess – so there wasn’t any detectable bias in my program, I’d say one of the trainers even took a strong interest in me and went out of his way a bit to give me tips and help me out.

      I certainly was hoping for a pass B, I didn’t expect a pass A. The instructor showed me his scoring, and I missed the Pass B by very little. There was one teaching session that I was horribly unprepared for that hurt me, one assignment was almost too late, and during my first few lessons I had what he called “tarzan speak” – I had been spending too much time around asian non-english speakers and started to drop articles, pronouns and small grammar details from my speech – it’s not that I can’t speak well, but when you hang out with Korean speakers all the time you start to copy some of their speech patterns, and I let that slip into class a few times. So on the whole I felt it was justified.

  28. Hilary says:

    Hi there,

    I’m in the middle of my CELTA 5-week intensive, which is being run for the first time in the Caribbean by IH Montanita. I’ve just done TP4 and received a weak pass because I was running out of time and rushed my staging (although I handled the time constraint well, the students completed all the tasks, understood them, AND I still achieved my lesson aims) and all my previous TPs were simply passes, not strong passes. I am at my wits’ end to figure out how I get an above standard, because I don’t see a justification for other people in my group getting strong passes or above standards, simply because they’re not really doing much different to me, or I can see flaws that apparently don’t matter to our instructor, who I am beginning to think is extremely subjective. I’m happy that they’re doing well, but I also want to do well and can’t figure out how. I know that I must follow feedback and incorporate it into my following TPs, take criticism well blah blah blah, but I absolutely do not know what to do at this point.

    The students love me, they’ve said I’m their favourite and they learn the most from me, but this is not helping me to get better TP grades. I am becoming extremely demotivated and depressed because no matter how hard I try, I can’t up my personal standard to theirs.


  29. Nirmal says:

    Hi, i am from Nepal and i am thinking of joining this course. Its been seven years since i have been teaching. Can you help me saying how this course can benefit me further economically?

  30. Gunash says:

    Thank you so much for useful information.I have some questions if you don’t mind.What should I write about in assignments?Can I fail in assignments due to minor grammar mistakes?Will the house provide us with all the necessary materials such course books,teachers books?I have only one year teaching experience,however I have never had big classes (nax.3-4)Can it be a problem for me?I have only two weeks left to do a course?I am afraid of having panic during teaching.
    Thanks un advanc

  31. Angelo says:

    Hi, Seth! Hope all is well with you.

    First off, many thanks for writing about your CELTA experience – from the interview to the post-CELTA course reflections/lessons learned. I have yet to read all the posts but I’m sure I will get helpful insights and tips.

    I will be taking the CELTA Course in Bangkok this January 2016. For preparation, I read Jim Scrivener’s Learning Teaching. Currently, I’m reading Jeremy Harmer’s How to Teach English. I’m also using Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage for reference on grammar points. Other than these, I read CELTA-related blog posts and watch some Youtube videos on Teaching Practice.

    To be honest, I am a bit nervous about the course. I guess it is the usual nervousness one feels before the start of school. However, I’m trying to stay positive and optimistic since I am doing my best to prepare for the course.

    I have come across some articles by CELTA certificate holders where they say it’s difficult to find a job if one is a nonnative speaker (or in some cases, if one is not white). I avoid these articles because I don’t want to get any negative impressions even before I start the course. English is not my first language, but I have studied and have been speaking it since primary school days. That gives me an adequate amount of confidence. (I am originally from the Philippines, but I have been working in a Singapore for the past five years. I guess what’s missing is the so-called American or British accent. Haha!) But as I’ve said, I am trying to avoid any negative articles and I’m choosing to focus on preparing and being excited that I’m taking the course soon.

    For any hurdles, I will cross the bridge when I come to it. Haha.

    I just wanted to say “THANK YOU” for writing about your experiences. I have found encouragement and inspiration from the articles. All the best!

    ~~ Angelo 🙂

    • Wendy says:

      Hi Angelo,

      I am a Singaporean and debating between taking up the CELTA course in Singapore or Bangkok. Would you mind sharing your experience taking CELTA in Bangkok? I’m also similarly worried about finding a job with a CELTA, how has your experience been after attaining your CELTA? How has it helped you?

      Looking forward to hearing from you, thank you!


  32. linda says:

    thanks for sharing your experience with us
    i’m a teacher in an oil company . i’m taking the celta course in two months , and i feel little bit nervous about the course , you know i’ve been teaching technical english for engineers so i forgot all basic things about rules of pronunciation , general english context and things like this .., do you think i’ll face trouble when doing the course ?
    also , i have my firts interview with the celta trainers next week , i would be very gratful if you could give me examples of questions that they might ask me just to have an idea
    thanks in advance

  33. linda says:

    thanks for sharing your experience with us
    i’m a teacher in an oil company . i’m taking the celta course in two months , and i feel little bit nervous about the course , you know i’ve been teaching technical english for engineers so i forgot all basic things about rules of pronunciation , general english context and things like this .., do you think i’ll face some troubleswhen doing the course ?
    also , i have my first interview with the celta trainers next week and i would be very gratful if you could give me some examples of questions that they might ask me just to have an idea
    thanks in advance

  34. sara says:

    I just want to tell all of you who are considering taking the CELTA that you’d better spend the money on something else because this course serves for nothing at all. I took it with expectations to find a teaching job immediately but it has been a year since I took it and I still haven’t had this luck. Moreover, I’m graduated and have the CPE but still, it seems that employers will always prefer the unqualified native to the qualified non-native. All the CELTA teachers that went with me have experienced no change in job or salary at all…So, my advice is you will really be throwing your money away.

  35. Anonymous says:

    First of all Thanks a lot for sharing the insights of CELTA . It was mind boggling for me…I wanted to know that how CELTA can help me to get Corporate Jobs in teaching English to Corporate employees? I have been into Learning and Development since 2.8 years as a SoftSkill Trainer as well as Teaching English to Network Engineers( adults ).
    Your early response would be of great help for me .
    Thanks in advance!!!

  36. Wendy says:

    Hi Seth,

    Thank you for sharing about your CELTA experiences. I am trying to decide if I should take up CELTA in Bangkok. Can I ask how CELTA has helped you in the years since attaining it? Thank you!



  37. Anonymous says:

    Hello there,
    Thank you for writing a great post! I would like go ask what qualifications did you get before doing CELTA course? I am a recent graduate and I do not have any traching experience. I am not sure whether I should do a TEFL course online and get some teaching experience before enrolling to CELTA. I am from Lithuania and I am living in UK at the moment but in a long run I am planning to move to Slovakia and search for teaching job there. So would you recommend doing TEFL course before CELTA? Thank you in advance!

  38. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know where we should stay for a month during CELTA course .I am wondering if there are some flats near IH with reasonable rental price & high safety.

  39. Ozlem Saglam says:

    Wonderful blog. You have included very detailed explanations. I’m taking the CELTA next week and this blog has given me lots of details on different aspects of the course. Thank you for your effort.

  40. kcy says:

    Hello everyone:)

    I found this blog very very informative.Thank you. I am going t start my Celta course next week in the Hague, Netherlands. Anyone who took the course there?

    Regards 🙂

  41. Rob says:

    Well done Seth and thanks for sharing all your experiences!

  42. Sonam says:


    Read this blog today, I found it really useful.

    I have done my master degree in English and have been teaching IELTS/PTE for 3 years now. I am keen to study this course, but I have some doubts.

    I am planning to apply for Canada PR but before that, I want to get the certification of CELTA course. I am being a little sceptical about my job opportunities there.

    So far I have heard that this course will enhance the chances of job opportunities in Asian countries, whereas I am really confused about Canada.

    Please help me out with the suggestions, if this course will help me to hunt a good job.

  43. Sonam says:

    Thank you so much for this detailed information. I have done a Master degree in English, I have been teaching IELTS/PTE for three years now. I m planning to get the PR of Canada but before that, I want to do CELTA course
    But there is a thought that is bothering me so much whether this course will help me to get a good job in countries like Canada or this is helpful in Asian countries only.

    Please assist me.


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