CELTA courses (Cambridge approved) - are they taught all same way?

Teaching ESL to adults

Moderator: Joe

canadian
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 24 Mar 2016, 11:56
Status: Other

CELTA courses (Cambridge approved) - are they taught all same way?

Unread post by canadian » 24 Mar 2016, 12:17

Hello all,

CELTA courses - are they run same way by all of the Cambridge English approved centres?

I am a person who tries to use general logic when making choices in a field unknown to me…
And my logic tells me that, perhaps, a CELTA course run by UCL (University College London),
which is in the World's top 20 universities,
and CELTA course run by a tiny dodgy-looking training centre in a ghetto-ish neighbourhood in the same city,
MIGHT differ in the quality of the delivery of the course, albeit standard?

Does anyone have an experience with this?

I browsed a bit of forum contributions dealing with cons and pros of CELTA vs online TEFL course, and it is clear at this point that benefits are based on how much effort each individual student puts into their studies. I am someone who's believes one must put a lot of additional time and effort studying after the classroom hours, as lessons /teacher can only give a general direction. Simultaneously, I am a strong believer that time in the classroom is absolutely invaluable - I have taken a 5 months intensive French course last year, and there is no way I could have achieved the same result had I been studying independently at home.
This classroom-time value, however, rings true only for the courses that do have a good methodology and great teachers on top.

So is there any feedback you can give from personal experiences with SPECIFICALLY London based CELTA teaching centres?

I have called one of them randomly with this question - how to differentiate between the centres and what criteria to use.
Needless to say, the coordinator was not able to advise me.
She said, 'I only know what we do, not the other centres, and we are Cambridge university approved, and we have a lot of international students that took our course and are very happy'. Fair enough - but that's what ALL of these centres say :)
Neither was she able to explain to me why their fees for the CELTA course are higher than those of similar centres -
she did answer that the teachers are not professors, just certified teachers, so to me there is really no justification for higher fees.
Except, maybe, a top notch rent they are paying for a prime London centre location.

My decision making is of rather time-sensitive nature:
I need to make a quick decision, today and over the weekend, where to enrol.
The full-time course dates must be in April, and that is the only time I have as I should leave London early May.

While I am doing my due diligence in the meantime in choosing the centres,

Any feedback or comments on this would be greatly appreciated!

Briona
Top Contributor
Posts: 199
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
Status: Teacher

Re: CELTA courses (Cambridge approved) - are they taught all same way?

Unread post by Briona » 24 Mar 2016, 15:11

Hi there,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your private messages. I'll answer your queries here so that others can benefit from the replies as well.
canadian wrote:CELTA courses - are they run same way by all of the Cambridge English approved centres?
In order to become (and remain) a CELTA provider, schools must adhere to certain criteria when delivering those courses. However, they have a degree with of freedom within the course framework, which means that not every CELTA course will be structured in the same way. They might do the assignments in a different order, for example. They might run the course over five instead of four weeks. They might split the trainees into small teaching groups or keep you together as one big group.
canadian wrote:And my logic tells me that, perhaps, a CELTA course run by UCL (University College London),
which is in the World's top 20 universities, and CELTA course run by a tiny dodgy-looking training centre in a ghetto-ish neighbourhood in the same city, MIGHT differ in the quality of the delivery of the course, albeit standard?
I've often heard people recommending that trainees choose a 'big name' school over a 'no name' one, and I guess for true international recognition, that argument might hold up. However, you pay for that name through inflated course costs. It's also worth noting that the CELTA is as internationally recognised as it's possible to be, which might negate the need for the provider to be internationally recognised.
canadian wrote:So is there any feedback you can give from personal experiences with SPECIFICALLY London based CELTA teaching centres?
According to Cambridge's website, there are currently 32 CELTA providers in London. I can't personally recommend any of them as I did mine near Barcelona. In any case, since most people only ever take the CELTA once, it's difficult to get objective opinions on courses, or a realistic comparison between providers.
canadian wrote:I have called one of them randomly with this question - how to differentiate between the centres and what criteria to use.
My advice is to make a list of the things that are important for you, e.g., price, dates, duration, number of trainees, post-course employment assistance, etc., and narrow your options down using that criteria. For what it's worth, I chose mine because it was the only five-week course in Spain at that time. It was also considerably cheaper than the big name schools and it took fewer trainees. There were just eight of us compared to the 18 on the course at the big name school.

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

canadian
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 24 Mar 2016, 11:56
Status: Other

Re: CELTA courses (Cambridge approved) - are they taught all same way?

Unread post by canadian » 28 Mar 2016, 07:36

Dear Briona,

Many thanks for your input, I really appreciated it!

Re criteria for choosing the training centres, of course i have already logically filtered them out by the criteria of location / distance to my home etc., what I was looking for was specifically their quality of delivery the corse criteria - which you have now addressed.

I also do understand, of course, that each person that took a TEFL or CELTA course, did so with only one specific centre, so to be clear I was welcoming their feedback re their personal experience with that specific centre where they studied, not a comparison with other centres of which they would have no knowledge, as you noted.

Still undecided on whether I take the classroom intensive 4 weeks course or the online-only course, the price difference between the two is substantial. Will keep you posted.

All the best

Post Reply