Cambridge CELTA Course

Cambridge CELTA Course

What does the CELTA Course offer?

The Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) is recognised by the British Council and by a large number of employers and governments worldwide. As a teacher trained by St Giles you will acquire your new skills with one of the industry's most respected and longest established English language schools.

Maybe you are re-thinking your future because of recent world events. Successful completion of a CELTA course will enable you to begin a new professional career after just 4 weeks. Our CELTA trainees are from all different walks of life. Your opportunities are unlimited and we are committed to helping you on your way.

The CELTA Programme

Entry Requirements

No previous teaching experience or knowledge is needed but candidates should have a university degree or a standard of education equivalent to that which is required for entry to university.

Non-first language speakers of English are very welcome provided they have a high level of competence in English: at least C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and preferably C2. Good language awareness is essential.

Our CELTA trainees are of all ages and walks of life but candidates must be at least 18 years old.

When you apply you will be sent a pre-interview task which will test your awareness of the English language. You will also be asked some questions on the process of teaching and learning. Candidates who complete this task to an appropriate standard will be invited to an interview (face-to-face or online). Following a short written task, a St Giles teacher trainer will interview you (online or face-to-face) to assess your suitability for the course.

Course Objectives

The CELTA course is a structured and practical introduction to teaching: it will equip you with the professional knowledge, practical skills and confidence you need to start your teaching career. The course will show prospective employers that you:

  • understand the principles of effective teaching, how people learn and the roles of teacher and learner
  • understand how to analyse language for the purpose of teaching
  • have demonstrated the ability to put your new knowledge and skills into practice in a real-life teaching context

On successful completion of the course, you can immediately seek work as a teacher in a wide range of countries across the world, including in the UK and the US.

Course Structure

The CELTA course consists of a minimum of 120 hours of attendance and additional hours of self-study. You will observe qualified teachers at St Giles, you will have teaching practice with groups of students every day from day 2 of the course (on which you will receive feedback from your tutors) and you will complete four written assignments.

The CELTA course has five units of study:

  • Unit 1- Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
  • Unit 2- Language analysis and awareness
  • Unit 3- Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Unit 4- Planning and resources for different contexts
  • Unit 5- Developing teaching skills and professionalism


The CELTA course has two components of assessment:

Component One – Teaching Practice

You will be expected to teach for a total of six hours, working with classes at two different levels of ability. Assessment is continuous and is based on your overall performance during the six hours.

Component Two - Written Assignments

You will be asked to complete four written assignments; one focusing on adult learning, one on the language system of English, one on language skills and one on classroom teaching.

The certificate is awarded to candidates who meet the course requirements and whose performance meets or exceeds the criteria for both components of assessment: your progress will be monitored by your tutors throughout the course. Successful completion is graded as: Pass, Pass ‘B’, Pass ‘A’.

CELTA Locations

Photo by Luigi Manga

London Central

Photo by Brett Jordan

London Highgate

Frequently Asked Questions about CELTA

You can either complete our online application form or contact the Teacher Training Co-ordinator at to obtain a Word version of the application. When we receive your application form we will send you our Language Awareness Task.

All candidates are required to undertake this second step of the application process. Please check your SPAM folders if you have applied and not heard from us as our emails often end up there.

You can take a full-time Cambridge CELTA Course at St Giles Brighton, St Giles London Central, and St Giles London Highgate. 
Full-time CELTA courses run on a regular basis throughout the year. The start-dates are different for each centre location. Please see Teacher Training Dates and Fees list for full details.
The CELTA is an initial teacher training qualification so you do not need any previous experience of teaching. However, some people with teaching experience also choose to take the course: for example, those who have started teaching without any formal training or who have not undertaken any training which is specific to teaching English to speakers of other languages. CELTA applicants should have a university degree or a standard of education equivalent to that which is required for entry to university. Candidates must be at least 18 but we have CELTA trainees of all ages. The average age on our courses for the last 20 years has been 33.
You need to demonstrate a good awareness of the English language. Your tutors will be able to assess this through the Language Awareness Task and the interview. However, you don’t need to know the names of all the components of the language (for example, the names of the tenses in English and their specific uses) when you apply to join the course. We are looking for natural language ability and grammar is only one part of language awareness. We will support you to develop your knowledge of English grammar during the course, however, the more comfortable you feel with word class and tense names before the course starts, the better. 

We welcome non first language speakers but you will need to demonstrate a high level of language ability through the Language Awareness Task and the interview. Your level should be at least C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and preferably C2.

Candidates for whom English is not the first language often have a better knowledge of how English works because they have had to learn it.

Both the full-time and the part-time CELTA course include a minimum of 120 hours of training but you are advised to bear in mind that you will need to spend at least a further 80 hours in the evenings and at weekends on reading, research, written assignments and lesson preparation. However, though it is demanding, the course is also rewarding and enjoyable and your tutors will support you throughout the process.

We recommend that you do some background reading and we will provide you with a booklist once you are accepted on the course. We will also send you a pre-course task. This task is accompanied by an answer key and it does not form part of your CELTA assessment but we highly recommend that you complete it. The task will provide you with a foundation on which to build on your knowledge.

We offer a one-day grammar course at St Giles London Central also for those CELTA trainees who wish to undertake a little further preparation for the language elements of the course.

The average pass rate for CELTA completers during the past 5 years is 99%.
Yes. The skills you will learn on the CELTA course are transferable to teaching children. However, when you have completed your CELTA, you can take additional short courses and/or access resources which focus specifically on teaching children.
The CELTA qualification is recognised by employers, governments and the British Council across the globe so when you finish your course, the world is your oyster!
St Giles employs its CELTA graduates on a regular basis, depending on demand. Some opt to work abroad in the term time and return to work with us in the busy summer period, while others have gone on to find permanent contracts with us. At the moment, if you go on to work with St Giles and complete your contract, you'll receive £150 of your fee back! 

Yes, details of our various accommodation options are available on request.

Our Students are loving it