Target candidature

The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) is an introductory course for candidates who have little or no previous English language teaching experience. It may also be suitable for candidates with some experience but little previous training.

Course aims

The course enables candidates to:
• acquire essential subject knowledge and familiarity with the principles of effective teaching
• acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners
• demonstrate their ability to apply their learning in a real teaching context.
Candidates who complete the course successfully can begin working in a variety of ESOL teaching contexts around the world.

Syllabus overview

This document outlines the syllabus and assessment criteria for CELTA.
The following syllabus is a reflection of the pre-service entry point of prospective candidates and outlines both the subject knowledge
and the pedagogic knowledge and skills required for beginner ESOL teachers.
The syllabus consists of five specific topic areas:
• Topic 1 Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
• Topic 2 Language analysis and awareness
• Topic 3 Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
• Topic 4 Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
• Topic 5 Developing teaching skills and professionalism.

Assessment overview

CELTA is awarded to candidates who have completed the course and who have met the assessment criteria for all written and practical assignments.
The overall assessment aims for each topic are that candidates should be able to:
1. assess learner needs, and plan and teach lessons which take account of learners’ backgrounds, learning preferences and current needs
2. demonstrate language knowledge and awareness and appropriate teaching strategies
3. demonstrate knowledge about language skills and how they may be acquired
4. plan and prepare lessons designed to develop their learners’ overall language competence
5. demonstrate an appropriate range of teaching skills at this level and show professional awareness and responsibility.



There are two components, Component One: Planning and teaching and Component Two: Classroom-related written assignments (of which there are four in total).
CELTA is internally assessed and externally moderated by a Cambridge ESOL approved assessor, who samples portfolios and teaching practice and who discusses and agrees the grades for all candidates.