Teacher Training


Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose the CELTA over other TEFL courses?


What qualifications are required for teaching English in Hungary?


This is a complicated question (or answer rather) and there might be a point or two not covered here, but here’s a summary:

  • First, one needs to understand that there are courses that are ’accredited’ and courses that are not.  To teach on accredited courses (at a language school or wherever), one must meet certain requirements; to teach on unaccredited courses, the requirements are much less rigorous.  Incidentally, a language school is likely to have a mix of accredited and non-accredited courses.
  • If you are Hungarian, to teach on accredited courses you need a language degree from a Hungarian university.
  • If you are a native English speaker, to teach on accredited courses you need to provide transcripts/other documentation proving that you attended at least 10 years of education in a native speaking context.
  • If you are a non-native English speaker and non-Hungarian, you need to have a language degree from a university in your country (or somewhere), and have this officially recognised in Hungary. There’s a process for doing this, i.e. it’s doable.
  • In any case, to teach on non-accredited courses, there are no such requirements.
  • The Cambridge CELTA is a highly preferred qualification in Hungary (and the rest of the world), in the private language school sector.  It’s actually a requirement at some schools (like International House).  Some language schools accept a so-called ’equivalent’—another 4-week TEFL course.  It’s worth reading up on what differentiates TEFL courses (see for example this FAQ page) so you don’t find yourself with a qualification that is not recognised in places where you want to go and teach!

As is the case in most countries in the world, to teach (and get paid) legally in Hungary, you need to be able to provide invoices for your work, which means having some sort of legal status (e.g. legal freelance status, or a small company), an accountant, etc.  Nearly all private sector positions teaching English are freelance.   Needless to say, literally thousands of English teachers, both Hungarian and non-Hungarian, have set themselves up to teach and invoice, so there’s lots of help/support available.

How about recognition of the CELTA qualification in relation to UK and European frameworks?

Following is information Cambridge English provides regarding recognition of the CELTA; much of it is only relevant in the UK, so it may or may not be relevant to you.

What level is CELTA on the CEFR?
CELTA is not accredited on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), because the framework serves to describe foreign language proficiency and CELTA is not a foreign language exam, but a teaching qualification. Although CELTA can only be taken by people whose English level is CEFR C2 or high grade C1, Pass A or B, Cambridge English does not require a language certificate for candidates to be admitted to a CELTA course. It is at the discretion of test centres whether or not to admit candidates who do not have formal educational qualifications at the level indicated above. In such cases, candidates can only be admitted if they demonstrate that they would be likely to be able to complete the course successfully.

What level is CELTA on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)?
CELTA is currently accredited in the UK by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) at Level 5 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and is a 30-credit qualification. Level five qualifications recognise specialist learning and involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study. This is the same level as a foundation degree or a higher education diploma – however whilst the levels are the same, they should not be considered equivalent due to their content differences.

How many academic (university) credits are awarded for CELTA?

The number of academic (university) credits awarded for CELTA will be at the discretion of the educational institution that the candidate is applying to.

Why does my CELTA certificate show a different RQF/NQF/QCF level to the current level?

In the past, CELTA was accredited at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in the UK by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regualtion (Ofqual). CELTA was re-evaluated against the NQF level descriptors and deemed to be at a Level 5 and was subsequently re-accredited in August 2009 to Level 5. The difficulty of the qualifications itself has not changed and a CELTA taken before the change in 2009 can be considered the equivalent of those taken after the change. CELTA then moved from the NQF to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), where it was accredited at Level 5. As of January 2018, the QCF and NQF were both replaced by a single Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which continues to accredit CELTA as a Level 5 qualification.

What are CELTA practice lesson students like?

Answer (watch the video or read the summary underneath):

Mike states that the learners on IH Budapest CELTA courses are two levels: pre-intermediate and upper intermediate. He notes that their age ranges from 17 to 83. All of them are motivated and keen to learn. He asserts that most of the students at IH Budapest regularly attend the teaching practice courses and therefore are fully aware that this is a training environment. This means they are on the one hand very forgiving as they do not expect CELTA trainees to teach perfect lessons; on the other hand they are delighted when they experience good lessons from CELTA trainee teachers at IH Budapest.

Do people stay in Budapest after the CELTA?

Answer (watch the video or read the summary underneath):

Mike notes that on average four or five teachers who graduate from the CELTA programme at IH Budapest decide to stay on in the city. He outlines some of the varied reasons for this: they have really enjoyed the Budapest as a city, or have formed friendships on the CELTA course (the intensive nature of the CELTA leading to strong bonds) and are therefore reluctant to say goodbye so soon. He advises those who want to take the CELTA here that they should arrive in Budapest before it starts and plan to stay on for some time after the finishing the CELTA course. He ends by noting that there are many language schools in Budapest and there are good opportunities for finding work as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Budapest.

Choosing a TEFL course: Quality


Choosing a TEFL course: Pitfalls

Answer (watch the video or read the summary underneath):

Steve notes that initial research into which TESOL certificate is best leads to the realisation that there are many to choose from. For those who are asking themselves “which TEFL / TESOL / ELT certificate should I choose?” he offers some key advice: they should not choose their TEFL course solely or primarily on the basis of a) “flashy” marketing as this does not mean the course is a good one b)  guarantees of ELT work being given on completion of the course c) how easy it is to get on a course which offers guaranteed work d) courses that claim to be the equivalent of the Cambridge CELTA, which is considered the best TESOL certificate – he makes the compelling point that if a course claims to be equivalent to the CELTA, then this makes the CELTA the best course for those looking for an ELT certificate.

Choosing a TEFL Course: Value


How do I get a job after the CELTA?

Answer (watch the video or read the summary underneath):

Neil emphasises the fact that there are plenty of TEFL jobs available throughout the world for those who have completed a quality TEFL course such as the CELTA and who want to get out there and teach English. He suggests that two considerations potential CELTA participants might bear in mind when thinking about working in TEFL are: (1) the time of year at which they’ll graduate from their CELTA course (the start date of a lot of TEFL jobs coincide with academic and calendar years – although there is huge demand from employers for summer TEFL jobs too if one is CELTA qualified)  and (2) how maintaining a flexible attitude towards where that first TEFL job just might be can also help in gaining employment in TEFL.

This is obviously a broad area– It depends so much on where you might be looking for work, your background, and so on. Candidates on our CELTA courses are provided with full support in terms of information, guidance, contacts, references, and of course continued support for as long as they remain in the profession.

How can I get a job in Hungary after the CELTA?

Answer (watch the video or read the summary and additional comments underneath):

Chris states that ELT in Hungary tends to involve freelance work for most teachers. He notes that there is high demand for qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers, but that upon completion of the CELTA course, graduates need to be prepared to travel to different ELT schools with their CV / Resume in order to find work. He observes that within two months of completing the CELTA course, a CELTA graduate is likely to have a full ELT timetable and sufficient income to live on based on their work for various English language schools across Budapest.

The ELT work landscape in Hungary is shifting all the time, not so much in terms of demand– this has never been a problem– but in terms of regulations. For teaching in an accredited institution, and this includes many or most language schools, there are guidelines that apply to Hungarians teaching English and separate guidelines that apply to non-Hungarians. We’ll be posting more details here as the situation settles, but do feel free to write us and inquire in the meantime.