I’m updating this continuously with FAQs and answers. If you have questions of your own that aren’t answered below, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Cambridge has approved 100% online delivery of the CELTA for courses indefinitely, expanding the ways in which you can complete the qualification. We will continue to offer all our courses online, and once it becomes possible to offer the CELTA face-to-face, we’ll resume doing so! Our intention is to offer a range of formats for doing the CELTA– face-to-face, online-only, and blended.
What do trainees who’ve done the online CELTA say about it?
We asked the trainees who completed our April 2020 100% online course what they would advise future trainees, and perhaps this will tell you more about what people thought than a straightforward review. Click on the photo at the right to see those trainees talking with Senior Trainer Neil Anderson on Zoom. If you want to read a few testimonials, you’ll find them in the last section of this page.
What platforms do you use for course delivery?
We use the Zoom platform for all interactive elements—teaching practice, feedback, assisted lesson planning, input and tutorials. We use Google Classrooms for course administration and communication.
Does online teaching practice transfer to face-to-face classroom teaching?
This is a question that will be discussed for years to come. Our trainers have monitored trainee performance from the point of view of how much it differed in the online format, with trainees who had already been observed in the classroom in the first week of their course. Their conclusion, broadly stated, is that the differences in the two contexts is overstated, and that all aspects of a trainee’s teaching are similar regardless, e.g. a trainee who gives good instructions or clarifies new language effectively in the classroom performs at a similar level online (and ditto for weaker trainees).
Is the CELTA certificate I receive if I do the course in the online format the same as the one I would receive if I did the course face-to-face?
The certificate issued by Cambridge is exactly the same– no differentiation is made in terms of course format. Meanwhile it is a Cambridge requirement that the end-of-course report, which summarizes your performance on the CELTA, specifies the format in which the course was done.
Will employers looking for teachers for face-to-face teaching look down on online-trained teachers?
When it comes to applying for a job, any such differentiation will depend on who is doing the hiring. We suspect that as it bears out that a strong teacher is strong in any context, the format won’t be a key consideration, but we can’t speak on behalf of those who do the hiring. There’s an irony though, which is that (a) the current situation where nearly all English language teaching is happening online may be around for longer than we like, and (b) once face-to-face language learning is possible once again, many language learners will continue to prefer the online format—many more than before—and therefore (here’s the irony) any experience and training in online teaching is likely to be an asset when it comes to securing employment.
What do former trainees say who have actually done the CELTA 100% online at IH Budapest?
Following are a few of their comments. Note that the March 2020 candidates were on the course that started out face-to-face and then continued online.
“Doing the CELTA online with IH Budapest was a rewarding experience. It was tiring, due to Zoom fatigue and the intensive course content, but well worth the effort. Advice – download Zoom onto your laptop and iPhone before the course begins, do a bit of research on how to use Zoom beforehand, do the pre-course task and read the input session handouts before the course starts, and unwind at the end of each day during the course by going for a walk. And … enjoy it!” (Kaya, April 2020 course)
“Our group were ‘lucky’ to be the online guinea pigs, we started as face to face course candidates and as history will reflect, 2020 became a tough time, we all had to complete, if we so chose, the course online. All the tutors are great – each different, each knowledgeable about TEFL, all willing to get the best out of the students and cajole, meld and bend us to their way of thinking – they were right!! I can say it was an eye opener and I was having self-doubt, the tutors all helped me and others. They are passionate about their work. Do the course – online, face to face (if the world recovers sufficiently) you won’t regret it. It can be technologically challenging to do the course online, internet and other issues can stress the Teaching practice session – so can the students, but is true in classroom activities anywhere. I would say it was an experience and a worthwhile commitment on my part. To all those that follow I wish you good fortune and this course will help you with your next steps in TEFL and life.” (John, March 2020 course)
“The team of teacher trainers at IH Budapest are very helpful and supportive of the student teachers and learners alike. They really are devoted to what they do and this makes it possible to make sure of success, despite the effort required to pass this course. It’s a seriously relentless daily pace on the intensive course but with hard work and dedication you can overcome this and learn more about your teaching skills than you previously imagined. I believe my fellow group members and I made the best choice of institution for the CELTA course.” (Paul, April 2020 course)
“Doing my CELTA with IH Budapest was hugely rewarding. I had been teaching English previously but I was able to improve massively on my approach to planning and teaching lessons both online and face to face. The course is invaluable to anyone thinking of going forward with a career in teaching English as a second language. The trainers at IH Budapest are passionate and knowledgeable about their profession as well as being friendly and approachable. Their experienced advice made all the difference throughout the course.” (Robert, March 2020 course)
“CELTA online was different from our face-to-face week in several aspects: lesson preparation, communication and time. If you are tech-savvy and don’t mind creating and using power point or any other kind of presentations, lesson preparation will probably be easier for you. You won’t have to try to get up a little bit earlier to get to the computer room at the school when it’s not crowded to print your documents and pictures in time for your morning lesson. On the other hand, communication through video conferences will be slower and overall challenging in many unpredictable ways. For me, the rest of the course was much less stressful because at home it’s easier to figure out your lunch and outfit, you have more time to sleep and prepare, and if – don’t do it – you’re late – seriously, don’t do it! – the uncomfortable shame-filled sliding into the classroom is no more. You can also sit in your favourite chair and have a cup of hot tea or coffee next to you pretty much all of the time. The amazing team at IH Budapest managed to adapt and basically invent a whole new type of course and not lose the key elements, and thus, the quality in the process. Our students transitioned to video conferences with us and were helped by the trainers and everyone at the school to get used to the new format. Our CELTA lasted a little bit longer than usual and I’m immensely grateful for every second of it and for all the hard work of our trainers, who had to adjust more than anyone else, improvise and create anew. They made it great fun in spite of everything!” (Anna, March 2020 course)
Steve Oakes, Head of Teacher Training
Last updated 2021 May 7th