ILSC CELTA Students in Class


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

FAQ: Full-Time On-Campus CELTA Program in Montreal
I'm confused by all the acronyms: EFL, ESL, TEFL, TESOL...what do they all mean?
Let's try and clear things up!

EFL = English as a foreign language, so TEFL = Teaching English as a foreign language, to students studying in their home country or for a short time abroad.

ESL = English as a second language, so TESL = Teaching English as a second language, to students who are now living in an English-speaking country and need English to work or study.

TESOL = Teaching English to speaker of other languages

The terms "TEFL/TESL courses" and "TESOL courses" are often used interchangeably to refer to training courses for people who want to teach English. CELTA is a type of TEFL/TESL/TESOL course administered and awarded by the University of Cambridge and the most widely recognized course of its kind in the field.
What makes the CELTA program at ILSC Montreal better than other TESOL courses?
  • CELTA is recognized by professional organizations such as TESL Canada and Languages Canada and by private language schools, so you will be able to find work in Canada immediately after completing the course.
  • CELTA is the most recognized TESOL program in the world. Wherever you go, employers know what your training involved and that you are ready to go into the classroom.
  • A ratio of one tutor per maximum six trainees which ensures a lot of individual coaching and support.
  • Trainers who have been trained and approved by Cambridge ESOL to run the course.
  • Pre-selection of candidates – you will find yourself in a group with other native speakers or bi-lingual English speakers and not a group of EFL students.
  • A teacher practicum in which you teach groups of real language students and not your peers who already speak English.
  • External assessment of the course by a Cambridge assessor who ensures that Cambridge standards are being met and that grading is standardized internationally.
  • A total of 140 contact hours.
Read more - see this interesting article from on selecting a training program:
What is the connection between the University of Cambridge and CELTA and ILSC-Montreal?
CELTA is one of the world's foremost initial qualifications for people who wish to become professional teachers of the English language. It is currently taught at nearly 300 centers in over 50 different countries. University of Cambridge ESOL is the educational institution in the United Kingdom that administers the program and issues the certificates when you successfully complete the course. ILSC-Montreal is the only approved center in Quebec to run the CELTA program.

For more information please see:
Do I need to have a university degree in order to do the CELTA program?
No. You need to have a level of education that would allow you to start a course of university study. In Quebec this is the equivalent to a CEGEP education. Please note, that some schools in Canada and abroad will require you to have a university degree in order to hire you as a teacher.
Do I need to be a native speaker in order to take the CELTA program?
No. Cambridge ESOL states that all applicants – native speakers or not - need to "have a standard of English which will enable them to teach at a range of levels". While we do not require a specific exam score, successful applicants would score 8 or above on IELTS. We have had many successful non-native CELTA graduates – from Brazil, Iran, Mexico, Italy and many other countries.
What is the timetable of the course?
The course hours are 8.45 to 5.00, Monday to Friday for four weeks. You must attend 100% of the course.
Will I need to do much work outside the daily timetable?
Yes! The CELTA course is extremely intensive. Most of your evenings and weekends will be spent planning lessons and preparing the written assignments. It would be impossible to work or study while doing the course.
How are candidates assessed?
Candidates are assessed continuously during the course and there is no final examination. An external assessor, who is appointed by Cambridge ESOL, moderates each course.

The main components to the grading are:
  • The teaching practice – candidates teach a total of six hours with classes at different levels of ability. The assessment is based on the candidate's overall performance at the end of the six hours.
  • The written assignments – there are four written assignments. These are marked by the course tutors and moderated by the external assessor.
  • Professional development – being a reliable, professional member of the CELTA group.
  • Attendance – you are required to attend 100% of the course.
Do people fail?
It is possible to fail the course, although the CELTA program does have a very low fail rate. This is partly because there is a selection process to be accepted onto the course and also because we offer a lot of support and guidance – tutorials, feedback, etc. – during the course.
Does the CELTA program include a practicum component?
Yes. We organize groups of real adult students for you to practice your teaching skills on. Teaching practice happens every afternoon – from the first day of the course! Over the four weeks you will teach six hours of observed and assessed lessons at different levels. This is followed by oral and written feedback from your peers and your tutors. This is an extremely important component of the course and prepares you for teaching once the course has finished.
How do I apply?
The first step is to complete and submit the application form and pre-interview task.One of the course tutors will then make a preliminary assessment of your suitability for the CELTA course. If your application documents are of a suitable standard, we will contact you to arrange an interview time. The interview will be conducted by one of the tutors and is designed to give them an idea as to how you will do on the course. We only accept candidates who we believe should be able to complete the course successfully. During the interview we also give you a lot more information on how the program works. You will be told either at the end of your interview or shortly after whether you will be offered a place on the course.

For more information, go to the Apply page.
How do interviews work if I'm not in Montreal?
After we receive the application form, the pre-interview task, we can schedule a telephone interview. The telephone interview lasts approximately 60 minutes and the school will cover the costs. Of course, interviewing in person gives you a better chance to introduce yourself and might make you more comfortable, so if you are able to visit Montreal, that would make for the most ideal interview!
Is there a dress code?
Remember that as well as being a student on the course, you are also a teacher. Casual dress is fine, but you need to present yourself as a professional teacher, so no ripped jeans, shorts or clothing that is too tight or revealing. This is particularly important on the days that you are teaching.
FAQ: Online CELTA Program
How much of the course is online?
The course is a 'blended learning' course: the input component is delivered online, while participants are required to be physically present for the two-week face-to-face Teaching Practicum.
How does the online study component work?
This component aims to develop effective techniques and methodologies through interactive tasks, guided video observations, forum discussions and 'live room' discussions. Participants need to work individually as well as with peers on tasks throughout the course, with support and evaluation from an online tutor in the virtual classroom. Candidates will also have tutorials and complete assignments online.
How many hours work should I calculate for each week?
There are 30 units to work through on the course and each unit takes about 3 hours. Accordingly you should allow for about 5 - 6 hours each week with tutor-set deadlines for assignment submissions, closure of discussion forums, Live Room discussion, etc.
What does the face-to-face component involve?
This component gives participants teaching experience in the classroom with students of different levels. The Teaching Practicum includes lesson planning guidance and feedback on the participants' lessons. Written feedback is given after each lesson.
Where can I do the Teaching Practicum?
At our centre in Montreal/Vancouver/Toronto or New Delhi .
Can I complete my Teaching Practicum in different locations?
To maximize your experience and to guarantee consistency, you will complete your Teaching Practicum in just one of our locations.
I don't live in Canada or the US. Can I take your online CELTA program?
Yes, though you will need to come to Montreal/Toronto/Vancouver or New Delhi for the Teaching Practicum. We can assist with accommodation for that time.
How is the course assessed?
The course is assessed following the same criteria as the full-time CELTA program. Participants are assessed on the six hours of Teaching Practice, the four written assignments, attendance of the practicum and professionalism.
Does it say on my CELTA certificate that I took the course online?
No. You receive the exact same certificate as candidates who take a Full-time course. Prospective employers are aware that the course content and evaluation is the same.
What are the benefits of doing CELTA online?
  1. Flexibility: the course materials are available online at all times which gives you the ability to work around other work or study commitments.
  2. Time: the extended length of the program gives you more time to reflect on the information being presented.
  3. Variety: the multi-media materials add more variety to your learning.
How intensive is the online course?
Although the course is spread over several months, there is still a lot of work to do during the online component. You would certainly not want to have any work or study commitments during the Teaching Practicum as you will be in the centre all day with most of the evenings spent doing lesson planning.
Do I need to be tech-savvy to do the online course?
Participants do need to be confident in their computer skills to follow the online component. An "Orientation Module" is designed to complete before the course starts to get you familiar with the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
What technology do I need to do the course?
Please see the list of technical requirements.
How much does the course cost?
The total course fees are CAD $2850 (2700 tuition + 150 reg).
How do I apply for the online CELTA?
Please see the application page.
What more do I need to know?
For more FAQs and to watch a video presentation on the Online CELTA program at the official University of Cambridge site you can visit:

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