CELTA Student at computer

Online CELTA: Course Information

Course Structure

The Online CELTA program is a flexible 22-week program. It does include a practice teaching component (in class) that takes place at ILSC-Montreal/Vancouver,Toronto and New Delhi. The daily schedule for the two-week teaching practice block is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and trainees will also need to spend a large part of the evenings and the weekend on lesson planning. (see Course Dates for start dates)

Session Outline

Weeks Online Component Teaching Practice (face to face at ILSC-Montreal,Vancouver,Toronto or New Delhi )
1 to 8
Units 1 to 13
  • Assignments 1 and 2 set up
  • Live room forums
  • Video observations
8 to 14
Units 13 to 26
  • Assignments 3 and 4 set up
  • Live room forums
  • Video observations
15 and 16
  Teaching Practice
Each participant will teach a total of 6 hours observed and assessed teaching practice.

The lessons will be divided into approximately 8 lessons of between 20 and 60 minutes in length.
19 to 22
Units 27 to 30
  • Final submission of task
  • Course round-up

Course Content

The CELTA program covers the syllabus set by Cambridge ESOL.

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 teaching contexts around the world. (from the Cambridge ESOL CELTA Syllabus Guidelines)

Syllabus overview:

  • Learners and teachers and the teaching and learning context
  • Language analysis and awareness
  • Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
  • Developing teaching skills and professionalism
Components of the course:
  • Input
  • 6 hours of observed and assessed teaching practice for each trainee
  • Feedback on teaching practice
  • Supervised lesson planning
  • Tutorial support and assistance
  • Peer observation
  • 6 hours observation of experienced language teachers at ILSC

Teaching Practicum

By the end of the course you will have taught two groups of real language students - elementary and intermediate - for a total of six hours. These are groups of volunteer students who know that they are being taught by training teachers and are very cooperative, motivated students to teach.

Teaching practice is a valuable opportunity to put into practice all the ideas that you are learning throughout the course. When you are not teaching yourself, you will be observing your peers teach and completing observation tasks so that you can provide each other with useful and constructive feedback. There is time for group lesson planning every day when your trainer will help you plan your lessons. After your teaching there is also oral feedback from your peers and both oral and written feedback from your trainer. Your lessons are graded as being "Standard", "Above Standard" or "Below Standard" relative to the stage of the course.

Many trainees find the teaching practice to be the most valuable part of the course as it lets them see they are ready to plan and teach enjoyable, meaningful lessons to their students.


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, ensuring the standardization of the CELTA program internationally.

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.
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. – once the course has started.

Recommended Books

There is not a prescribed textbook for the CELTA program.

Here are two books that many trainees find useful during and after the course. There are copies of these in the CELTA resource library, so don't feel that you have to buy them.


'How to Teach English', Jeremy Harmer, Longman UK

'How to Teach English', Jeremy Harmer, Longman UK

'Practical English Usage', Michael Swan, Oxford University Press

'Practical English Usage', Michael Swan, Oxford University Press