CELTA FAQ

How is Missouri State University connected to Cambridge?

The CELTA is currently taught at nearly 300 centers in over 50 different countries. Cambridge English Language Assessment ESOL is the educational institution in the United Kingdom that administers the program and issues the certificates when you successfully complete the course. Missouri State University is the only approved center in Missouri to run the CELTA program—the closest other centers are in Austin and Chicago.

Why do I have to do an interview to be accepted?

The objective of the interview is to make sure that candidates would be able to successfully complete the CELTA. We are mainly looking for people who are ready to work in teams and support their co-candidates, are ready to try out new techniques, and are professional. We also want to verify that candidates understand the demands of the CELTA and are ready to make that commitment for 5 weeks. Lack of teaching experience or language awareness is not a problem—we will help with that!

What should I do before the course starts?

After candidates are offered a place in a course, we will send a pre-course task and a reading list. This will prepare candidates for the CELTA course themes.

I have heard that the CELTA is very intensive - is that true?

Yes. In addition to the time candidates spend in class, they will often spend evenings and weekends on course-related work. This consists of lesson preparation, written assignments and reading. Candidates should have no other commitments other than the course itself. This is a highly respected professional qualification, so it is expected that candidates will take it very seriously and be ready to put in the work needed. This is an advantage of the 5-week MSU CELTA program. Usually CELTA candidates feel tremendous pressure and experience lack of sleep trying to get all the work done in just four weeks. The 5-week program allows for a somewhat less intense pace, and more time for preparation and learning.

How hard is it to pass the CELTA?

The good news is that about 95% of people who complete the CELTA pass it. There are two main reasons why:

The pre-interview task and interview help the CELTA trainers determine who has the potential to pass the CELTA. Candidates are not accepted if they do not show potential to pass.

Candidates receive continual support from their tutors and peers. If a candidates shows signs of struggling, their tutors step in and help get them back on track.

The most common reasons why candidates fail are:

  • unwillingness to try out new teaching techniques
  • failing to be on time - either for the lessons or in completing assignments
  • having too many other commitments during the course.

Can only native speakers of English take the CELTA?

No. The CELTA is open to non-native speakers of English as long as their English skills are “of an adequate standard to follow the course and complete the assignments.” Cambridge defines this as a level of at least a high C1 on the CEFR standards
For more information: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/126130-cefr-diagram.pdf

Do I need to take the CELTA if I already have a master’s degree or a teaching degree?

The CELTA is mainly designed for inexperienced teachers to get the qualifications needed to teach English overseas. However, having the CELTA in addition to an MA in TESOL gives candidates a major advantage while looking for jobs. It’s also worthwhile to note that many MA programs do not include a practicum requirement, leaving their students without any teaching experience. The CELTA gives candidates at least 6 hours of teaching experience.

Where can I get further information about CELTA?

We recommend you visit the Cambridge English Language Assessment ESOL Examinations website at: www.cambridgeesol.org for further information.

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