Course Structure & Content

Things you need to know about the CELTA course

The CELTA course involves 120 contact hours. In addition you will need to spend at least 80 hours on self-directed study and lesson preparation outside class time and at least 20 hours on pre-course work.

The schedule of a typical day on a full-time course

  • 09:00 – 10:25: Input session #1 (e.g. learning about how to introduce and practice a new area of grammar)
  • 10:35 – 12:00: Input session #2 (e.g. improving your students‘ pronunciation)
  • 12:00 – 13:00: Lunch break
  • 13:00 – 13:45: Feedback on teaching practice from the previous day
  • 13:45 – 14:15: Guidance for the next day’s teaching practice
  • 14:15 – 15:00: Break
  • 15:00 – 17:10: Teaching practice

As you can see, while there is some time available during the course day for you to work on preparing your lessons, most of this work, as well as completing the written assignments, needs to be done on your own time. For this reason, you need to be prepared to clear your social schedule completely for the duration of the course and be prepared to devote about 2-3 hours each day plus at least one full working day over the weekend to course-related work. Strong time management skills are essential.

The schedule of a typical week on a part-time course


  • 10:00 – 11:25: Input session #1 (e.g. learning about how to introduce and practice a new area of grammar)
  • 11:35 – 13:00: Input session #2 (e.g. improving your students‘ pronunciation)
  • 13:00 – 14:00: Lunch break
  • 14:00 – 15:25: Input session # 3 (e.g. evaluating suitability of published teaching materials for a specific group of learners)
  • 15:35 – 17:00 Guidance for teaching practice on Tuesday and Thursday


  • 17:30 – 19:40 Teaching practice
  • 20:00 – 20-40 Feedback on teaching practice


  • 17:30 – 19:40 Teaching practice
  • 20:00 – 20-40 Feedback on teaching practice

While it is possible to work while completing a part-time CELTA course, it is advisable to avoid a very busy work schedule to ensure you are able to devote the time needed for lesson planning and work on assignments.

Full details of the CELTA syllabus can be found here.


Assessment on the CELTA course is continuous. There is no final examination.

There are two components of assessment. To pass the course and be awarded the CELTA certificate, candidates need to pass both components.

1 | Teaching practice

As a trainee teacher on the CELTA course, you will teach six hours (360 minutes) of formally assessed teaching practice lessons with specially organised groups of adult students. You will teach students at two different levels.

During this time you will be given the opportunity to teach a range of lesson types, including:

  • grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and function (the language systems)
  • reading & listening (the receptive skills)
  • speaking & writing (the productive skills)

You will initially receive a great deal of support from your tutors at the planning stage. As the course proceeds, you will be encouraged to show more independence in the planning of your lessons.

You will receive oral feedback and a written report on each lesson you teach. This will include comments on progress made, action points for future lessons and a statement of whether the lesson was at the standard expected for the stage of the course.

By the end of the course, you need to show that you have met a range of assessment criteria related to lesson planning and classroom skills. See here for a full list of the assessment criteria.

2 | Written assignments

During the course you will submit the following four written assignments. Each assignment is a maximum of 1000 words.

Language Related Tasks Assignment: this involves practical analysis of vocabulary and grammatical structures;
Language Skills Assignment: this involves the production of materials to develop learners‘ reading and speaking skills;
Focus on the Learner Assignment: this involves identifying the needs of an individual learner or group of learners of English and identifying suitable teaching materials;
Lessons from the Classroom Assignment: this involves reflecting on your development as a teacher.

The deadlines for these assignments are spread over the course.

They have a practical focus and are intended to support your development in teaching practice.

Each assignment has specific assessment criteria and receives a pass or fail grade. If you do not pass an assignment on your first submission, you will receive detailed feedback and have the opportunity to resubmit.


If you pass both components, you will be awarded one of the following grades:


See here for details on the grading system.

Please note that the majority of candidates receive the PASS grade and that the PASS A grade is achieved by very few exceptional students.

Certificates and reports

If you pass the course, you receive a certificate from Cambridge English and a detailed report on your performance from this school.


Your work on the CELTA course will be internally assessed by your tutors. To ensure that Cambridge CELTA standards are maintained throughout the world, each CELTA course is inspected by a Cambridge appointed assessor and all grades are subject to approval by an awards committee in Cambridge.

Learning more

If you want to find out if the CELTA course is for you, then try this little questionnaire

Click here if you would like to meet the trainers

Find information about course dates and fees here

Need help with accommodation? Let us help

Want to know what our graduates do next and how we support them? Find out about after the CELTA course

If you feel you need any more information about the course, you can contact us here.