CELTA, Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults, is an initial teacher training qualification for teaching English as a second or foreign language (ESL and EFL). It is provided by Cambridge English Language Assessment through authorised Cambridge English Teaching Qualification centres and can be taken anywhere in the world. CELTA gives equal emphasis to theory and practice. The strong practical element demonstrates to employers that successful candidates have the skills to succeed in the classroom. Candidates who successfully complete the course can start working in a variety of English language teaching contexts around the world.

In this article you will find the description of the exam, recommendations for the language analysis of grammar and vocabulary suggested at CELTA course, as well as the Quiz to check how well you know the main CELTA terms.

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1. Overview of the exam

Why to take: 
  1. CELTA gives you the essential skills, knowledge and hands-on teaching practice  you need to teach English to adults. CELTA is ideal if you’re new to teaching, or have teaching experience but want a recognised qualification. 
  2. It is requested globally by reputable employers, since it is a highly respected qualification from Cambridge English. 
  3. It is a standardized course, wherever you take it, you learn the same things and get the same recognition. 
Celta requirements: 
  • Proficient English language user (between CEFR Level C1 and C2 or above). 
  • Educated to the standard required for entry into higher education. 
  • No teaching background is required.


a) Full time (face-to-face) 

  • 4 weeks intensive course
  • 5 days a week 

b) Part time (face-to-face)

  • from a few months to over 
  • the course of a year 2 days a week

c) Partly online 

  • a blended learning course, combining online 
  • self-study with hands-on teaching practice

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Другие статьи о преподавании в Skyeng для учителей английского:
  • 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. 

Courses will have a minimum of 120 contact hours including: 

  • input sessions 
  • supervised lesson planning 
  • teaching practice (six assessed hours and two unassessed TP) 
  • feedback on teaching 
  • peer observation 
  • observation of experienced teachers (minimum six hours) 
  • consultation time

Candidates will need to dedicate a minimum of 80 hours for the required reading, research, pre- and post-session tasks, assignments, self evaluation and lesson preparation.


4 written assignments (each 750-1,000 words) 

These focus on: 

  • Analysing and responding to adult learner needs (Focus on the learner). 
  • Analysing language for teaching purposes (Language related tasks). 
  • Teaching language skills (Language skills related task). 
  • Reflecting on classroom teaching ( Lessons from the classroom).

6 assessed teaching practices 

  • A total of 6 hours teaching practice (focused on specific aspect: teaching vocabulary / grammar / functions / listening / reading / writing).
  • Adult classes at a minimum of two levels of ability (Elementary — Pre-Intermediate / Intermediate — Upper-Intermediate). 
  • Teaching practice is observed by the tutor and peers. 
  • Assessment is based on your lesson plan, language analysis and overall performance at the lesson.
No final test (assessment progressively throughout the course). CELTA certificate (Pass A, Pass B, Pass, Fail). The failing percentage is 1%

2. Recommendations for the language analysis of grammar and vocabulary

Teaching grammar is one of the most challenging tasks teachers face. Therefore, it is of great importance to prepare a language analysis sheet while covering grammar topics to be well-prepared in terms of concept checking questions and anticipated problems to maximize the student’s involvement in the process. It would be easier for the teacher to elicit the meaning and form from the students and needless to say that personalized examples written before the lesson will smoothen the explanation process and save time for controlled and freer practice. 

Let’s have a look at the language analysis of grammar suggested at CELTA course. 

During the course teachers learn to introduce target language in the following order: Meaning, Form, Pronunciation, Appropriacy.

For both grammar and vocabulary items, the analysis has the following plan:

  1. Analysis of meaning. 
  2. Describing how the meaning is conveyed.
  3. Checking students understanding.
  4. Highlighting the form.
  5. Analysis of phonological features of the target language.
Let’s look at the points teachers should think of before the lesson:

Step 1 — The Form

Teachers should answer the following questions:

1. What is the Target Language (write the target sentence/s from the lesson here)?

For example,

  1. I can speak about it easily. 
  2. I could eat vegetables. 
  3. I was able to get used to my diet.
  4. I managed to become a strong person.
  5. I succeeded in following my diet list.
  6. I’ll be able to overcome every difficulty.

2. What content conveying meaning will be used (state the context and how you will convey meaning)?

Personalized story:

Three years ago I had a very difficult period in my life. I was having serious health problems. I was a little overweight. I was on a special diet.My doctor was very strict to me. I was having medical procedures every day from 9-3 o’clock. I was able to get used to my new diet very slowly. Then I tried hard and managed to do everything. I succeeded in following my diet list. At that time I could eat only vegetables. I was able to win my disease. Now, I can speak  about it easily and I am sure I’ll be able to overcome every difficulty in the future.  With the help of this experience I managed to become a very strong person.

3. How the form will be presented on the whiteboard or worksheet?

1) Question:can+ S+ v (base) ?
NegativeS+can’t+ v (base)
2) Questioncould+S+ v (base)
NegativeS +couldn’t+ v (base)
3) Questionwas/were + S+ able to +v (base)
NegativeS+ wasn’t/weren’t+ able to +v (base)
4) QuestionDid +S + manage + to +v (base)
NegativeS+ didn’t+ manage + to + v (base)
5) QuestionDid +S+ succeed+ in + v ing
NegativeS+ didn’t+ succeed + in + v ing
6) Questionwill +S+ be able to +v (base)
NegativeS+ will not/ won’t+ be able to +v (base) (3 mins)

Step 2 — Meaning/Concept

Try to state this in student-friendly language. They speak about something we are able to do now, things they did well in the past, and future predictions of what we will do.

Teachers should also plan what CCQs, Timelines and other techniques they are going to use to check meaning.

  1. I can speak about it easily.  CCQ. None.
  2. By the end of the 2ndt month I could speak a little bit Portuguese.
  • CCQ. Is it something I was doing in the past?
  • Did I do it only once? (no)
  • Did I do it later as well? (yes)
  1. I was able to get used to my diet.
  2. I managed to become a strong person.
  • CCQ. Did I do it well? (yes)
  • Am I happy with the result now? (yes)
  • Did I do it many times or only at that time? (at that time)
  1. I succeeded in following my diet list.
  2. I’ll be able to overcome every difficulty.
  • Is it something I can do in the future? (yes)

Step 3 — Pronunciation features

Teachers should write down a phonemic script, weak forms, contractions, stress, intonation.

I can speak about it easily.  
Ai kən spi:k ə’bau it  ‘iː.zəli

I  could speak a little bit Portuguese.
Ai kəd spi:k ə ‘litl bit ˌpɔː.tʃəˈɡiːz

I was able to get used to my diet.
Ai wəz eibl tə get justə mai ‘daiət

I managed to become a strong person.
Ai ‘mæn.ɪdʒtə bɪˈkʌm ə strɑːŋ ‘pɜː.sən

I succeeded in following my diet list.
Ai sək’si:diŋ ˈfɒl.əʊiŋ mai ‘daiət list.

I’ll be able to overcome every difficulty.
Ail beible  təʊ.vəˈkʌm ‘evri ‘dɪf.ɪ.kəl.ti

Step 4 — Appropriacy: (i.e. formal, informal or neutral)

  1. Neutral
  2. Neutral
  3. Neutral
  4. Neutral
  5. Formal
  6. Neutral

Step 5 — Anticipated problems students will have with the target language, and solutions

Teachers should try to predict possible problems and plan how they can solve them.

Possible problemsProposed solutions
1. None 
2. Ss may think it is a specific ability in the past. 
3. Ss may think it refers only to specific or general ability in the past. 
4. Ss may confuse it with could do sth. 
5. The same problem as in 4. 
6. None
1. None 
2. CCQs:
Is it something I was doing in the past?
I did it only once? (no)
Did I do it later as well? (yes) 
3. T brings examples to clarify:
I was able to win my disease (specific) 
I was able to walk by the time I was ten months (general ability) 
4. CCQ:
Did I do it well? (well)
Am I happy with the result now? (yes)
Did I do it many times or only at that time? (at that time) 
T specifies that could is for general ability 
5. Same solution
6. None 
1. May use the strong form of can. 
2. May use the strong form of 
3. May not produce was able to as a connected speech.
 4. May stress to and not use it in connected speech. 
5. May not use the weak form of succeeded in and have difficulties pronouncing it in connected speech. 
6. Connected speech problems in will be able to and the misuse of weak form.
1. Drill, board the phonemic script, highlight error. 
2. Drill board the phonemic script, highlight error. 
3. Drill, highlight with the arrow.
 4. Drill, show the transcript, show with the arrow.
 5. Drill show the transcript, show with the arrow. 
6. Drill, board the phonemic script, highlight with arrow.
1. Ss may use to after can.
 2. The same problem.
 3. May not use to after able.
4. May omit to. 
5. May omit in or use to (confuse with managed to). 
6. May not use to after able.
1. Board the formation formula.
 2. Board formation formula.
 3. Highlight on the board.
 4. Highlight on the board.
 5. Board the two forms and highlight the difference. 
6. Highlight on the board.
1. None 
2. May think could refers to polite requests, not ability. 
3. None
 4. None 
5. They may think it refers to very serious achievements.
 6. None 
1. None 
2. Say that in this case it refers to abilities in the past. 
3. None 
4. None 
5. Teacher tells that it may refer also to routine achievements and abilities. 
6. None

This plan will help to get ready for any Grammar lesson better. Hope you find it useful.

When teaching a vocabulary lesson within the framework of the CELTA course, you should submit your language analysis with your lesson plan. If you are pre-teaching any vocab for a listening or reading lesson, you should also supply a vocabulary sheet. 

Though the preparation of this kind of worksheet is quite time-consuming for teachers, its worth the work done. This kind of worksheets may be useful for nearly all level students, especially higher than Intermediate level students as in these levels students are more exposed to new and more complex vocabulary items.

Follow the link below and look at the example of a vocabulary analysis for the lesson “Survival Choices” (Coursebook “Total English, Pre-Intermediate” by Richard A., Araminta G., Pearson Longman, 2005, p. 42, ex.2-3).

3. The quiz

Let’s see how well you know some terms from the CELTA course and if there’s really nothing new for you.


4. Recommended resources

  1. The CELTA Course trainee book, S.Thornbury, P.Watkins
  2. The Practice of English Language Teaching, J. Harmer, Longman
  3. Learning Teaching: A guidebook for English language teachers Paperback. J. Scrivener. Macmillan
  4. Practical English Usage, M. Swan, OUP
  5. Grammar for English Language Teachers, M. Parrott, CUP
  6. Teaching English Grammar. What to Teach and How to Teach it, J. Scrivener, Macmillan
  7. Learner English: A Teacher’s Guide to Interference and other Problems. M. Swan
  8. Classroom management techniques. M. Swan
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    Thank you very much! It was useful for me!


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