Earn the Prestigious CELTA Certificate

Become an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teaching Professional

What is CELTA?

CELTA is the mostly widely recognized initial teaching certificate for those interested in teaching English around the world. It is also an excellent opportunity for those with teaching experience to develop professionally.

CELTA provides an unparalleled opportunity to receive 6 assessed teaching hours and 6 hours of observing experienced teachers included in a 120-hour course. The maximum trainer to trainee ratio is 1:6.

Awarded by Cambridge ESOL, through the University of Cambridge, the CELTA certificate opens doors to possibilities in the US and abroad.

Who should take it?

The CELTA award is ideal for anyone with little to no formal experience teaching English as a foreign or second language, or for someone who has been teaching and is looking to develop and hone his or her teaching skills.

You do not need to be a native English speaker but demonstration of proficiency is necessary through IELTS or TOEFL scores submitted.

Potential candidates also need to demonstrate that they can also handle stressful situations and an intense workload with no other commitments during the length of the course.

What is the difference between CELTA and other TEFL/TESL certifications?

The biggest difference between CELTA and other TEFL/TESL certifications and the reason it’s highly recognized around the world is that every CELTA course is internally moderated and externally assessed. This means that outside assessors, trained and approved by the University of Cambridge, assess and check that every single course around the world is performing to specific standards that the University has set (there are only two standardized TESL certifications recognized worldwide – CELTA is one of them). Another reason that sets the CELTA course apart from other certifications is its practical component; during the 4 weeks you will be teaching real ESL students (at 2 distinct levels) for a total of 6 hours. Furthermore, every CELTA center around the globe has gone through the same process to become authorized to run Cambridge CELTA courses.

What are the trainer qualifications?

All CELTA trainers must meet the following minimum requirements: MA degree in TESOL/TEFL or Cambridge DELTA, 5 years of ESL/EFL classroom experience in multiple environments (including 1 year of teaching abroad), and complete a rigorous 2-month training program under University of Cambridge supervision.

Current ELS Tacoma CELTA trainers

Stephanie Burns

CELTA Director
Stephanie comes to the ELS CELTA program from 3 years in sunny San Diego where she received her M.A.E. in TESOL from Alliant International University in 2010. She has taught in a variety of settings including community colleges, private language schools, immigrant programs, and has taught abroad in both Spain, where she received her CELTA certificate, and the Czech Republic. Stephanie is also a certified oral examiner for the Cambridge First Certificate and Certificate of Advanced English, as well as an examiner for IELTS. When she's not training teachers, Stephanie enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest and photography.

Matthew Noble

CELTA Academic Director/Teacher Trainer
Matt found his calling in English language teaching as a volunteer instructor at an ancient Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka in 2004. He completed his CELTA in Bangkok, Thailand the following year and went on to teach at language centers, corporate headquarters, elementary and high schools, test prep programs, and as a private tutor for the next 6 years abroad. In 2011 he came home to earn an EdM in TESOL from Boston University while also teaching English to low-income immigrants in the Boston area and leading online seminars on Reflective Practice for teachers. ‘Teacher learning’ being a primary focus of his graduate work, Matt was thrilled to become a CELTA trainer and carries this enthusiasm with him into each and every course. In his free time Matt enjoys listening to world music, reading mystery novels, and engaging social media.

What is the ratio of trainer to trainees?

Trainer/Trainee ratio of 1:6 or better.

What is the curriculum?

The CELTA program is a 4-week course, with 120 contact hours. There is also an additional 80 learning hours devoted to pre-course preparation and tasks, on-course reading and research, assignment writing, lesson preparation and record keeping.

Teaching practice is included in the curriculum and entails:

  • Working in small groups with a maximum of five other trainee- teachers
  • Tutor-led instruction during lesson planning
  • Practice teaching where you will teach a total of six hours of classroom lessons to at least two different levels of language learners
  • Small-group feedback sessions with written feedback given by the trainer

Is there a final test?

There is no final examination on the CELTA. The assessment is continuous (throughout the course) and integrated (all components count towards the final grade). Assessment is based on a continuous evaluation and assessment of candidates throughout the course in the following components:

  • Teaching practice
  • Written assignments
  • Professionalism

Admission Requirements

  • Student must possess the ability to manage an intensive course load similar to that of university-level courses

Course Dates

  • November 16 – December 15, 2015 (4.5 weeks)
  • January 4 – January 29, 2016
  • February 22 – March 18, 2016
  • April 18 – May 13, 2016
  • June 6 – July 1, 2016
  • July 11 – August 5, 2016
  • August 22 – September 16, 2016
  • October 24 – November 18, 2016


Local area housing referrals available, upon request.


Application fee: $165 Course fee: $2,550 *Course materials not included in price of class


2016 CELTA Application 2016 CELTA Brochure

More Information

Contact Us: CELTA Director ELS Language Centers/Tacoma Bates Technical College 1101 South Yakima Avenue Tacoma, WA 98405 Telephone: 253.680.7296 or 253.680.7284 Fax: 253.680.7289 celta@els.edu

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