Taking the CELTA.

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My books for CELTA. I think I have issues with grammar.

CELTA, a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.
Please read the Wikipedia page for a bare bones explanation of the course.

I always wanted to work in another country after graduation. It was a case of ‘anywhere but here’ for me – Indonesia, China or wherever. I didn’t really care which country as long as I could stay abroad for a year or more. The problem was: why would anyone in some other country hire me over a local? Hiring locals are always better. There would be less fuss with the authorities and the local would know how to get past red tape better than a foreigner could.

I could only think of one thing that could make me employable: my fluency in the English language (and some other languages). There would be people who wanted to improve their English language skills, even in English-speaking cities.
That brought me to another issue: Some language schools would not consider an Asian to be a native speaker of English, even if my main language of communication is English. I would not stand out from the thousands of native speakers from the US or the UK. I had to get some official-looking certificate to tell language schools abroad that I am very suitable for the vacancy they might have.

Thus, I took the first step towards fulfilling my dream of working in another country.

Taking the CELTA in Singapore

There are only 2 schools in Singapore registered with the University of Cambridge (the examining authority for CELTA). The British Council is the first school to offer it and they only offer the 4-week full-time course. The second school, Heartpower, offers full-time and part-time courses.

I have read that taking the CELTA online is not going to cut it for most language schools, so I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.

I have heard the following from graduates of CELTA:

  • Taking the 4-week full-time course is suicide. The 8-week part-time course is more manageable if the person was unemployed.
  • Be prepared for many sleepless nights and by the 5th week, the candidate might want to kill someone. Possibly himself.
  • Despite the amount of pain and anti-social behaviour involved, most of the accounts I have heard/read say that taking the CELTA was possibly the most challenging BUT most rewarding thing they had ever done.

What other people have Written about the CELTA

N.B: For all CELTA-related inquiries, please ask the relevant schools.

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13 Responses to Taking the CELTA.

  1. Hi Therese, thanks for mentioning our site. I’m really happy you found it informative.

    You’ll learn a lot about yourself by taking the CELTA and it’s just such a rush when you finally finish. Also, the 4 week course isn’t suicide… it’s close, but not quite 😉

  2. Liau Yun Qing says:

    Doing it in Thailand sounds awesome!

  3. gaijinhan says:

    Hi Therese,
    Thanks for the link to my page.
    It’s not really a major concern but just for the record, I’m a he.

  4. Jenna Cody says:

    Technically, my post isn’t about how to get a Pass A, it’s just about how I got a Pass A and what I think led to that grade. There is no “how to” for it! 🙂

  5. nat says:

    hey, thanks for the heads up. so, basically you got both celta and tesol certs at the same time or? i have many questions on this, could we talk about it? nat.noor@gmail.com

    • Therese says:

      Hello Nat,
      Yes, I got both CELTA and the TESOL certs at the same time. The requirement for TESOL is quite similar to the one for CELTA. Therefore, the centre offered the option to obtain both at the same time.

  6. John says:

    Hi Therese, congratulations!

    I was researching on taking up the CELTA and was your blog is very relevant and up to date.

    Can I check how classes were like and how tough it was really please? Also, how are cpurse fees payments made? One time or installments?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Therese says:

      Hi John, I would not recommend doing your CELTA at Heartpower unless you have certified that they have relevant licences. The last I heard, they were operating without a licence. This was after I got my CELTA and TESOL. The administration is also a little messy. Do it at the British Council.

      When you are doing your CELTA (whether it’s the 4-week course or the 8-week course), it is hell.
      It is only a little better if you are unemployed while doing the 8-week course. Many of the people I spoke to said the same thing about the workload. Planning classes will take up most of your time.

      I made my course payment in a single payment. However, I do not represent any CELTA centre and I cannot speak for them; please check with the relevant administrators if you are required to pay in a single payment. If paying S$5,600++ at a single shot is too much for you, you might want to consider doing it in Thailand. The cost of doing the same course in Thailand is S$1,600. Again, please check with the relevant centres in Thailand.

      Good luck. 🙂

    • Therese says:

      An addendum to the comment above:
      Heartpower has a valid operating licence and they have never lost the licence; this has been verified a couple of times recently.

      For further inquiries about Heartpower and CELTA, please contact the centre directly.

  7. Vivien says:

    Hi Therese,

    I am thinking of taking the CELTA cert and came across your blog. I just would like to ask if you have been able to find work after graduating with the certificate? Thanks!

    • Therese says:

      Hi Vivien, I haven’t been actively searching for a CELTA related job in Singapore.

Comments are closed.