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FAQs

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY ON THE COURSE LIKE?
Please visit our Course Content section for a detailed answer to this question.
WHAT DO THE INPUT SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS INVOLVE?
Input sessions cover a wide range of topics to give every trainee a well-rounded and thorough grounding in the theory and practice of language teaching. Topics include: English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation; the language student; the methodology of ELT (how to manage different types of classes, how to clarify the meaning of new words and grammatical structures, how to set up effective and engaging activities for students, how to correct student mistakes); how to design different types of lessons to meet specific aims; best practices for choosing and adapting classroom resources and materials; teaching young learners; teaching one-to-one lessons . Sessions are typically 75 – 90 minutes long. Whilst these are always led by a trainer, they usually depend on a great deal of active involvement on the part of the trainees, who will discuss answers, work together to solve problems, and analyse and reflect on what they have learned.
WILL THE INPUT SESSIONS TEACH ME ENGLISH GRAMMAR?
The course equips trainees the ability and skills to solve their own grammatical conundrums, with a view to helping them become independent teachers capable of continuing their own development after the course. We encourage trainees to view grammatical questions as interesting (not threatening). Many trainees find delving into the complexities and nuances of their native language – often for the first time – to be a fascinating and rewarding experience. This experience, in turn, helps teachers to see how they can make learning grammar engaging and stimulating for their own students.
WHAT PAYMENT(S) ARE REQUIRED?
Once you are accepted onto the course a non-refundable deposit of $600 to secure your place. One month before the course starts the remaining amount is due.
ARE THE COURSE FEES REFUNDABLE?
The deposit once paid is non-refundable. Failure to complete full payment of the course fee a month before the course starts may mean the applicant forfeits their place on the course and their deposit.

For all teacher training courses run by IH Bangkok and Chiang Mai:

More than 1 month before the course start date

  • Cancellations are permitted but with a loss of deposit only and any related transfer costs
  • Postponements are permitted without charge on one occasion.
  • Any subsequent postponement after the first will incur a 100 USD administration fee. This fee will need to be paid in advance before any rebooking confirmation is made for a later course.

Less than 1 month before the course start date

  • No cancellations can be made
  • Postponements may be permitted under the following conditions: 1) If a replacement can be found and the booked course remains full then the trainee may postpone following the rules above for cases of which are more than 1 month before the start date 2) If a replacement cannot be found to make the booked course full then the trainee may postpone 1 time but must wait for a course to have a remaining place, 1 week before the start date of a given course. Therefore in these circumstances the trainee needs to appreciate that they cannot be guaranteed a place on a specific course in advance but needs to wait until 7 days before the start date.
  • Only 1 postponement less than 1 month before the course start is permissible.
  • The above also applies to accommodation if we are arranging it for you. Please note that once you check in to the accommodation refunds are not available.

 

HOW ARE THE TEACHING PRACTICE (TP) SESSIONS ORGANIZED?
TP takes place every day for 2 hours. Trainees work in TP groups of no more than 6 trainees. Each group (along with their trainer) teaches the same class of students for two weeks. At the halfway point of the course, the group switches to a different class at a different level. The two most common levels that trainees will teach are intermediate and elementary. At first a trainee will teach for 40 minutes every other day, and then give two 60-minute lessons at the end of the course (with more preparation time allowed between lessons). Trainees observe each other during their TP sessions.
At the start of the course, trainers give their trainees extensive support in planning and organizing their lessons. As the course progresses, trainees are expected to become more and more independent until they are able, by the end of the course, to plan lessons without much assistance at all. Trainers do still answer questions and give advice, even toward the end of the course.

Your TP students have paid only a nominal course fee and are fully aware that they are being taught by new and/or unqualified teachers. They are, however, motivated and engaged – in some ways they may be the best classes you ever have as a teacher! Many of our students are Thai but we also have quite a few students from other Asian countries and also a small number of UN refuges who are able to study with IH for free. The first language of communication for students is, therefore, English. Students will be at least 16 years old, though most are in their twenties. Though class sizes vary, they usually will not exceed 15 students.

HOW WILL I RECEIVE FEEDBACK ON MY TP SESSIONS?
You will receive feedback on your TP session the day after you teach. Trainees write a brief self-evaluation of their lessons. You will often be able to discuss one another’s lessons as a group before you hear the trainer’s input. The trainer will then weigh in and say what went well and offer constructive suggestions on how to improve future lessons.

The course strives to help trainees develop the skill of evaluating their own teaching – both with a view to succeeding on the course but also as a fundamental ability that all teachers need in order to continue their development after the course.
Trainees often find feedback stressful, especially when they feel that a lesson was unsuccessful. But the feedback is only meant to help you become a better and more effective teacher. By the end of the CELTA, most trainees agree these feedback sessions were one of the most rewarding parts of the course. In order for feedback to work as it’s meant to, however, you must be eager to learn how to improve and be open to constructive suggestions. This attitude is essential to success on the CELTA course. On the other hand, overconfidence and refusal to accept criticism can impede progress.

DOES THE COURSE ADVOCATE ONE PARTICULAR TEACHING METHOD OVER OTHERS?
No one teaching approach can possibly address all of the different challenges and circumstances that language teaching entails. One of the great strengths of the CELTA course is that it is eclectic in its approach and offers you a wide range of teaching methods. We focus on those techniques that are the most flexible, proven and relevant to the kinds of classes you are most likely to teach. All can be described – in very general terms – as “communicative” teaching. Indeed, and if there is one principle underlying all of them upon which trainers would agree, it is that involving students actively in the learning process is more effective than the teacher simply telling the students things. Again and again, you will hear your trainers encouraging you to give “student-centred” lessons and to reduce the amount of teacher-talking time and the stages during which the students are focused on the teacher instead of working independently with each other. You will learn how to become a facilitator, guide and resource – rather than a lecturer or performer.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE FINAL GRADES?
CELTA trainees will receive one of the following marks: Pass, Pass B, Pass A, and Fail. Acceptance on the course is not a guarantee of a passing mark. Because of this, however, CELTA centres take special care only to accept trainees onto the course if they are judged to be qualified to take the CELTA and have a good chance of passing. Thus, the failure rate is quite low (about 3% internationally). Whilst some trainees drop out of the course, this is usually because they realise that teaching may not be for them. The great majority of candidates earn a grade of Pass. A smaller percentage (around 25%) achieves a Pass B or above. There is no ‘quota’ of particular grades for each course. CELTA grades are generally thought to have a quite limited “shelf-life”, as prospective employers are well aware that the CELTA is a pre-service qualification and that successful graduates will naturally go on to develop quite quickly after the course. Therefore, having a Pass grade will not hold you back in any way in your career. Additionally, you will receive a personalised report from your trainers which speaks to both your strengths and potential for further development. Trainees retain copies of their evaluations throughout the course and so should have a good understanding of their overall progress and their likely final grade. A progress test and potential final grade is also discussed in a mid-course tutorial with a trainer. If a trainee is in danger of failing, he or she will be warned well in advance and given specific advice on what they need to improve on in order to meet the required standard overall.
WHAT IS THE FINAL GRADE BASED ON? WHO DECIDES IT AND HOW AM I ASSESSED?
The two components of assessment are written assignment and teaching practice
Teaching practice is the key component in assessment.

You must pass at least 3 out of the 4 written assignments in order to pass overall, but assignments which are marked “not to standard” on the first submission may be resubmitted with corrections, so it is extremely rare for trainees to fail this component. (Please note that if a candidate’s written English is very poor, this can be grounds for failing an assignment. Normally, of course, this problem will have been detected during the selection process unless there has been some ultimately counterproductive effort to defraud.)

Teaching practice is assessed on a very wide range of criteria (42 of them, to be exact), which will be outlined for trainees at the beginning of the course in their official “CELTA 5” record-keeping booklets. The criteria fall into five major categories: lesson planning and use of resources; awareness of the learner; language analysis (i.e. dealing with meaning, form and pronunciation in the classroom); development of learners’ language skills (i.e. reading and writing, listening and speaking); and teaching skills and techniques and general professionalism. The criteria are not weighted equally. Trainers give more significance to those areas that are more critical to an effective lesson and/or more difficult for a novice teacher to do well.
A Pass is awarded to a candidate whose “overall performance” in the teaching practice (and in the written assignments) “meets the specified criteria”. The Pass candidate will be someone still in need of help and guidance during their first few months at work.

To receive a Pass B (in addition to fulfilling the requirements for a Pass) a candidate has to consistently demonstrate in their teaching practice “a level of achievement significantly higher than that required to meet pass-level criteria” in classroom teaching skills (that is, those gathered under all headings above except the first). It is expected of a Pass B candidate that they will need only a minimum of further help and guidance immediately on graduating from the course.

To receive a Pass A (in addition to fulfilling the requirements for a Pass) a candidate has not only to show consistency in significantly exceeding Pass requirements in classroom teaching skills but also in lesson planning (the first of the headings listed above). It is also expected that the Pass A candidate “will be able to work independently” without the need of any guidance immediately on graduating from the course.

There is no CELTA examination. Assessment is continuous. You will receive a detailed evaluation of every lesson you teach, which will include an overall grading of the lesson as “at standard”, “above standard” or “below standard” for the stage of the course you are at. In other words, the standards expected of you are constantly raised as you receive more input and feedback and gain more teaching experience over the course. This means that if you remain “at standard” throughout the course, you have made constant progress. It also means that what is happening towards the end of the course is more significant than what is happening towards the beginning, so that falling below the standard once in the early stages, for example, is unlikely to have any effect on your final grade. For this reason also, higher grades cannot be decided by simply adding up the number of times a candidate rose above standard. Attention will also be paid to the stages in the course at which s/he rose above standard and over how wide a range of lesson types.

Recommended grades are decided by the course tutors at the end of the course, at least two of whom will have observed you. In addition, every CELTA course is visited for one or two days towards its end by a Cambridge-appointed “assessor”, who will observe TP and feedback and read through candidates’ lesson plans and written work etc. The assessor’s primary role is to ensure that a course is running according to Cambridge CELTA regulations. In this sense, s/he is “assessing” the centre and the tutors rather than the candidates. Part of such an assessment, however, involves the assessor reading through candidates’ “portfolios” (which are maintained by the candidate during the course and contain all lesson plans, tutors’ comments on TP and written assignments), ensuring that the tutors’ views on candidates’ progress correspond with general CELTA standards and in cases where a grade is not yet clear, trying to help tutors establish exactly what a trainee has or has not yet demonstrated. In the rare event that the tutors recommend a Fail for a candidate, that candidate’s portfolio is automatically referred to Cambridge ESOL for a second opinion. There it will be re-examined by several experienced trainers and the centre’s recommended result may be either confirmed or overturned. The candidate may submit a letter querying the result for consideration together with the portfolio if they so wish.

ASSUMING I PASS, WHAT WILL I ACTUALLY RECEIVE?
You will receive a document informing you of your recommended result – typically within one week of finishing the course. This document is issued by IH Bangkok, and will state that the result is ‘provisional’. Once endorse by Cambridge ESOL, the result will be considered ‘official’. This will happen within a few weeks of finishing the course. If you need confirmation of your result or a reference in the meantime, tell employers to contact IH. Approximately a month after the course ends, you will receive two things: first, the actual CELTA certificate, and second, a detailed performance report from IH Bangkok which outlines your potential for development. Cambridge sends the certificates here to IH, we inform candidates of their arrival and then forward them with the report by registered mail to the address of your choice.
WHERE IS THE QUALIFICATION RECOGNISED?
Worldwide, over 600 CELTA courses run and over 10,000 candidates gain the certificate every year. The Cambridge CELTA is the most widely recognised and, certainly within Asia and Europe and increasingly within Latin America, the most highly regarded of all initial ELT qualifications. It was originally designed by and intended for the private language school sector and private language schools probably remain the main source of employment for course graduates but it is increasingly sought after by employers at universities and international schools.

Whether or not the CELTA alone will be accepted as an adequate qualification to teach legally varies from country to country. In Thailand and in many other Asian countries, you will need to have a university degree in order to be able to get a work permit as a teacher. However, the CELTA (or a similar ELT qualification) is also a mandatory requirement for an English teacher in Thailand and a growing number of other Asian countries.

Within the United Kingdom, Cambridge ESOL Teaching Awards have been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) at Level 4 on the National Qualification Framework. CELTA is also the first module of a wider qualification, which will meet the requirements for teachers of ESOL in further and adult education and which has recognition from FENTO (The Further Education National Training Organisation). For more details please see the Cambridge ESOL website.

The new CELTA syllabus has meant a wider recognition for CELTA holders in terms of migrant teaching, which is a growing sector not just in the UK but in many English-speaking countries.

Cambridge ESOL also continues to work with various international ELT organisations to promote the recognition of CELTA globally and to ensure that your chances of finding suitable employment will be enhanced with the CELTA.

WHAT SORT OF HELP DO YOU PROVIDE FOR TRAINEES LOOKING FOR WORK?
The course includes a professional development session on how to find work after the course and how you can go on to develop your career. The tutors have taught in a number of countries and organisations and can provide valuable advice on what to look out for and what to be aware of in addition to sometimes being able to point graduates in the right direction for employment opportunities. Being an International House school also means that graduates have access to the IH recruitment service worldwide.
IS THERE A CHANCE I COULD WORK AT IH BANGKOK IF I’M SUCCESSFUL ON THE COURSE?
If we have a vacancy, we actively try to employ graduates of the course. However, because our teaching sector is small in comparison with our CELTA training sector, we are unfortunately not able to make guarantees.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES IN GENERAL OF FINDING A JOB AFTER COMPLETING THE CELTA?
Excellent! In Thailand and in most other areas of South-East Asia, trained EFL teachers are in great demand. The fact that you will have the CELTA, the best known and most highly regarded initial teacher training qualification you can get, will ensure that you will have the pick of the jobs and can therefore be choosy. What’s more, our knowledge of schools and markets throughout the SE Asia region will mean that you can rely on us for practical and impartial advice on who to work for.
IS THERE A DRESS CODE WHILST TRAINING AT IH BANGKOK?
IH Bangkok is not only a teacher training centre but is also a working language school. Like in many Asian cultures, teachers in Thailand are held in high regard and so are expected to dress and behave in a manner that befits their high status profession. Therefore, we would ask that our trainees dress smartly when on the school premises. On days when they are teaching, men should wear trousers and a shirt and tie, and women should wear a blouse and smart skirt or trousers. On other days, a shirt and trousers are acceptable but please note that shoulders should be covered at all times, as should any tattoos, and skirts should not be too short.

ANY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED?

Then contact us at e-mail: celta@ihbangkok.com