Why the CELTA is the wrong course for many who take it

The ever wonderful Martin McMorrow has just shared the following statistics concerning the demographic profile of Celta candidates on the ELT World forum:

  • 26% of candidates were over 40, 10% of these were over 50 and 2.5% over 60
  • 68% of candidates had English as their first language and this means for 32% English is not their first language
  • 20% were qualified to teach English in their own country, 43% had previous experience of teaching English; 20% had more than two years’ experience
  • 42% planned to teach EAP after the course
  • 38% planned to teach Business English after the course
  • 22% planned to teach 5–11 year olds
  • 28% planned to teach 11–16 year olds
  • And 52.5% found out about CELTA through personal recommendation. 21% though ‘other’ means – probably websites.

As we all know, there are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics, so you can read into these figures whatever you wish. A couple of things stood out for me, though. Half of those taking the course intend to go on to teach kids. When I did my CELTA, more than ten years ago admittedly, there was precious little about the course that would have prepared me for teaching young learners. The same goes for the more than a third who would be heading for either EAP or business English. This really suggests to me that a) there need to be more starter courses catering for specific strands such as EAP, and b) the CELTYL isn’t widely available or people just don’t know about it.

Read what others have been saying on the forum here.

I also recommend Martin’s EAP podcasts, a fabulous resource.

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6 Responses to Why the CELTA is the wrong course for many who take it

  1. Pingback: Why the CELTA is the wrong course for many who take it | Breakings New

  2. Alex Case says:

    Very interesting. Will steal that for a blog post, if I can just think of anything at all to add to that

  3. david says:

    Feel free, I blatantly copied and pasted from the forum. I think there’s more to be read from the stats, if only I could get down to misinterpreting them more.

  4. Scott says:

    It’s the wrong course if the applicant is intending to teach GE or EAP in the UK, well… at least according to the British Council anyway – the accreditation criteria T1 and T2 (Pgs. 25-26) state that “teachers of courses for adults will hold at least a TEFLQ diploma
    in ELT/TESOL” and “teachers of teacher development courses and EAP courses will hold at least a diploma in ELT/TESOL (TEFLQ)”.

    Either the British Council have no idea what goes on in EFL schools in the UK (a strong possibility), or these teachers are heading abroad. Or both.

  5. som-won says:

    I don’t think that most people taking the CELTA course intend to use it in Britain. Everyone that I knew who took it were planning on going abroad. It’s true that a lot of them don’t know where they’ll be going in the next year or two, so a children’s ELT course would be quite useful to them. In general though, I found it a very useful course to take. A lot of people also take it for the same reason people take any certificate course – job opportunities. In certain parts of the world, simply having the CELTA will open a lot of doors for you.

  6. adam says:

    It will open doors but all of them dead end and low paid

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