Online and face-to-face CELTA - Tutors have their say

Online and face-to-face CELTAs: Course Tutors have their say

As many of you are aware, Cambridge Assessment (Cambridge University) announced recently that fully online CELTA courses will continue to be an option indefinitely. In short, this means that the online CELTA is here to stay!

The online CELTA option was created last spring as a temporary adjustment to allow online delivery of the CELTA during the coronavirus pandemic, and the format has proven to be highly successful. Going forward, you can now choose to take your CELTA course in any of the three formats (face-to-face, online and blended delivery). Whichever format you choose, the CELTA will contain exactly the same content and the certificate at the end will be exactly the same too.

In the aftermath of this important news in the world of English language teaching, we have got in touch with four CELTA tutors in different parts of the world and asked for their response to this key question:

What do you think about Cambridge's decision related to the online CELTA and how do you envisage the co-existence of the face-to-face and online CELTA going forward?


Orlando Delgado Mata: CELTA and Delta Assessor, Mexico City, Mexico

CELTA online is the best thing that’s ever happened since Netflix! As the largest CELTA online centre in the Americas, and one of the largest in the world, we have seen an increase in the number of people that are now taking CELTA as this is now much more accessible than ever before. People with full time jobs, based in remote locations, or who cannot leave their homes and routines to take four weeks off to take CELTA are now able to get an international qualification online, from the comfort of their home! We see a future where face-to-face and online teaching can co-exist, just like there is a future post-COVID where CELTA online and CELTA face-to-face will be different delivery options. CELTA online arrived when most needed, right at the start of a global pandemic where online teaching will be the new reality moving forward. The CELTA online is here to stay!


Connor O'Donoghue: Principal and CELTA Tutor, London (British Museum)

It was definitely the right decision! I think that people who are working will be more likely to choose online part-time courses, but I imagine that for people who wish to do a full-time course, then the face-to-face option will be more popular, once it becomes safer to run face-to-face courses again. But what’s certainly true is that there will be more choice for trainee teachers, and that can only be a good thing!

I believe CELTA will continue to be the most widely recognised English teaching qualification in the world. Over the last year, we have proven that teachers can learn the same skills in an online CELTA as in a face-to-face CELTA. When we first did an online CELTA, I was nervous that the results would be markedly different and I was really impressed to see that trainee teachers were able to gain the same skills while teaching and learning online as they gained while studying on a face-to-face course. There are differences, and it’s certainly true that online learning suits some people better than others, but we have seen people of all ages and from all backgrounds do well on our online courses.


Barbara Munro: CELTA Tutor and Assessor, Melbourne, Australia

I believe Cambridge has made the right decision. The online CELTA has been a great success in terms of enabling candidates to do the course from anywhere. We have had trainees from New Zealand, Japan, China, Singapore and Brunei participating as well as from all over Australia. At first we thought the training would not be as effective, but soon realised that our trainees demonstrated all the criteria and also gained confidence and skill in managing the online classroom environment. Going forward, I believe that the online CELTA is here to stay and helps prepare new teachers for opportunities for online teaching in the future. We hope to combine face-to-face training with online in late 2021 and provide a more comprehensive training for this decade.


Cansu Akan: CELTA Course Tutor, Florence, Italy

It is great to keep both modes of delivery up and running, not only to make the course accessible to anyone who wants to be trained up during the pandemic and beyond, but also to provide future teachers with the opportunity to gain experience in teaching in class and online depending on their needs and interests. Some trainees, quite rightly, believe that fully-online courses help them to be more competitive in the market as they are equipped with the skills to teach both online and face-to-face, while others think that they would only teach in a face-to-face context and that online teaching/learning is not their thing. Either way, the standards are kept the same and having done courses in both contexts, I would say that the trainees make progress in just the same way in terms of their teaching and planning skills. I am sure Cambridge will manage to cater for the needs of both groups of trainees by maintaining high standards in each mode of delivery.

Applying for the Online or Face-to-face CELTA...

You can see details of all upcoming online, face-to-face or blended CELTA courses via our CELTA course calendar.

See all online courses in the time zones most suitable for you.

Found the CELTA course you want? Applying is easy through our online application form. Make sure you set aside 10 minutes of your own time and then a member of the StudyCELTA team will be in contact with you about the next steps.

More ways to Prepare for your CELTA Course!

Are you looking to prepare for your CELTA? Do you want to brush-up on your grammar before the course? Are you interested in the methodology that you will be introduced to on the course?

Take a look at the Pre-CELTA Bundle via our friends at ELTCampus. An online course which will enhance your confidence before starting the CELTA and give you a leg-up on the course content, so you can pass the CELTA with flying colours. Now with bonus online CELTA content!

Find out more!

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