CELTA via London (Covent Garden), UK. An interview with tutor Varinder Unlu

London is one of the world’s most iconic cities and as the capital of the English-speaking world, an ideal place to take a CELTA course…

London is one of the world’s most iconic cities and as the capital of the English-speaking world, an ideal place to take a CELTA course or DELTA module. For those choosing the face-to-face CELTA option, the city boasts an almost inexhaustible variety of things for you to see and do in the fields of sports, music, fashion, shopping, theatre and much more. The London (Covent Garden) location, in the absolute heart of London, in Zone 1, near the famous Covent Garden shopping and entertainment hub, is ideally placed for you to experience the best of the city. The centre offers a wide range of face-to-face and online CELTA courses, both full-time and part-time as well DELTA modules for those interested in the next step of their ELT career.

We took time to chat with the London (Covent Garden) Teacher Training and Development Manager and CELTA Tutor Varinder Unlu who gave us the lowdown on taking a CELTA course (or DELTA Module) via this iconic location

What is it like to take a CELTA course right in the centre of London at the London (Covent Garden) centre?

London is very much at the heart of the ELT world – some of the world’s leading schools are here, many ELT thought leaders are based in the city and we also have the HQs of the British Council and some of the industry’s leading publishers. So, from an ELT perspective, there’s nowhere better. Our trainees tell me that they love the experience of living and studying in London. They often talk about the energy that the city gives them – and as the London (Covent Garden) centre is just a short walk from Covent Garden, from Soho, from Bloomsbury, it is very easy to find that energy and bring it to the classroom with you.

What is the best thing about the London (Covent Garden) online CELTA course?

There are three great things about our course – the trainees that you share the experience with, the London (Covent Garden) tutors who mentor you through the process and the life-changing journey you will go on. Our trainees come from over 60 countries, so you are online, but in a very international environment, with a great mix of experience and culture.

Our online London (Covent Garden) tutors are all highly experienced and well-known for their high standards of teaching and have been picked for their ability to nurture and mentor new teachers. Amongst the team we have experienced teachers, ELT authors and some of the industry’s leading lights on hand to guide our trainees.

Finally, CELTA will change your life in many ways, bringing new skills, revealing new courage and determination, and opening doors to a whole range of possibilities.

What would you say are the benefits of the online full-time course versus the online part-time course?

Whether on-line or face-to-face, the decision to take the course part-time or full-time is one faced by every London (Covent Garden) CELTA candidate.

Part-time gives you more time to think and be reflective; Full-time is a more intense process. Part-time allows space for other activities and time with family/friends during the course. Some may find this eases the CELTA process, others may find this distracting. Full-time demands focus and commitment, and this suits people who have a limited time frame for the course, or who just enjoy being able to focus on one thing.

Either way, the result is the same – in a short space of time (either 4 or 12 weeks), you will end up with a great Cambridge University qualification from the London (Covent Garden) centre that brings a wealth of opportunity.

How much support will I get from the tutors at the London (Covent Garden) centre?

You will get as much support as you need. Some of our trainees are very independent, forging ahead with the course and preferring more autonomy. Others enjoy making the most of the experience that the London (Covent Garden) course tutors bring, and look to them for guidance and support along the way. We are also trained to support trainees with learning needs such as dyslexia or ADHD – if this is declared pre-course, we can work together with the student to make sure they are fully supported.

We support our CELTA trainees both academically and emotionally. An intensive course such as CELTA can be a tough journey without support. We are there every step of the way.

How well does the CELTA course prepare you for entering the TEFL jobs market?

A CELTA qualification is sometimes referred to as a ‘golden ticket’, and whilst it’s true that CELTA will open doors, as with any first steps on a new career path, there are still going to be new things to learn. Working in an international environment, taking responsibility for a group of learners, having to prepare lessons quickly – all of these are often shocks to the system for CELTA graduates, but the course prepares them well.

Our London (Covent Garden) tutors work hard to ensure that our graduates have as few surprises as possible, and that they are ready to rise to the challenge of being a newly-qualified teacher.

Click to find out more about preparing for the CELTA

What are the key differences between the face-to-face and online CELTA options?

Both the London (Covent Garden) face-to-face and online courses deliver the same qualification – the CELTA, whether earned online or face-to-face is still the number one initial teaching qualification for English language teachers, and is the most sought after by recruiters at language schools across the world.

The differences, therefore, are in the format of delivery of knowledge and in the way teaching practice happens. In the face-to-face course, everything happens in a training room, in real time, with trainers, trainees and students all present at the relevant times. This makes for a very different dynamic to an online course, where everyone meets via Zoom and where knowledge input is given as a mix of live ‘synchronous’ sessions with tutors combined with self-study ‘asynchronous’ time.

In both contexts, a strong bond develops between trainees; between trainees and tutors; and between trainees and their teaching practice students. This camaraderie and support is a big part of the CELTA journey. At the London (Covent Garden) centre we work hard to make sure the learning and teaching environment is always top notch, regardless of how the course is delivered.

Finally, tell us a bit about the next step on the teaching ladder. What is the DELTA course via London (Covent Garden) like?

The course leading to the DELTA qualification is designed to take an experienced English teacher to the next level of their skill, ability, and career. At the London (Covent Garden) centre, our DELTA course covers all three modules – and candidates can choose to take just one, or all three at a time.

Module 1 takes the shape of workshops and input, with an expert tutor acting as coach and teacher. The focus here is on developing awareness and expertise in both the English language and its learning/teaching, in a variety of different contexts. Module two is classroom and observation based, with trainees demonstrating an advanced knowledge of the methodology we use to teach English in our classrooms. Finally, Module three is essay and research based, with an independent analysis of a learning situation that leads to the design of a proposal for change.

It’s an exciting course, and really tests and pushes our thinking as teachers. It has been constructed to give time for thought, reflection and consideration, and is guided by a team of expert tutors.

Apply to take the CELTA (or DELTA) via London (Covent Garden), United Kingdom today!

If you are looking to embark on an exciting career where you can teach around the world, the CELTA course via London (Covent Garden), UK is a great place to start! And for those looking to take the next step in their ELT career, the centre offers excellent DELTA module options. You can apply for the CELTA through our online form. There are no application fees and the form usually takes five to 15 minutes to complete.

Do you have any questions about taking the CELTA? Get in touch with a member of our team today!

Check out TEFLwork for opportunities for post-CELTA jobs