CELTA Course Syllabus

The CELTA syllabus is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of teaching English as a second or foreign language. The syllabus covers a wide range of topics, from language acquisition theory to methods of teaching grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. It also includes a section on lesson planning and classroom management.

One of the unique features of the CELTA syllabus is its focus on practical teaching. Candidates must complete a minimum of six hours of observed and assessed teaching practice, with feedback from experienced tutors. This allows candidates to put into practice what they have learned on the course and receive constructive feedback on their performance.

The CELTA syllabus is divided into five main sections:

  • Topic 1: Learners and teachers and the teaching and learning context.
  • Topic 2: Language analysis and awareness.
  • Topic 3: Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing.
  • Topic 4: Planning and resources for different teaching contexts.
  • Topic 5: Developing teaching skills and professionalism.

Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context

This topic includes:

  • Understanding the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of learners, and how this might affect their learning of English
  • Understanding different learning preferences.

Language analysis and awareness

This topic includes:

  • Understanding key terminology used in English language teaching, applying this terminology in planning and teaching
  • Demonstrating a working knowledge of English grammar, lexis and phonology.

Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing

This topic includes:

  • Understanding basic concepts and terminology used for describing reading, listening, speaking and writing skills, applying this to teaching
  • Understanding how approaches to texts may vary depending on the purpose, making practical use of this in teaching.

Planning and resources for different teaching contexts

This topic includes:

  • Understanding the purpose and principles of planning for effective teaching
  • Selecting and planning the kinds of lessons that are most appropriate for particular learners
  • Evaluating lesson preparation and reflecting on this for planning future lessons.

Developing teaching skills and professionalism

This topic includes:

  • Effectively organising the classroom, both in terms of layout and pair/group activities
  • Making appropriate use of a range of materials and resources
  • Involving learners of different ability levels, enabling them to feel a sense of progress.
Each section of the syllabus is underpinned by a set of core concepts and skills, which are further developed through the course content and activities.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts and skills in written assignments and teaching practice.

CELTA Syllabus Explained

Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context

This section focuses on the importance of understanding learners' cultural and linguistic backgrounds when teaching them English. This can help them understand why certain things may be difficult for them to learn and how to approach better teaching them.

It also focuses on understanding different learning preferences. Different students have different learning preferences. For example, some prefer to learn through listening and speaking, while others prefer reading and writing. As an English teacher, it is important to be aware of these different preferences and cater to them in your teaching.

Language analysis, awareness and development:

This section focuses on developing your ability to analyse language, both in terms of its form and function, so that learners can become more aware of the building blocks of the English language. It also covers how to develop language skills through various activities and tasks that can be used in the classroom.

It covers the various language systems, such as grammar, phonology, and vocabulary, and how they work together to create meaning. It also looks at the skills required for effective communication, such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

This section looks at how language develops over time, both in terms of the individual learner and in society as a whole. It also covers factors that can influence language development, such as motivation, environment, and culture.

Lesson planning and resource development:

This section focuses on how to plan and prepare effective lessons that meet the needs of all learners. It covers the use of different resources, such as textbooks, coursebooks, and authentic materials, and how to create your own teaching materials.

It also looks at how to adapt and adjust lesson plans to meet the changing needs of the learner group, as well as how to deal with unexpected problems that may arise during a lesson. It also covers how to use technology in the classroom to support learning.

Classroom management and professional development:

This section focuses on effective classroom management, including how to create a positive learning environment and motivate learners. It also covers dealing with challenging behaviour and managing different types of classes.

It looks at professional development, including how to reflect on your own practice and develop as a teacher. It covers the importance of continuing professional development and how to keep up to date with developments in the field of ELT.

The CELTA syllabus provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of teaching English as a second or foreign language, focusing on practical teaching. This comprehensive syllabus and our experienced instructors will provide you with everything you need to know to begin your teaching career.


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