The Importance of CELTA in Coming Years

The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages has become an essential English language teaching qualification, trusted by teachers, language schools, and governments since its introduction in the 1960s. Tens of thousands of future and current language teachers take CELTA every year at over 300 centers in more than 70 countries.

But, after all this time, does CELTA still have relevance? Clare Harrison presented a number of arguments at this year’s IATEFL conference in Brighton in an attempt to answer this specific question.

Employers Recognise And Require CELTA.

Clare presented a study that examined 600 English language teaching job advertisements from 60 countries in her talk. According to the study’s findings, nearly three-quarters of employers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa require CELTA from candidates, with the figure reaching 88% in the United Kingdom. The study was conducted in 2017-2018 and provided strong evidence that CELTA is still highly valued by employers in the ELT world.

CELTA Complies With International Standards/ CELTA Is Comparable To Initial Teacher Training In Other Fields

Clare also presented two studies that looked at initial teacher training courses around the world (conducted by the OECD) and in the UK (completed by Sir Andrew Carter) and found that CELTA is similar to initial teacher training in other fields and areas. This means that the qualification adheres to best practices established by other leading international teacher training qualifications. It also emphasizes CELTA’s continued relevance in teacher education.

CELTA’s Environmental Dynamics

The world in which CELTA operates, however, is changing. English is being introduced earlier in the curriculum in many countries as part of compulsory education.

The proliferation of digital technology is improving face-to-face and remote teaching, and online access influences how students can and want to learn. Technology also allows people to learn in a more personalized manner.

Finally, advances in neuroscience are allowing us to gain a better understanding of how people acquire knowledge.

In addition to these changes, the CELTA candidate pool is becoming more diverse, both in terms of first language and level of teaching experience. For example, in 2005, 75% of candidates spoke English as a first language, whereas this figure is now around 50%. In terms of teaching experience, in 2000, only 20% of CELTA candidates had some teaching experience, whereas data from 2016 shows that 60% of them already have some teaching experience.

Clare stated, “We felt it was necessary not to stand still in this ever-changing context.” We know CELTA is doing well; it is widely recognized and well-known for its quality. Will that be the case if CELTA remains the same?”

Cambridge English gathered opinions from 72 CELTA centers in 16 countries, 240 tutors and (Senior) Assessors in 50 countries, 1,500 current CELTA candidates from 100 nationalities, and 300 potential candidates to find the perfect solution and understand what people think about CELTA. The study included 31 employer interviews and 27 interviews with competitors’ qualifications candidates.

How Do Stakeholders Perceive CELTA?

In relation to CELTA, the study discovered a very high satisfaction rate and a very low appetite for change. The qualification prepared 87% of candidates very well for teaching, while 99% of centers and 83% of tutors were satisfied with its content.

Employers were another group that thought highly of CELTA – or rather CELTA graduates. The graduates were described as more organized, committed to teaching English online, and confident in their ability to teach. Compared to other teachers, they were perceived to have a better understanding of classroom management, teaching techniques, terminology, and grammar.

Will CELTA Remain Unchanged?

CELTA has been around for over 50 years, and as with Cambridge English exams, regular qualification reviews ensure that candidates and all those involved benefit from it.

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