Cambridge CELTA – Frequently Asked Questions
Is the CELTA I get from Languages International the same as from other centres?
Yes, it is. The syllabus and assessment criteria used at all centres offering CELTA courses around the world are determined by Cambridge and are the same. Each centre is free to interpret the syllabus in their own way, but the course programmes are usually quite similar. Where you should train is a personal decision that you, as the prospective candidate, must make. Your decision will be based on where the centre is located, course dates, availability of places and whether you want to study full-time or part-time. Other factors that may influence your decision are to do with the quality of response you receive from an individual centre and the quality of materials they send you. You may also like to ask about the number of trainers working at that centre and the kind of background they have. Languages International is New Zealand’s longest-established CELTA centre, having trained around 1500 candidates since our first course in 1988. Over 95% of our candidates have achieved a Pass grade or higher.
What's the difference between Cambridge and Trinity?
Both courses are aimed at teachers with little or no experience in English language teaching. Both qualifications are recognised in New Zealand and overseas. Cambridge courses have a longer history in New Zealand. Languages International was the first centre to offer such a course in 1988. The CELTA was once known as the RSA/Cambridge CTEFLA, or sometimes “the RSA course”. As a result, Cambridge perhaps has a higher profile than Trinity in New Zealand. This is also the case in Australia.
There are also differences in the role the external assessor has to play in each course. In the Cambridge scheme, assessors have a moderation, standardisation and quality control function. Their aim is to negotiate grades with trainers by carefully monitoring the decision-making process. This ensures that you are being graded reliably to the Cambridge international standard. If the performance of an individual trainee is not to standard on the day the assessor visits, his or her grade will not be affected, as long as their overall performance on the course has otherwise been to standard. For details on the role the assessor has to play in Trinity courses, we suggest you contact a Trinity centre.
What are my chances of getting a job?
This depends on the job market when you graduate. At certain times of the year (for example, in July and August), there is a lot of demand for teachers and it is easy to get a job. At other times, the job market can be quite competitive and teachers may need to do relieving teaching or teach part-time when they are starting out. English language teaching is an industry and, as such, is susceptible to changes in the international market place. For example, if the New Zealand dollar is strong, fewer learners may come to New Zealand from overseas because it is more expensive for them to do so. Fewer learners means fewer jobs for teachers. This can affect your chances of finding work when you complete the course. Conversely, English language teaching is a very mobile profession and teachers often leave schools to teach and travel abroad, so work does become available. Finally, there are always plenty of work opportunities overseas.
Will you help me find work?
During the course, we run two sessions on finding work. We supply you with names and addresses of schools and let you know what to expect and what questions to ask. Because we are a well-known training centre, a lot of schools in New Zealand and overseas contact us about work opportunities. We always pass this information on to trainees. However, we do not act as a job recruitment agency. There is a potential conflict of interest in attempting to both train and recruit.
Why is the course expensive?
The fee reflects that there is a high tutor-to-trainee ratio. Each course is staffed by 2 full-time tutors who are highly experienced. CELTA courses are not in any way subsidised, so the fee reflects the real cost of tuition. It also means that you get a lot of individual attention on the course.
Can I get a student loan?
Unfortunately, the course length means that CELTA trainees are not eligible for students loans. In special circumstances, CELTA trainees have been able to get some funding from WINZ or ACC. However, it is the responsibility of the prospective applicant to approach the appropriate government agency for details on their eligibility for subsidy. We do not have this information.
If I am offered a wait list placing, when will I know if I have got a place?
Unfortunately, we are unable to predict this. In order for a place to become vacant on a course, someone booked on that course needs to change their mind and either transfer or withdraw from the course. Clearly, we cannot predict when this will happen. Often prospective candidates alter their booking when we ask for the balance of fees. Once we know a place is available we act very quickly to fill that place so that you have as much notice as possible.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail or by phone on +64 (9) 309 0615. We are open from 9 am to 4:30 pm.