pre-CELTA thoughts

Next month I will be embarking on my CELTA journey. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the abbreviation, it’s a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It’s pretty intensive as far as courses go; it runs for a whole month and candidates are expected to attend Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

I’ve wanted to take a TESOL/TEFL certification for a while now and after a lot of online research and talks with some of my friends who have had experiences with TESOL/TEFL courses and its equivalents, I’ve decided on the CELTA.

Why CELTA?
Ok, so if you type TESOL/TEFL course into Google’s search bar, you get a lot of different websites advertising that they offer the best; some even try to pull you in with promises of a job teaching abroad guaranteed as soon as you complete their course. The amount of information available on the different institutions offering different courses is so vast that I was completely overwhelmed by it all. How on earth am I supposed to choose the right course for me when they all claim to be ‘the best’?

I had previously heard about the CELTA and decided to look into it further. Basically, CELTA is a TESOL/TEFL course designed and administered by Cambridge English for aspiring teachers of English as a second language. The course consists of small tutorial classes as well as hands on teaching practices. There are a few reasons why I’ve chosen the CELTA over other (usually cheaper) TESOL/TEFL courses:

  • CELTA is the most internationally recognised TESOL training program in the world. Because it’s administered by Cambridge English Language Assessment in partnership with Cambridge University Press, you can be sure that the standard of a CELTA course is the same regardless of where you’re taking it, i.e. it’s the same in any country. Representatives from Cambridge English regularly monitor and check that each centre is up to their high standard. This also means that a CELTA certificate is trusted by employers worldwide, which will surely make it easier for you to land a job abroad if you so wish.
  • Unlike most TESOL/TEFL certificates, where you pay a certain amount of money to attend classes and be guaranteed a certificate at the end of it, the CELTA is a pass/fail course. This means that if you don’t put in the work, or if the assessor thinks that you are not up to their standard, it is very much possible for you to fail the course. For this reason, the admittance process involves interviews and written tasks to make sure that a candidate that is accepted into the course will have a high chance of passing the course instead of just letting anybody into the course (failing the course after paying US$ 1850 for it is no joke… unless you’re super rich). Again, this shows that they take quality very seriously.
  • Only institutions that have been approved by Cambridge English can administer and hold CELTA courses. There is actually only one centre that offers the CELTA course in Indonesia: TBI (The British Institute, they have two branches – TBI Bali and TBI Jakarta), and the latter is where I’ll be spending my next month.
TBI Jakarta

I’ve read a lot of online articles on other people’s experiences with the CELTA around the world, and most have titles like “How to survive the CELTA” or something along the lines of “How to pass the CELTA without losing your mind”. The articles themselves include sentences like “say goodbye to your social life for a month” and “welcome to four weeks of hell”. Those might not exactly be encouraging words, but I’m hoping that the (time, money, and mental) investment will be worth it. Wish me luck guys, and I’ll see you on the other side!


a/n: I apologize for not having updated my blog in a while; for some reason October has been a very busy month for me, and next month will undoubtedly be even more so and I might not be able to post anything new. Please forgive the semi-hiatus and I promise I’ll be back soon with more comics and musings. Much love to all my readers and followers for being patient.

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pre-CELTA thoughts

16 thoughts on “pre-CELTA thoughts

  1. Erica says:

    I think it is a good idea to take the course where you actually have to pass, too. An automatic pass is tempting, but it doesn’t carry much value long-term. I’m sure you’ll do well since it sounds like you’ve made the time in your life to apply yourself. Good luck!

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    1. yep, me too. Then it will feel like I’ve actually achieved something through my own hard work, instead of feeling like I just paid for a certificate (but first, I need to pass the course haha). Thank you for your kind comment =)

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  2. Good on you for taking up this course. No doubt it will go on to open doors for you. It is beneficial to continue our learning for our development in our place of work or business.

    I must say I agree with the pass or fail rule. This means you get out exactly what you have put in. Also the certificate is likely to be accepted and embraced as it will hold value.

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  3. heraldmarty says:

    Best wishes on your journey with this course Rosary. It sounds ambitious, but that’s what makes it so worthwhile. I have no doubt you will pass with flying colors!

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  4. I’ve thought about teaching English as a second language overseas, but I have to wait until my pets are no longer with me. I could never put them up for adoption. I’m certified to teach Language Arts, Humanities, and ESL, but from what I’ve read about overseas programs, it seems best to get the TESOL/TEFL certification. What do you think? It strikes me as a bit strange since I have lots of teaching experience, but on the other hand, if I did go and teach in Prague it would be a good way to also get acclimated to the city while taking the classes.

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    1. Teaching abroad can definitely be a very rewarding experience, and I do agree that you’d need a TESOL/TEFL certificate which is primarily why I decided to do the CELTA. Of course, everyone is different and if you decide you want to give teaching English abroad a go in the future, you should definitely choose the TESOL/TEFL course that suits you.

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  5. Wonderful, so proud of you to go for this certificate.
    Getting certificates like this is so important, many people do not realize how much influence they have. Going from one business, or across country lines, means you have a recognition of your talents and skills.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yep, it might be a little daunting at times but ultimately it’s for our self development as much as it it for our professional development. Thanks for your comment, and I apologize for the late reply, it has been one hectic (but very rewarding) month!

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  6. susht says:

    The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
    Wishing you the best of luck on the journey ahead!

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    1. Thank you Andrew! so sorry for the very late reply, to say that I’ve had a busy month would be an understatement. But it has certainly been very eye-opening, more on post-CELTA thoughts coming soon! =)

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