Discover ELS – CELTA

Earn the Prestigious CELTA Certificate

Become an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teaching Professional

What is CELTA?

CELTA is the mostly widely recognized initial teaching certificate for those interested in teaching English around the world. It is also an excellent opportunity for those with teaching experience to develop professionally.

The intensive CELTA provides an unparalleled opportunity to receive 6 assessed teaching hours and 6 hours of observing experienced teachers included in a 120-hour course. The maximum trainer to trainee ratio is 1:6.

Awarded by Cambridge English, through the University of Cambridge, the CELTA certificate opens doors to possibilities in the US and abroad.

Who should take it?

The CELTA award is ideal for anyone with little to no formal experience teaching English as a foreign or second language, or for someone who has been teaching and is looking to develop and hone his or her teaching skills.

You do not need to be a native English speaker but demonstration of proficiency is necessary through IELTS or TOEFL scores submitted.

Potential candidates also need to demonstrate that they can also handle stressful situations and an intense workload with no other commitments during the length of the course.

What is the curriculum?

The CELTA program is a 4-week course, with 120 contact hours. There is also an additional 80 learning hours devoted to pre-course preparation and tasks, on-course reading and research, assignment writing, lesson preparation and record keeping.

What is the Cambridge CELTA Course Online?

The Cambridge CELTA Course Online is a blended learning course that combines collaborative online study with face-to-face teaching practice. Collaborative online study means that trainees must complete assignments, online tasks and units on time, but can work flexibly, where and when it suits them to carry out the work. There’s also quite a lot of community work, including forums and live rooms, that helps trainees feel part of a group. The lesson planning, teaching practice, evaluation and feedback on the course is face-to-face, and trainees have the same experience as trainees who opt for the intensive CELTA course with the face-to-face classroom study. The duration for the course is 12 weeks. Trainees will cover 30 units (+orientation module) which equates to 60+ hours of course input. There are also additional Assignment Units and Observation Units.

Teaching practice is included in the curriculum for both the intensive program and the CELTA Course Online and entails:

  • Working in small groups with a maximum of five other trainee- teachers
  • Tutor-led instruction during lesson planning
  • Practice teaching where you will teach a total of six hours of classroom lessons to at least two different levels of language learners
  • Small-group feedback sessions with written feedback given by the trainer

Is there a final test?

There is no final examination on the CELTA. The assessment is continuous (throughout the course) and integrated (all components count towards the final grade). Assessment is based on a continuous evaluation and assessment of candidates throughout the course in the following components:

  • Teaching practice
  • Written assignments
  • Professionalism

Admission Requirements for both courses:

  • Students must have a high school diploma
  • Student must possess the ability to manage an intensive course load similar to that of university-level courses
  • Students must have an advanced level of English proficiency (C1 or above)
  • Students must complete pre-interview task and successful interview

What is the difference between CELTA and other TEFL/TESL certifications?

The biggest difference between CELTA and other TEFL/TESL certifications and the reason it’s highly recognized around the world is that every CELTA course is internally moderated and externally assessed. This means that outside assessors, trained and approved by the University of Cambridge, assess and check that every single course around the world is performing to specific standards that the University has set (there are only two standardized TESL certifications recognized worldwide – CELTA is one of them). Another reason that sets the CELTA course apart from other certifications is its practical component; during the 4 weeks you will be teaching real ESL students (at 2 distinct levels) for a total of 6 hours. Furthermore, every CELTA center around the globe has gone through the same process to become authorized to run Cambridge CELTA courses.

What are the trainer qualifications?

All CELTA trainers must meet the following minimum requirements: MA degree in TESOL/TEFL or Cambridge DELTA, 5 years of ESL/EFL classroom experience in multiple environments (including 1 year of teaching abroad), and complete a rigorous 2-month training program under University of Cambridge supervision.

Current ELS Tacoma CELTA trainers

Stephanie Burns

CELTA Director

Stephanie comes to the ELS CELTA program from 3 years in sunny San Diego where she received her M.A.E. in TESOL from Alliant International University in 2010. She has taught in a variety of settings including community colleges, private language schools, immigrant programs, and has taught abroad in both Spain, where she received her CELTA certificate, and the Czech Republic. Stephanie is also a certified oral examiner for the Cambridge First Certificate and Certificate of Advanced English, as well as an examiner for IELTS. When she’s not training teachers, Stephanie enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest and photography.

Matthew Noble

CELTA Academic Director/Teacher Trainer

Matt found his calling in English language teaching as a volunteer instructor at an ancient Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka in 2004. He completed his CELTA in Bangkok, Thailand the following year and went on to teach at language centers, corporate headquarters, elementary and high schools, test prep programs, and as a private tutor for the next 6 years abroad. In 2011 he came home to earn an EdM in TESOL from Boston University while also teaching English to low-income immigrants in the Boston area and leading online seminars on Reflective Practice for teachers. ‘Teacher learning’ being a primary focus of his graduate work, Matt was thrilled to become a CELTA trainer and carries this enthusiasm with him into each and every course. In his free time Matt enjoys listening to world music, reading mystery novels, and engaging social media.

Course Dates

4-week Intensive Course (on campus in Tacoma):

  • January 30th – February 24th, 2017
  • May 22nd – June 16th, 2017
  • July 24th – August 18th, 2017
  • October 9th – November 3rd, 2017

Cambridge CELTA Course Online (2 1/2 weeks on campus in Tacoma):

  • January 9th – March 31st, 2017
  • May 1st – July 21st, 2017
  • October 2nd – December 22nd, 2017


Local area housing referrals available, upon request.


Deposit: $200 (both courses)

4-week Intensive: $2595

12-week CELTA Course Online: $2750


2017 CELTA Application

2017 CELTA Brochure

More Information

Contact Us:
CELTA Director
ELS Language Centers/Tacoma
Bates Technical College
1101 South Yakima Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98405
Telephone: 253.680.7296 or 253.680.7284
Fax: 253.680.7289