CELTA in Athens @ CELT Athens of course :-)

Some people ask me if we made up the name of the school specifically to echo the name of the Cambridge CELTA.

The answer is “No, we did not!”

CELT was first established in 1989 by Marisa Constantinides & fellow teacher and teacher trainer Danae Kozanoglou. In 1993, this partnership was dissolved and Marisa Constantinides founded CELT Athens in September of the same year.

At that time, the Cambridge CELTA Certificate was not even a glimmer in Cambridge’s eyes! In fact, the predecessor of the CELTA was run by the RSA, i.e., the Royal Society of Arts and was called CTEFL.

So, it was a coincidence, and a very happy one, I should add!!!


Your CELTA online – Training on a screen near you has never been so easy! 

Semi-intensive or part-time – a flexible way to obtain this great qualification

Online learning has taken over our lives and in the past year, we have trained dozens of teachers experienced and new from around the world!!

So far, we have run part time courses, mainly because we believe that intensive courses where you are attending classes from 9-5 (or even later)  are stressful, counterproductive and can cause serious problems to one’s attention and ability to concentrate.

The long hours on Zoom are truly gruelling! For this reason, we created a semi-intensive course, completed over six weeks instead of the 4-week intensive option, which you can attend more comfortably and which does not require you to be in an online classroom all day every day!

We call it semi-intensive because it has some of the features of an intensive course and some of a less intensive course option. 

Have a read at the next section to see how the course works and I hope you will see why we think it works better for people who prefer to follow the CELTA online. 

Read all about our outstanding team of tutors here

How the 6-week Course works

1. Synchronous – live meetings on Zoom only on two days a week

During the  six weeks of the course, you will need to be available for line online meetings on Zoom on two days a week and this is when you do the following:

Attend live/interactive seminars or tutorials
– Practise teaching with our adult students ( a total of 8 lessons during the six weeks of the course)
– Observe others teach the same students
– Give and receive feedback and suggestions by peers and tutor teaching our adult learners 
– Plan your next lesson with the help of your tutors. 

The two days of attendance may vary from course to course and times can vary, too. Some courses meet in the morning, others in the afternoon or early evening. 

2. Asynchronous study on the Cambridge Platform

The rest of the week involved self-paced study. You can log in any time of the day or night available to you and
     – complete the units on the Cambridge platform
     – write your lesson plans and teaching materials 
     – write your four short assignments on topics relating to content you covered on the course.

On average, you will be required to complete 5 units a week on the Cambridge platform – each unit takes between 1-2 hours to complete by doing all the tasks.

The course is not suited to teachers working full time, as it is still quite demanding and requires study and preparation.   

How the 10- week course works 

An even more relaxed way of completing the course is the 10 week part time course which involves only one day of attendance every week and less time dedicated to studying, lesson preparation and teaching. It is better suited to teachers who are also working at the same time, although enough time must be set aside for planning and studying. 


This is a great opportunity to complete this course without having to travel, quarantine, pay for accommodation and subsistence costs and have the same great results!


Our Gift Course to our online CELTA trainees

Attending a CELTA online requires a certain level of comfort with working online and using online applications and websites for your teaching assessments.

To help candidates who have little or no experience in online teaching or attending course, we offer a free preparation course which we ask trainees to complete one or two weeks before their CELTA .

Attending our  TEACHING LANGUAGES ONLINE course has helped many trainees who feel anxious about using Zoom for teaching by using the form below. 



The CELTA pre-interview


One of the frequent questions asked by potential candidates directly to us or via social platforms and groups is how to do well on their pre-interview task and what it’s about. 

Cambridge loves a name all of its own for things done and this one is no exception! The ‘pre-interview task’ is primarily a test of language and here are a few of the parameters that are being tested:

Aspects of Language tested in the pre-interview task

  • the ability to analyse language and use metalanguage (grammar terminology) correctly
  • language awareness; being aware of what is acceptable and appropriate in different social contexts
  • being able to understand what it is language users are doing with language (language functions)
  • understanding of meanings in words and sentences
  • idenfication of errors of syntax, choice of lexis or grammatical forms
  • accuracy in own written production including spelling and punctuation
  • good use of grammar and syntax when writing
  • ability to produce a coherent and cohesive piece of written text

These aspects of language assessment are all part of the tasks different centres and Cambridge include in their pre-interview tasks. They aim to determine whether the proficiency level of a candidate is high enough to be able to teach language not just use it for work, life, studies.

Each centre will attempt to achieve this through a different range of exercises and mini tasks, but all of use are looking to see if you know the subject matter of what you propose to learn to teach: the English Language.

Another important issue is the time frame and administration of this task. Most centres do not offer this is a timed assessment administered under supervision and, in fact, encourage candidates to look up their answers in grammar books or dictionaries. (A quick writing task is also given to the candidates during the interview to see how they perform under pressure and to ensure that they can think quickly and produce quality answers in a tight time frame)

The aim is not to test the candidate’s memory but to check as to whether the correct answer can in fact be found through researching appropriate sources. This is what teachers do every day in their teaching lives, or they should if they are not!

In this way, it becomes obvious that the pre-interview task aims to do more than assess language proficiency but aims to check whether and to what degree a candidate

  • can find the right source and information about a sentence, phrase or word
  • can use it to describe language
  • is able to explain language simply and clearly to a learner
  • has a sense of what it means to be a foreign language learner of a particular level, e.g. a beginner
  • can tone down/simplify their language to suit the level

Simplifying language is not rocket science – some candidates think it’s too much to ask, but mothers and fathers do it every day for the benefit of the language acquisition of their child, so this is not such an unlikely thing to be checking on.

The pre-interview task and its role in the interview

Tutors meeting candidates during the interview, will typically/normally use the candidate’s answers in the pre-interview task as a springboard to further check the candidate’s knowledge and potential for the course. This may include

  • more questions on the same topics as the test
  • different questions if the interviewer has doubts and looks to check further into the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of how English works
  • clarification on how an answer was arrived at; the thinking behind it
  • asking more information about the text the candidate was asked to produce – e.g. to elaborate on a point or explain it further

Obviously, accurate and fluent spoken language is an expectation and the interview aims to check just that, that the candidate is able to communicate without making mistakes in everything utterance and that, although their speech may be accented (non-native or Australian accents fall pretty much under the same criterion), their spoken production is understandable and clear and would not confuse their listeners.

Native vs Non-native candidates

So far we have assessed CELTA candidates in their thousands and, like every other centre, we have had opportunity to notice some distinct characteristics of each candidate type although the points below are very broad generalisations and not every native or non-native candidates fits in with these rough strokes.

Native speaker candidates typically always do well in identifying the meaning of an utterance or a phrase, their functional intuitions are usually in place if there are questions about what a speaker is trying to do by saying X or Y sentence or phrase and can usually produce accurate and coherent passages in writing if they have a good level of education or did well in English at school. If not, their written production often suffers, spelling and punctuation can be erratic and identifying language forms seems to be quite difficult for many.

Non-native speaker candidates typically excel in identifying language forms, name parts of speech and grammatical structures well and their familiarity with the rules of the language can be impressive. Their writing also tends to be accurate with good spelling and punctuation, if somewhat loaded with connecting words such as however and moreover and so on in every other sentence. Functional intuitions are not as strong and sometimes their sense of social appropriacy is somewhat lacking.

Both types of candidates are accepted on courses as of course they should!

If they have weaknesses, some suggestions for appropriate sources to study so they can improve areas that need some improvement can help them a lot

But working side by side on courses also proves highly beneficial to both because they tend to support and pro up one another in the areas mentioned as weaknesses (if these exist). A lot of peer learning is generated in this way and, incidentally, a new ethos which will eventually prevail – that both types of teachers are equally valuable and have strengths to bring to a language programme on their own or in tandem.

My next blog post should perhaps cover questions during the interview and what CELTA tutors hope to find out about candidates, their eligibility and their potential for a successful outcome during their CELTA course. 




Where you can find us

Recently relocated to new, more spacious premises, you can find us in the heart of Athens,  a city with so much to see and do!

Our centre is within easy reach of multiple means of transport and just two metro stops away from the Acropolis and the surrounding area, Plaka, the old city quarter of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis and just 30 mins away from some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean.

Connect with us

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Centre for English Language & Training, 3 G.Gennadiou Street, 106 78 Athens, Greece

Tel +30 210 3302406 | +30 210 3301455 | Fax +30 210 3301202|  E-mail:  info @celt.edu.gr  

Please make sure you check your spam folder if expecting a reply from us as emails from addresses of schools often end up there! 

Teaching Assessments Online during the CELTA

In this second blog post contributed by Sara Katsonis, a trainee on the same online/blended CELTA course which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions, lockdown and inability to complete the teaching practicum part of the course which was under way at the time.  Sara started with tech issues even with simple things like getting her audio files to play while she was projecting a powerpoint, or accidentally leaning against the interactive whiteboard and losing her presentation (which is just what has happened in the photo below). It was with a look of horror on her face that she took the news about online teaching. I am truly pleased she offered to write this post – she is a great teacher and finished her course with the highest of grades. I took the liberty of changing the title she originally sent me, because this was not just teaching online but it involved teaching people who were not her students and being assessed at the same time. I thought this was an important point to make and to show that teaching is the same, it’s about people and good pedagogical decisions, not just about the tech!!! 

Teaching Online – my Thoughts and Reactions

I was not quite half way through a CELTA course when lockdown started in Greece and, as a result of forced school closures, we were told that TPs*  would be suspended indefinitely. At this point I had taught three classes face to face in Athens and had just started getting into the swing of things. Although I had another 5 TPs to go, I knew what was ahead of me and felt confident that I could cope with the demands of the course. Then, all of a sudden, we were left in limbo, not knowing when we would be able to continue our classes in Athens and, even more importantly, finish the course.

( *TPs = Teaching Practices ) Sara teaching at CELT

However, after a month, our tutors informed us that Cambridge had taken the unprecedented step of allowing CELTA trainees to complete their TPs on line. My initial reaction was horror at the thought.  TPs are already stressful enough without the added worry of what can go wrong if technology fails. I had enough trouble getting equipment to cooperate with me in a classroom and felt that teaching online could only lead to disaster. And I have always considered myself more of a traditional teacher enjoying the buzz you get from the face-to-face contact with students. Teaching online seemed so impersonal. How can you build up a relationship with learners when the only contact you have with them is through a computer screen?

But after talking things through with tutors and fellow trainees, I decided to give it a go. It was the only way I could foresee finishing the course before the summer, but I also saw it as a challenge – to push myself outside of my comfort zone and develop some valuable new skills.

So, after a few sessions learning how to use the various on-line platforms the day of my TP arrived. I had already observed two of the other course participants teaching the previous day and they had made it look so easy. That was not the case for me – problems with the sound and then with the internet connection made me feel like giving up halfway through the lesson. I was convinced the students had lost all interest as it was so difficult to gauge their reactions on the screen. However, after receiving feedback from my tutor at the end of the lesson, I realised that I had been focussing solely on what had gone wrong during the lesson rather than being positive and seeing what aspects had gone well.

As a result, my second lesson went much more smoothly, my confidence grew and I began to enjoy using the online learning platform. I saw how engaged learners could be if the tasks they were asked to do were varied and allowed them to interact with each other in a meaningful way. It is also possible to build up a relationship with learners online. It might take longer than in a traditional classroom, but taking advantage of the few minutes at the beginning of the class while waiting for all the students to log on is enough to allow you to learn a little about each individual and build on it in subsequent lessons.

I’ve now completed all of the remaining TPs on line and each time I felt that I was developing new skill sets. Lesson plans need to be much more concise as every activity has to count, time management is even more important and instructions have to be extra clear so that when students are sent to break-out rooms they don’t waste time trying to work out what they are supposed to be doing. And when all goes well, the rewards more than compensate for all the effort that has gone into the planning of the lesson.

Given the current situation, it looks like on-line learning is here to stay and I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills in a safe, controlled environment guided by our tutor and now feel that I can take on any new challenge that I may come across. I have conquered my fears of technology and am confident in my ability to cope with the demands of teaching on-line. I realise that I still have a lot to learn but there are so many amazing on-line resources out there and even more amazing colleagues who are happy to share their experiences that I always know help is at hand.post  

Post contributor  Sara Katsonis – trainee on the CELTA online course which ran from January to May – Sara completed her CELTA with a grade A.   

Teaching Practices Online

The post below has not been edited in any way and is a letter sent to me by one of our recent CELTA trainees – her group started online but with the teaching practice component done in situ, at CELT in Athens. Until, suddenly, one day in March, we were told we had to close down the school and, after a few days, given permission by Cambridge to continue assessing the teaching online. Not all of our trainees of that cohort agreed and Maria was very relunctant at first. In this post, she reflects on why she changed her mind and how the whole experience felt to her in retrospect on the last day of her course

Maria Psoma has given us permission to reproduce her message as a blog post.

Our CELTA course started in January 2020 and is officially finishing today, Friday 8 May 2020 – at least for those of us who ventured to continue the TPs online, after a month’s interruption due to the coronavirus situation and the ensuing lockdown. 

I clearly remember when you, Marisa, as our online tutor, announced to us that Cambridge had decided to offer us the option of continuing our TP”s online. My heart sank and my immediate response in the chat section of the screen was “I don’t think this is for me!”, and then you replied, “I would think about it if I were you”…

It seemed scary: TP’s are generally stressful in a classroom situation, so imagine how much worse, if we were to do them online… This is what I thought initially. Still, I had recently started teaching online myself and, although quite new to the practice of online teaching, I started to feel that it might be a good thing … What also helped was the fact that the platform chosen was the one I had already been working on. That, together with the fact that the time when we might continue with our TP’s in a real classroom wasn’t in sight helped me finally decide to go ahead with the online TP’s – I didn’t feel confident, however – far from it!

So what was it like? The students were great: upper – intermediate to start with and then pre – intermediate. All polite, pleasant, fully cooperative, clearly aware that it must be hard for their teachers and eager to help us, a pleasure to teach! And our tutors? Helpful and understanding, guiding and supporting us, firm when that was necessary, and always exhibiting this amazing ability to show us exactly what it was we had to work on, when we ourselves saw there was a problem but were at a loss to say how we could put things right! This had been there since the beginning of the course, in the actual classroom, and continued throughout the online teaching practices. Our tutors themselves are more suited to say what added difficulties online observations of our lessons posed for them, but for us, their presence was definitely equally unobtrusive and extremely helpful. 

With the TP’s behind me, then, and a couple of months’ experience teaching online, I can safely say that the online classroom is not so different from the real one. Your students are the same, the rapport you had is still there, and, in the case of children or younger teenagers, they can be more focused and cooperative, both because the immediate distractions of proximity are absent and because they feel comfortable using technology and they see themselves  as learners in a much more … professional light! Pair- or group-work is still there through the breakout rooms of the online platforms. The lesson needs better organization, of course, in that you need to have all your materials ready in advance, you have to mail students materials to use in the lessons (or the TP!) before they actually start, and you need online tools so that you can correct homework etc – but there are lots of options available and the whole thing takes some getting used to – but not much! 

Continuing with my TPs online was a decision I haven’t regretted! If anything, the January 2020 CELTA course armed us with one more, invaluable skill as things currently are: the ability to teach online – and do it well! Hopefully, the present situation will change, and we will all be able to gradually return to our classrooms. Still, knowing that we can do it if need be is a comfort and an added source of confidence for us teachers.

Thank you, Marisa, for not letting me lightly dismiss the option of online TPs!

Thank you, Alexander, for strongly encouraging us to go for it!

Best of luck to all the colleagues who are starting their fully online CELTA course now! Demanding it is; really challenging it can sometimes be, but it is also definitely worth it! 


Blog post contributor – Maria Psoma  Saturday 9 5 2020 – Maria completed her CELTA with a Grade A





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Why Should Teachers Blog?

Great post full of good ideas on how to get started as a blogger 


Last week, I was inducting some new teachers into our school: preparing them for their teaching career for the year ahead. We looked at various areas about teaching: classroom management, get to know you activities, games in the classroom, etc. The final area we looked at was about continuing professional development (CPD). We looked at formal and peer observations, attending workshops, contributing to workshops as well as blogging. All teachers with varying years of experience, including a teacher who had just completed her CELTA (or equivalent), had only come across the mainstream websites related to English language teaching (TEFL.comDave’s ESL Cafe or Teaching English) yet had not really considered blogging a tool for CPD.

What is a blog?

A blog is a website which is updated frequently and resembles a journal or diary. Most ELT bloggers used their personal website to reflect on teaching, suggest lesson ideas and activities, develop teacher networking, create a professional portfolio of achievements as well as to promote their own services either as an online English teacher or as a freelance teacher trainer.

Why should teachers have a blog?

Nowadays, people use their own blogs to write about experiences and opinions on a range of topics and interests. So a blog can be a personal space for teachers to share their ideas of teaching and to better reflect on what could be improved in the classroom.


Continue reading …. =  >>>>>>  here 

Our Online CELTA – about to lift off!

Is the CELTA really fully done online? 

The CELTA Online is not really  and truly a fully online course; it is a blended learning programme but as Cambridge Assessment started it with this name, the ‘online’ title  has stayed with us and prevailed although many candidates around the world do not realise that their physical presence for the Teaching Practice Component of the course is a requirement.

On this first course, we will be concentrating the Teaching in a stretch of two weeks in Athens, but it is also possible to organise this over a number of weeks, more like our part time courses. This is something we will consider for a fall or winter course later. 

Online for the first Six Weeks 

For 6 weeks, our candidates will be working on their own online, at their own pace, logging into and out of their learning platform whenever it suits them to

  • view recorded seminars
  • participate in forum discussions
  • complete and check a variety of tasks.

The workload is very reasonable – depending on how quickly you can work and assimilate information, an average of 3-6 hours of work per week is expected.

What happens during the Two intensive Weeks in Athens

Two weeks in Athens in the second half of June are what is required for this particular first configuration.

During these two weeks you will be teaching and observing colleagues teach every day! Your tutors will be there to support your planning efforts and to guide you as well as give you feedback and direction on your next steps from being good to becoming a great teacher!

At the end of the two weeks, an external Cambridge CELTA assessor will review your progress, observe you in class and confer with your tutors about your development.

Four more weeks and it’s over!

During the last four weeks of the course, the leaning mode goes back to the online platform and you will be logging in for more input sessions and writing and submitting your written assignments, (four written assignments during the whole course).

In future, there will be other timetable configurations that we will be offering, so do please keep in touch with us if interested in this new way of following this great course.

For more information please check the following links:

For more detail, do please send us an email ( info@celt.edu.gr ) and we will be most pleased to help you make the right choice – online learning is not the best choice for everyone but, at the same time, face-to-face instruction does not fit in with everyone’s life plan!!!

Is this the right course option for you? Or should you do a face-to-face course?


Think, but do also talk to our tutors who have experience with different modes of learning and can help you make the right decision. 

N.B. The CELTA Certificate obtained via an online course does not indicate that this was an ‘online’ course and looks exactly the same as the contact course Certificate.  

10 Reasons Why You Should Look for a Job in a Summer School

CELT International

More and more teachers are considering applying for a teaching job in summer schools in the UK or other countries. But, what does it take for your application to be successful?

A quick search through various ads for summer school teachers will show that the only essential qualification for your application to be accepted is the Cambridge CELTA.

Indeed, many of our trainees get summer school jobs after having completed a CELTA course with us and their feedback is always extremely positive!

Here is a list with the most common reasons why you, too, should look for a job in a summer school:

1/ Working in a different countryhever-castle-532952_1280

One of the main benefits of working in a summer school is that you will experience working in a different country. This will not only give you the opportunity to get away from the habit of working in your own country…

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New Course Dates for our Cambridge CELTA courses in 2017

2016 was a great year for us. With our CELTA courses growing steadily every year since we first received our Cambridge approvals, it meant that our old centre, the neo-classical building on Academias street where we trained hundreds of students since CELT moved there in 1993, was too small to contain all the training activity and free adult classes which form the heart of any good CELTA course.

At the end of May of this year, we moved to new and much more spacious premises, very close to our previous address, in the heart of Athens.

We are thrilled with our new centre!  It’s so true that learning spaces can inspire teachers and learners with new energy, and we have been truly energised by the new CELT centre.

Here are some photos taken from lessons and training classes!

Since our move at the end of May, we have already run several CELTA courses with more than 100 trainees graduating successfully!  Our pass rates remain among the highest in the world!

So, make the best decision for your teaching career. Choose us for our

  • experienced and highly qualified trainers
  • excellent success rates consistent since we started offering the CELTA
  • inspiring learning space in our newly acquired premises
  • outstanding connections with the ELT profession
  • very strong presence in social media and the blogosphere
  • reasonably priced accommodation for overseas trainees
  • excellence in presenting at local and international conferences
  • reputation for high quality in training, mentoring and supporting trainees
  • continued support to our trainees even after the end of their course
  • networking trainees with an international community of teachers and specialists
  • superb location for study as well as explorations of Athens, a living museum of human history


Visit our website to find out more about the content and structure of our courses.  Follow the links below

Over and above all these great reasons why CELT Athens should be the ideal destination for obtaining this internationally recognised accreditation, is our dedication to excellence in teacher education and our commitment to principles of equity in employment opportunities for our trainees.

For more information, send us an email from this page

Connect with us here

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Here is a great blog post for those of you who have recently completed your CELTA or Delta course and are about to leave home for your first overseas teaching job!!!

Sandy also suggests “Don’t forget the blu-tak!!!” and you know how much you need that particular substance!!!


The Best Ticher

what to pack

I headed abroad to start my first teaching job five years ago, but in many ways it seems like it was only yesterday. Everything was rather a last-minute decision, which resulted in applying for and receiving my visa, purchasing my plane tickets and boarding my first ever flight all in the space of a week. I spent much of that week frantically searching the internet for packing lists, looking to both procrastinate and bolster my own ignorance with someone else’s know-how. After all, how do you pack everything you will need for 9 months of your life into a grand total of two suitcases?


Many language schools will have a dress code for teachers, and it’s wise to check this out before you leave. If it isn’t included in your contract or any teachers’ handbook materials you may have been sent, email and ask. First thing’s first, when it…

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