European teaching qualifications FAQ

Below are answers to the most common questions about the IH Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults (CLTA). Please contact us on 020 7611 2416 if you have further questions.

> How does this certificate compare to the TEFL?

> Is there an exam at the end of the course?

> Is the certificate recognised?

> Would this qualification give me the same job prospects as a TEFL Certificate (considering there is less global demand for French/Italian/Spanish than English)?

> Would you recommend taking the TEFL course instead of the Modern Language Certificate in terms of employment prospects?

> I’ve heard that the course is very intensive - is that true?

> Would I have to attend all the course hours?

> What is the course timetable?

> What happens in the methodology sessions?

> When would I start teaching?

> Who would I be teaching?

> What is 'feedback'?

> What teaching method would I be expected to use?

> What else would I be expected to do outside the timetabled hours?

> How would I be assessed on the course?

> What are the possible grades?

> I am not a native speaker of the language I wish to teach: is this course appropriate for me?

> If I pass the course will I be able to find work easily in the UK?

> I don’t have a degree: will this be a problem?

How does this certificate compare to the TEFL?


The courses are the same in terms of content, teaching approach and quality.

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Is there an exam at the end of the course?


No, the course is marked by continuous assessment.

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Is the certificate recognised?


Yes, the Certificate is recognised by all private institutions such as International House Worldwide, universities, adult education centres, further education institutions and agencies. Entry requirements may vary, however, so please check with the institution to which you are applying.

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Would this qualification give me the same job prospects as a TEFL Certificate (considering there is less global demand for French/Italian/Spanish than English)?


Yes. The market for French, Italian and Spanish is strong in both London and Europe. This qualification is also beneficial if you want to teach English in parallel with your native language, as the course covers the basic methodology used in all language learning. Potential employers will check at interview stage whether you can transfer your teaching skills from one language to another. In London, studying a foreign language is important for business and as a hobby, so French, Italian and Spanish lessons are widely in demand.

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Would you recommend taking the TEFL course instead of the Modern Language Certificate in terms of employment prospects?


That depends on where you intend to work. In England it would be difficult to teach English when there are so many native speakers who are qualified teachers.

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I’ve heard that the course is very intensive - is that true?


Yes. If you are considering the full-time option, you should be prepared to devote five days a week (including evenings) to the course, and to spend a large part of each weekend on course related work.

For the part-time course, you should be prepared to spend two or more evenings and a considerable part of the weekend per week on course-related work.

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Would I have to attend all the course hours?


To meet the course requirements you must attend the whole course. Missing any part of the course puts you at a serious disadvantage, and you may not be awarded the Certificate. We strongly advise that you have no other commitments outside the course during the four weeks (for full-time courses).

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What is the course timetable?


The course is divided into methodology sessions and teaching practice with feedback. For full-time courses, the timetable is Monday to Thursday 14.30 - 21.30 and on Friday 14.30 - 18.30. For part-time courses, sessions are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 18.30 - 21.30.

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What happens in the methodology sessions?


Methodology sessions are made up of lots of different activities, including group discussions of language awareness and analysis tasks; demonstrations of teaching methods; analysis of teaching videos; preparation of teaching materials; peer teaching in groups; and lectures. There is a high level of trainee participation, often in pairs or groups. There are usually about 15 participants on each course (6 per language group in French, Italian and Spanish).

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When would I start teaching?


You start teaching on the third day of your course (for full-time trainees), and in the second week of your course if you're studying part-time.

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Who would I be teaching?


Teaching groups are usually a mix of British students and students of other nationalities. The majority are British, from various professions.

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What is 'feedback'?


Feedback happens after teaching practice. It's your opportunity to reflect on and discuss your teaching with your colleagues. You'll work with up to five trainees in your teaching practice group, and one tutor. Feedback is important because it helps you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher.

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What teaching method would I be expected to use?


The course is an introduction to the theory and practice of language teaching to adults. It is mainly based on a communicative approach, but you will look at different techniques as well.

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What else would I be expected to do outside the timetabled hours?


You should expect to spend time:

  • Working with the other trainees in your teaching practice group to put together a timetable of lessons for your students
  • Planning your own lessons. Although you'll only be teaching for short periods, it is normal to spend at least 2-3 hours preparing
  • Working on written assignments. These usually comprise two tasks related to language analysis and teaching materials (up to 3000 words in total). The assignments are relevant to your course and very practical. They are internally assessed

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How would I be assessed on the course?


Assessment is on-going and part of your studies. We look at your teaching skills, written assignments and professionalism, and each component we asses contribute to your overall grade. Tutors will give you feedback on your teaching, and there will be at least one tutorial during the course to discuss your progress. All the course tutors will discuss the final grade you are awarded.

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What are the possible grades?


Pass, Pass B and Pass A. A small number of candidates fail the course: if you are at risk of this you would normally be warned by your teacher. The majority of students achieve a Pass grade.

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I am not a native speaker of the language I wish to teach: is this course appropriate for me?


The course entry requirements state that candidates“must have an awareness of language and a competence in the language they wish to teach, both written and spoken, that enables them to follow the course”. If you are accepted onto the course, please be aware that if your level of the language you want to teach falls below the required standard, you won't be awarded the Certificate.

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If I pass the course will I be able to find work easily in the UK?


It is possible to find work both in the UK and abroad where the Certificate in Teaching Languages to Adults CLTA is recognised and required when applying for jobs in Adult Education. However, it's less common to be offered permanent, full-time contracts with one school. You are more likely to work for several different institutions, such as language schools and agencies. At the end of your course, there will be a seminar on employment opportunities, which will give you practical advice on this matter. It also includes useful addresses, information on salaries, and working conditions.

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I don’t have a degree: will this be a problem?


In some countries, a degree (BA, MA, and equivalents) will be required in order to obtain a work permit. It is best to ask the relevant embassies or consulates for more information on this matter.

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