SA-Teachers in a group


Why choose CELTA?

  • The CELTA course is administered and accredited by the University of Cambridge Local Exams Syndicate (UCLES), also known by the brand name Cambridge Assessment. As a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Assessment qualifications are universally recognised. The Cambridge CELTA is considered the standard, entry-level qualification for the English Language Teaching (ELT) profession internationally.
  • You will develop practical teaching skills and gain teaching knowledge.  The British Council Colombo CELTA course is highly practical and will develop your confidence in the classroom.  You will find out about the latest communicative teaching methods and have the opportunity to put these into practice in the classroom with real students.
  • You will learn in a supportive environment.  The British Council has a worldwide reputation for excellence and our experienced and dedicated teacher trainers will guide you as you develop as a professional teacher of English.


Course Overview

The CELTA course is 200 hours. This consists of 120 contact hours with course tutors and 80 additional learning hours for pre-course preparation, reading, research, assignment writing, lesson preparation and record keeping. On the course you will:

Attend and take part in input seminars, which on a normal CELTA day last for three hours and are held in the morning. The topics covered by these input seminars: 

  • Topic 1 – Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
  • Topic 2 – Language analysis and awareness
  • Topic 3 – Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Topic 4 – Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
  • Topic 5 – Developing teaching skills and professionalism.

Prepare for teaching practice in guided lesson-planning sessions with your tutors and peers. 

Be entitled to a free membership at the British Council library.

Complete six hours of assessed teaching practice. Teaching practice is usually done in groups of 4-6 trainees and held in the afternoon. It involves teaching two classes of volunteer students, usually one at Elementary level and the other at Intermediate level. All CELTA trainees must teach students for six hours during the course, under the observation of their tutors. These six hours are divided up into eight or nine teaching practices, each lasting 20, 40 or 60 minutes, with each trainee usually teaching every second afternoon.

Receive constructive feedback from your tutor and peers after your teaching practice. Self-reflection and self-evaluation are very important for teachers and each day you will be expected to take part in feedback about your teaching and about that of your peers.

Complete four writing assignments of 750-1000 words each. The assignments will be on the topics of: focus on the learner; a language-related task; a skills-related task; and lessons from the classroom.

Complete six hours of observations of experienced, professional English language teachers.

Maintain a personal portfolio containing records and examples of your work from the course, including all your teaching practice materials and completed assignments.

Receive progress reports and tutorials from your tutors, to keep you informed of your progress and give you support where necessary.

Thus, a typical CELTA day will look something like this:

08.00-09.15 Input One

09.15-09.30 break

09.30-10.45 input two

11.00-11.45 assisted lesson planning

11.45-12.45 lunch

13.00-15.00 teaching practice

15.15-16.00 teaching practice feedback

Dates and Times

A full-time CELTA course (Intensive) is designed for people who wish to get a CELTA certificate quickly and have a free month to devote to it. It involves 20 days of course attendance during a four-week period, with trainees coming to British Council Colombo. Please note that for the intensive option trainees need to be available for the full four weeks and cannot have other (work) commitments during that time to be able to devote an additional 80-120 hours to the coursework.  On a part-time course (Extensive), the 20 days of the course are conducted over a 10-week period, two days a week. Please note that on extensive courses, trainees need to be available for at least one additional day per week to be able to complete the coursework.


In 2024, British Council Colombo plans to hold CELTA courses on the following dates:

  1. Course 1 – 15 July to 9 August 2024
  2. Course 2 – 14 October to 8 November 2024
  • *Please note that if the situation in the country were to change, we will need to follow government guidelines and move the course online. If we are to run the online course, the intensive/full-time course is five weeks (4 August – 6 September, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). 

All dates subject to change according to operational needs and government guidance regarding COVID-19.