In recent years the CELTA qualification has become the one of the most widely recognized (and highly regarded) teaching qualifications in the world. Part of the reason for this surge in popularity is, of course, the fact that its creator, the world famous University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations department, is itself synonymous with excellence. While the caliber of the Cambridge name may be rooted in the past, however, its Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages it focused squarely on the future.
Part of the evidence of this comes from the recent introduction of a CELTA course for Young Learners. Formally known as the Young Learner Extension to CELTA, the Young Learner module is, as the name suggests, an extension of the traditional CELTA course designed to provide would-be teachers with the unique skills necessary to teach children and teenagers English as a Second Language. A traditional CELTA course, complete with 120 hours of instruction and a minimum of 6 hours of actual teaching practice, is therefore augmented by focusing on the unique needs of young learners. This is particularly vital for the child-focused ESL industry of many public school systems around the world today.
As a result, the module is designed to ensure that potential educators have the opportunity to practice the skills they will need in that unique classroom environment over the course of a short (two to three week) session. Because the Young Learner certification recognizes the substantial differences in understanding and motivation between adult and child language learners, it allows those who have completed a CELTA course to transfer and adapt to the different learning and teaching styles required at the young learner level. Further subdivided among three age ranges (from 5–10, 8–13, or 11–16) candidates are awarded certificates of completion endorsed with the specific age range of their course. Through such careful focus Cambridge ESOL is continuing its efforts to prepare the next generation of teachers for success.