About Saint Mary's

Language Centre becomes CELTA approved

31 March, 2016


The Language Centre Exterior

The Language Centre at Saint Mary’s University has become a CELTA Centre. CELTA, which stands for the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, is presided over by Cambridge English Language Assessment and is the most internationally recognized certificate for teaching English as a second language.

Julian L’Enfant the Academic Services Manager at the Language Centre says that the CELTA sets the standard internationally for teaching English as a Second Language and is an important step for the Centre, as it is the only place to take the course in Atlantic Canada.

“Partnering with Cambridge, the leading organization in English as a second language teaching, brings with it a great reputation to Saint Mary’s and the Language Centre,” he says. “Combining it with our own history of providing quality programs, offering the CELTA course put us at the forefront of second language teaching and learning in the region.”

“Saint Mary’s is Canada’s International university. The Language Centre is not only an important institution on campus, but signifies the importance of communication between different cultures around the world” said Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President of Saint Mary’s University. “The CELTA approval is fantastic news as it means Saint Mary’s will be training the people that will help facilitate this communication.”

The CELTA course is highly intensive and allows students to not only attain the minimum accreditation to work at a Languages Canada approved School, but to obtain it very quickly. The course is 120 hours spread out over only four short weeks.

“The course works very well for new graduates, school teachers, education workers or simply someone looking to change careers and receive accreditation quickly,” L’Enfant says.

While the course delivers an internationally recognized certificate to students, it also delivers free English instruction to members of the community. One of the components of the course is six hours of supervised teaching practice, peer observation and observation of experienced ESL teachers. This teaching practice is made as real as possible by opening the practice classes up to volunteer adult ESL students.

 “We’ll be reaching out to immigrant learning communities to fill these classes – the students will be able to sign up and learn for free,” says L’Enfant. “With the increased immigrant and refugee population in the region this section of the course may be just as impactful to the community as it is to the CELTA students.”

The first CELTA course is scheduled to begin on May 16 and run for four weeks until June 10. Anyone interested in applying or requiring more information can contact the Language Centre by phone at 902-420-5691, or by email at celta@smu.ca.