CELTA YLE, CELT-P, and CELT-S. What is all that?

Hello Exam Seekers,

I’ve been posting about the CELTA for a while now. I’ve already shared some information about

And other topics to help the CELTees to achieve their certificate. However, I haven’t talked about the CELTA Course for Young Learners.


CELTA for Young Learners??? Yes!

As you all must know by now, the CELTA means Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. That means that this is a course focused on teaching English to adults. However, there is also a version of this course for teachers who want to be better prepared to teach Young Learners. Cambridge used to call this CELTA – YLE, the Young Learners Extension.

Yes, you didn’t read incorrectly, Cambridge used to call it YLE because in 2015 Cambridge sent a release saying that they would discontinue some courses and modules from Dec 2016:

Following the review of the assessment services which we provide, TKT: KAL (Knowledge About Language), TKT Practical and Young Learner (YL) Extension to CELTA are discontinued from December 2016. This means that you can no longer register for them.

So, why am I talking about a course which has been discontinued? It’s because Cambridge stopped providing the YL Extension for the CELTA, but they created two other alternatives for people who still wanted to take a course for teaching kids and teens, they are: CELT-P and CELT-S.

Today, I’m not going much into deep and give details about these two certificates, I’m just going to give you an overview of them, ok?


CELT-P stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching – Primary.

As I said, Cambridge discontinued the CELTA YLE, which comprised young learners from 6-12 years old. This CELTA Young Learners Extension was mainly for teaching young learners, but it used to give you tools to work with kids in general. However, Cambridge decided to divide the amount of content given and created two different segments, one for young learners and another for teens, therefore they created the CELT-P (Primary) and CELT-S (Secondary) courses.

As I mentioned above, the CELT-P means it’s focused on Primary/Elementary school age. This course teaches you how to teach kids from 6-12 who are usually at the first division of basic education (Year/Grade 1 until Year/Grade 6).

According to Cambridge, with the CELT-P, teachers can show that they

  • have developed their understanding of, and ability to respond to, the specific needs of primary school learners;
  • have extended the range of approaches for developing their learners’ language skills;
  • have become more aware of ways to make effective use of resources to support learning in and beyond the classroom.

CELT-S stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching – Secondary.

There wasn’t a certificate specific for this age range. If you wanted to teach kids from 13-18 years of age, you would have to have the CELTA and the CELTA YLE. There wasn’t anything in between. For this reason, Cambridge decided to open a new branch to the CELTA course which understands that teenagers who are 15 years old are neither kids nor adults.

The course helps teachers to create strategies for the key challenges of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in a secondary school context, such as classroom management with large classes and motivating learners.


Which one should I take?

This is a very personal question because it depends on the group age you teach or would like to learn more about.

If you plan on teaching young learners and if you would like to understand the kids and teens, you probably should do both! I would. Actually, I took my certificate in teaching young learners in 2015, which means that I took the CELTA-YLE. My group was one of the last groups of teachers to take this course and get this certificate. However, I still plan on taking the CELT-P and CELT-S eventually, to better understand kids and teens separately.

However, if you are still trying to decide if you should take one or the other, first look around. What age-range kids do you teach currently? Do you work mostly with kids or with teens? Take a look at your context to make your decision first. If you are still studying to become a teacher, you have two options:

  1. If you aren’t a teacher yet, but you know which age-group of students you feel more comfortable in teaching, or you know if you like working more with kids or teens, you should take the course that that you know that feels right for you.
  2. If you aren’t a teacher yet, and you have no clue about the age-groups you would like to teach, you can take both courses.

There isn’t a specific order of courses you should take – even though logically, it would be interesting to start with Primary before moving on to Secondary – that’s why they made two different courses instead of one, for people to decide on which is best for them.

They are both 120-hour courses, which combine online study and teaching practice and they both offer a practical written task for each online module and teaching observations. As you can see, they are very similar, you just have to decide the age range you want to work with.

As I said, this is just an overview. If you want to read more into detail, make sure you read the texts below:

If you want some more information about the CELT-P or the CELT-S – or even about the CELTA -, make sure you leave a comment in the comment section below. This helps me provide even more content for you.


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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