CELTA training in Lisbon

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) could allow you to pursue a career that sees you travel the world, make friends across continents and help your students achieve their life goals. It is a thoroughly rewarding and life enhancing experience.  Why not start this adventure in Portugal, sign up to get your Cambridge CELTA Certificate in one of the best locations: Lisbon, Portugal.

If you would like to develop a successful career in teaching English as a foreign language then becoming CELTA qualified with International House Lisbon is the first step. The Cambridge CELTA is an intensive, initial TEFL qualification designed for people with little or no previous English language teaching experience or training. In addition, many people who have taught before, take the CELTA to get that one English Language Teaching qualification that is bound to open doors to language school work around the world.

The CELTA in Lisbon is certified by Cambridge English Language Assessment and as a result is highly regarded internationally and recognised by OFQUAL at level 5 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

Taking a qualification such as the CELTA is essential if you want to pursue a career in TEFL. It a highly practical course which gives you a CELTA Certificate recognised by employers around the world, and gives you the confidence and skills you need to teach English to adults effectively.

The course will be held in our Training Centre in Torres Vedras, which is about 40 minutes express bus ride from the centre of Lisbon. Whilst we can’t organise a room or apartment to rent, we can certainly give you some contacts for places to rent in Torres Vedras if you wish.

100% of our candidates would recommend the centre. (November 2019)
100% of our students approved of the general course organisation. (November 2019)

What does the CELTA involve?

About CELTA, did you know?

The CELTA as it is known today was actually born from an initial teacher training course called the IH Certificate that International House first ran in 1962. This course rapidly set the standard for teacher qualifications in TEFL, with thousands of teachers worldwide becoming IH-trainees and teachers. You can find out more information about International House World Organisation here.

Nearly half of all Cambridge CELTA courses are run by International House centres each year.

IH Lisbon has been involved in running these TEFL training courses since 1973. On average, we currently run 9 CELTA courses each year.

Who takes the CELTA?

You might be a graduate who wants their first job to be teaching overseas or someone who has worked in a different career for several decades and is looking for a change. Some people use the CELTA as a way to travel the world; others us the TEFL qualification to teach students in their home country. Many of our candidates choose to stay on in Lisbon to enjoy its exciting cultural life and to make the most out of our many hours of sunshine.  But it is also the starting point for those who wish to teach in other parts of Portugal, Europe or around the world.  Some recent graduates have gone on to work all across Europe and in Russia, China, the UK, Spain and Timor.

English teachers from all over the world take the Cambridge CELTA. The entry requirement is that you are Proficient English language user (between CEFR Level C1 and C2 or above) and educated to the standard required for entry into higher education.  If you’re not sure of your level, please contact our department and we will help you work out if you have the minimum requirements to start on your journey to become TEFL certified.

Do I need to speak the native language?

No, you will learn how to teach English without using the students’ native language. This means you can teach students of different nationalities in the same class and teach in countries all over the world. (Though we would always encourage teachers to learn a language themselves, it will give you a very important insight into the challenges your students face). Our students looking to gain their own CELTA certificate come from all over the world to experience Lisbon and work with some of the best trainers in the business. On our CELTA courses we have had people from every corner of the globe speaking many languages such as German, Spanish, Russian or Chinese.

How long is the CELTA course?

You can either take the course intensively over 4 weeks or 5 weeks or even part-time, with attendance on a weekly basis.  Our centre also offers a blended version with some input delivered online.  The final CELTA certificate is exactly the same, independent of the format you select.

What does the ONLINE CELTA involve?

Standing up in front of a class for the first time is a daunting prospect, so we will help you ensure that you have the skills you need to teach effectively. Our Cambridge CELTA online course in Lisbon has the following core components to prepare you for the classroom.

  1. The TEFL course is 120 hours online in total and you will receive a lot of input from your tutors on teaching methodology, lesson planning, language analysis and language skills.
  2. You’ll have the opportunity to observe experienced teachers in a real life language classroom situation and learn about the different skills and techniques they use.
  3. You will teach real language students throughout your course and by the end you will have had 6 hours of observed and assessed teaching practice. This practical experience is invaluable when you start your first job.
  4. As well as being assessed in the classroom, you will complete four written assignments based on the input you receive. There is no final exam, you are assessed throughout the course; so you can learn and improve as you progress.

Every CELTA course is moderated by an external assessor, appointed by Cambridge English, so you will receive a certificate from Cambridge English, part of the University of Cambridge.  International House Lisbon will also provide you with a report where we highlight your specific strengths and weaknesses.

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Why take the CELTA course in Lisbon?

We believe that we offer one of the most highly regarded courses available. The courses have been running for a long time and our trainers are experienced, dedicated and eager to keep growing as professionals.  They strive to be a model for you, as you enter the profession or hone your existing skills.

Lisbon offers an exceptional environment in which to take CELTA in Europe. The centre is a modern, purpose built school offering up-to-date technologies alongside extremely experienced and highly regarded tutors. Lisbon itself is one of Europe’s oldest cities and as a consequence it offers a rich history and cultural experience.  Our trainees often mention the kindness and hospitality of the Portuguese as one of the best aspects of spending time in this lovely city.

The course centre is in the district of Lisbon in Torres Vedras.   This historic and attractive town is a small but lively city within easy distance of Lisbon and the seaside town of Santa Cruz.  It has numerous good-quality and reasonably-priced restaurants.  It is steeped in history, being one of the focal points during the Napoleonic wars in the Iberian Peninsular.

Don’t take our word for it, please see below for some independent testimonials or take a look at some of the reasons why we love Lisbon here

You can also look at Timeout for some other hints and tips of things to do while you study for your CELTA certificate Timeout Lisbon

100% of the students felt that the pre-course information and preparation documentation was useful. (November 2019)

The centre has excellent working conditions for giving the Cambridge CELTA. The tutors are very professional and extremely helpful, ensuring everyone has a chance. (Carlota, September 2019)

Besides feeling we were very well prepared for the teaching world, you always made sure we felt supported while doing our Cambridge CELTA (Constança, May 2019)


A typical day on the 4-week intensive CELTA:

9.00  –   10.00 Assisted lesson planning
10.00 – 12.15 Teaching Practice
12.15 – 13.15 Feedback on Teaching Practice
13.15 – 14.15 Lunch
14.15 – 16.00 Input session 1
16.00 –  16.15 Coffee break
16.15 – 17-15 Input session 2

On our 5-week CELTA courses, you will often have Monday mornings and Friday afternoons free.

This schedule suits those who would prefer to have slightly longer weekends and more time for reflection and preparation.

Part-time online courses have the same daily schedule, over 10 weeks.

Online/Blended CELTA courses are as follows:

9.00   –  10.00 Guided lesson planning
10.00 – 12.15 Teaching Practice
12.15 – 13.15 Feedback on Teaching Practice
13.15 – 14.00 Administration and additional input

All input sessions take place online.

The centre

Fees and Dates for Cambridge CELTA 2023

From To Course Type Price
Sat 21 Jan Sat 25 March Part Time – Online €1545
Sat 22 April Sat 24 June Part Time – Online €1545
Mon 3 July Fri 28 July Full-Time – Face to Face €1645
Mon 4 Sept Fri 29 Sept Full-Time – Face to Face €1645
Sat 23 Sept Sat 25 Nov Part Time – Online €1545

A nice place for lunch

The local ducks


  • “An excellent experience from start to finish, the course was well organized, enjoyable and comprehensive”

    Rose, Ireland
  • “…with the methods and skills I learned with this course I feel confident every time I walk into the classroom"

    Therese, USA
  • "Taking CELTA at International House Lisbon was the best decision I could have made when I decided to change my career and go into EFL teaching. From start to finish, it was clear and comprehensive, giving a thorough scope of teaching methodology balanced with independent, self-initiated study. The tutors are amply helpful while still allowing trainees to autonomously discover the answers and internalize understanding of the methods taught. I'm so glad I found IH Lisbon and CELTA to start my new career!"

    Emma C. Parsons
  • "Taking my CELTA at IHTT was a great experience, the course is difficult and intense, but every day helped me grow my skills and by the end of the course I was confident to start my new career as an English teacher. Paula and Xana are excellent role models, teachers, and coaches. They help you improve and build your skills each day. The practical teaching experience was by far the best part of the course, you get ample opportunity to apply your training and experiment with new techniques—the teaching practice was extremely relevant to ‘real world’ experience. Within one week of completing my course I had multiple job interviews, and landed my first job. I would wholeheartedly recommend this school to anyone looking to break into the ESL teaching industry. IHTT also provides on-going professional development which is essential to anyone new to teaching. Thanks IHTT for the experience and on-going support!"

    MC Breadner
  • "The month spent in Lisbon at IH completing the CELTA has been one of the best of my life. It was impressively well structured and organised, with overwhelming amounts of information and up-to-date resources and led by extraordinary teachers and tutors, Paula and Xana. I have managed to include many of the things I learned in my on-line lessons, as well as the face-to-face ones. Besides the (very) hark work, I also had a lot of fun everyday, made friends and laughed. Just a few months have passed, and I am teaching at another IH school and continuing to develop as a teacher. Thank you!"

  • "I took my CELTA course in August, 2018 and it was an incredibly intense and rewarding experience.  This course has given me great confidence in my abilities as a teacher and it has made me want to take my teaching to the next level, which is why I am currently preparing for the DELTA module 1 exam. I wholeheartedly recommend this course. Yes, it is demanding! Yes, it means very hard work. Yes, it is stressful. But, the tutors are there to support you at every step and the other participants are of invaluable help. At least mine were. I am very grateful for everything that I have learned and I can sincerely say that my expectation were exceeded as far as quality and professionalism go." Flávia

  • "IH Torres Vedras Lisbon is the ideal place to take the CELTA. It's a demanding course, but it's delivered by highly experienced tutors who provide all the guidance and support you need. The school is well organised and the students are great. You'll be challenged, but you'll have fun. Plus you'll be in an incredible city!" Kieron

  • "This is perfect. The organization is very well planned and laid out. As a trainee this helped because it provided us with all the materials and requirements needed. Everything was properly timed."

    Samanta, Portugal
  • "IH Lisbon has got everything - fantastic, committed and professional tutors, excellent facilities and wonderful, supportive students! The structure and organization of the courses is also exceptional!"

    Prerna Mankad
  • "I find the course to be very relevant for the real-world, practicing with online teaching is just a a plus. Somehow i feel more confident to step into a classroom but also to teach online."

    Raluca, Romanian

Contact us

    Read more.


    Why should I take the CELTA course at IH in Lisbon?

    This is what some of our recent trainees have said about the course:

    • Because tutors are so amazing and highly qualified. The tutors are available to deal with your queries.  They listen to you.   They know how to deal with stress.  It’s people that make this centre the right choice for the CELTA course”
    • The Centre is conveniently located in terms of public transport. It’s a pleasant area, with food options and if you choose to buy lunch, it’s nice to have outdoor areas to sit and enjoy lunch with colleagues.”
    • Well, it’s one of Europe’s prettiest cities! The 5 week course is at a nice pace!  The tutors are extremely knowledgeable.”
    • Amazing, enthusiastic tutors.  Great premises; nice atmosphere.”
    I’ve never taught before. Is the CELTA a good starting point?

    Yes, an excellent one.  The CELTA is a pre-service course and at least half of our candidates have never stood in front of a group before.

    Most of our trainers have worked in ELT contexts for 15 years or more.  They are aware of what schools expect from teachers and ensure that this expertise is shared with CELTA trainees throughout the course

    I’ve been teaching for some time but don’t have a basic qualification. Is CELTA the course for me?

    Many candidates who have taught, find the course a very rewarding experience as it’s a chance to hone their skills as well as developing new ones together with the opportunity of getting a qualification that is widely recognised around the world.

    Is there a lot of English Language Teaching work in Portugal?

    Portugal is an amazing country and increasingly, a popular destination with people from other countries. Many cities in Portugal, such as Lisbon, thrive on tourism, so locals are very keen to improve their English.  This means that there is often a lot of work available although most of the full-time positions start in October and end in June.  Most trainees find that they are able to pick up some work throughout the year, although it may not be full-time initially.

    The Centre has good ties to the Portuguese ELT community and schools often let us know when they have vacancies coming up.  We have an online group for current and past trainees where we post job vacancies.

    Am I guaranteed a job once the course has ended?

    Unfortunately, not.  Having the CELTA will definitely give you the edge over other candidates for jobs as most reputable language schools around the world would usually prefer to interview CELTA graduates rather than someone with no experience or training.

    You will meet trainers and teachers throughout the course who will share their knowledge of the industry.  There will be many opportunities on the course for you to ask questions about jobs and different contexts.  We will also give you information on the recruiting service run by the International House World Organisation.

    I’ve read that it’s a lot of hard work and that there are many sleepless nights. Is it true?

    A CELTA course aims to ‘create’ a teacher from scratch in 120 hours so yes, it’s very true that it requires a lot of hard work and commitment.  Sleepless nights are not essential, however.  The long days are often the norm as most candidates are excited by their learning, want to do as well as possible and because they are professional and dedicated.

    The timetable is designed in such a way that trainees have time to cover everything.  It is, however, fundamental that you have good organisational skills or failing that, that you keep up with the pace of the tasks set by the tutors.

    I have never taught grammar before. Will the input cover this?

    We don’t teach you grammar or vocabulary but will help you develop your general language awareness. You will learn a lot about the English language but most of it will come from your experience of teaching.  In other words, each time you teach, your awareness of how language works will improve.

    We ask you to prepare  for the course thoroughly and to develop your language awareness.  While the ability to teach grammar is important, you will also get opportunities to learn more about how to teach other aspects of language such as lexis

    What does CELTA stand for?

    What does CELTA stand for?

    CELTA stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. This certificate is issued by Cambridge Assessment (the teaching qualifications arm of the University of Cambridge) to anyone who has successfully completed an approved course. This English teaching qualification is the most widely recognised of its type and its reputation is based on the fact that only Teacher Training Centres approved by Cambridge Assessment can run courses, the course has a strong practical component and every course is externally assessed. The CELTA is suitable for candidates with no experience of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) as well as for candidates who would like to formalise their teaching experience.

    What’s the difference between TEFL and CELTA?

    What’s the difference between TEFL and CELTA?

    TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This means that the acronym can be used to describe courses (“TEFL Courses”), teachers (“TEFL Teachers”) and this educational sector as a whole. The CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is the most widely recognised course and qualification for TEFL teachers and, as such, offers a range of opportunities for those who are awarded the certificate.

    Where can I find CELTA teaching jobs?

    Where can I find CELTA teaching jobs?

    Many CELTA centres have some sort of jobs board advertising local vacancies. The EL Gazette is a good starting point and there are many TEFL job sites on the internet. A good one to check out is the International House World Organisation (IHWO) page: https://ihworld.com/job/



    The CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is one of many TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses. CELTA is considered to be the most widely recognised qualification for anyone interested in starting a career in TEFL. The certificate is issued by Cambridge Assessment (the teaching qualifications arm of the University of Cambridge) and the course can only be taken at approved centres and run by approved tutors.



    TESOL stands for Teaching English as a Second or Other Language. The CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is one of many TESOL courses / certificates. CELTA is considered to be the most widely recognised qualification for anyone interested in starting a career in TESOL. The certificate is issued by Cambridge Assessment (the teaching qualifications arm of the University of Cambridge) and the course can only be taken at approved centres and run by approved tutors.

    What does CELTA certification cost?

    What does CELTA certification cost?

    Course prices vary according to course locations and the type of CELTA course being delivered. In order to obtain a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), candidates have to take a Cambridge approved course at an approved CELTA Centre. The courses can be face to face intensive (over 4 – 6 weeks), face to face extensive (once or twice a week over a longer period), online or blended (a combination of face to face and online). All courses include teaching practice (TP) with ‘live’ students.

    How can I get a CELTA certificate?

    How can I get a CELTA certificate?


    The CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed an approved CELTA course.  Assessment on the course is continuous – there is no CELTA exam. To get a place on a CELTA course, you will need to apply to an approved centre. There is a pre-course task to complete and you will be interviewed. Each CELTA Centre has its own booking, enrolment and payment procedures – if your task and interview are successful, you will be told the next steps you’ll need to follow. Certificates are issued by Cambridge Assessment (the teaching qualifications arm of the University of Cambridge) to candidates who pass the course. Grades are: Pass A, Pass B, Pass and Fail. Ask us for more detailed information.