English Programmes

General English

General English is designed to help you improve your ability to communicate in English in social and work situations and progress to other ELA courses.

English Programmes
General English
3 Weeks Plus
11 March – 05 April 2024 (4 weeks)
08 April – 26 April 2024 (3 weeks)
29 April – 24 May 2024 (4 weeks)
27 May – 21 June 2024 (4 weeks)
24 June – 12 July 2024 (3 weeks)

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Course Outline

General English will help you improve your ability to communicate in English in social and work situations and progress to other ELA courses. The course focuses on the development of communication skills with a balance of speaking, listening, reading, and writing tasks. You will learn through class activities, individual, pair, and small group work.

General English includes elective classes that allow you to tailor your course to meet your learning goals, as you can choose an elective class to focus on a particular subject or skill. The elective classes are dependent on the level and student demand.

Course Dates

Fixed start dates apply. Click for course Dates and Fees or contact us for more information.

Electives General English includes elective classes that allow you to tailor your course to meet your learning goals, as you can choose an elective class to focus on a particular subject or skill. The elective classes are dependent on the level and student demand. They may include: Communication Skills, Business English and English for IELTS.*

The English for IELTS elective focuses on language development, with competence in the four key IELTS test areas (writing, speaking, listening, and reading) developed during the course. This elective also builds awareness of the IELTS test format and provides practical exam skills and strategies. The Business English elective teaches a range of business communication skills, with a focus on practical language. Every few weeks the Business English class will take part in a project involving real-life business skills such as advertising, marketing, presenting, selling a product and writing a report. The Communication Skills elective focuses on developing functional listening, speaking and writing skills, covering the themes ‘Social and Travel’ and ‘Work and Study’. There are often projects connected to the themes and language from the course books.*Electives are dependent on student levels and demands. Please contact us for more information.

Course length minimum enrolment of 3 weeks.

Entry Requirements

Students are tested before their course begins to determine their class level. Please note that we only have General English classes at the levels in the table below:

General English Levels

GE Requirements.JPG

Please note the minimum entry level for General English is Elementary (CEFR level A1, IELTS 3.5 or TOEFL iBT 20)

If you would like to get an idea of what your English level is before you enrol, please click HERE to complete our Online Placement Test.

Sample Timetable

Please note this is a sample timetable only.

You will be placed in either the Morning Session or Afternoon Session depending on your level of English. All students receive 20 hours of tuition per week. Students at higher levels of General English have two hours of elective classes per day, while students at lower levels focus on building their key language foundations in the elective class.

Students choose their elective classes upon arrival at the ELA.

Enrolment Details

Upcoming course dates and fees information can be found HERE.

*Other fees may apply. 2024 fees subject to change.

  • The minimum period required for extension is 4 weeks. Students must inform the Enrolments team of their intention to extend their study a minimum of one week before their extended course of study commences.
  • Students must pay the tuition fees for their Study Programme to ELA at least four (4) weeks prior to the commencement of their course, except in the following case: Students from the People’s Republic of China are not permitted to pay the tuition fees before INZ has granted "Student Visa Approval in Principle"

Meet the Teachers

Valerie Bullock

Teacher Trainer and Teacher

Valerie Bullock has been a teacher trainer and teacher at ELA since 2013. She trains teachers, teaches General English and Academic courses and also develops new courses. Valerie has worked in Singapore, Brunei and the UK. She loves teaching a diverse range of nationalities and sharing cultural exchanges with her students.

Lilianne Oliveira


Lilianne Oliveira is an experienced and qualified English Language Teacher at ELA, where she has been working since 2015. She teaches Academic and General English courses to students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. She has also taught in Brazil and China, and speaks Portuguese and some Spanish.

ELA University Pathway

Course Introduction

University Pathway | The University of Auckland English Language Academy

CELTA Q & A and Graduate Comments

Why should I take a CELTA course?

The Cambridge CELTA is one of only two TEFL qualifications that are listed by the British Council as an acceptable teaching qualification that meets their requirements and standards. It is recognised by language schools around the world and is most often requested by employers. Whether you would like to teach English language in New Zealand or abroad, the CELTA is the best place to start.
At the ELA, the language school of the University of Auckland, we have been training teachers for many years and our experienced tutors are ready to help you gain your internationally recognised TEFL certification.

Who is a CELTA course suitable for?

age 20+, and

first-language English speakers or non-first-language speakers and

plan to teach English in New Zealand and/or overseas or

are doing a higher-level qualification such as a masters in TESOL or

are already teaching English but do not have a recognised and accredited teaching qualification or

are teaching other subjects and are considering a career change

How can I complete a CELTA at the ELA?

There are 3 different ways you can complete a CELTA course at the ELA.

Face to Face Full Time

The face-to-face full time CELTA course takes only 4 weeks at our campus from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. This 4-week intensive study is the fastest way to get your internationally recognised CELTA qualification.

Face to Face Part Time

Our face-to-face part-time CELTA course takes just 10 weeks at our campus from Monday 5 - 8pm, Tuesday and Thursday 5 - 9pm and four Saturdays 9am - 4pm. It is suitable for people who may be working during the day or prefer to study over a longer period.

Online Full Time (Not Available in 2024)

Our online full time CELTA course takes 5 weeks from Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm. All elements of the online course are delivered remotely, which allows you to study from anywhere. With dynamic workshops and input sessions via our online learning platform, the online course has the same positive, professional and supportive learning environment as our face-to-face course. Also, the CELTA qualification itself has exactly the same depth of study and recognition as our face-to-face CELTA course.

What does a CELTA course include*?

All CELTA courses include at least 120 hours of contact between candidates and course tutors, and include:

tutorial support and consultation

supervised lesson planning

6 hours’ assessed teaching practice per candidate supervised by a course tutor

feedback on teaching practice

peer observation of teaching practice

6 hours’ directed observation of lessons taught by experienced ELT professionals

You should also allow for 80 additional learning hours for pre-course preparation, reading, research, assignment writing, lesson preparation and record keeping.

The CELTA course covers a range of topics:

learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context

language analysis and awareness

language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing

planning and resources for different teaching contexts

developing teaching skills and professionalism

You will be assessed throughout the course and there is no final examination. The two types of assessment are:

Teaching Practice

You will teach for a total of 6 hours, working with adult classes at a minimum of two levels of ability. Assessment is based on your overall performance.

Written Assignments

You will complete four written assignments (each 750–1,000 words). These focus on:

analysing and responding to adult learner needs

analysing language for teaching purposes

teaching language skills

reflecting on classroom teaching

Your teaching practice and written assignments are assessed by your trainers during the course. Your trainers will discuss your progress with you, including in at least two one-to-one tutorials, so you will always be fully informed of your strengths and areas to focus on.

What are the grades for CELTA*?

There are four possible grades for CELTA:

pass A

pass B



At the end of your course, you will be given a candidate report form, which will give your provisional grade. This will also say whether you took the course face-to-face, online or as a mix of face-to-face and online.

Cambridge English will issue your certificate when grades have been confirmed. Certificates are usually despatched up to eight weeks after the completion of the course. The certificate will state your name, grade, the centre number where you took the course and the date of the award.

What support can I receive before/during/after the course?

At the ELA, we not only provide you with support throughout the course, but also provide support with a session on finding work both in New Zealand and overseas.

Before the CELTA course, our Student Support Team will send you a welcome pack including important information and materials needed for your course. Also, an IT workshop will be held to help you with any technical issues you have.

In addition, your trainers will keep track of your progress and provide individual support throughout the course.

At the end of the course, there is also a session on finding work. Also, we share work opportunities from schools in New Zealand and overseas with you, providing guidance in your CV preparation and job interview.

What is the daily schedule like?
Face-to-face Fulltime Course
8:30 – 16:30 (New Zealand Time)
8:30 – 9:15
Assisted Lesson Planning
9:30 – 11:30
Teaching Practice (TP)
11:30 – 12:30
12:30 – 13:20
13:30 – 15:00
Input 1
15:15 – 16:30
Input 2
Face-to-Face Part-time Intensive Course
(New Zealand Time)
17:00 – 18:30
Input 1
18:45 – 20:00
Input 2
Tuesday and Thursday
17:00 – 17:45
Assisted Lesson Preparation (ALP)
18:00 – 20:00
Teaching Practice (TP)
20:15 – 21:00
Feedback on Teaching Practice
3 or 4 Saturdays
09:00 – 12:00
Input 1 and 2
13:00 – 16:00
Input 3 and 4
What are the entry requirements?

You can register for this course if you:

Have a standard of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education

Are 20 or over

Have a CEFR level high C1 (Advanced) or above which will enable you to teach at a range of levels

If you do not have formal qualifications at this level but can demonstrate that you would be likely to complete the course successfully, you may still be accepted.  At the course organiser's discretion, applicants aged between 18 and 20 may on occasion be accepted.

Candidates need to attend 100% of the course. Absence is allowed in the case of illness or exceptional circumstances, with time missed needing to be made up. A high level of commitment is required of candidates as the course is very demanding.

What are the course dates and fees?

2024 Course Dates and Fees

Saturday 06 April – Thursday 13 June 2024 (Face-to-Face Part Time) (Applications have closed)

Monday 18 November -  Friday13 December (Face-to-Face Full Time)



Insurance for International Students

All international students are required to have approved insurance while studying in New Zealand. International students will be charged automatically one of the amounts below for insurance upon enrolment. If you already have an approved insurance policy, you will need to provide the ELA with details to waive this fee. Please see Insurance

2024 Insurance Fee: $87 per month

How to apply?

Please download the application form and language awareness task below; these should be completed and then emailed to the ELA at celta@ela.auckland.ac.nz. If this stage of the application is successful, you will be invited for an interview at a mutually convenient time. The deadline for all stages of the application procedure for the CELTA course is usually four weeks before the course starts.

What do our graduates say about this course?
“In this CELTA course, I learnt a lot of online teaching skills and a lot about teaching in-person. I believe I am well-prepared for any opportunities that may arise. This course has given me a new awareness of various aspects of teaching I had never really considered before such as Teacher Talking Time, and asking ICQs (Instruction Checking Questions) and CCQs (Concept Checking Questions). The great thing about the CELTA is that you can take the skills and certificate anywhere with you and it will be helpful!”

“Studying the CELTA course at ELA has opened up many opportunities for me to teach both in NZ and abroad, as it is a universally recognised qualification. The course offers a high level of engagement in a variety of different ways, including input, practical teaching sessions, observations, and technology training, along with consistent progress feedback. I was able to put my understanding and knowledge to use immediately in my teaching practice, seeing positive results, and building my confidence.”

“The CELTA course at the ELA has taught me how to teach English to adult learners and given me a solid foundation to start my teaching career. The CELTA trainers were always helpful and provided constructive feedback on my teaching. The facilities and resources at the ELA were outstanding.”

“The CELTA course can be challenging at times but the tutors at the ELA provided us with a lot of patient guidance. The tutors are hugely experienced, and their training has being very transferable to actually being in a classroom in front of students. The CELTA course has been invaluable in terms of starting a teaching career and will continue to open doors for me in the future. The ELA is a premium quality language school and has an easily accessible location in the centre of Auckland.”

“The course was a big learning experience for me. I didn’t know much about teaching beforehand but came out with valuable real-world experience. The teachers at the ELA are so experienced and genuinely want you to progress. I learnt a lot from them and found the teaching input sessions very interesting. I’m planning to teach and travel overseas, and the CELTA qualification will definitely open doors for me in the future.”

“I really enjoyed the course. The tutors are skilled at giving feedback and presenting action points on how to improve. As it is a small group, there is more one-on-one time with the tutors, and my peers are really collaborative so I could get feedback from them as well. I have taught previously in Nigeria but wasn’t sure how transferable my previous qualification would be, so I took the CELTA as it is universally accepted.”

Can I get a StudyLink student loan for CELTA?

No, CELTA trainees are not eligible for student loans from StudyLink.

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