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British Council CELTA in Krakow, how would you rate it?

4 Apr 2012 #1

How do you guys rate the British Council CELTA course in Krakow? Theres lots of information on the CELTA course when it was run by IH, but not much as BC.

I have an interview coming up soon, do you have any tips?

Also, I realise the job market in Krakow is quite difficult, though I will finish the course right at the beginning at September (for the start of term). How would you rate my job prospects? (I have a degree and i'm a native English speaker).

I'm very excited about coming to Poland!

Thank You :)
scottie1113 7 | 898
4 Apr 2012 #2
It's good. CELTA training is standardized so one is as good as another.

I don't usually answer posts from people who don't take the time to register but your question was a general one one so I made an exception.
19 Dec 2013 #3
I dont know if it comes too late but this is what I have to say about my experience..

Now about a month ago (November 2013) I finished my Celta course in Krakow, with the British Council.

I did some teaching afterwards and had the chance to put myself on the test, which proved me I have learned a whole lot, but I knew that before anyway...

The course is 4 weeks long - seriously, I have never 1) learned so much in such a short time 2) worked so hard for such a long time, but before you get scared of, 3) never enjoyed learning and working hard so much. Also seriously, it was fun all the way. :)

I skip all the hard facts about Celta courses as you can read them anywhere (and most of the stuff you read is true).

So, why am I so happy about choosing to do the course in Krakow (yep, Krakow is beautiful, just lovely actually, you could wake me up at three am and take me for a walk, I'd be in. The amazing old buildings, good food, kazimierz with it's laid back atmosphere, warm and cool and endless bars and cafés and street art, nice people, so on and on). But there are more, just as important factors.

As I mentioned the course is very intense and that means, it will, if you are not totally hard, cold blooded, touch you. It did for me anyway. It was personal. It isn't just about writing assignments and lesson plans, it is about how you deal with the workload, with the feedback of your tutors and your fellow course members, how you feel in the classroom and around your new Celta friends, or let's even call it family for the four weeks.

So your tutors/teachers Magda, Basha and Declan are part of your new family for the time being. And they are good company ;)

Obviously, the are professionals, knowing their business. But what I found incredible is, they do this crazy course every month; every month new people, old problems, same topics, .... but I didn't feel it. They seemingly treat it with enthusiasm every time again. Not just we worked hard, they were working hard, both for and on us, too. And I felt, they did it with their hearts. I just guess, they must love their job, I don't know how else Basha and Magda manage to be so warm and caring, how Declan keeps his good well placed humor.

Coming back to their professionalism, why did it feel easy and hard at the same time to learn so much, because they use the techniques themselves and i saw the effect for myself (short attention span? Don't you worry, they are masters at keeping you on track. And you will become one, too), countless lesson ideas and techniques I collected subconsciously in our input sessions. During feedback sessions, I hung to every word they said as I quickly realized, everything they say is really useful, true stuff. Just buy it, they are Gods if it comes to teaching. But find out for yourself ;)

I finished the course pretty good, and I can for sure say, it was not just because I worked hard, but because my tutors got it out of me, supported me, and most of all kept me highly motivated.

This is what constant feedback does to you, you are exhausted and done after a hard nights work, your sheer endless lesson plan is getting blurry in front of your eyes and you just wanna get it over with. Then after the lesson, they tell you, how well you planned, how good your freer practice was and how much the students liked your story, what's o ever. But that, to improve things, you should talk a bit less, watch the timing, if you plan this a bit shorter you have....

Forgotten is the hard work, you are already back on track for the next lesson with fresh improvement ideas and having a boost of energy knowing your lesson wasn't all that bad, yes, you can actually do this!

And never be afraid, they always find nice words - their aim is not to get your moral down but up up up.

So, for me, most part of the course was about my colleges and about the tutors. I was lucky about having a really nice group, but if you pick Krakow, you pick not just a nice place, but, in my eyes, the right tutors.

After the course, I went to Istanbul, where I started a job and even though it's not like the Celta classroom anymore, I clung to my knowledge as it was my life saver. I might be saying this with an inch of proudness, but while I saw other teachers close to drowning, I managed to paddle back up with my Celta techniques.

It is a line much used to describe Celta courses, but I can't help it, it just so true: it is hard but so rewarding. For me, just the experience was worth all the time, money and effort.
19 Dec 2013 #4

Goodness. I hope English isn't your native language. Because if it is, I feel sorry for your students.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
19 Dec 2013 #5

Basia, surely?

Jenny, you need to improve your English before you commence teaching. I know some tutors have a poor standard of English -- I've seen their ads within a popular online advertising site -- but really a person needs to be a lot more up-to-speed to have a successful career, especially now that work's thin on the ground in a lot of cities.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
19 Dec 2013 #6
give her a break, I do not think English is her native language and it is only a post on a forum which she may not have proofread before submitting.

Mind you it does sound like an extended advert for the school....wonder who really wrote it?
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
19 Dec 2013 #7
The level of English among supposed English "instructors" where I teach is appalling! Many are Russian or Polish transplants and while a degree from Kisniew University might well hold water in Moldowa, the same can't be said for here in the States:-)

More to say about this.
jon357 70 | 19,663
19 Dec 2013 #8
The level of English among supposed English "instructors" where I teach is appalling!

But you don't teach, I think, at the British Council in Poland? The standard at the Council is generally very high.

It's good. CELTA training is standardized so one is as good as another.

More or less yes. CELTA centres do lose accreditation from time to time, but not the Council; they are among the best and do take care to ensure consistency.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
19 Dec 2013 #9
The level of English among supposed English "instructors" where I teach is appalling!

well perhaps you need to work somewhere with higher standards then!
Wlodzimierz 4 | 544
19 Dec 2013 #10
Good luck finding any without bribery! It's that way across the board in the New York Tri-State area thanks to scores of unwanted immigrants smoothing the way for such jobs:-)
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
19 Dec 2013 #11
After the course, I went to Istanbul,

Did you find vacancies in Poland's main cities were few?

Shame you don't say perfect English like what I do, because I'm a native English, innit.
19 Dec 2013 #12
Mind you it does sound like an extended advert for the school....wonder who really wrote it?

Yes, my feelings exactly.

On a side note, I had the telephone interview with this school back in October, but the person who I spoke to was very arrogant. They seemed more interested in pushing Krakow as a tourist destination, even though I had already told them I was in Zywiec.

Really put me off the course even though I was accepted. In the end I decided not to go. Didn't want to be "taught" by someone who has that sort of attitude.

Also, the school seems more interested in getting students signed up than what happens afterwards. My questions about job prospects were met with silence.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
19 Dec 2013 #13
he person who I spoke to was very arrogant.

yes i am afraid IH/BC are a bit arsey
jon357 70 | 19,663
19 Dec 2013 #14
Arsey in the extreme and as snobbish and up themselves as you'll find anywhere. But like Mr Kipling, they do make exceedingly good courses.
DominicB - | 2,709
20 Dec 2013 #15
How would you rate my job prospects?

Poor to nil. There is a huge glut of wannabe English teachers in Kraków, Warsaw and Wrocław, the cities that attract the most foreigners. The best jobs are already taken, and you will be competing with scads of other foreigners, many of which will be more qualified than you, for the table scraps, often in cr@ppy schools. My advice would be to forget about these cities, and probably Poznań and Gdańsk/Gdynia/Sopot as well, and try to find a job in a smaller city off the beaten track out in the provinces, or take your chances in the cities out east (Rzeszów, Lublin and Białysok), or in the less touristy and less attractive cities (£ódź and Katowice plus surroundings).

Generally speaking, the boat has sailed as far as language teaching in Poland is concerned, especially in the big, attractive cities.
jon357 70 | 19,663
20 Dec 2013 #16
That is very sound advice, Dominic B. Thed people who get the decent work are generally those who've been around a long time and have the best reputation and contacts. Even they often fall victim to training companies underbidding each other and prices therefore wages falling.

The problem is caused by the arrival of individuals who take up teaching in order to be in Poland, usually with a girlfriend/wife and have no other marketable skills. Such people are fodder for the worst sort of language school. They can't teach beyond the few techniques they learnt in the CELTA, but they do work for peanuts. Medium sized towns with an industrial base are often the best bet. In beauty spots/touristy places there is often a glut of (usually young and undemanding) foreigners chasing the same work, very little money in the local economy, or both.
17 Nov 2014 #17
Merged: Anyone taking the British Council CELTA in Krakow from 24/11/2014


I'm just wondering if anyone reading this will be taking the CELTA course with the British Council next week. I'm flying out on Wednesday 19th and would love to meet up with fellow students beforehand to discuss our thoughts and get a feel for the city. Email me at stockosaway@hotmail

Oh, I meant to add, it's the CELTA in Krakow!
scottie1113 7 | 898
18 Nov 2014 #18
Is it the full time course or their online one?
23 Jan 2015 #19
Sign up with this school if you like to be talked down to and misled to pressure you into paying them the 3500+ zl. deposit (which I'm guessing a lot of students are forced to give up once they find out that things are so rosy as they've been told), especially if you are talking to Barbara Wozniak. (Stay away.) I can tell you that the experience is a lot like talking to an army recruiter. After being blatantly lied to about important details of payment arrangements, which they refused own up to, even though there was a clear email record of inconsistent statements, I decided not to follow their CELTA course, and would strongly discourage anyone else from doing so. If they'll show so much contempt and disrespect for students before signing them up, how do you think they'll treat you once you're in there and they have your money? The recruiters also teach the courses. Be warned.
Dougpol1 32 | 2,673
23 Jan 2015 #20
My advice would be to forget about these cities, and probably Poznań and Gdańsk/Gdynia/Sopot

Very busy in the last mentioned. Come on down if you are experienced and can get up in the morning and, above all, stand the bloody weather!

As you mentioned earlier DominicB the wind does swirl around the old kilt a tad in these parts :)

Arsey in the extreme and as snobbish and up themselves as you'll find anywhere

I couldn't possibly give my true opinion of the bods who tend to work at the British Council. To quote the immortal Brian Clough "I couldn't describe it in words. We would be closed down David. " (referring to his opinion of the scum football manager Don Revie, in a TV interview with David Frost)

Oh alright then, I will comment. The British Council would not be missed if they all went on a rally in the desert with Mark Thatcher as coach driver.
Solo10 - | 2
24 Mar 2015 #21
[Moved from]: British Council preparatory courses in Cracow for improving IELTS score?

Hello everybody. I am citizen of Georgia, I am going to study master in Cracow, but before applying I have to reach good IELTS score. Is it possible to have preparation courses in British council of Cracow. What is the tuition fees and how long can I have courses? Thanks a lot for your answers, it will help me a lot.
Looker - | 1,114
25 Mar 2015 #22
Yes, the British Council in Poland have the IELTS courses also in Krakow.
Check this site:

Are you planning to study abroad? Do you need to prove your level of English? Our IELTS courses can help you reach the score you need in the IELTS exam. These courses provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to achieve your optimal result and fulfil your study and work ambitions.

On IELTS course you will:
- familiarise yourself with the four papers that make up the IELTS test
- develop the study and language skills required to earn a top score
- have the opportunity to write practice answers while learning necessary grammar and vocabulary


The price for this preparatpry course is 950PLN and it takes one month to finish.
prisoner - | 2
31 May 2015 #23
I did my CELTA in 2003 in Kraków at IH, and yep, Basia, Magda and Declan (with the black squares on his shirts) were the trainers. It was very hard, very intensive and there was a bit of a tense atmosphere between some of the course participants and the trainers. But I passed. I can't believe that 12 years later these same three guys are still at it. It must be boring for them by now.
28 Apr 2016 #24
Hi. Have a look at the CELTA centre in Warsaw and Krakow LANG LTC. The September CELTA 2016 in Krakow is run with Jim Scrivener as one of the tutors:
Dougpol1 32 | 2,673
28 Apr 2016 #25
The September CELTA 2016 in Krakow is run with Jim Scrivener as one of the tutors

WOW! More chance of getting a cup final ticket than a trainee getting on that then. Top lad:)
5 Jun 2017 #26

I did the course there and I paid a 1500zlotys deposit. Anyone can check what it says on the website: Upon successful interview, to secure your place on the course, you will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of 1500 PLN. Barbara also interviewed me and was nothing but nice, during the interview and during the course itself. How to pay and how much was made very clear on the phone and by email and they showed flexibility when I wasn't able to pay it all at once. A course does not 'recruit' you, it registers you - and from what I can see tutors interview you to see if you can handle the course or not.
7 Jun 2017 #27
Can't recommend it. The secretaries are angry when there are problems with printing and you need help and they just bully you then. Most teachers will also bully you. You can do all the work as required accordingly with all the things they want you to correct and yet they will let the guy who did only half the work pass, just because he is the kind of guy who has tattoos everywhere and says Sir to everyone, so he doesn't have to do anything. He was two hours late and nobody made a remark, the teachers were acting as if it was normal. which was also shocking. I was always punctual and I always did everything everyone wanted me to do and yet all teachers except for Barbara are bullying me all the time. The American guy (who is just a student with no experience in teaching and is no graduate of any college or University and God alone knows where he comes from since he has so many tattoos) is copying my Australian accent and to be bullied by a guy with tattoos on his body and who is wearing Death Metal t-shirts (not to mention the hair that is longer than the hair of Claudia Schiffer but doesn't look enchanting like hers) is somehow humiliating. I am the only University graduate in the group of students and so it may perhaps have something to do with that, or maybe they have other reasons, I really don't know. All I know is it is likely to happen to you too, my dear reader, so if I were you, I would not go there. I spent my last savings on this horrible experience and I guess I may still pass the course, but I am not sure I'm staying (especially since this is the second time I am having fever because all the bullying is making me sick!) after I had faced so much ugly and humiliating bullying. They write "do not bully" on handouts and put them in all rooms, but I guess those are just encouraging bullies to bully more, since they are bullying and getting away with it, those nice handouts from the British Council must be a joke to them, I guess. The BC has the best intentions and it isn't their fault their staff is doing such things, but I feel obliged to warn other people about it. If you have more money, go to England (or any other part of the UK, or an other English-speaking country - Australia, Canada - basically any commonwealth country will be good for your reputation, there is no guarantee you will not be bullied there, bullying is a problem that is wide-spread, but at least you will have the reputation thing working for you), if you have less, stay where you are, but either way don't try walking in my shoes, because it's the last thing you want to do.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
7 Jun 2017 #28
oh come on, since when was copying someone's accent 'bullying'? He probably doesn't even realise he is doing it tbh.
Honestly, it's a tough few weeks. Put your big boy pants on and whatever you do, maintain eye contact with whoever you are speaking to.

It will all be over soon! hang in there!
7 Jun 2017 #29
I have to correct something. I have no idea of course if certain people say Sir to do nothing. I am happy to take that back.
7 Jun 2017 #30
It is not easy to understand a situation if you are not in it.
It is NOT pleasant to have somebody copy your Aussie accent in a funny way all the time.
Also, the dude said he wants to teach all students to acquire the American accent (why not the British accent? - esp. since they are at the British Council) and that Aussies use the word mate because they are inmates.

Maybe, he was upset because students did clap a lot more after my lessons than after his.
But yes, it is humiliating to be bullied even by people like that.

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