Eli Zidova

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CELT’s owners, Greg Nelson and Grace Durighello, with our 30th anniversary cake

CELT is celebrating its 30th Anniversary!

This year, CELT is celebrating an important milestone – its 30th anniversary. Over the decades, CELT has welcomed students from many countries, running many different courses ranging from standard ‘General English’ programmes through to academic, executive, closed group and summer programmes, to the most recent OET courses. From Europe to the Far East and from South America to the Middle East, students from all around the world have loved their stay with us. So, how did it all start? Keep reading… 🙂

CELT’s owners, Greg Nelson and Grace Durighello, with our 30th anniversary cake

The Early Years

In November 1989, CELT opened its doors for the first time. Founded by Greg Nelson and Grace Durighello, who are both EFL teachers, CELT began from a converted garage in their home. They worked on recruiting closed groups of young learners to study English in Cardiff and taught one-to-one General English and Business English lessons in their home. Greg decided to sell his recording studio equipment to buy a computer, a fax machine, and a photocopier – which was all that was needed to set up a business apart from sheer determination! Preparations to open the school started in October 1989 and the first marketing trip was to Italy later that month. Our very first students arrived in April 1990 all the way from La Réunion (Reunion Island) where Greg used to work as a teacher!

For its summer school operation and later for its year-round adult programmes, Greg and Grace hired rooms at Cardiff University Student Union but they had always dreamed of owning their own school building.

Many things have changed over the past 30 years. The school first achieved British Council recognition (as it was then called) in 1993 and is proud to be the longest established and continuously British Council accredited language school in Cardiff. In 1994, Greg and Grace were two of the original founding members of “Learn English in Wales” (LEW) an association of language schools and universities based in Wales. Still active members of LEW on the steering committee, organises an annual teachers’ conference to support best practice in English language teaching.

In 1999, Greg and Grace bought their first building – 6 Salisbury Road, which remains at the heart of the institution with the adult school reception and main school offices based there. After fully refurbishing the building, courses started there in May 2000. In 2003, the adjacent building (No.8) became part of CELT and in 2009, an Edwardian property on North Road was acquired which is now the Young Learners’ Centre. The latest addition, 4 Salisbury Road, was purchased in 2015.

More recent years

In 2014, CELT was invited to join ‘Quality English’ and remains the only QE school in Wales. Even more exciting news on a personal level, in 2016, Greg and Grace finally got married after 27 years of being together!

Celebrating 30 years

This year, to celebrate this important 30-year milestone, we have introduced new teachers’ courses and became one of only 30 OET Premium Preparation Providers in the world as well as the only OET Premium Provider in Cardiff and Wales, allowing us to offer excellence in the teaching of medical English and preparation courses for the OET exam.

We would really like to thank everyone for their kind support over the last 30 years. As we reflect on three decades of working with brilliant students, parents, teachers, homestay providers, group leaders, agents, and all our current and former employees, we invite you to celebrate with us and share your memories. Here’s to many more!

Celebrating 30th Anniversary!
Study at celt in 2020

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