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A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Earn Your CELTA Certificate

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  • Tips to prepare for your CELTA
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    Advice for written assignments
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No SPAM. Just helpful advice for new teachers.

Is the CELTA Course Right for You?

The CELTA is a fantastic qualification to earn and the internally recognised leader in its field. If any of the points below apply to you, then I cannot recommend the CELTA highly enough.

  • You are looking to enter the TEFL industry as a new English language teacher.
  • You are hoping to apply for TEFL jobs in private schools or private lessons around the world.
  • You need the gold standard of TEFL certificates to validate your existing teaching credentials.
  • You are planning a gap year and want to use English language teaching as the foundation.
  • You are looking to develop real confidence in the classroom and provide your students with more value

The Cambridge CELTA is also a stepping stone to the prestigious DELTA (or the equivalent Trinity DipTESOL), which is required for anyone looking to become a Director of Studies in a language school.

Selecting a CELTA Centre

Read my helpful guide to choosing the best CELTA centre – there’s a few things you should keep in mind to find your ideal CELTA school.

CELTA Application Process

I’ve shared an in-depth guide to the CELTA application process already, so if you’re at this stage it’s well worth reading the guide first. It contains a lot of useful tips to making the application process less stressful and offers some real insights into the questions you will be asked and what the tutors are looking for. To summarise, all CELTA applicants will be expected to:

  • English language skills of CEFR C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced) or C2 (Mastery or proficiency).
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be educated to the level of higher education entry requirements.

Preparing for the CELTA Course

Assuming you have been accepted for the CELTA course, you will probably have a number of weeks or months beforehand. Do not waste them! Your preparation during this period can make the difference between a potentially stressful, chaotic and expensive fail grade, or a manageable, enjoyable and enriching pass. I know that might sound a bit melodramatic now, but when you’re planning, conducting and reviewing real lessons back-to-back and juggling input sessions, written assignments and an average of 20 hours homework a week, you may come to regret not taking advantage of the quiet before the storm.

Prepare to pause your social life – I recommend you let everyone know you are just not available during your CELTA course. This is especially true of drinking buddies and amorous arrangements. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself unavailable on your CELTA month (if you’ve decided on the intensive course option). On the flip side of this point, it’s probably a good idea to spend some quality time with your friends and family before the course starts.

Improve your grammar – The CELTA course does not require trainees to possess a perfect understanding of English grammar, but you will be teaching real students how to conceptualise the difference between tenses (perfect, continuous, simple etc.), noun types (countable, uncountable etc.), verb types (phrasal, auxiliary etc.) Now I remember once being only one lesson ahead of my students and I can honestly tell you it was incredibly stressful, unprofessional and time-consuming. Imagine how much easier you can make your CELTA experience if you can commit even just half of the tenses to memory before the course begins!

Relax – You’re about to work almost non-stop for four weeks, so do whatever personally works for you to build up some inner peace. I’m not particularly spiritual myself, but I spent more time with my little son and went fishing.

Stay Healthy – You need to avoid falling ill so make sure you don’t neglect vitamins, water, sleep and fresh air.

CELTA Pre-Course Task

As part of your CELTA preparation, you will be sent an official Cambridge ESOL Pre-Course Task. It contains around 50 activities that you’ll need to work through in your own time, and present on your first day of the CELTA course. It’s not really a test; it’s there to help you to start thinking about your motivations, methods and students like a teacher should. It will not be graded or taken into account as part of your coursework.

Luckily, you’ll also be provided with an official Cambridge ESOL Pre-Course Task Answer Key.

Remember that the Pre-Course Task is there to help you prepare, so I highly recommend you go through the task first — without the Answer Key — and give it your best shot. It’s a great opportunity to re-ignite those slumbering academic brain cells!

The CELTA Course Elements

The CELTA course contains the following elements:

  • Minimum of 120 contact hours, which includes:
    • Teaching methodology input
    • Supervised lesson planning
    • 6 hours of assessed teaching practice for each trainee
    • Observation of peers and experienced teachers
    • Consultations with tutors
  • Minimum of 80 additional learning hours for reading, research, assignment writing and lesson preparation.

The CELTA course syllabus consists of 5 broad topic modules:

  1. Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
  2. Language analysis and awareness
  3. Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  4. Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
  5. Developing teaching skills and professionalism

Spread across these topics, are the 2 main components that trainee teachers are graded on:

  • 4 classroom related written assessments
  • 6 hours of observed teaching with associated lesson planning

Input Sessions

The input sessions are equivalent to normal academic study: The CELTA instructors will share their knowledge and experience of how to teach English as a foreign language. An overview of the 5 topic modules will give you some idea of the aims of the CELTA syllabus.

  • Topic 1 – Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
    • 1.1 Cultural, linguistic and educational backgrounds
    • 1.2 Motivations for learning English as an adult
    • 1.3 Learning and teaching styles
    • 1.4 Context for learning and teaching English
    • 1.5 Varieties of English
    • 1.6 Multilingualism and the role of first languages
  • Topic 2 – Language analysis and awareness
    • 2.1 Basic concepts and terminology used in ELT for describing form and meaning in language and language use
    • 2.2 Grammar – grammatical frameworks: rules and conventions relating to words, sentences, paragraphs and texts
    • 2.3 Lexis: Word formation, meaning and use in context
    • 2.4 Phonology: The formation and description of English phonemes; features of connected speech
    • 2.5 The practical significance of similarities and differences between languages
    • 2.6 Reference materials for language awareness
    • 2.7 Key strategies and approaches for developing learners’ language knowledge
  • Topic 3 – Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
    • 3.1 Reading
      • 3.1.1 Basic concepts and terminology used for describing reading skills
      • 3.1.2 Purposes of reading
      • 3.1.3 Decoding meaning
      • 3.1.4 Potential barriers to reading
    • 3.2 Listening
      • 3.2.1 Basic concepts and terminology used for describing listening skills
      • 3.2.2 Purposes of listening
      • 3.2.3 Features of listening texts
      • 3.2.4 Potential barriers to listening
    • 3.3 Speaking
      • 3.3.1 Basic concepts and terminology used for describing speaking skills
      • 3.3.2 Features of spoken English
      • 3.3.3 Language functions
      • 3.3.4 Paralinguistic features
      • 3.3.5 Phonemic systems
    • 3.4 Writing
      • 3.4.1 Basic concepts and terminology used for describing writing skills
      • 3.4.2 Subskills and features of written texts
      • 3.4.3 Stages of teaching writing
      • 3.4.4 Beginner literacy
      • 3.4.5 English spelling and punctuation
    • 3.5 Key strategies and approaches for developing learners’ receptive and productive skills
  • Topic 4 – Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
    • 4.1 Principles of planning for effective teaching of adult learners of English
    • 4.2 Lesson planning for effective teaching of adult learners of English
    • 4.3 Evaluation of lesson planning
    • 4.4 The selection, adaptation and evaluation of materials and resources in planning (including computer and other technology based resources)
    • 4.5 Knowledge of commercially produced resources and non-published materials and classroom resources for teaching English to adults
  • Topic 5 – Developing teaching skills and professionalism
    • 5.1 The effective organisation of the classroom
    • 5.2 Classroom presence and control
    • 5.3 Teacher and learner language
    • 5.4 The use of teaching materials and resources
    • 5.5 Practical skills for teaching at a range of levels
    • 5.6 The monitoring and evaluation of adult learners
    • 5.7 Evaluation of the teaching/learning process
    • 5.8 Professional development: responsibilities
    • 5.9 Professional development: support systems

CELTA Written Assignments

There are 4 assessed written assignments in the CELTA course. The CELTA written assignments are expected to be between 750 to 1000 words each, which can make it more difficult in my opinion as it removes the opportunity to broadly cover topics by rambling. These assignments are internally assessed by your CELTA centre and externally moderated by Cambridge ESOL.

Although they may be subject to change in future years, the written assignments are usually:

  1. Adult learning and learning contexts
  2. The English language system
  3. Language skills
  4. Classroom teaching & the identification of action points

Assessed Teaching Practice

As part of the CELTA course, all trainees must complete a minimum of 6 hours observed/assessed teaching to classes of real students. It’s this live teaching practice that gives the CELTA course such high international recognition. But in typical CELTA fashion, there’s a lot more involved than just throwing incoherent trainees in front of a whiteboard:

  • Lesson objectives are given to the trainees, who then go home and work on their own lesson plans, incorporating much of what they have learned during the input sessions.
  • Usually the next day, the trainees and tutors discuss their lesson plans in detail, looking for areas or activities that can be improved and anticipating any problems.
  • The trainees will then be given time to revise their lesson plans accordingly.
  • Then comes the classroom — the part that most trainees initially dread — where a maximum of 12 volunteer ESL students (often mixed nationality) wait patiently for their lesson.
  • Based on the CELTA tutor’s observations during the lesson, the trainee will be given feedback and constructive criticism, which they are expected to incorporate into their next lesson plan.
  • …and the cycle continues as above for the duration of the CELTA course.

Good luck on your TEFL career!

Leave a Comment:

chloe says

Hello David, first of all thank you for all the tips and advice !
I’m having a bit of a struggle viewing what a lesson plan could look like (i’m reading books and trying to create my owns but I’m not sure I’m doing right…), is there any way that you could show me an example?
Thank you in advance,
Chloé

Reply
    David says

    Hi Chloé. There are 2 main types of lessons you will be teaching: Language lessons (learning and using new grammar, vocab etc.) and Language Skills lessons (where your learners will practice reading, writing, speaking or listening). Both of these normally use a different lesson plan.

    The basic building block of a Language lesson involves teaching something new, followed by an activity, followed by feedback. This repeats as necessary.

    The basic building block of a Language Skills lesson involves explaining the activity (e.g. listening to a CD), learners doing the activity, and then feedback. This repeats as necessary, but normally starts with a lighter (gist) activity, and then a more difficult (detailed) activity.

    Whichever lesson you teach, you will need to include estimate stage timing, teacher-student interaction, a lead-in section at the start to get the lesson started.

    I’ll write some dedicated articles on lesson plans soon (with downloadable examples) as I think this is a subject that a lot of people would like help with. However, don’t get too stressed as your CELTA tutors will definitely teach you how to plan your lessons.

    Reply
      chloe says

      Thanks a lot !!!

      Reply
Miguel says

Hi David,
Good website full of helpful info. You may have already covered this, but I wanted to know what you suggest in terms of gearing up for or preparing for the CELTA. I’m starting next week and so far, I’ve completed the pre-course task and the Cambridge free course online, plus I’ve been brushing up on terminology and grammar points over the last 2 weeks, mainly because it has been a while.
What should I be preparing for Grammar wise?
Cheers

Reply
    David says

    Hi Miguel. Thanks for your kind words. It looks like you’ve done a lot of preparation already, but I’ve got two suggestions for you…

    First, I wrote this new article on Parts of Speech last night. It goes through the basic sentence component terminology that you will use in your CELTA course. You might already know a lot since you’ve been revising grammar, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a read and learn the abbreviations for your whiteboard work.

    Second, if you’re doing the intensive 4-week CELTA, I totally recommend that you get some rest now, eat and stay healthy, and spend some quality time with your friends and loved ones. Your life will be on hold during your CELTA so take this opportunity to socialise.

    Good luck!

    Reply
Anna Fantastica says

Hi David! Thank you for the advice. I’m in the middle of Week 1 of the CELTA right now. We’re all curious and nervous about the written assignments — do you have any more information about what is required for the written assignments? What type of knowledge do they want to see outlined? Did you find this to be the most challenging part of the CELTA? If not, what was?

Thank you!

Reply
    David says

    Hi Anna. Your first written assignment will expect you to use the knowledge and terminology you’ve learned so far. You obviously won’t be expected to demonstrate anything you haven’t yet been taught by your CELTA tutors.

    CELTA centres set their own written assignments (in line with the framework and objectives set by Cambridge) so you won’t get the same ones as I did. My general advice is to read the brief again and again, and stick to it very closely. Try very hard to stick to the word count – use simple sentences that get right to the point.

    Very important… once you’ve done your assignment, ask yourself if it satisfies the brief fully. That’s what you’re being marked on.

    My most challenging part of my CELTA was being expected to immediately demonstrate new skills and terminology (which comes at an alarming rate and never slows down!).

    Reply
zeena says

Hi David: i am starting the celta course one month from now , and i already feel worried about the written assignments and i can not stop thinking about the whole celta thing . what shall i do to prepare. i feel my writing is so bad because it is being a while since i graduated from pharmacy , which got nothing to do with english teaching . please help!! also it will be great if you have a sample of a written assignment

Reply
    David says

    Hi Zeena. Congrats on starting your CELTA course. Be sure to read my reply to Anna on this page, as it gives some good advice on what to expect from the written assignments. Have you done the pre-course task? That is excellent preparation for the course.

    I’ll be sharing some written assignment examples very soon, and will drop you a message when they’re available. Hopefully I can get them online before your course.

    Reply
      zeena says

      Is there a good proofreading website for checking grammar and punctuation errors?

      Thanx a lot

      Reply
John says

Hello David, great insight into the course. Was looking through ‘parts of speech’ and need to ask; is large an adverb or adjective or both?

Reply
    David says

    Hi John. Large is an adjective. Adjectives answer “what is something like?” (red, large, amazing) while adverbs answer “how was something done?” (quickly, simply).

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
Lauren says

Hi David, I’m so glad to have found your website as I am almost about to lose my faith.

2 years ago I have already thought about studying CELTA but I gave up at the stage of placement test. The teacher who checked on my level told me I might struggle in this course cause I have some grammar issues. So at that time I didn’t work harder, instead I thought as long as I could find a job which able to afford myself and that I manage to handle, I would be happy. So, I went to work as an administrator.

Now it happens again that I am not happy with my job, all I ever want to do is teaching. I realized how much I like teaching as I have one year teaching experience after I graduated from university.

So again this time the placement test’s result was the same, so I joined a full time English course. But I could only did that for a month as I can’t afford anymore. I need to save some for CELTA (I’m not working at the moment).So now I’m planning to do self-study, do you think it is possible? I have read about the language awareness task which scared me out so I bought Parrott’s grammar book and Scrivener’s teaching book, however I don’t know what to do right now. I don’t want to go back to do something that I don’t like or just take up Diploma in TESOL which seems not so well-recognized. Please advise.

Thanks!

Reply
    David says

    Hi Lauren. Your written English uses an acceptable level of grammar, so I’m assuming your problem comes from struggling to identify grammar (form and meaning) when asked. The CELTA interview task doesn’t expect a very high knowledge of grammar, but you need to be able to answer certain types of question e.g.

    What is the difference between these sentences?

    When Martin arrived home, his wife locked the door.
    When Martin arrived home, his wife was locking the door.
    When Martin arrived home, his wife had locked the door.

    Each of those sentences has a VERY different meaning, just by changing the tense of the final verb. You probably understand them naturally without even thinking about it, but how can you explain the difference to language learners?

    Parrott, Scivener and Murphy can help you with grammar rules and forms, but they won’t easily help you to answer the above question. Try your best on the above question here in the comments, and I’ll be happy to reply further with any help I can.

    Reply
      Lauren says

      Hi David

      Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it. Yes my English is sufficient in using in workplace in Singapore, but not in teaching. I have grammar issues and because of this I can’t speak confidently, sometimes I can’t even form questions properly with the WH questions. I know when and how to use the past and present simple but I have a really hard time when it comes to perfect and continuous tenses.

      I have tried below and would like to have your comments:-

      When Martin arrived home, his wife locked the door.
      – This means the action has already completed and is permanent. It doesn’t tell us the time frame here so it means that this action happened once in the past.

      When Martin arrived home, his wife was locking the door.
      – This sentence tells us the temporary action of his wife at that time he arrived home. We say locking the door because it brings the narrative effect at that particular time frame.

      When Martin arrived home, his wife had locked the door.
      – This means the past action which happened earlier, the past that happened before the past. Martin’s wife locked the door is the earlier action, and later action is when he got home. This sentence emphasizes the action and effect that his wife had locked the door before he came home.

      I’m planning to do self study by using Murphy’s advanced grammar book. Do you think it’s possible?

      Thanks again!

      Best regards,
      Lauren

      Reply
        David says

        I’m really glad you tried this. Your written grammar is actually of quite a high level. I’m guessing you perform much better when you’re given time to think and carefully construct your replies, but that you have more problems with the added pressure and confidence of spoken English. There’s only one way to improve this – lots of real-world speaking practice.

        Learning from books and courses is great, but there is no substitute for just 15 minutes a day with a native speaker.

        Let’s have a look at the questions! 🙂

        When Martin arrived home, his wife locked the door.

        This means that Martin’s wife locked the door after he arrived home. (He got into the house.) Two past simple verbs generally mean the actions happened sequentially, especially with the word “When”.

        When Martin arrived home, his wife was locking the door.

        This means Martin was very lucky, as his wife was physically locking the door just as he arrived home. (He got into the house, but only just!) The past continuous verb “was locking” tells us the action was in progress at the time of reference.

        When Martin arrived home, his wife had locked the door.

        You’re correct here, but you need to be clear about the narrative consequence, not just the grammar… This means Martin doesn’t get into his house, because his wife has already locked the door. Poor Martin! The use of past perfect “had locked” means this action was already completed before the first verb.

        … Can you see how I’m explaining how the different grammar actually affects the real world? Rather than just trying to identify the parts of speech? I think you’re getting a bit too wrapped up in the technical structures, almost like you’re quoting a dry grammar book verbatim. Try to shift your thinking away from grammar books and more towards the real-life differences for language learners.

        Murphy’s is a great book to have, and you’ll use it throughout your career. Try to pick up a version with the additional/supplemental activities and photocopy them for your own use; that way you’re not writing directly into the book and can revise the activities again and again.

        I hope this helps Lauren. Drop me a line whenever.

        Reply
          Lauren says

          Hi David

          Thanks a lot! I can really see the difference between my explanation and yours. I can understand yours faster and easier, mine is dry like reading directly from a grammar book. I begin to understand what is language awareness task for – to explain using simpler language and to be more “real” other than try to rephrase from a grammar book/theory. Do you think that it is unlikely to pass this task if we explain in a theoretical way? Would you consider my application based on my explanation above?

          I attended a teaching workshop about how to teach vocabulary to young adults yesterday.It really scared me because most of the people there speak really good English with British accent. They were so energetic and active and I was sitting there in the shadow. I feel so demotivated and I have no idea of how to keep going. Anyway, I will still keep looking around here as the tips and info you provided are really really useful. Thank you so much for that.

          May I ask you about other teaching course like Diploma in TESOL? Sorry I know it is nothing related to CELTA but do you think this TESOL course offered by London Teacher Training College (LTTC) a good foundation for starting CELTA?

          Thanks again!

          Best regards,
          Lauren

          Reply
          Lauren says

          Hi David

          I have decided to go for private lessons with a tutor who is a CELTA graduate and my lessons start next week. After that I will try for CELTA application again around end of March.

          Hopefully I can bring you some good news!

          Cheers!
          Lauren

          Reply
Yao says

Hi, David. I have to say this website is really insightful. Thank you for doing this.
I am preparing to take CELTA course in March. I am going to have an interview tomorrow. I feel a little nervous about it because I am a non-native English speaker. I think I am weak in speaking. I can understand and explain grammar in Chinese but I am not sure whether I can do that perfectly in English. Can you give me some advise about the interview? Is it possible for a Chinese to take a CELTA course and get a CELTA certificate?
Thank you.

Reply
    David says

    Hi Yao. Here’s lot of advice about what to expect on the CELTA interview. Just relax and be honest. And yes, it’s absolutely possible for Chinese to take the CELTA course (on my course we also had Brazilians, Italians, Koreans etc.)

    Reply
Huma says

Hi David, Could you recommend me any foundation course before celta; as I don’t have any teaching experience and I guess I need them before going to celta.

Reply
    David says

    Hi Huma. I’m working on creating a quick course pack for people soon. There’s really nothing else available but I recommend you do the CELTA interview as soon as possible to establish your level of grammar. Any CELTA centre will then be able to advise you on what elements you need to work on.

    Reply
Esraa Emad says

Hi David ,

Thank you for this helpful website , it is very informative .I am thinking to take CELT A course next August , i got the IELTS exam to measure my level in English & i scored 6 which equivalent to B2 . Is it quite enough to start CELTA course by this score ? .If it is not , what do you suggest to improve my language ?

Reply
    David says

    Hi Esraa. You probably need a minimum of IELTS 7 (CEFR C1 / CAE grade B level). Looks like you’re almost there.

    I’d recommend looking at your IELTS component scores to prioritise your learning. Concentrate first on improving the skill that pulled the average down to 6.

    If you need to work on listening and speaking then force yourself to meet native English speakers (Skype, friends, local meetups etc). Watch English films without subtitles, listen to BBC radio etc.

    If you need to work on writing and reading then it’s probably worth getting some lessons, either privately or with a school. Just make sure that they tailor the lessons to these skills. Good luck!

    Reply
Esraa Emad says

Hi David ,

Thank you for your reply , really appreciated. I enrolled myself on two different course (Academic writing & conversation ) in the British Council .I think this is will help me to improve my language in addition to that i am working on myself by reading Grammer in use & The CELTA course book also i am trying to search on the internet for examples related for CELTA assignments . I hope I can be well prepared before August .

Thanks 🙂

Reply
Lauren says

Hi David, I’m looking at this part of speech thing. Is “sledging” a verb or a noun? I have looked at several dictionaries and all says it is a noun – an activity on the snow by a sledge. Just like diving, jogging…?

Thanks!
Lauren

Reply
    David says

    Sledging (and most other -ing actions) is both a verb and noun, depending on the context. It looks like you’ve just discovered gerunds!

    “I am sledging on the big hill” – Here it’s a verb (present continuous in this case)

    “I like sledging” – Here it’s a noun. It’s a thing or a concept, and not an action.

    More reading

    Reply
RO says

Hi David,

Thank you for this wonderful site! I have just passed my CELTA interview, and I’m doing to do my CELTA course next month! Any piece of advice?

Thanks a lot

Reply
    David says

    Hi Ro. The website here is full of advice, but if you want the exclusive tips (interviews, downloads etc.), you should sign up for my newsletter.

    Reply
Ro says

Thank you for your immediate response. I have just received the Pre-Course task. I have changed my mind! I do not need any piece of advice now! I would like to depend fully on myself by reading the suggested books and references to build my confidence and knowledge! I think this is the main purpose of the course to demonstrate my skills and work hard to polish them!
Wish me good luck!

Thanks again

Reply
Rustemova Guney says

Hi. @PassTheCELTA:disqus You wrote that “If any of the below points apply to you then I cannot recommend CELTA highly enough: 1) You are looking to enter TEFL as a new English Language teacher” .
If you dont recommend CELTA then what you recommend for those who want to start teaching english?

Reply
    David says

    Hi Rustemova. I think you misunderstand… I recommend CELTA completely! … “cannot recommend something highly enough” means it is recommended as highly as possible 🙂

    Reply
MrEWatson says

Hi David,

Thanks for the brilliant website, it’s brimming with tips and I find myself consulting it more and more as my course date approaches.

My CELTA is set to be in August, when does the pre-course task get sent to you?

Thank you,

Many regards.

Elliot.

Reply
    David says

    Glad you find everything useful 🙂 I received mine about 1.5 months before. It probably varies from centre to centre.

    Reply
Clara V says

Is it possible to start preparing the writing assessments before the beginning of the course? I struggle with the writing part and I would like to start before hand. Where can I find all the material to do the writing assessments? thanks for your website! really useful!

Reply
    David says

    Hi Clara. It’s not really possible to prepare for the written assignments before the course, as you will be required to incorporate skills and knowledge from the input sessions. Your preparation time before the CELTA course is best spent revising basic grammar, doing the pre-course task, and staying well-rested and healthy.

    Reply
Masaaki Shima says

Hi, David. Thanks for this awesome website. Since I am planning to apply, this will be a huge help! Speaking of which, I am a little worked up about filling the application form on the website. How long does each answer have to be? Should I write in a paragraph or use bullet points? I’d appreciate it if you could give me some pointers on this. Thank you!

Reply
    David says

    Short paragraphs is probably best, depending on the space your application form allows. I would say that bulletpoints probably won’t give you the opportunity to expand on your answers to provide additional information on why you should be approved.

    Reply
      Masaaki Shima says

      Thank you so much for your good pointer. I’ll make my answers keeping your advice in mind.

      Reply
webber says

Hi David, so glad i ‘bumped’ onto your site. Have been following the discussions and they are very intersting and helpful. Tremendous job on the website! I had my interview today and was offered a place…yaaay!! I could start as early as September but i was thinking of postponing to October so that I prepare myself with the terminology and grammar fine tuning as i’ve never taught before. What’s your opinion, is 3 weeks enough time to prepare? Thanks

webber

Reply
    David says

    Hi Webber. That’s great news and congrats on the interview. 3 weeks is plenty of time to prepare if you’re committed to working hard on the course and taking on board the new terminology and skills. Of course, it’s better to have longer to prepare, but only if you are genuinely going to use that additional time.

    Reply
zsófi says

Hey David, first of all, a big THANK YOU for this wonderful job you have done, the website is full of info I have been looking for before starting my CELTA next week. Thank you, thank you, thank you! While reading through several comments I saw that, in some of your replies you had referred to a “new, redesigned” website with even more info on it (I am especially after Lesson Plan examples and more guidance on the written assignments), however, maybe because I am not looking carefully enough, I cannot possibly find this new website. Please do not take my comment as a “complaint”, I would just like to read it, if already available. Many many thanks for your efforts. All the very best.

Reply
    David says

    You’re very welcome. I wish you the best of luck on your CELTA course. This is the latest redesign of the website, a huge improvement on the last version, which was just a WordPress blog 🙂 My plan is to continue adding new guides as I write them, but recently I’ve been very busy creating interviews with CELTA tutors and writing some premium guides that are available to buy.

    Next on my list is to create guides for the written assignments, lesson plans, online grammar tests, and maybe even advice for non-native speakers. If you sign up for the newsletter and drop me an email, I’ll be happy to offer specific advice and experience on the written assignments.

    Reply
Peter Rabbit says

Hello David. I have only B2 level in English and I don’t know if I need to take the Cambridge English Advanced Exam as a sufficient proof of high-level before I enrol myself to CELTA. If so how does it work, please? Thank you for the dedicated website, I am accumulating my confidence steadily throughout the posts.

Reply
    David says

    Hello! I think I’ve replied to you via email on this topic also, but I’m going to post it in the comments too to help other people with the same challenges.

    Applications for the CELTA course are expected to have a minimum level of English good enough to teach at a range of learner levels. In reality, this is CEFR C2, or high grade at C1. Many of the international CELTA centres I’ve spoken to use IELTS too, and require an overall IELTS score of 7.0

    If you already have a high CAE or CPE certificate, you should have no problem with the CELTA course.

    If you’re level is currently B2, I recommend reading this guide for non-native speakers, and contacting your local CELTA centre so they can make a proper assessment of your skills (you may be underestimating your own level).

    Reply
Sneha says

Hi David!

Do we have a pass or fail at the end of the CELTA Test?

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    David says

    Yes, it’s a pass (standard, B or A) or fail grade after the CELTA. There’s no formal examination, but instead you are assessed throughout the course and written assignments.

    Reply
Ahmed Taha says

hello I am a senior student in faculty of education English department I study everything about teaching in general and about teaching EFL I have been doing a practically teaching in schools for 2 years in Training course from the faculty. Do u think this will help me in CELTA. I studied methods and micro teaching and the psychology of teaching everything that u can imagine 🙂

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    David says

    Any understanding of teaching methodology will certainly help. Be sure to book a quick phone interview with a CELTA centre to assess if the course is suitable for you.

    Reply
Maria Oana Stphnsk says

Hy David. I am an English teacher from Romania. Starting with this year I have the posibility to follow Celta courses in my country but I don`t want to have any surprises when I will take the decision to move ( I intend to go in Wien ). Also I studied Romanian-English at University from Craiova. Can you tell me if my studies are recognised there? And if I go at Celta course from Bucharest is a good decision or I should go and take the course in the country I intend to move?

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    David says

    Hi Maria, I so sorry for the late reply. I didn’t get a notification of your comment.

    I can’t answer if your previous teaching qualifications are recognised in Wien, but I confidently say that the CELTA is the most widely recognised TEFL certification internationally. I would personally choose to take your CELTA course in another country if possible, as the syllabus is standard across all centres and it will force you to think and speak 100% in English, rather than falling back on using Romanian with the tutors, trainees and outside the classroom.

    Reply
Linny says

Hi, I’m Caitlin from new Zealand and I am applying to Celta next year and am a little worried.

I’ve just graduated university with a BA in Linguistics focusing on English as a Second Language and was wondering what sort of support throughout the coarse is available. Is it common place for the teachers of Celta to guide and help applicants improve their work to a standard acceptable or are we expected to know how to work without guidance?

Thanks

Caitlin

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    David says

    Hi Caitlin. Apologies for the very late reply, Disqus didn’t tell me I had new comments.

    The CELTA course is an entry-level qualification to get you started in the TEFL industry. You are definitely not expected to work without guidance, and you always will have the support of dedicated CELTA tutors to help you… that’s their job!

    Reply
Sneha says

Hi David!

Hope you are doing well.

As I am getting ready to apply for CELTA next month, can you give a quick insight into the test and interview process/questions?

Thanks a lot!! 🙂

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    David says

    Hi Sneha, I’ve very well thank you 🙂 All centres will conduct their interviews slightly differently, but I’ve written a more detailed guide on sample questions and the process further down this page.

    Reply
anisahk1 says

Hi David.

I want to say a huge thank you for your CELTA information. I stumbled across your site while trying to prepare for my interview and the information you have provided helped me immensely, especially with my nerves and lack of confidence.

I almost didn’t apply because I thought I lacked qualifications and teaching experience but I completed the previous interview task anyway and hoped for the best. Within 24 hours I had received my interview date and naturally started to panic and tell myself I would never get accepted as my grammar knowledge wasn’t good enough. I attended the interview and completed the interview tasks and out of the five of us there, I was one of two interviewees who didn’t have to make corrections to the task. I was accepted on the course within 24 hours and am due to start it in June 2016.

So for anyone thinking they aren’t good enough, or lack experience or qualifications etc, just go ahead and apply. If you get accepted then brilliant and if you don’t, take it as a learning curve and you know what to expect for your next interview.

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    David says

    That’s great news! Thank you for sharing this confidence booster with everyone – and good luck for June.

    Reply
Thiên Phước says

Hi, can I self-study CELTA? As the fee sounds too much for me…thanks !

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    David says

    No, there is no self-study option. There is an online variation with some self-study component, but it isn’t free and still requires some contact time.

    Reply
Claire says

Hi David!

I am Claire from China, I hold a BA in English and I have been working for a few years in companies in China where English is the working language. Due to some personal reasons I am considering taking the CELTA course and teaching English as a second language in Germany next year. Here comes a question, do you think it will matter a lot to the schools in Germany (or other European countries) that I’m not a native speaker even though I am certified with CELTA? Do you think Asian people would even stand a chance in the English teaching market in Europe?

Thank you very much! ^^

Claire

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    David says

    Hello Claire, thanks for dropping by. There are LOTS of non-native speaking English teachers across the world… including Germany of course. In fact, this can give you a great advantage as you will be more aware of English grammar (form, meaning, pronunciation etc.) I studied with trainees from Korea, Brazil and Italy – there’s no reason why you can’t succeed too as long as your accent isn’t too strong.

    I have heard that, in China and Japan especially, schools have a strong preference for native speakers with a clearly Caucasian look (I’d love to hear your view on this!). I don’t know if that is true, but this definitely isn’t the case in most European countries.

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Darius says

Hi guys! I’m interested in taking the Cambridge CELTA course but I am uncertain about what are the minimum language level requirements for those who are not the English native speakers. I read, I need to have IELTS 7.0 but it means General IELTS or the academic one could be also considered ? 🙂

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    David says

    Hi Darius, great question. Here’s a very detailed CELTA guide for non-native speakers where we go into detail about IELTS scores. I don’t know specifically about the academic IELTS, but I would recommend you think about it more in terms of proving your level of English during application and interview… if you hold an IELTS (acadamic) of 7.0 and can demonstrate your English is sufficient for the course, there is unlikely to be a problem.

    I recommend you call your nearest CELTA centre and ask them this question directly – and update us here with the answer 🙂

    Reply
      Darius says

      Thanks David ! I’ll definitely do it ! 🙂

      Reply
Joel Martin says

Hi David and thanks for all your input! I am new to all of this despite being in my mid-40’s. I have just mailed in my pre-interview assignment to EC Toronto, I’m from London, Ontario, Canada which is about 2 hours away by car. A big question in my mind is how do I, a guy who has been away from school of any sort for about 10 years, prepare for the heavy course load of a CELTA course? I feel strongly that I have a natural talent for teaching and language acquisition however I’m certain that is not enough to succeed with CELTA. My highest level of education is secondary school here in Canada and some secondary school upgrading I took between 2003 to 2005. I’m concerned about being overwhelmed by the course load of a full-time CELTA course but would prefer to take a full-time as it would mean less time staying in a neighbouring city, Toronto, spending additional money on room and board. What strategies would you recommend to get my brain in shape for such a challenging 4 weeks?

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    David says

    Hi Joel, so sorry about he late reply! The comment system got a little stuck. Those are great questions, and concerns that a lot of people share… I should probably write a full guide on this one day. Don’t be too concerned about only having secondary education; I also didn’t go to university or college, so important that you have an open/learning mindset, are able to get your head down, and a willingness to take onboard constructive criticism from your tutors.

    On this page, there is a good comment thread with Lauren which includes a helpful thought experiment to get your brain working like a teacher. I’ll repost it here…

    What is the difference between these sentences?

    * When Martin arrived home, his wife locked the door.
    * When Martin arrived home, his wife was locking the door.
    * When Martin arrived home, his wife had locked the door.

    Each of those sentences has a VERY different meaning, just by changing the tense of the final verb. You probably understand them naturally without even thinking about it, but how can you explain the difference to language learners?

    This skill in communicating real-world meaning is one of the most critical skills for CELTA trainees and teachers in general. Anything you can do to get into this ‘mode’ of thinking will help you to re-activate your brain after 10 years away from a learning environment.

    The full-time course is definitely intense, no doubt about it. The advantage is that you are completely immersed in the CELTA and can focus 100%. However, if you have other commitments like children, you should consider a part-time course, as the 4-week course will use up all your free time.

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Dominic says

great work sir… thanks a ton

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John says

Hi David,

Firstly, an excellent website! I was just wondering if there’s anything in retrospect that you wish you’d revised more before starting the course? Also, did you go straight into a position afterwards? I will be starting my course in a few weeks and I’m really looking forward to it. All the best and thanks for your help – John

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    David says

    anything in retrospect that you wish you’d revised more before starting the course?

    Wow, great question John. Not revision as such. My tutors and the books available gave me access to everything I needed prior to my lesson plans – although I’ll be honest and say I sometimes fully understood complex grammar (conditionals, phonemes etc.) only a few hours before teaching it to my students!). I would say pre-course revision isn’t as important as your physical and mental preparation. You need to be healthy and you need to be in a mentally good place. You can’t be distracted by family issues, love life, friends etc. Put it all on pause for 4 weeks and you’ll do yourself a huge favour.

    Best of luck, John. Do let us know how it goes and drop by if you have any more questions. I’d be glad to share my own experiences.

    Reply
Stephen Caldwell says

Hi David,

I am enrolled in a Celta course beginning in a few weeks. I was wondering if there was any actual lesson preparation that I could do before starting the course. Is it possible to get a jump start on the assignments so that I might be a little ahead of the game when the course begins?

Thanks for all the tips!

Steve

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    David says

    Each CELTA centre does the assignments slightly differently. From what I understand, they are free to create their own unique take on the assigment objectives that Cambridge ESOL give them. My own assignments were:

    FOL (Focus on the Learner) – An interview with a foreign language student, identifying his/her needs and challenges (in the context of his/her background and learning style) and then putting together an activity to help them achieve those aims.

    LRT (Language Related Tasks) – Demonstrating you can check students understanding of vocabulary, grammar and form, with a variety of eliciting methods e.g. clines, timelines, pictures etc.

    LSRT (Language Skills Related Tasks) – Breaking down an lesson plan to show you understand the various stages and aims. Also commenting on the suitability of the activity material to various learner levels, with relation to language level, layout, interest, culture etc. Finally, we designed our own extension activities and a worksheet activity (I drew a map with a blank 7-day itinerary!) to fit with the same objectives.

    LFC – (Lessons From the Classroom) – This is where you critically analyse your lesson observations (the sessions where you observe qualified teachers during their own classes). Along with our tutors, we selected 2 areas of personal focus each (mine were effective monitoring and balancing STT vs. TTT.) and analyse those areas from our observations, stating what we felt worked well and what didn’t work well.

    The main thing is to read the assignment briefs in full, and then read it again… and then ask someone else to read it to you etc. 🙂 Do exactly what you’re asked to do, keep your word-count down, and cut out any fluffy ramblings before you submit it. A few of my colleagues on the CELTA course had to do re-submits because they didn’t stick to the brief, and re-submits can really mess with your relentless workload and add unnecessary pressure!

    Good luck with your CELTA! Drop me a line if you need support along the way. David

    Reply
John says

Hi David,

I left a note in July about revision prior to CELTA. Well, I’m happy to say that my CELTA is over and went very well. It turned out that my grammar and reading beforehand came in handy, but the application of this and the capacity to teach it is something that can’t be revised. You have to pick that up while you’re on the course itself, and that’s the hardest part. I wish everyone about to take their CELTA all the best and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! – John

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    David says

    Thanks for sharing John, and congrats on passing!

    Reply
Mali says

As someone who has never stood in front of a class to teach anything before, do you have any recommendations as to how I can prepare for that? I was told that trainees are thrown in front of a class to teach on the very second day!

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    David says

    Hi Mali, Yes you’re right above getting thrown in front of a class. I had a 20 minute lesson to 12 learners on my first day!

    First of all, your first teaching will be completely unassessed; it won’t affect your grades at all. You’ll make loads of mistakes and you’ll feel completely out of your depth BUT it gets that first time out of the way quickly. After that, you can only improve 🙂 You’ll all look back on your first lesson and laugh about it. It’s hard to prepare for the first lesson because it’s more about setting yourself a mental benchmark. Like any lesson, you should try to understand the target language you are asked to teach and use the opportunity to get accustomed to the classroom layout and 12 sets of expectant eyes on you.

    I know it’s futile to tell someone not to stress about their first lesson, but remember that the learners sign up to their lessons knowing they will be taught by trainee teachers. They won’t be expecting much from your first appearance either.

    Reply
      Mali says

      Thank you SO much! This is the one of the only websites I’ve found regarding the CELTA that isn’t outdated and where the now CELTA certified trainee actually responds! Thanks!

      Oh man, being in front of a class on my first day will freak me out so I’m going to try to be prepared! Do you get any knowledge of what you will be teaching ahead of time in order to somewhat prepare yourself?

      Reply
        David says

        I’m happy you find the website helpful. Yes, absolutely. Your CELTA tutors will probably give you a specific excercise from an excercise book, and you’ll get some time to read through and familiarise yourself with it beforehand.

        Reply
      Mali says

      Sorry for another silly question, but did your first lesson include you speaking for the whole 20 minutes? I know the students will also be speaking during exercises, but was there ever time where you handed out a worksheet or something and didn’t speak to everyone as a whole? Nervous for the first lesson – especially if it’s the first day!

      Reply
        David says

        No, I certainly wasn’t speaking for a whole 20 minutes 🙂 I think I had to oversee a writing or reading activity, so I was monitoring the learners (although I didn’t know it was called ‘monitoring’ at the time). Don’t worry too much – your CELTA tutor isn’t going to throw you to the wolves on your first day.

        Reply
Hanane Eddahbi says

Can any one help with the celta assignments. Im stuck.

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    David says

    Hey Hanane, which assignment in particular? I might be able to help you understand how to approach it.

    Reply
Lynn says

I wonder if you could point me in the right direction with the first assignment. I have found it very overwhelming so would appreciate any help.

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    David says

    I’m happy to offer some advice on how to approach it (but obviously I can’t tell you the answers). Can you share the assignment brief?

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Mah says

Respectable David

I would like to pay my regards to You for such a detailed information on CELTA.I am planning to take admission in CELTA.Now a days I am free.What books should I consult to prepare CELTA initials.

Regards

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Peter says

Just wanted to say thanks for the info. I am doing my CELTA soon, and found all the answers to my questions, right here.

Nice one David.

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    David says

    Thanks Peter. Best of luck!

    Reply
Ada says

Hi David, thanks a lot for the very insightful information on this site. I will be participating in the CELTA course next month and even though I have some teaching experience, I am petrified of what awaits me. My biggest challenge has always been grammar and even though I have done the pre-course task as well as the Cambridge Language Awareness free course, I am still confused about some grammar points: conditionals, future, aux. verbs e t c. Not being sure when they are used is always a problem for me. I do hope I make it and most of all, i hope I have understanding and patient instructors and co-participants.

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    David says

    Hi Ada. Thanks for your kind words. Very best of luck on your CELTA course – don’t worry too much about those grammar points; you’ll be given every opportunity to learn them before you teach. But it always pays to do a little studying yourself too if you get time before your course. A grammar book like Murphy’s can be very useful.

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Sam says

Hi David,

Just want to say thank you so much for your detailed information regarding the CELTA course. I will be starting the course in September but I have a question, I haven’t studied in about 10 years and I’m afraid that I might not be on the same level as the other students beause it’s been a while. So I was wondering, do you know of any books that could help me prepare??

Thank you in advance.

Regards,

Sam

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    David says

    Hi Sam. Honestly, the best preparation are the pre-course CELTA tasks; they’re constructed in a way to re-start your brain for learning again. My advice would be to listen to your CELTA tutors carefully and immediately demonstrate you have incorporated their advice in the next lesson plan. That’s probably the biggest tip I can give anyone on the CELTA. Don’t worry too much about feeling behind the other students, you are assessed independently against a matrix of skills.

    Books… I’d recommend Murphy’s grammar of course. It’s a great reference for the CELTA and your career. There should be some other pre-course books on the recommended books page too.

    Reply
      Sam says

      Thank you so much for your quick response. I will take that on board 🙂

      Reply
Sorcha says

I just wanted to drop a line to say thank you to David for the advise on the CELTA course. You have put my mind at ease no end. The book you mention; Murphy’s. Is that English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy? I have ordered Teacher Knowledge by Jeremy Harmer, is it worthwhile to have both?

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    David says

    Yes, ‘English Grammar in Use’ is the one I always recommend. I’m not familiar with Teacher Knowledge… please do share your thoughts with us after you’ve read it!

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Henry says

Hi this site is extremely helpful. Could some one help out on the PRE course activities as in what books or grammar related materials to work on

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    David says

    You’re not assessed on the pre-course tasks. They’re designed to get you thinking again and in the mindset of learning, and to help you and your tutors to assess your strengths and weaknesses. As such, I strongly recommend you don’t study for them, but instead approach them honestly from your natural skill and knowledge level. There will be plenty to study when you’re on the actual course!

    Reply
Jack says

Hi David,

I am doing some preparation for my CELTA course and just wondered which Murphy book you suggest I get – the Elementary or Intermediate version?

Thanks,

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    David says

    Hi Jack. This is the book I generally recommend. You’ll use it through your CELTA course and your teaching career. Well worth picking up a copy.

    Reply
      Jack says

      Great, thanks David. I’ll order one now!

      Reply
Laurel O'Hara says

David, thanks for the blog. I was looking at grammar software programs like grammarly and wondered what your thoughts on having one of these as a support material were and if you have any you would recommend?

Cheers Laurel

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    David says

    Hi Laurel. I’ve never used grammar software. I have used flashcard memory software like Anki for learning foreign languages, so that might be an option to look at. Just remember that you need to do it every day, even if only for a few minutes. Most adults learn best through repeated exposure, not by cramming.

    Reply
Abdallah says

Hello, my name is Abdallah. I will be doing CELTA course this November . I am not quite sure about my ability to do the written assignments , especially they are over 750 words each. Can anyone give me a sample answer of a written assignment he did before ? , so I would have a general idea how the answer should be like.

Abdallah

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    David says

    Hi Abdallah. I’m currently re-designing the website in October and hope to be able to offer a lot more advice on the written assignments when the new version launches. However, given how close you are to your CELTA course, I’ll send you some guidelines for the assignments via email tomorrow. However, please remember that the written assignment tasks are different for every CELTA centre (Cambridge only supply guidelines and objectives) – you will not have the same questions as I did so do not copy my answers. Instead, just look at how I approached the questions.

    Reply
Rahima says

Hi David,

Thanks a lot for your such a helpful blog. I want to do part time CELTA course from March, 2015. But I am in tense about assignments. How to write a good assignment still I dont know well. Best regards.

Rahima

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    David says

    Hi Rahima, I’ll be publishing a new section dedicated to written assignments soon, so I’ll keep you updated before your course starts.

    Reply
Mehwish says

Hi David,

Thanks for all the information that you have provided. I have recently joined CELTA and my course is due to start in November. I have been given a pre course task with key and evaluation. I just wanted to know how I’m supposed to complete this task. If I’m supposed to read any book prior to answering the questions or just give your opinions about the questions.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks Mehwish

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    David says

    Hi Mehwish. First, remember that your pre-course task does not contribute to your final grade at all, so don’t stress about it too much. It’s purpose is to help you and your tutors know where you will benefit from support, and to help you get you back in the mode of learning and thinking about how to teach English. Don’t worry about buying any books specifically for your pre-course task – just be honest in your approach and take your time on each question.

    Your pre-course task is like a little window into the kinds of challenges you’ll be facing on the course itself, so make a note of the questions you struggle with and discuss them with your CELTA tutor. Good luck in November!

    Reply
Henrika says

I’m starting my course from next week.Very excited at the same time scrared to death. My big concern is about the assignment submission. Could mail a sample to look at.

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    David says

    Hi Henrika. I’ve decided to not share my assignments until I have had time to properly prepare them for the public in a way that respects the copyright of my CELTA centre. Unfortunately this won’t be in time for your course, but you are more than welcome to drop by the website and ask any questions.

    Reply
Maya says

Hello,

An excellent, very informative website!

I am currently doing my CELTA part-time (started in September and completing in February) and was looking for some tips and advice on how to get on track to getting a good grade.

I have had 3 Teaching Practice lessons so far which have been To Standard. (My lesson plans are always very detailed and thorough but once in the classroom, I panic).

My 4th is a grammar lesson based on Narrative Tenses. How can I improve my lessons so I can get Above Standards? I am reaallyyy hoping for a B at least! Can you and any other people who have done the Celta offer any guidelines or tips that I can use to improve my grades?

Looking forward to replies!

Thank you and best wishes, Maya

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    David says

    Hi Maya. Getting a Standard grade for your first 3 lessons is very good – it implies you are immediately incorporating your tutors feedback and the new skills into the next lesson… which is exactly what you need to do to push for a higher grade. Here’s my advice for aiming for a Pass B or A:

    Continue with your detailed lesson plans for sure. This is key!

    Be sure to include teacher-learner interaction and stage timings. You’ll get better at estimating accurate timings as the course progresses, but for now just make sure you’re including them and trying to keep within their limits.

    Always try to anticipate problems in your lesson plans and include enough time for feedback (delayed, peer-led, elicited etc.)

    This is one of my favourite tips and was immediately effective in my lessons… Use a clipboard in your actual teaching practice! It keeps your lesson plan available in a professional way (which boosts confidence), and gives you somewhere to quickly note any errors for later delayed error correction. Plus, you can have all the activity answers in front of you when monitoring 🙂

    Remember that teaching confidence comes from 3 things…

    1. a useful lesson plan

    2. knowing the activities and answers (seriously, do the activities yourself the night before!)

    3. repeated exposure to the teaching environment.

    Finally, I always recommend that you simply ask your tutor what you need to do to push your grade higher. Your lesson feedback session is the perfect time to say “Hey Mike, can you tell me the top 3 things I need to improve on to aim for a better grade?”

    Reply
kavita bhojwani says

Hi! I have a written assignment of 750 to 1000 words. Title is “Focus on the learner”. My learner is a Catalan speaking guy who above 55. He is at his elementary level.
Can you suggest me where to get the help from. If you any assignments which cud be of some help, I will appreciate that.

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    David says

    I’m assuming you’re trying to profile this learner and identify ways to help him improve? If so, try to find common problems (grammar and pronunciation) encountered by Spanish native speakers. Very often they struggle with the “sk” sound at the start of words (school etc.) and confusing B and V.

    Try to identify your learner’s motivation for wanting to learning English, his background, and his preferred learning style too. Of course, it depends on what you’re brief is specifically asking you to do.

    Reply
soumita says

hi,

I have done my executive English certification from the British council, Chennai, India. Currently i have a strong penchant for teaching and so i want to go forward and take up celta. But right now, I am in bit of a fix and not sure how do i apply and where do i get my study material and where do i take up the exam. My current place of residency is United States.so please advice regarding the same.

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    David says

    You can find a list of CELTA centres in the USA on this page. I advise phoning a few and asking about their application process.

    Reply
humera khan says

Hi

I want to take up the Celta program this september. However I m really worried about passing it with flying colours. Can u please give me a few pointers on the writing assignments and also few topics that u have dealt with , so that I can have an insight on what to expect. Secondly I have taught students of grade 8 and below. I have never really taught adults. So how will it be different and what challenges I might face in general.?Please guide me.

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    David says

    Teaching adults is, in my opinion, much easier than teaching children! Adults want to be there, they want to learn. Children are often looking for entertainment or to just wait until their parents collect them.

    However, adults will challenge your knowledge a lot more. Many of them will have better grammar knowledge than you, and they expect to improve as a result of your teaching. But it’s a lot of fun teaching adults too – you can have a laugh and really relax with a class of students who you know well.

    Reply
humera khan says

Hi david
I also wanted to know that the four writing assignments on the basis of which we would be evaluated, wil be given to us as on the spot writing task or will there be some deadline? Coz 750-1000 words is really a lot. Pkz do share the topics that u had got.

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    David says

    You can find a lot of information on the new FAQ page for approaching the written assignments. Let me know if anything anything isn’t answered there.

    Reply
Stephy says

Hi David, I am planning to do my CELTA. I read some of the articles about how to prepare for CELTA. I am not that confident about my vocabulary. I couldn’t find any tips in any of those articles. Could you give me some? I am not much into reading. I would like to improve my writing skills as well. And also regarding pronunciation, do I have to study in very detail? Sylable stress and intonation? Things like that. Please advise

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    David says

    It depends if you are native speaker or not. If English isn’t your first language, I recommend reading my tips for non-native speakers where I offer some useful advice on improving your reading and writing skills.

    If you are a native English speaker, then you just need to practice! Daily reading and writing will improve your skills a lot before your CELTA 🙂

    Reply
Ben-Hur Judah says

Hi David

I appreciate the good job you’ve been doing here. I am currently pursuing my blended CELTA course. I have got a pass in my assignment 1 but failed 2 even after re-submission. Also, I have a weak Stage 2- not to standard. My tutor says that since I delivered a strong TP5, I still have a chance of finishing the course strongly.

David, can you tell me where I stand? I have got TPs 6,7,8 and 9 to go and two more assignments-3&4. Am I in the danger zone? Please advise :=)

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    David says

    This is really one of those difficult questions that I’m not qualified to answer – I’ll give you my opinion as a graduate, but it’s only that and nothing more. The assessment criteria is complex and certainly does allow for some judgement from your trainer.

    I’m fairly sure you’re “in the danger zone” if you’ve failed 2 written assignments after re-submissions plus you’re getting N/S TPs (which I think you already know), BUT it’s great that you’ve been told you “still have a chance of finishing the course strongly” by the person who makes the decisions.

    I would recommend you understand exactly which areas you are falling short on, and focus on them with all your energy. Can you schedule a ‘crisis meeting’ with your tutor and just be honest about your need to put together some kind of action plan to improve your performance?

    You’ll need to keep up the momentum with TPs 6-9, taking into account planning, teaching and self-evaluation. In my experience, N/S TPs mean less at the start of the course, but by TP 6 onwards you should be getting at least Standard TPs to demonstrate you are growing and putting everything into practice.

    Reply
Tina says

Hi David,
I’m currently half way through my CELTA course at the moment and today I’ll be moving up to teach the upper intermediate students. The class often exceeds 15 students and I’m a bit concerned as to whether this is acceptable or not. Also if it isn’t can you tell me what, if any, action I can take about this? I’m currently at standard level for all my TPs and my first assignment is due back today (after resubmission). Your input will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
P.S Love your blog.

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    David says

    Hi Tina, thanks for your kind words about the website 🙂 It’s a labour of love for sure.

    I can’t comment on whether this is acceptable from a Cambridge or CELTA centre policy perspective. It sounds excessive from my experience, but does it really affect your lesson?

    If there are physically too many learners to comfortably fit into the classroom, then I would speak to your CELTA trainer and say it is becoming a problem that is affecting your ability to professionally manage the class.

    However, if the classroom can adequately hold 15+ learners, then perhaps make this very clear in your lesson plans and self-evaluation that it is becoming impractical to monitor and feed back to the entire class each time. Again, bring this up with your tutor if you are struggling as a result.

    Don’t be afraid to directly ask… “what is the maximum number of learners I should be teaching? I’m feeling like the classroom is getting over-crowded and it’s affecting my ability to properly manage the class”. If you get brushed off by your tutor, arrange a chat with the centre director.

    No one likes confrontation, but it’s important if classroom crowding is honestly becoming a problem for you and your fellow trainees.

    Reply
PASS A, Australia, 2016 says

Hi David and everyone who’s worried about the CELTA assignments,

I had to re-submit 3 out of 5 assignments (which I then passed), but this didn’t make any difference to my overall assessment because I achieved a PASS A.
If you have to resubmit an assignment don’t panic, it’s your tutors JOB to advise you on what you’re doing wrong and/or what you need to fix. If they don’t offer to do this, then ask – it’s what you’re paying for folks!

In addition, the suggested word count is only that – suggested. Don’t be afraid to go over it. My friend went well over it every time and she had no re-submissions or feedback about doing so. One assignment couldn’t even be achieved in the suggested word count and EVERYONE went hundreds of words over it.

The main thing to know is you get two chances to nail the assignments, don’t be concerned if you don’t pass the first time because it won’t affect your overall grade.

Good luck! 🙂

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David says

Oh no, that’s heartbreaking, Jean. Resubmissions should have been clearly explained to you at the start of your course.

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David says

Sure thing! I wrote a guide specifically to help with what’s in the CELTA interview. It should really help.

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