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How should I prepare for the CELTA written assignments?

All Questions / During your CELTA / Written Assignments

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No SPAM. Just helpful advice for new teachers.

The four written assignments cause a lot of stress and anxiety for new CELTA trainees. Each day I receive at least 3 emails asking for my advice and tips!

It’s really important to understand that the written assignment tasks are different for every CELTA centre (Cambridge only supply guidelines and objectives, but the centres write their own tasks) – you will not have the same questions as I did. So I can’t give you specific advice on your brief. However, here’s a collection of tips that should help you to prepare for and improve your written assignments:

Use new terminology

Your written assignments expect you to use the new knowledge you have gained so far in your CELTA course, so be sure to refer to your notes and, very importantly, use the new terminology (learning styles, eliciting etc.)

Start as soon as possible

Preparation is really important for your written assignments. Start them as soon as you receive the brief and don’t leave it until the last minute. You’ll then have lots of time to check your work against the instructions before submitting, and this will give you more time to spot any problems.

Satisfy the brief

My general advice is to read the brief again and again, and stick to it very closely. Try very hard to remain within the word count – use simple sentences that get right to the point. Once you’ve done your assignment, ask yourself if it satisfies the brief fully. That’s what you’re ultimately being marked on.

Stay within the word count

The word count is usually quite strict – there is no room for indirectly ‘talking around a topic’. Just cut straight to the heart of the topic and remove unnecessary words/phrases. When you have completed your first draft, read through it again and rewrite to make it even sharper.