If you turn up on the first day of your CELTA course with only a pen and a notepad, you’ll be just fine. However, based on my experience, there are a few other items that will make your life easier too…
It’s always a good idea to have a black, a blue, and a red pen. This allows you to write notes on photocopied printouts, and easily read them afterwards. Red pens are also useful for marking learners’ work during teaching practice.
You’ll be given many (many!) printouts and photocopies during your input sessions with tutors. It’s useful to be able to highlight vital pieces of information for future reference.
Throughout your CELTA course, you’ll be drawing many straight lines for clines, tables and verb tense timelines. Do yourself a favour and pack a small ruler.
You’ll need something to keep your notes during tutor input sessions. I suggest a spiral-bound A4 lined notebook. You’ll be reading your old notes again and again throughout the course, so that means lots of page turning; a cheap notepad will lose papers quickly, so buy something that is properly bound.
There are some amazing apps for iOS and Android phones to help with your phonemic chart. A popular app is the ‘Sounds – The Pronunciation App’ by Macmillan Education. This isn’t essential of course, but it’s nice to have an interaction phonemic chart in your pocket.
This is my personal recommendation. I found a clipboard very useful for keeping lesson plans, whiteboard plans, and handouts during each teaching practice. Plus it gives you a comforting prop for your hands during lessons.
Many CELTA centres have computers that you can use for lesson planning and written assignments. A USB flash drive is useful for moving files between the CELTA centre and your home (where you will be working during the evenings and weekends).
Remember that this is all based on the personal experience and opinions of a myself – a CELTA graduate. I have no authority to tell you what you definitely need, only what I found useful on my own course. The recommendations of your CELTA centre should always take priority, so be sure to ask them what materials you’ll need too.