CELTA Written Assignments – Language Related Tasks (LRT)

Looking for help with CELTA written assignments? You’ve come to the right place.

Written assignments form a major part of the CELTA assessment process and are a compulsory part of the course.  There are 4 written assignments in total but some centres conflate two of them to make one larger assignment.  In this series we will look at each individual assignment and provide you with some advice and guidance as well as highlight some of the common pitfalls.

Disclaimer: All centres create their own written assignment rubrics, make sure you check with your centre exactly what is required.  We can only provide general information here, rather than specific.  With this in mind, do you think it would be wise to pay for other peoples’ assignments to help you write your own?

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Although centres design their own written assignments, the CELTA Syllabus and Assessment Guidelines states that for the LRT assignment:

The design of the assignment to include:

identification of significant features of the form, pronunciation, meaning and use of language items/areas and the use of relevant information from reference materials

Candidates can demonstrate their learning by:

a) analysing language correctly for teaching purposes

b) correctly using terminology relating to form, meaning and phonology when analysing language

c) accessing reference materials and referencing information they have learned about language to an appropriate source

d) using written language that is clear, accurate and appropriate to the task

All written assignments should be 750-1000 words

Source: CELTA Syllabus and Assessment Guidelines

With the above in mind, how can you make sure you can successfully complete the LRT assignment?  Firstly, you need to start learning how and what to analyse.  When writing your lesson plans you are required to analyse language and the LRT assignment is really just more of the same, possibly in more detail.  I would recommend the following books to help you:

Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

Grammar for English Language Teachers by Martin Parrott

An A-Z of English Grammar and Usage by Geoffrey Leech

Below are a couple of examples that we give our trainees when preparing them to write their LRT assignment.

GRAMMAR

Target statement: It was going to be such an exciting adventure

Analysis Anticipated Problems Possible Solutions
Use

future in the past

the author is looking back to the beginning of  something which is now finished

 

students think we are talking about the future ask CCQs
Form

pronoun + verb to be (past) + going to + bare infinitive be

 

 

students use present form of verb to be

 

Highlight/elicit the structure from the students. Use a timeline to show that it needs a past tense.
Pronunciation

/ɪt wəz ‘gəʊɪn tə biː/

/ ɪt wəz ‘genə biː/

 

students don’t use the weak forms instead say

/ɪt wɒz ‘gəʊɪŋ tuː biː/

students don’t recognize /genə/ as going to

Drill pronunciation chorally and individually

use fingers to show the two words connecting

Checking understanding (CCQs) 

  • When was the adventure, in the past or in the future?  (In the past)
  • When was the adventure, after this statement or before? (After)
  • Was the author excited about the trip before he went?  (Yes)
  • Did the author enjoy the trip? (No)

Reference: Practical English Usage, Michael Swan

You can look at my previous Blog Post for help with CCQs

 

LEXIS

Target statement: ….before putting on our wetsuits

Analysis d) Anticipated Problems e) Possible Solutions
Meaning

to get dressed in

 

one phrasal verb can have many different meanings, students could be aware of a different meaning and get confused point out that phrasal verbs can have different meanings.  Offer an example of the meaning they are confusing it with

 

Form

phrasal verb

verb put + adverb particle on

 

 

students use the wrong verb eg take on

 

elicit correct preposition through gesture

Pronunciation

/’pʊtɪŋ_gɒn/

 

students hear a link between putting and on and therefore hear /gɒn/

 

highlight linking on the board, model and drill

Checking understanding

Use visual and ask:

Has he been surfing already? (No)

Is he getting ready to go surfing? (Yes)

woman holding surfboard
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Common Pitfalls 

In our centre, trainees often fall foul of the following:

  • they focus on the wrong part of the statement
  • analysis is not aimed at the level of the students (too high level)
  • CCQs don’t really check the students’ understanding
  • they forget to reference sources
  • they over-analyse and/or focus on irrelevant areas
  • trainees don’t anticipate enough problems
  • they anticipate problems that are very unrealistic
  • they go too far over the word count

Any one of the above can result in having to resubmit the assignment.  Whilst having to resubmit is no bad thing, it does increase your workload and stress levels so should be avoided if possible.

while you’re here …..

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….we need coffee!

As you can imagine, we put our hearts and souls into helping novice teachers become great teachers. Unfortunately, we are not machines, and even we need a little caffeine boost occasionally to get the creative juices flowing. Any recognition of the work we put in will be gratefully received.

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Author: Emma Jones

A CELTA Tutor based in Munich and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to CELTA

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