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?
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:
Below are a couple of examples that we give our trainees when preparing them to write their LRT assignment.
Target statement: It was going to be such an exciting adventure
|Analysis||Anticipated Problems||Possible Solutions|
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|
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.|
/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
Target statement: ….before putting on our wetsuits
|Analysis||d) Anticipated Problems||e) Possible Solutions|
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
verb put + adverb particle on
students use the wrong verb eg take on
elicit correct preposition through gesture
students hear a link between putting and on and therefore hear /gɒn/
|highlight linking on the board, model and drill|
Use visual and ask:
Has he been surfing already? (No)
Is he getting ready to go surfing? (Yes)
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.
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