CELTA Written Assignments – Lessons from the Classroom (LC)

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 every centre creates their own written assignments, the CELTA Syllabus and Assessment Guidelines states that for the LC assignment:

The Design of the Assignment is to include:

  • candidates’ identification of their own teaching strengths and development needs
  • reflections on their own teaching
  • reflections on the implications for their own teaching from the observations of experienced ELT professionals and colleagues on the course

Candidates can demonstrate their learning by:

  1. noting their own teaching strengths and weaknesses in different situations in light of feedback from learners, teachers and teacher educators
  2. identifying which ELT areas of knowledge and skills they need further development in
  3. describing in a specific way how they might develop their ELT knowledge and skills beyond the course
  4. using written language that is clear, accurate and appropriate to the task

All Assignments should be 750-1000 words

Source: CELTA Syllabus and Assessment Guidelines

This assignment will most likely be the last assignment you will write during your CELTA Course. It is really just a very long self-evaluation. Your tutors will be looking to see whether you are aware of your strengths and areas that you still need to work on and they will want to know how you plan to continue to develop after the course. Remember, CELTA is an initial teaching qualification and having the certificate does not mean you are the full package, that will come with experience!

How do I know which areas I am strong in? You will have some idea of your strengths just by looking back at your self-evaluations, tutor feedback and tutorial points. If you think your classroom management is good, talk about this in your assignment but make sure you back up your ideas with real classroom events to show that you fully understand your strengths and why it is important.

How do I know which areas I need to work on? You will also have some idea of areas you need to work on by looking back over your self-evaluations, tutor feedback and tutorial points. Do you still find it difficult to check that students have understood the concept of a new grammar area? Was there a particular occasion when this didn’t go well for you at all? Has your tutor told you that you need to ask more CCQs?

Which areas should I suggest further development in? If you have highlighted them as weaknesses, this would suggest that you should develop them further but of course there may be other areas in which you feel you are already competent but would like to further develop. Perhaps one of your strengths is using technical aids to enhance learning, but you would like to do further research into ways of making use of an interactive whiteboard. Where/how will you find out more? Are there any courses, seminars or workshops you can attend?

Make sure your assignment is error free! As a tutor, one of my pet hates is reading an assignment that clearly hasn’t been proofread. If you are planning on teaching English, please make sure your own English is well written, with correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. Trainees will have to resubmit an otherwise good assignment if there are obvious mistakes with the language.

Make sure your assignment is well-structured! As a tutor, I have to read an assignment carefully to make sure it meets all the above-mentioned criteria, if it is not well-structured and clearly written and I have to read it over and over again to see if all points have been covered, the likelihood is that it will be given back for resubmission. Structure your assignment into clear paragraphs and in a logical order!

Author: Emma Jones

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

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