In it for the learners!

I’m sorry to say that EFL teaching is not going to make you a millionaire! Having said that, most of us do not do it (just) for the money but get huge satisfaction from helping our learners. It seems obvious, therefore, that these learners should be at the forefront of our minds when planning and delivering lessons. Indeed, on the CELTA course, one of the criteria for a Pass A is that the candidate has a very good awareness of their learners but what exactly do we need to know about them and why?

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CELTA Complaints

Got a complaint about your CELTA Course? This post may help you to save unnecessary heartache….

I recently read a complaint from a CELTA trainee who had just finished their course. I feel a couple of things that came up need to be addressed here, to ensure future trainees don’t make the same mistakes as this individual did.

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Don’t shoot the messenger!

Remember that anything your tutor is telling you to do is taken from the CELTA syllabus, we tutors find ourselves repeating some things more than we would like because some trainees find it difficult to believe that particular criteria are important to incorporate in their teaching.

When you embark on a CELTA course, you should understand the criteria by which you are being assessed. You must accept that you have to show that you are capable in ALL criteria to be able to pass the course. You may not like some of the criteria but you still have to show you can do it. Resisting is not going to help you pass.

NB The CELTA criteria will be available for you to read and understand at any time, if you are unsure what the criteria are, ask your tutor.

Jump through the hoops!

Sometimes we have to jump through hoops to reach our ultimate goal. Presumably you have decided to do a CELTA course because you want to learn how to be a good teacher of English as a foreign language? If this is the case, you must be willing to learn methods which experts before you have developed. That is not to say that you can’t adapt these methods to suit you and your style of teaching once you have passed the course but if you want the CELTA certificate you’ve got to do what Cambridge English Language Assessment requires you to do. Resist at your peril!

Don’t let it fester!

All good CELTA tutors are approachable and their aim is to help you to pass the course. There is no point in waiting until the course is over and then feeling so disheartened that you feel the need to complain. If there is something you disagree with, approach your tutor to discuss it. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, your tutor will be able to explain why you are being asked to do something and will almost certainly be able to point out the specific criteria it relates to. If you don’t feel like you can approach one of the tutors, start by asking other trainees, perhaps they can help you. Maybe you will feel more comfortable talking to the other tutor or the Course Director, whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself. Letting your grievances fester will lead only to your own suffering, talking to someone will almost certainly lighten your load.

Don’t bring everyone down with you!

Whilst it is important to air your grievances, please don’t try to rally the troops and get everyone on your side. By forcing other trainees to accept that you are right and the Tutors/Course Director/Cambridge English Assessment are wrong you are likely to alienate yourself. More often than not, other trainees will listen and agree with you just to shut you up. If you follow the advice above, you are sure to finish the course a lot happier than if you don’t.

Have you had any complaints about a course? When did you complain? What was the outcome?

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100% CELTA Online: Anything to Lose?

Many of you will have seen that Cambridge is offering the CELTA course fully online during these strange times, something which has never been possible before. So what are the advantages and disadvantages or is this a purely win-win situation?

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How to Achieve a Pass A on your CELTA Course

I often read or hear from trainees that their aim is to achieve a Pass A when doing CELTA. So what exactly is the best way to go about this?

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A Guide to Lesson Planning: Basic Stages

On our most recent CELTA course in Munich, some of the trainees seemed to have a problem with the stages a lesson should include so I’ve tried to break down the basic stages for different lesson types.

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How to prepare for your CELTA Course

Do everything you can to get ready for the CELTA course to ensure it is a good experience.

We often get asked by CELTA candidates what they should do to prepare for the course. This was one of the reasons we decided to write The Ultimate Guide to CELTA so of course our first answer is to buy the book but for those of you who can’t wait for the book to arrive here are some pointers to help you get started.

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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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CELTA Written Assignments – Focus on the Learner (FL)

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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CELTA interview tips

As we are in the process of interviewing for our summer CELTA courses in Munich, I have interviews on my mind so here are some tips on how to score points during the interview process in addition to our previous post on the CELTA interview itself.

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Checking Answers and Giving Feedback

Imagine the scenario… You’re in class, checking answers to a gap fill activity on gerunds and infinitives.

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Teacher: Sergio, number three please,

Sergio: He suggested going to the cinema.

Teacher: Yes, he suggested going to the cinema.

“What’s so wrong with that?” I hear you ask … Continue reading “Checking Answers and Giving Feedback”