You’ve made your decision: you’re taking the CELTA. Congratulations! Now what?
You need to prepare yourself.
The CELTA is renowned for the challenge it presents to the candidates enrolled. It’s no cakewalk, as you have probably heard before. However, there is a way to walk into the course feeling confident and ready.
Still undecided? Maybe this will convince you: 3 Fantastic Reasons to Sign Up for the CELTA course NOW!
Do the Pre-course Tasks
Once you’re accepted into the course, you’ll get some pre-CELTA preparation tasks. It’s rather long, so don’t try to do it all in one sitting. It’s not a test, and it actually comes with an answer key. The tasks are designed to get you thinking about language and what’s involved in teaching a language. It’s a really good idea to complete these, as they will put you in the right frame of mind for what you will encounter in the course itself.
Speaking of having the right frame of mind…
Get Mentally Ready
Step into the CELTA as you would anything new: have an open mind. If you are a teacher already or have strong preconceived opinions about teaching, then try your best to forget everything you know! It is important to use prior knowledge and experience to your advantage, but keep in mind that there are many different ways to approach teaching.
The course itself is hard work. If you’ve been out of school for a while, then take a trip down memory lane and recall what it was like to sit in lectures and turn in assignments. Especially if you are planning on doing the full-time option, you will be feeling the pressure throughout the course duration. The key is to be positive, invest yourself, and take it as a learning experience that will only help you in the end.
You maybe also want to check this out: Ten tips for success on a CELTA teacher training course
Do Some Reading
You can get a head start on what you will be learning by doing some reading. Reading is power and knowledge! You will have a better idea of what to expect and will become familiar with some of the topics that will be brought up. Besides, it’s a great introductory start. If you purchase a couple of books then you can always refer back to them after you’ve finished the CELTA, and there’s no doubt that you will be referencing them for assignments while you are taking the course.
Here are some recommendations:
- Practical English Usage by Michael Swan
- Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener
- Sound Foundations by Adrian Underhill
- Learner English by Michael Swan
- Classroom Management Techniques by Jim Scrivener
Brush Up on Your Grammar
One of the aspects that catch CELTA candidates unawares is that the course doesn’t teach or go over grammar. Instead, it teaches how to teach grammar. That means that you already need to have a solid foundation in English grammar in order to really take advantage of what is presented in the course. Take some time to review tenses, word parts, and grammar jargon. You won’t regret it!
As you know by now, the CELTA is intense. No matter which way you’ve decided to take it, you’ll need to do some readjusting to your social calendar. Make sure that you enter the course fully focused and with your other responsibilities sorted out.
During the course itself, it’s also essential that you stay on top of due dates and keeping handouts, notes, and whatever else organised so you can find them easily. Buy yourself a good notebook and some folders!
Try to Relax and Enjoy!
Always know that you are taking the course to better yourself and to learn something new. Even though it’s tough, don’t get too stressed out and worried before you start. Otherwise, it’ll defeat the purpose. Enjoy your time before the CELTA, and get all that you can out of it during!
About the Author
Yvette Smith is an EFL teacher and freelance writer. She lives in Vietnam.
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