If you are contemplating doing a CELTA or have already applied, you might be wondering what preparation you need before you start CELTA or even if you need to do any prep at all. While you might be OK to pass a CELTA without any prep, I believe a little research and preparation has never hurt anyone; and if you can pass CELTA with more than just a PASS, like a PASS B or PASS A, why not, right?
So, let’s dive right in into what preparation you need before starting your CELTA course.
Refresh Your Grammar Knowledge
Whether you last studied grammar in high school or university or recently taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL), it isn’t a bad idea to brush up on your grammar skills. Knowing your grammar – at least the basics – takes off some pressure during your CELTA course, which (as you might be aware of) is not a walk in the park. As such, while prepping for your classes, you can focus mostly on how you will teach the grammar to your students; you then don’t also need to worry about learning, knowing, and understanding it yourself. Sounds good, right? If you can take off any extra pressure while you are busy with the CELTA, why not?
Do A Pre-CELTA Course
You can also do preparation for your CELTA course by completing this ELTCampus TEFL Preparation Course, which is a British Council ELTons nominated preparation course for candidates of CELTA, CERT Tesol, etc. There are eight modules: learner-centredness, classroom management, learner needs and differences, language clarification, language practice, receptive skills, productive skills, and lesson planning.
The course covers concepts and ideas that CELTA will look at in further detail. This kind of an introduction to teaching EFL will help to lower your stress levels that are related to managing and taking in a lot of new knowledge in a short span of time. Even more importantly, by completing such a course, your performance during the 4-week CELTA period will be improved.
Pre-CELTA Course Preparation Task
You will have to complete a pre- CELTA preparation task that focuses on language once you have been accepted into the CELTA course. This task is important to complete because the goal is to orientate your thinking about:
- What motivates people to learn English
- What makes a good EFL teacher
- Grammar and pronunciation
- Ways to explain concepts and distinguishing meanings
By this, I don’t mean to read everything and anything on the internet that you can that is related to CELTA. Nor should you believe everything you read. What I mean is that you should find articles with helpful tips on things like how to pass your CELTA course, how to get a PASS B (or even a PASS A if you are ambitious), and CELTA do’s and don’ts. Here are a few articles to get you started:
- 5 Secrets to Success on Your CELTA Course
- 7 Tips to Manage CELTA & Other Commitments
- 10 Tips for Success On Your CELTA Teaching Training Course
- Can You Fail Your CELTA Course?
Relax & Stay Healthy
The CELTA course is a particularly intense four-week period in which you practically work non-stop, sleep very little, and do scarcely anything other than eat, breathe and (when you do) sleep CELTA. Thus, it is important to relax as much as possible and find some measure of inner peace before you start your CELTA course. Furthermore, you also want to be as healthy as you can be – I can’t imagine doing the CELTA being or feeling sick.
Pause Your Social Life
As mentioned above, the CELTA course is quite hectic, and thus, it would be a good idea to let people know that you are not available during your CELTA course. Do what you need to do to only be able to focus on CELTA during those four weeks – you will be thankful for not having (too many) other commitments in between the input sessions, lesson planning, and working on your other tasks.
Bonus: Recommended Reading
Before you start your CELTA, you will receive a list of some books that are recommended. They will be helpful both during your CELTA course and also throughout your career as an EFL teacher. Here are some popular choices:
- “Practical English Usage” by Michael Swan
- “Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching” by Jim Scrivener
- “Grammar for English Language Teachers” by Martin Parrott
- “Teaching Tenses” by Rosemary Aitken
- “Essential Phonetics – for English Language Teachers” by Tony Penston
As you can see, it is recommended that you do some preparation before your CELTA, and there are quite a number of ways in which you can prep, from doing a review of your grammar and doing basic research on what you can and need to do to pass your CELTA to a pre-CELTA course and being as relaxed and as healthy as possible.
Do you have any other tips for pre-CELTA newbies on what preparation they need before they start CELTA? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section – we’d love to hear from you!
About the Author
Denine Walters currently works in the events industry and freelances as an EFL teacher, writer, and proofread/editor. Previously, she taught online English lessons to students from all around the world, and before that, she lived and taught English to young learners in Taiwan. In what free time she has, she likes to travel, watch Netflix, read, and do scrapbooking and grammar quizzes.