What Preparation Do You Need Before You Start CELTA?
While it is possible to pass a CELTA without any previous preparation, a little more research never hurt anyone. After all, if you can easily pass, why not get an A or a B?
Here are some tips on how to completely ace your CELTA!
Refresh Your Grammar Knowledge
Something that might take you by surprise in the CELTA course is that it doesn’t precisely teach grammar; instead, it tells you how you should teach it. This means that you should already have general grammatical knowledge before taking the course.
We advise that you brush up on your grammar skills. This is whether you’ve last studied in high school or if you’ve already taken some courses. This will ease your nerves during the CELTA course and ensure that you focus on being a great English teacher instead of getting caught up in tricky grammar.
Top four tips to prepare for the CELTA course
These four tips will ensure that you go through your CELTA teaching course smoothly and make the most of your time.
- Learn Time Management
The CELTA course might be a few weeks long, but it’s the equivalent of an entire full second year of an undergraduate degree. With that being said, the work-load demands a relatively free schedule.
Usually, those who might face some problems along the way could have family or work commitments. Your best option is to free your schedule or manage your work and family time.
- Start working on your language awareness.
Try refreshing the language in your memory. Start by looking over some grammatical rules, vocabulary, or pronunciation theory. This will save you time to relearn everything as you do the assignments.
We should also note that your engagement with the language is an essential step in any typical pre-course interview.
- Be ready for feedback.
The CELTA course will be a wonderful experience for you to reflect on. You’ll be receiving feedback from co-trainees and main course tutors. Take this feedback and try to apply it to your teaching. This will improve your skills and will allow you to enjoy your class instead of worrying.
- Do some reading around.
Start reading as much as you can about teaching methodology, pronunciation, and grammar. The more knowledge you get from these books, the easier it will be to grasp more information from the CELTA course.
Recommended Reading for CELTA Preparation
Before starting your CELTA course, we recommend that you read some books, both in grammar and in some methodology. We recommend that you read at least one book of each.
Starting with grammar, we’d like to recommend:
- Practical English Usage, 4th edition: Paperback: Michael Swan’s guide to problems in English
Michael Swan is a famous English language teaching writer. He’s written many well-received books such as: ‘Practical English Usage.’
This book is especially beneficial for new English language teachers as it includes helpful information about different grammar points, which are organized efficiently. An outstanding feature in the book is that it consists of the errors students make and how to fix them along the way.
- Grammar for English Language Teachers 2nd Edition by Martin Parrott (Cambridge University Press)
It’s written to help you with grammar awareness. It also highlights what could trouble English learners and some grammar points. It’s not only going to be helpful for you to brush up on your grammar skills, but it’ll also be a precious source throughout your English teaching career, especially when it comes to lesson planning or working on assignments on the CELTA course itself.
- The Practice of English Language Teaching 5th Edition Book with DVD Pack (Longman Handbooks for Language Teaching)
First published in 1983 and currently in its 5th edition, each edition was refined to include the latest English education developments. In this book, you’ll find practical teaching ideas as well as a guide on how to manage learners with some language advice, too.
- Learning Teaching: 3rd Edition Student’s Book Pack (Books for Teachers) (MacMillan Books for Teachers)
Jim Scrivener is the author of several successful books, including the one we’re about to discuss.
‘Learning Teaching’ is a popular book among those who want to take or have already taken CELTA courses. It was initially published in 1995 and has since been updated twice. It’s been revised to include more up-to-date methods for English teachers.
How to Succeed in the CELTA: Tips from a Trainer
- The first tip we have for you is to simply be there! What I mean is that attendance is essential when it comes to the CELTA course. Make sure your schedule is free and that CELTA is one of your top priorities.
- You need to be well-equipped with technology when it comes to CELTA. Being technologically smart will free up your time much more.
- Read everything your main course tutor sends you before the course starts. This will familiarize you with what you need to improve and work on continuously and what you need to revise and brush up on when it comes to your language awareness.
- Try to get the books for the course beforehand so you can look over them and have a general understanding of their content. This will save you a lot of time and effort during the time of the course.
- Focus on the process and the journey more than the goal of a grade. The CELTA course revolves around EFL (English as a Foreign Language) knowledge, lesson planning skills, and confidence at the front of the classroom. A good teacher has plenty of qualities.
- Reflect on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your lesson planning. Use this knowledge and apply it to your next lesson. You also need to know your students and apply what they need for your lesson planning.
- Cooperate with different people from the course and be respectful of them. Also, ask for their constructive criticism and apply it to your work.
The bottom line is: anyone can turn the CELTA course into their most successful and useful learning experience. All you have to do is be prepared, manage your time, and continuously improve your performance.