CELTA: Top 5 Survival Tips | TEFL Jobs London

CELTA: Top 5 Survival Tips

By Donna Hutchinson
Newly-qualified TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

teacherThe CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), a quick re-cap: a full-time course over 4 weeks wherein, as part of a teaching group of 4-5 people, you learn to teach English as a foreign language. You start teaching on your second day and you also have to hand in assignments. Both lessons and assignments are graded determining whether you pass or fail. That is the gist of it.

The CELTA is an intense course and not for everybody, so at a cost of around £1200 (approx figure, 2011), it is not a choice to be taken lightly. However, if it is for you, it is very rewarding and although at times challenging, also very enjoyable.

To help you survive your CELTA here are my top tips:

1. Be organised
This course is fast-paced and you could fall behind by missing just one lesson. It’s simple, if you are not organised you will struggle. An organised file will get you far.

2. Sleep
It may feel that at times, there are not enough hours in the day to achieve all the things on your to-do list during your CELTA. I can guarantee though that they certainly won’t get done without enough kip.

3. Read your books
Sometimes the answers are right in front of you. Whether you need help with your assignments or lesson plans, those books are there for a reason. Always make sure to read up on any grammar you may be teaching.  I can’t stress that enough. You don’t want to be caught out when a student asks you something you could have easily answered if you’d just read the book.

4. Use your peers
They’re going through the same stress as you are, ask them for help and offer yours. You will meet some great people on your CELTA.  Don’t be a hero!

5. Get to know your teaching group
On your CELTA, you will not teach a lesson alone and so teamwork in your teaching group is fundamental. It may sound cheesy, but every Friday the teaching group that I was in would go to the pub. We would try our hardest not to talk about school and get to know one another. It helps the fluidity of your lessons as well as the rapport you have as a group with the students.

I hope that I haven’t scared you off! I have nothing but love and adoration for my CELTA experience, it certainly wasn’t a breeze but it kept me on my toes. More importantly though, I am now doing a job which I love and adore more.

For more detail on the various aspects of a CELTA, please see Donna’s previous posts:

TEFL: Getting Started

CELTA: Interview Stage

CELTA: The Basics

CELTA: Key Book Recommendations



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