Episode 006: Would’a Could’a Should’a

CELTA: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

CELTA: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So, you’re considering taking one of those quick and easy Teaching English as a Foreign Language courses? Good for you. I trust you’re ready, willing and able to do the necessary preparation to ensure that you waste neither time nor money on this venture…

What’s that you say? You don’t NEED preparation? You already speak English quite well? You just need a teaching trick or two, and then you’re off to teach English to the nubile young natives in Tahiti? Uh huh.

Perhaps you may find my personal experience illuminating. As my dear departed father used to say, “A hard head makes for a sore behind.” I’ve been speaking, reading and writing English all my life. I’ve written memos, proposals, reviews and tutorials. I’ve facilitated workshops, taught classes and conducted interviews. I’ve even been accused of being particularly articulate. And yet, the CELTA course kicked my ass. Worse, I could have easily mitigated my problems by doing just the minimum preparation, much less the comprehensive plan I provide here. Why didn’t I, you ask? Listen to Episode 006 of the podcast where I explain all.

Now, YOU may have sufficient aptitude, experience and skill that you can stroll into the CELTA, dazzle your instructors and graduate with a “Pass A” distinction without half trying. For mere mortals, however, allow me to humbly offer a bit of advice; prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. This 100 hour study plan requiring a couple of hours daily over the few couple of months will greatly aid your CELTA experience.

While this plan specifically references the CELTA, it is equally applicable to the CertTESOL. Where you read “CELTA”, mentally add “CertTESOL”. Stop. FULL STOP. If you’re considering a pre-service teaching course that is NOT the CELTA or the CertTESOL, I strongly and passionately advise you to reconsider. CELTA and CertTESOL are accepted worldwide as known and validated credentials. Few other credentials or certificates travel nearly so well. Don’t take my word; do your own research. You might, for example, review some of the TEFL “Help Wanted” ads at Dave’s ESL Cafe with particular attention to the stated qualifications. However, should you insist on some other course provider, please download Choosing Your First English Language Teacher Training Course PDF or read Choosing Your First English Language Teacher Training Course online.

One last point – this study plan is supplementary to your CELTA course provider’s recommended pre-course reading list.

For a general idea of what the CELTA course is likely to subject you to, read Success on Your Certificate Course in English Language Teaching.

For a more in-depth overview of the CELTA, read CELTA Official Information.

For a detailed CELTA syllabus, get the CELTA Syllabus Assessment Guidelines PDF. Bear in mind that CELTA providers vary in their implementation and delivery of the Official CELTA syllabus.

Speaking of providers, find one on the CELTA Provider List.

Every CELTA provider requires that applicants prove they possess the pre-requisite English competency to pass the CELTA course. Typically, proof includes a pre-interview task which is referenced during the application interview. Here’s an example; International House, Bangkok, CELTA Pre-Interview Task Document.

Once you have passed the selection interview, your CELTA provider should give you a recommended reading list. Take this list seriously. CELTA is delivered at a very fast pace. The more familiarity you have with TEFL and CELTA terminology, the easier your CELTA experience will be.  Completing both the the CELTA reading list and the Pre-Course Task should be considered the absolute minimum degree of CELTA preparation.  Many CELTA providers strongly recommend but don’t require the Pre-Course Task. However, completing this task is of vital importance.  You will gain the necessary vocabulary and familiarity with the types of language analysis required on the CELTA. The wise CELTA candidate will complete the CELTA Pre-Course Task PDF and check answers against the CELTA Pre-Course Task Answer Key PDF.

Ignore my words at your peril, Grasshopper.

Ignore my words at your peril, Grasshopper.

If you follow only the recommended course of study above, you’ll be in fairly good shape for the CELTA. However, if you’re inclined to minimize CELTA surprises and enhance your understanding of CELTA content, check out the goodies to follow!

Wouldn’t you like a peek at the official CELTA Course Administration Handbook PDF?

Better yet, review your CELTA provider’s course timetable. Your provider doesn’t have one? Here’s an example: CELTA Sample Course Timetable and Notes PDF.

Perhaps your study skills are a tad rusty. You are well advised to seriously adopt and adapt the tips provided in these 8 CertTESOL Study Resources which are suitable for CertTESOL as well as CELTA candidates.

Had I only KNOWN these two titles were available, my CELTA experience would have been much less – painful. If nothing more, the CELTA Course Trainer’s Manual and the CELTA Course Trainee Book will provide you with virtually complete CELTA course notes. Particularly motivated CELTA participants might even go so far as to read these two titles BEFORE the course.

Perhaps you could use some practice constructing well-designed lesson plans? Take a look at the TKT Practical Handbook PDF.

No doubt you’ll want a ready store of well-designed and CELTA appropriate Lesson Planning, Language Analysis and Procedure Forms. Download these documents from Teaching House New York CELTA Forms. Also, get the INTENSIVE not the EXTENSIVE CELTA Course Handbook. This handbook provides a few pages of TH New York specific content, but the bulk of it pertains to the CELTA generally with particular emphasis on the “CELTA way”.

You’d appreciate a preview of CELTA evaluation criteria and records, wouldn’t you? Take a look at the CELTA 5 Candidate Record Booklet PDF.

Finally, the BBC Action Plan Guide to Teaching English PDF will give you an excellent introduction to lesson construction and planning.

Can you get a job teaching English abroad without exerting all this effort? Perhaps. There are some government sponsored Native English Teacher recruiting schemes that don’t necessarily require a TEFL certificate. Here’s the short list of programs I’m aware of:

Teaching Chile
Hong Kong Native-speaking English Teacher
English Program in Korea
Gyeonggi English Program in Korea
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme
The Teaching Assistant Program in France

To quote the the old man once again, “This is free advice. It’s worth precisely what you’ve paid.” I wish you the best of luck with your course. Perhaps someday, we’ll meet in some far off land and exchange gerunds and jokes over plate of local snacks and a frosty beer.

From my review posted at Serakina; 8 Chills on Jamendo

I needed some unobtrusive tracks to lay under my voice on a podcast episode. As sunny weather has seemingly arrived in my normally wet and clammy locale, I wanted something a bit contemplative and mellow that would suit sitting on the patio and enjoying an iced coffee. This album delivered.

Track listing in sequential order:

01 Mine Is The Sound
02 Urban Nights Jazz
03 Synthetic Dreams
04 Soft Arp Voyage
05 Analog Project
06 The Groove
07 Easy Sunday
08 Albino Chills

Like what you hear? Download the entire album FREE at: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/20982

  1. Awesome set of informations are gathered n really a useful site. Hats off. And thankyou for sharing this wide range of informations of CELTA.


  2. Jisha:

    Are you planning to take the CELTA? Where & when?

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