So you’re an EFL teacher. Maybe you’re a recent university graduate. Or maybe you’ve decided to have a career change… Regardless of your motivation, you’ve decided to study the CELTA with CLIC. That’s great news! I did the same earlier this year, and as you’ve probably already heard, it’s one of the toughest EFL qualifications out there. (If you didn’t know that, I apologise profusely, but forewarned is forearmed, so you’re welcome.) As much as people told me it was hard work, and as much as I listened, I didn’t really understand it until week three (hereafter referred to as ohmygodwhathaveidonewhydidichoosetodothispleasesendhelp). But fear not! Following these five simple rules, I promise you will have no trouble taking on the CELTA.
It’s easy to start off thinking you have everything prepared and you’ll be fine, but the work creeps up on you, and before long, you’ll have papers coming out of your ears. It can get a bit frustrating when you need to refer back to something and you can’t find it, but if “there’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place”, it will certainly make your daily CELTA life a lot easier. It took me about half the course to suddenly realise I had no idea where anything was, so learn from my mistakes! Preparation goes hand in hand with this. If you have some teaching experience, you’ll find planning classes easier, but if you’re a newbie like I was, make sure you know exactly what you need and when you need it — and always make sure you have enough copies (not too many though, as we do need to save the planet).
From before the course even begins, you’ll be given a long recommended reading list. I personally recommend Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener. It’s easy to follow, and aside from providing some great advice for any teacher, it will also help you to get into the mindset of a teacher, rather than a student. Another good book is The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer, which is relatively similar. If you’re like me, during your degree you will have skipped the extra reading as it seemed unnecessary, but for the CELTA, it might just push you up from a Pass to a Pass B. If the tutors recommend it, you should read it.
Tutors are omniscient
Not to pressure them or anything… But the tutors know what they are talking about. They are giving you the information that you need not only to pass the course, but also to do it well. Apart from giving you materials to read, they are a gold mine of information, with access to a vast amount of resources (resources that you should definitely use while you have the chance — it’s a very short four weeks!). They know what they are doing, and they will be your crutch when you need it (thank you Jessie). Although the four weeks are short, they are rather gruelling at times, and I found the tutors to go above and beyond the call of duty when I needed help.
Believe in your abilities
You have decided to do this course because you want to be a successful EFL teacher. As I’ve mentioned already, it’s a short four weeks, so be confident in your abilities and use all feedback to develop your ideas and keep getting better. You’re in great hands with CLIC, so don’t be afraid to be creative, either.
Now, I wasn’t sure whether to include this part or not, but it is a very full-on course, and there will (probably) be moments when you start questioning everything (like “Who am I?” for example). Don’t forget that you’re only human, and humans need beer too. If you come to Seville, there are plenty of bars to frequent with your coursemates, just make sure you don’t stay out too late on a school night…
Good luck, and have fun!
English Teacher, Coucke’s Academy
Bertie is an English teacher at Coucke's Academy in Seville. He trained as a teacher at CLIC in the summer of 2016. In his spare time he likes to travel, meet with friends and get hooked on Netflix series!
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