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  1. #1
    Mairi's Avatar
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    Question Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Hello Everyone!

    I am a new member here as I have recently applied for a CELTA course in the new year. I am currently waiting to hear when I will have my phone interview and am wondering if I can get some tips from experienced CELTA applicants on preparation for the phone interview. I am very nervous as I really want to get on the course. What am I to expect? I have an A'level English (a long time ago) and no experience teaching the language. Any advice would be highly appreciated! Many thanks and look forward to some replies!

  2. #2
    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Most of mine was fairly straightforward, so I wouldn't worry too much. There were no grammar questions, but there were a few "how would you teach this?" questions. Again, fairly easy - show a picture, use a timeline, etc. Most of the interview was her outlining the course, tbh.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Don't bluff; don't be giggly and pathetic. Be honest. If you don't know something, say so The interviewer will not expect you to know a great deal - if you did, you wouldn't need to take the course!

    The fact that you are making this enquiry suggests that you genuinely want to work to be accepted and to gain the qualification. That is what will interest most interviewers more than if you happen to be able to reel off glibly four different ways in which the past perfect is used.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    I did a Skype interview for my CELTA (just finished week #2) and as IWS said, it really wasn't as stressful as I had expected it to be. The course, however, is a different matter!

    For the interview, make sure you have read as much information about the course and school as you can - they might well ask why you have chosen *their* school. Think about "why CELTA" too (as opposed to an online course, for example) as they might ask this to see how interested you really are in ELT and if youv'e done the research on courses or just applied for the first thing you saw.

    CELTA courses are getting more popular, probably at least in part relating to the ongoing financial situation globally, and so the interview does matter, but remember that *you* are offering to pay *them* to train you, and they need bums on seats so it's in the interviewer's best interests to get the best interview out of you they can, so they will probably be very helpful and friendly for you.

  5. #5
    Mairi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Thanks for all your replies. I'm feeling a little more relaxed now!

    In-between jobs I am trying to revise and get clued up before the course in order to ease the stress as I know it is going to be a very intense 4 weeks.
    I am brushing up on grammar and also reading 'Teach EFL' by Dave Riddell.

    Does anyone know of any other useful articles/literature that they found helpful whilst studying?
    I know that the teacher can not know everything - but, like most training teachers I'm sure, I fear the time when a student asks a question that I do not know the answer to! Are there typical questions students ask?

    Tullia - I would love to know more about your course (if you have time) how you are getting on etc..? Are you studying in the UK?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Quote Originally Posted by Mairi View Post
    I know that the teacher can not know everything - but, like most training teachers I'm sure, I fear the time when a student asks a question that I do not know the answer to!
    That will happen all the time in your early days, I'm afraid.

    Obviously, prepare as thoroughly as you can to try to avoid being caught out by a question that half of the students in your elementary class could answer.

    The important thing here is: do not make up an answer on the spot just to get out of an embarrassing situation. If you do that, you will be doing your students a disservice, and risking embarrassing yourself even more when you are shown to be wrong.

    So long as you don't do it too often, admit to your students that you don't know the answer, and promise to tell them next time - and then make sure that you do! (If you have to do this too often, your students will lose their respect for you; rightly, because you are clearly not preparing thoroughly enough).

    A crude, but useful, tip if you are covering a grammar topic from a coursebook, is to read the grammar summary in the coursebook and teacher's book at the next level up. If you are acquiring knowledge yourself from materials at the same level as the students, you are running the risk of being unable to answer even simple follow-up questions.

    Read through carefully all materials that you are going to use with the students. Make sure all the constructions used are suitable for the usages you are demonstrating. Make sure that you can in some way explain/demonstrate the meaning/use of all the words in any texts, in case a student asks you.

    Keep your lesson plans and materials after the lesson, even if it went badly. Write notes on them to help you put things right for next time.

    And when (not if) you are caught out, remember that it happens to all teachers in the early days. So long as you prepare conscientiously, you will gain the knowledge and confidence in time.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    As alternatives to saying you don't know, there are ways of deflecting questions; you could say that you have something good on that very point and will bring it into class to look at next time, etc.

  8. #8
    Tullia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Quote Originally Posted by Mairi View Post
    Tullia - I would love to know more about your course (if you have time) how you are getting on etc..? Are you studying in the UK?
    Hi Mairi :)

    I'm studying in Milan, and it's been intense so I haven't been online very much. I am enjoying it, although it's a challenge. I was taught all my languages in a very traditional grammatical way so the CELTA "method" feels strange, but I can see the logic, and the tutors really do try and teach us in the same way they are telling us to teach our pupils, so it's a total immersion into it.

    I'm happy to chat via private message if you have more questions.

  9. #9
    Mairi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    That would be great. Can people PM on here?

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Pre CELTA preparation and application

    Yes, but to restrict spammers using it, it isn't available at first; it will become available when you have posted ten times.
    Last edited by Tdol; 24-Nov-2010 at 08:12. Reason: Typo

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