How to Prepare for your CELTA Course

 | Teaching House Nomads Blog

You did it! You’ve finally made the decision to study the CELTA course to kick-start your ESL career. Get ready for the rewarding work and fun filled opportunities you’ll experience over the course of your CELTA journey. 

We know how nerve-racking it can be to start something new, and the CELTA program is not easy, so we’ve put together some tips on how to best prepare for your CELTA course, so that you can make the most out of your experience. 

How to prepare for CELTA?

Grammar Refresher 

Before classes start it’s best to brush up on your grammar skills. This extra preparation will save you a lot of time during the course. If you want to get a head start before the course starts, students are encouraged to watch videos online, complete an online grammar course, buy a grammar book and at the very least they should learn the parts of speech and the names of tenses. 

Read, read, read

You will find that there are many helpful resources to help you succeed as a teacher after completing this course. The recommended books provide valuable insight and preparation for your future career path in education. Before the CELTA course begins students should read as much as they can as you won’t have much time to do extra reading during.

Students are strongly recommended to obtain to following resources to use before, during and after the course:

Methodology: “The Practice of English Language Teaching” by Jeremy Harmer (provides background reading to the methodology on the CELTA course. 

  • Methodology: “Learning Teaching” by Jim Scrivener
  • Grammar: “Practical English” by Michael Swan (recommended as a descriptive reference book)
  • Grammar: “Grammar for English Teachers” by Martin Parrot (provides a reasonably complete description of pedagogical grammars as well as information on common student errors and points of confusion. 
  • Grammar: “English Grammar in Use” by Raymond Murphy

Let’s get organised

The CELTA course is an intensive course and requires a lot of dedication and commitment from students. Get organised early on and ensure that you have good organisation and time management skills. Come prepared to class and keep up with the content as you learn. 

During the course, it’s essential that students stay on top of due dates and keep handouts and notes organised so that they can be found easily.  Ensuring that you are organised before classes will help you get the most out of your time and aid you in becoming a great English teacher. 

Become tech savvy

Even with face-to-face courses it is a great idea to brush up on your tech skills. Softwares such as Microsoft Word, Powerpoint - or any slide-based software will be used throughout the course for essays and lesson planning. Students will also need to work on keeping their files organised so that they stay on top on any assessments. By becoming tech savvy it will increase your efficiency in preparing for classes as well as enabling you to study effectively.

For the online CELTA course, students will need to use the virtual classroom - Zoom. Take some time to get to know how to use Zoom so that when the course starts you will be able to access your classes and interact with your teachers and peers. 

Pause your social life

The CELTA course is a commitment and it will most likely force you to put your social life on hold for the course duration. It would be a good idea for students to let people know that you are not available during your course. By reducing other commitments outside of the course you can work hard on lesson planning and other tasks and enter the course fully focused and with all your responsibilities sorted.

Master the art on receiving feedback 

Thoughtful feedback helps you grow both personally and professionally. As a student you will most likely receive some sort of feedback on your work or performance during the course. You should be interested in the feedback you receive and willing to empower it and respond accordingly. This will help you move faster through your developmental work than those who do not.

Some key tips include:

  • Be approachable
  • Listen to understand 
  • Try to suspend judgement 
  • Summarise and reflect on what you heard
  • Ask questions to clarify 

Relax & stay healthy 

It is important to relax as much as possible and find some measure of inner peace before you start the CELTA course. You want to be in the right headspace for this course to make the most out of it. 

If you already have teaching experience or have strong preconceived opinions about teaching, it is advised to forget everything you know and allow yourself to keep an open mind during the course. Use your pre-existing knowledge to your advantage however, there are also many different ways to approach teaching.

Get some sleep when you’re doing the course. Poor sleep impacts your memory, creativity and logical reasoning. Not sleeping enough will impair all the skills you need to perform well in class. 

On a final note, give it all you’ve got and enjoy it! This is an experience that is both fun and rewarding with unlimited opportunities to travel, learn about different languages and cultures and work with people from all over the world. 

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