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So today we’ll be talking about the CELTA Preparation course. We’ve been talking about the CELTA course itself, for kind of long live sessions, we talk about all the details we can cover. You can go back through the channel and you will find them all on the Facebook page.
Today we’ll be talking about the CELTA preparation course, a course that will prepare you to do well on the CELTA. So we’re going to start with some basic questions we already prepared, if you have any kind of questions, please drop it in the comments and we’ll make sure we answer all your questions.
So we must start with, who is this course for?
Basically it’s for people who are planning to take the CELTA. You don’t have to be planning to take the CELTA, maybe it’s something you’re curious about, maybe you want to know what the CELTA is like.
So it’s not completely exclusive and so people who perhaps would like to take the CELTA one day or have heard about it and are curious and they might like to take it just to get an idea of what the course is like, and it’s also obviously for people who are planning to take CELTA. Sometimes people have already signed up and have been accepted onto the course and they would like to have a little taster and get a general idea of what they will encounter on the course. We already have a mix of people who are planning to take the CELTA at a later date and they would like to know what kinds of subjects they’ll cover on the CELTA course and to see what’s expected of them.
So again it’s the word “preparation” here so if you want to have an idea of what you’ll see on the course then some of the subjects, not all of the subjects but the main ones, will be covered in the preparation course. So perhaps, when you start the CELTA course, there won’t be too many surprises.
So now I can join the CELTA preparation course if I am already accepted whether sooner or later and if I want to have a general idea about what CELTA is and have some input.
Is there any kind of requirement to have, or like what level of English should I have to join?
Well, if you’ve been accepted onto the CELTA that means your English is probably around the C1 level, higher-end of C1. If your English level is lower, we might accept you onto the course anyway, but you might not be able to join the CELTA course for maybe a couple of months. Because obviously, if you’re B2, whilst that might be okay to do the preparation course, that won’t necessarily be enough to do the CELTA course.
So if you’re sort of thinking ahead and you’re not sure about your English level, then you could take the preparation course and then you might realize that some things on the course are a bit difficult and so, you might think, “okay, well, perhaps, I should go away and brush up my English for a couple of months, maybe three months,” depending on where you are in your English, because let’s face it, we all have different abilities. Some of us are better at speaking, writing, listening, reading and so on, and on CELTA in particular, your spoken and written levels need to be very high, otherwise, you’ll have problems on the course.
Well firstly, you wouldn’t be accepted onto the course but if somehow, you managed to scrape through, you might suffer on the course with the written work because your lesson plans have to be written mostly correctly, your assignments have to be written correctly, so you don’t want to fail, just because your English level wasn’t enough or because your level wasn’t quite enough. Maybe you couldn’t understand the instructions, or you couldn’t understand what you had to do.
So yes we would accept people with low levels of English, but we might sort of tell you, “okay, don’t apply for the CELTA course just yet, give yourself two or three months.” Because there’s always a course that you can take later, you don’t always have to take it immediately, like anything else, prepare in advance. Think about your long-term goals and plan accordingly.
Is it a guarantee that if I take the CELTA preparation course that I’ll be accepted to join the CELTA course?
Not necessarily, because you still have to go through the application process. So whether you’ve taken the CELTA preparation course or not, everybody has to apply and that’s the Cambridge rule. So you might find that you go through the application process and you’re successful, but you might find that the written tasks that you are asked to do for the interview, although you might have seen something similar on the preparation course, we might be asking more of you because they are usually longer.
And so again, when you write something longer, there is more possibility of you making mistakes, because that’s what we need to see on the CELTA course, that you can write at least 750-800 words without too many mistakes. We don’t expect it to be perfect three or four mistakes here and there are not the end of the world. English is my mother tongue and I sometimes make mistakes when I write. The important thing is I can look at it after and go “hang on a minute,” and I’ll change it, and that’s what they need you to be able to do.
So we can’t guarantee it, but it should certainly put you in the right direction and we will tell you at the end of the course where you are, so maybe don’t apply now but maybe wait a bit or yes, apply immediately.
So what about the course content?
Just to give you an overall, by the end of the course, you’ll get an idea of how to prepare for different types of lessons. So think about skills lessons, like reading, writing, listening, speaking because these are the kinds of lessons you’ll be teaching on the course, how to teach vocabulary lessons and how to prepare a lesson plan for a grammar lesson. These are all the types of lessons you’ll be expected to teach on the CELTA course at two different levels, because by the end of the course, we need to know that you can teach language lessons which are grammar and vocabulary and skills lessons at both levels. You might find that you’re better with one level than another, that doesn’t matter, but the idea is to prepare.
And to give you an idea of how to teach those lessons, we will give you examples of how to do it and look at how we focus on certain areas like receptive skills, this is how we prepare a reading skills lesson or a listening skills lesson, the sub-skills of reading and listening things like scanning, gist so we’ll teach you how to recognize those, how to identify them, how to help students practice those sub-skills.
And that also applies to the productive skills lessons, we will show you how to apply the sub-skills of speaking and writing, how to prepare your students for a speaking lesson we are going through, controlled practice or guided speaking task, and then from accuracy to fluency and that’s the same in writing, obviously. The productive skills, we go from accuracy to fluency.
So how to set up writing lessons and different types of writing lessons, how to guide your students and of course how to teach grammar and vocabulary, how to check meaning, how to clarify the form, and to help students understand and use it effectively.
By the end, you sort of get an overall picture of the CELTA course, because there’s things like pronunciation and phonology which we might not have time to go into detail on the preparation course but again, we can give you a taster because those are the main areas that we focus on, how to analyze language for teaching purposes, how to analyze basic phonology for teaching purposes, pronunciation, and then how to teach the different types of lessons, receptive skills, productive skills, and then grammar and vocabulary. And also how to prepare you for the written work on the course because, as you know, there are assignments.
CELTA assignments are not difficult, it’s usually because we’re asking you to write about things that you haven’t had to write about before so it’s not academically difficult, you need some guidance.
So, the content is about how to teach language and skills. Language means like grammar and vocab and skills, the four skills of the language, plus I’ll have some idea about how to go through my writing assignments, and by the end of it, I will have kind of coaching, I’ll be directed whether to take the CELTA course now or after a couple of months or what areas to work on.
How long is the course?
It’s about 24 hours. We do it in different formats and we’re planning to do one starting on the 4th of May actually, we’re going to do this one online.
So if I take the course, will I receive a certificate – the preparation course?
Yes, it’ll be a preparation, a teacher development certificate. So, obviously not a Cambridge one because it’s not an accredited course in that way, it would be an IH certificate.
Remember, of course, International House is world famous so it’s not some little local certificate and it’s accredited and is respected so it’s not a complete waste of time and then it’ll help you get motivated for when you get your real Cambridge CELTA certificate. And it can be offered face-to-face, we’re starting with online, later we’ll do it face-to-face as well.
So if I don’t have any kind of experience in teaching, a CELTA preparation course will help me start or have some knowledge.
You don’t have to be experienced, because CELTA was designed for people who’ve never taught before, so you can be a completely inexperienced teacher and you could be an experienced teacher, that’s absolutely fine, but it doesn’t matter. The level of experience is not a problem, inexperienced and experienced, you’re both welcome.
And I’m dropping a link in the comments now, so through this link, you can go and apply for the course. We have more details, if you still have some questions you can drop it or ask us on social media as well. You’ve got the most important information and then the website will give you the rest and the link for application, everything else. For the application you just have to write a paragraph, it’s about 250 words.
Is there a possibility that if I apply I’d get rejected, to the CELTA preparation course?
It’s unlikely unless your written English is very, very low. If you send us a paragraph and there are some mistakes, we’ll just send it back to you and say try to correct it just so that we can see that you know when something’s wrong and you can correct it. So if you can’t, if we find that you know we gave you another chance and you still couldn’t do it, we might have to say no for now but it would have to be a very badly written paragraph.
Just check your writing before you send it. And a piece of advice, and it’s the same for applying for the CELTA, set your keyboard to English. It doesn’t matter whether it’s English US, English United Kingdom, you’ll find that it’s another way to help you check your work, to proofread, because you’ll have little squiggly red lines that will tell you when something is wrong, use the proofreading tools, of course.
We want you to use your own knowledge because as English teachers or future English teachers, we need you to be able to write reasonably correctly, because you’re going to teach it, but it’s amazing how many people clearly have got their keyboards set to Arabic or another language. So this is something to bear in mind. Set the word document from left to right not right to left. There are some tools in word that can help you.
And as long as you’ve written it, in your own words, please do not plagiarize, because we have anti-plagiarism checkers.