Applying for your CELTA course

interview

You’ve looked at prices, narrowed down the providers and finally chosen the school you want to do your CELTA at. So what happens now?

The Application Form

This is not just a run of the mill application form. For most centres, this serves firstly as a means to gather the information they need about you to enrol you on the course. Secondly it serves as the first stage of the selection process, so there will most likely be teaching and language related questions on it.

  • Tip Number One – Take your time

Don’t fly through this in a mad rush to get on the course. These questions often require you to think in more depth about the English language than you have before, and to come at it from a learner’s point of view. It is rare that a potential trainee will be able to answer these questions well off the top of their head.

  • Tip Number Two – Do some research

When completing the application form, have a grammar book at hand or access to the internet. The application is not a test, it is an opportunity for you to start looking at the English language as a teacher would. The CELTA course does not give you all the knowledge you will need for the rest of your life about the language. But it does teach you how to find the knowledge that you will need for yourself.

The Interview

You will be offered an interview on the basis of your application. This shows that the centre thinks you have the potential to be a language teacher. Though you will undoubtedly be nervous, try to relax. Again the interview is not a test, it is a way for you to show the trainer that you can adapt and utilise the necessary techniques to teach the language.

  • Tip Number Three – Don’t talk rubbish

If you are asked a question that you don’t know the answer to and can’t figure out, don’t try to fool the trainer – just tell them the truth. The trainers will show you what they are looking for in the initial stage of the interview. It is up to you to take those techniques and utilise them in the following questions.

Although you won’t always know the right terminology, the ability to think about language in this way is what the trainer is looking for. If you can show them that you are aware of this, you will have taken a big step toward getting on the course. The next thing is to have some teaching ideas.

  • Tip Number Five – Be practical

Teaching is more than just having knowledge, you need to be able to communicate and impart that knowledge to your students. Long, drawn out and wordy explanations are not what EFL/ESL teaching is about. You need to think practically and logically. Can you demonstrate physically what you are trying to convey? Are there similar examples you could draw upon? Could a picture help you? These are all things to consider when presenting language to students.

Details of the Course

Following the language and teaching part of the interview, if both you and the trainer are happy, the trainer will talk you through the requirements of the course. This is your chance to raise any questions or concerns you might have about the course. Double check the price, the course dates, the number of people on the course etc. The trainer will tell you everything they think you need to know about the course and will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Dave Fox is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer who has worked in Australia, the UK and Europe

Dave Fox is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer who has worked in Australia, the UK and Europe

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