Tip of the week

Keep your notes organised

You’ll be taking notes and getting handouts from two input sessions a day, handouts with information about the classes you have to teach, notes from your observations of your tutors and other trainees, notes from feedback sessions, information about assignments…

It’s essential that you have a system for organising all your paperwork, whether it be by subject area (skills/systems/methodology) or course component (input sessions/teaching practice/assignments).

Bring a laptop

Although our centre has computer in every classroom and in the teacher’s room, you’ll find it much more convenient to work access your documents from your laptop whether you’re at your homestay or at school.

Get some language awareness

Do you know what an infinitive is? the past perfect? a third conditional?

If you’re a non-native English speaker, you’ll have an advantage here.  Most people in English-speaking countries don’t study much grammar in secondary school, so you might not be familiar with this terminology.  However, on the CELTA and as a teacher you’ll need to use it.  A great head start would be Basic English Usage by Michael Swan.

Recommended books for a communicative classroom

If you’ve never studied a foreign language, or your only experience with language study was high school French, you probably don’t have any idea of what goes on in a communicative classroom.   Both of the books on our recommended reading list (The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer and Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener) come with DVDs with clips of experienced teachers in the classroom.  These will be an invaluable insight into what teachers do, what the learners are like, and the types of activities they do at different levels.

Advice before you start the CELTA course in Barcelona

Try to read the set methodology book (Either 'Learning Teaching', (latest edition), written by Jim Scrivener and published by Heinemann or 'The Practice of English Language Teaching' (latest edition), written by Jeremy Harmer and published by Longman) about TEFL before the course begins. Then, you won’t have so much new information to assimilate on the course itself.
If possible, before the CELTA course begins, familiarize yourself with basic grammatical terminology e.g. parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc). If you have time, flick through the set grammar book (Either 'Grammar for English Language Teachers', written by Martin Parrott and published by Cambridge University Press) or 'Practical English Usage', written by Michael Swan and published by Oxford University Press.) and see what you can learn about English grammar. Bear in mind that you won’t be expected to ‘know’ English grammar by the end of the course. There’s too much of it! By the end of the course, you will know some English grammar and you will learn more once you start teaching.