Also during my phone interview (see previous post), I found out that I would have pre-course work to do. This involves:
– a giant pack containing 17 mini units entitled ‘A Grammar Development Course for teachers of English,’ written by a guy called Jeff Mohamed. I went and had a little Google of Mr Mohamed, who has unsurprisingly written a few English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks and even has a handy website, for those who are interested:
– some assigned chapters from The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer, fourth edition. I swiftly got over my aversion to the book due to it being published by Pearson and not Routledge (I jest!) and threw myself into reading far more than the chapters that my school had suggested. This is partly because I will always be a bit of a geek, but also mainly because I used to work on the English Language and Linguistics list within the Editorial department at Routledge, and consequently a large proportion of the authors of the works that Jeremy Harmer has cited within the book come from academics I used to email on a regular basis, which I think is rather wonderful. I even emailed the lovely Jenny Jenkins to tell her such, and she seemed chuffed to have a mention in Harmer’s mega-successful text book. This textbook also comes with the added bonus of a DVD containing edited lessons conducted by qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and, although I have yet to watch it, I imagine it’ll offer an even better insight into how an actual, live classroom works than the YouTube videos I have watched thus far! I shall certainly report back once I have booted my seven-year-old Dell laptop into life so I can use its CD drive!
– Practical English Usage by Michael Swan, third edition. Now this book really puts me in my element! It’s essentially the English equivalent of the tomes I used at university when trying to get my head around the intricacies of German, Spanish and Italian. Rather than being a prescriptive, formulaic grammar book in the sense of laying out all the ‘rules,’ it aims to, as Swan himself says in the introduction, deal with over 600 points which regularly cause difficulty to foreign students of English.’ It will not only be useful to students, however, but also teachers (or budding teachers like me!) because it beautifully explains lots of tricky bits of grammar that I could otherwise only explain auf Deutsch or en español, probably! So I look forward to getting down and dirty with this excellent volume as I get stuck into the course.
In addition to this prescribed reading, I have also managed to acquire (by way of eBay) two other highly recommended books, both by the ELT guru Scott Thornbury:
– How to teach grammar, first edition
– How to teach speaking, first edition
– How to teach vocabulary, first edition
…so I suppose I better get reading!
As I briefly mentioned earlier, I have also been trawling the internet for lots of tips and advice on how to pass the CELTA, and have already watched far too many hours of nervous native speakers like myself teach a ‘test’ classroom of keen foreign learners on YouTube.
If I’m honest, it’s all a little overwhelming at this point, but hopefully that feeling will die down as I read and understand proportionately more ELT-related material….fingers crossed, at least!