In learning to create a custom menu on my WordPress, I am now able to divide up what had become a huge list of ‘Useful ELT links’ into slightly more useful sections.
This section, therefore, will contain information focused on the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults course, or the CELTA. I’ve created this page in the hope that it might be useful for other future CELTA trainees and curious and tragically keen as I was!
As was best practice when I worked in the Editorial department of an academic publishing house, I will not only list the link, but also add a little explanation of how I found it and/or how I use(d) it to save you trawling like I did!
You will probably find references to Sandy’s blog posts all across my own blog, as I find everything she writes hugely useful and comprehensive (and she went to Durham as well, so I feel I am sort of weirdly echoing her life, 7 years behind her…!)In no place is this statement about Sandy’s brilliant writing more true than on this fantastic page which brings together tonnes of links for every aspect of CELTA you could ever hope to learn about. I list this page as the top item in my CELTA list, because it really has become my go-to page for CELTA swotting, and I have even bookmarked it in my Bookmarks bar in advance of my course starting next week (as I write this entry.) It’s such a good list, in fact, that I almost feel I should delete this little page that I have started, but I think I will still continue my own personal review of resources I’ve found helpful. Sandy is now a trainer, so some of her resources come from an angle different to mine of a terrified pre-CELTA trainee – so hopefully both will be useful for different things 🙂
This is a wonderfully comprehensive list from the unstoppable Marisa Constantinides, based at the CELT Athens language school in Greece. I only came across it when Marisa linked it to me on Twitter a few weeks before my course, but it’s definitely a great place to start!
You can sign up for an account to this website for free, and with that you get access to a short course entitled ‘Grammar for teachers: language awareness.’ However, all CELTA trainees should get a code when they sign up for their course, and this entitles you to another full-length course, access to all the webinars and to the archive. So get emailing your language school!
The guy who writes this blog, Adam Simpson, is clearly a very experienced ELT teacher, having won awards and prizes for his blog posts as well as the ideas with him. He teaches English at Sabancı University, on the outskirts of Istanbul, and I found his posts of life after the CELTA particularly helpful. In fact, the whole blog is chock-a-block full of great hints and tips, and it’s very professionally organised and presented throughout. I have even subscribed, so the latest posts are emailed straight to me, which I would definitely recommend to other new CELTA keen beans like myself!
I have ‘borrowed’ his idea of using my blog to list my ELT achievements as well – clearly they aren’t very extensive to date, but I hope to expand this page as I grow my experience in the field.
I discovered Jo Gakonga’s excellent YouTube channel when being hugely geeky and searching online for example CELTA training lessons, to see what I was letting myself in for. She delivers brilliant little bite-sized lessons on things like concept questions, teacher talk and how to emphasise stress to students, all in handy little YouTube videos. You also don’t really need to watch the video to understand what she’s saying, so I like to have her on whilst I potter around a bit. (I know, tragic times hey?!)
In Googling her name, I have also found her blog, which I have yet to inspect thoroughly, but which seems at first glance to be very useful as well!
International House is a well-known chain of language schools and, in Googling for information on the CELTA, I stumbled upon some really great resources on their pages. To give you an example, they walk you through lesson planning and reassure you that the CELTA isn’t going to kill you, as some forums might have you believe!
‘The CELTA diaries’ – a web series
This is a real gem I found, a series of 12 short videos (hosted on YouTube) which chart the progress of a Scottish guy and an American girl through their CELTA course at International House, Belfast. The clips may be short, but it’s amazing what you can pick up from them. It definitely has given me a better insight into what I can expect when I start my course in April!
This is a series of posts on the CELT Athens language school’s WordPress site, in which the wonderful Marisa Constantinides interviews some past CELTA graduates from the courses run at her school. I find the posts very honest and encouraging, and I hope you do, too!
Jeff Mohamed’s TESOL Tips site (and pack)
I have been set a 16-unit grammar development workbook written by Jeff Mohamed as part of the preparation for my CELTA course, which I have been studiously working through (between large procrastination gaps playing on this blog…) That workbook led me to Jeff Mohamed’s site, which contains a plethora of useful resources, lesson plans, games and more. I for one have learnt that I drastically need to improve my grammar knowledge of my own mother tongue after having done much worse than I would have liked on Jeff’s self assessment grammar course! At the bottom of that page, you can also purchase the grammar workbook to which I referred earlier.
The Ultimate Guide to CELTA, an eBook
I found about about this little eBook by reading Sandy Millin’s amazing page of CELTA information (as above) and, as it was only £7, I thought I would give it a read. I ploughed through it the week before my CELTA started on a train journey to Cheltenham, and you can definitely get through the whole thing in under an hour. It’s a bit cringey because the characters in the book have names like Fastidious Felicity and Chilled-out Charlie, but the stereotypes are of course there to teach valuable lessons, such as ‘don’t be a perfectionist’ and ‘always be professional and arrive on time to class.’ I did find it useful, so I would definitely recommend.
This set of short videos on YouTube was posted by the incredible Marisa Constantinides during an #ELTchat on the 18th February, when we were discussing ‘how to make the most out of being observed.’ Something that came out of this chat was the benefit of filming yourself teaching, or indeed filming your students reacting to your teaching – with all participants’ consent, of course. Marisa shared this example of one of her trainees from her school CELT Athens and I think it’s really helpful to see graded language and just how encouraging this trainee is for her students.
Sandy Millin’s blog about being a CELTA trainer
I first read Sandy Millin’s posts in the #ELTchat feed, and linked out to her blog. This post about being a CELTA trainer is particularly interesting for an insight into the CELTA course from a different perspective. I have a feeling I am going to really enjoy my course (I am writing this in February 2015, two months before starting) and wonder whether I might end up being a trainer one day, too!
I was led to these videos by Jo Gakonga’s elttraining channel (see above) and they are mainly copied lessons out of the DVD accompanying ‘The Practice of English Language Teaching’ by Jeremy Harmer. It’s a really good way to watch successful lessons and get some great inspiration!
Angelos Bollas’ blog section ‘The CELTA experience’
Angelos did his CELTA in the summer of 2014 when he was already an experienced teacher. These blog posts offer a different perspective on the course, which I certainly found interesting in advance of my own CELTA as a complete novice.