Assessment Review Part 1

by celtaconfessions

In the previous post, I took a look at the syllabus, without going too deeply (not yet, anyway). If you haven’t seen the pretty mindmaps, you can do so here.

In this post, I’d like to delve into what the examiners are looking for in the candidates. Let’s first recall the mindmap of the syllabus overview I did for that post.

CELTA Syllabus overview

For each of this topic, the candidate is expected to

  • determine the needs of their learners, bearing in mind their backgrounds and their learning preferences
  • demonstrate awareness & knowledge of the English language and teaching strategies
  • know what the language skills are and how these may be acquired
  • plan & prepare lessons to develop the language competence of their learners
  • show a range of teaching skills as well as “professional awareness and responsibility”.

It is often said that CELTA is a practical course, but, in truth, there is also the other side of the coin. Assessment basically comprises of two parts: the practical, which is, in effect, planning and teaching; and the written, which consists of four assignments, one for each of the topics except topics 4 & 5, which are combined for the fourth and final written assignment.

In If we could bottle time, I mentioned that the course will have a minimum of 120 contact hours. So, what can we expect to happen in class? For this, I’ve done another diagram.

CELTA 120 hours' class time

Notice that the observation of experienced teachers are done live and by video. Up to 3 hours of video observation is permitted by Cambridge. Seville is using dvds for two observation classes.

Remember that I also mentioned that Cambridge reckons we will need an extra 80 hours? While I’m at it, I’ll map these extraclass activities, too.

CELTA 80 hours' extraclass time

If you’ve done or are doing CELTA, what do you think? Is this about right? Thanks for all feedback!