Post-CELTA Confessions

Aspiring to be a better teacher

Tag: tasks

CELTA interview by telephone

by celtaconfessions

Day: 12th Aug 2012

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep notes on the interview, so I’ll just have to rely on my rather poor memory! I’d chosen to do it by phone rather than Skype – I can hide behind the phone!

CELTA interview by phone

Photo taken from by George Redgrave, used under a CC Attribution, Non-Deriv licence.

To be honest, I don’t remember much. I can’t remember the interviewer’s name (or was it Claire? Let’s call her that anyway). She was very pleasant, English, judging by the way she spoke. We talked a little about myself especially with regards to my current situation, and about why I wanted to do the CELTA. Even though I was nervous, Claire was very good and managed to put me at ease.

She briefly explained what the course involves and asked if I thought it would be a problem for me. For those who don’t know, CELTA is a month-long full-time course and trainees get thrown into the deep end, so to speak, right from the start. It’s been a long time since I had to endure a full day’s class, let alone for a whole month! I didn’t lie to her – I told her I was rather worried about it but, at the same time, I will cope with it simply because I will have no choice!

She then went on to question me on some of my answers in the pre-interview tasks A – C.

I don’t know how long the interview went on for, but I’m sure it was more than 30 minutes, more like an hour, to be honest. And me, sweating the whole time! I’ve never liked interviews, being a slow thinker and not one who relishes thinking on his feet!

Well, that’s that done and a load off my shoulders; now, to wait…


by celtaconfessions

Day: 7th Aug 2012

Tasks for IH 50th anniversary CELTA competition

I had to squeeze my writing somewhat to be able to fit it in the small space provided. It’s been a long time since I wrote that much by hand!

I scanned it, emailed it over and confirmed the interview for 9th August 12pm! Oh, boy, the nerves!


by celtaconfessions

Day: 6th August 2012


Email said I was among the finalists! (Later I was told that I was on a short list of four aspirants)

Yes, I read correctly. No spam. No hacking. Official. Wow! I felt like I’d already won!

CELTA diaries: finalist on IH 50th anniversary competition

“Photo taken from by @JosetteLB, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial licence”

More tasks to be done though!

There was a handwritten task to complete and an interview of approximately 30 minutes, scheduled for 9th August. The handwritten task comprises of three mini-essays (of 50-100 words each):

  • Tell us about a successful learning experience you have had.
  • Describe the factors that you feel are important for successful language learning.
  • Why do you feel you would be suitable to teaching?

This time, I didn’t procrastinate; I started planning on the mini essays right away. I had to get them in before the interview in 2 days’ time.

Tasks completed!

by celtaconfessions

Day: 18th July 2012

After some apprehension, lots of procrastination and endless mulling over the whole affair, I finally completed all the tasks, attach all the documents in an email, and pressed SEND!

Completed CELTA tasks

This was the reply I got: “Since all applications are due by the 31st of July, we’ll be in touch with you during the month of August to inform you if you’ve been selected.”

So, do I cross my fingers? Do I really want to win? Do I really want to do this course, to spend a full month away from home, alone?

Application form and tasks

by celtaconfessions

Day: 6th June 2012

Several days later, I got a reply with which were attached instructions and the application forms. Briefly, I looked at them.

The closing date for the competition was the end of July and the winner will do the course between October 2012 and March 2013.

I read the terms and conditions and skimmed through the tasks. Apart from having to write an essay of no more than 1,000 words explaining how I believe being awarded a free place on IH training course will change my life, there were a few “pre-selection” tasks.

Task A dealt with language awareness. I had to choose the odd one out and justify my choice.

The first one was a list of four words: sip, gulp, slurp and drink.
Then, some modals were thrown in:

  • You can’t smoke in here.
  • You don’t have to wear a suit.
  • You mustn’t be late.
  • You aren’t allowed to buy alcohol.

The last one dealt with past tenses:

  • I lived in Miami for 6 years.
  • I used to live in London.
  • I was born in Edinburgh.
  • I’ve lived here for 3 years.

Task B was titled “Anticipating learner difficulties”. I had to identify and explain the general problem that learners might have with each of the following groups of words/phrases:

  • may well go, might possibly go, probably won’t go, is likely to go and will definitely go. (I personally thought this is tricky, even for natives, so it’d be hardly worth the time analysing the subtle differences, if any exists, between may well go, might possibly go and is likely to go)
  • 3 idioms: out of the blue, down in the dumps and from the horse’s mouth
  • four tricky words: import, perfect, record and permit (pronunciation differences between noun and verb forms)

Task C dealt with helping learners with meaning. I had to say, first, what the differences were and then elaborate how I would explain these to students.

  • When I got there the party started / When I got there the party had started.
  • interfere / intervene

Well, I read the tasks and started thinking about the essay…probably losing a few nights’ sleep along the way…

Not sleeping for CELTA

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