CELTA questionnaire answers

While it is not essential to say yes to all of these, here are some explanations for why we have posed the questions.

1) Am I over 18 years old?
Cambridge ESOL regulations stipulate a minimum age of 18 years old for candidates at the point they start a CELTA course.

2) Do I have a level of education sufficient to allow me to start a university-level course of study?
Because the qualification is linked to the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency (QCA) levels in the UK, candidates need to possess a minimum level of formal education.  This can be waived if you can show that you bring other qualities which would enable you to deal with the academic demands of the course.

3) Do I speak (and write) English to a very high level?
If you want to teach English, it should be obvious that you need to command the language to a high degree yourself. It is also important to have a level of English in writing and in speech sufficient let you cope with the assessment requirements of the course. Even some native-speakers of English may find that their own command of English may not be adequate to meet the standards required.

4) Have I learned any foreign languages as an adult?
We believe that the experience of trying to learn a second language as an adult is an indespensible experience for those who want to teach English as a second language. Early bilingualism does not count as children and adults learn languages in different ways and under different conditions.

5) Am I able to work to strict deadlines and manage my own time effectively?
The CELTA course, whether you take it full- or part-time, is extremely intensive and you need to be able to manage your time efficiently in order to cope with this. You must be able to prepare in advance for Teaching Practice guidance so that your tutor can give you maximum support.  You also need to be well-prepared to teach so that you make a professional impression on your students. There are clear deadlines throughout the course which need to be met and so this course is not for you if you are a poor time manager.

6) Am I open to learning new ways of looking at language and learning?
As this is a training course, you would expect to learn something new. However, people often come to learning opportunities with pre-conceived notions about how things „should“ work. This is fine as long as you are also prepared to question these assumptions and to experiment with new ideas. This can be especially challenging if you have some teaching experience before starting the course, but can even be a challenge for those with no experience of teaching.

7) Am I able and willing to criticise my own performance?
Learning a new skill entails being honest with yourself about your performance and development. While this can often involve noticing and highlighting things that you do well, it equally often means exploring those aspects of your performance which were less successful, and which objectively speaking need improvement to reach a professional standard. It takes strength of character and a great deal of honesty with yourself to be able to do this, but it is essential if you want to become an effective teacher.

8) Am I able and willing to accept criticism of my performance from others?
As we said above, learning a new skill entails being honest with yourself about your performance and development. This can be especially hard when outside observers give you their perspectives on your work, which may be uncomfortable for you to hear. It is important to see this criticism for what it really is: constructive attempts to help you gain a realistic impression of your practice and open your eyes to avenues for development which you may not be able to see from your perspective „on the inside“.

9) Am I able to work in a mature manner within a team as well as exercising initiative and self-responsibility?
During the CELTA course you will work as part of a teaching team with colleagues. You will need to co-ordinate with each other about your lessons and you will need to ensure that you do not inconvenience your colleagues (for example, by not being organised). On the other hand, you cannot expect to be „spoon-fed“ by your tutor, who has to divide his or her time fairly between you and your colleagues. Therefore you need to be pro-active in finding out the information you need, and keeping „one step ahead“ in terms of organisation.

10) Do I know why I want to become a teacher?
Teaching is more than just a job that pays the bills: it is an intense and rewarding form of labour which involves you in the lives and futures of the learners that you work with. While the CELTA course can be seen as a passport to the world, as it qualifies you to teach in a wide variety of contexts internationally, it should not be forgotten that teaching is not only about this.  From this perspective, it is worth asking yourself what it is about teaching that attracts you in addition to the freedom to travel and earn a living which the CELTA offers.

Follow this link to find out how to apply for a CELTA course.