Starting Blocks for CELTA

I mentioned before that I’m going to do a CELTA – a Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults. I’ve signed up in Oxford. It’s an evening class – two evenings a week for approximately six months – and it starts tomorrow. Having heard about the pressure of an intensive, full-time, four-week course, and having followed @Gret closely when she did hers, I’m really glad I opted to do this at a more relaxed pace.

A month ago I went along for an interview at the college. I had to prepare some homework before the day, do some tests on the day and have a chat with an interviewer.  I was told that this was to weed out those who might not be motivated enough or capable enough, and maybe to direct those people to other courses. The upshot for me was that I was offered a place on the course which I happily accepted there and then, naturally. I wasn’t going to jump through these hoops and then say “oh, I’ve changed my mind” now was I?! Cost? About £880 up front. That’s OK – I had researched the cost beforehand so I knew what to expect, and it’s quite reasonable compared with similar courses run at other colleges. Apparently the demand for this particular course is considerable and there is, in fact, a waiting list to get on it.

I was given some pre-course hand-outs and exercises to go through. The blurb seemed a little prescriptive  (thou shalt keep two folders for the witness of thine labour) but OK, I can live with that.

So…….. the course starts tomorrow. I’m feeling a bit apprehensive, I admit. Who will I be with and will they just laugh at me? How officious will the tutors be? How forgiving and tolerant will tutors, trainees and students be? Will I be equal to the learning? Will the learning sink in and be retained? Will I make an idiot of myself? Can I be an on-stage performer and not come over as a twit? Will my work be good enough? Will my hearing difficulties interfere? Will the toilets be close enough??!

Over the coming weeks and months I intend to share some of my experiences with you on this blog. Maybe you’ll find something useful – I do hope so. But I’m sure that reflecting on sessions will at least be useful to me. Watch this space!



  1. Vicky Loras

    Hi Clive!

    Oh, how exciting! Good luck and have a great start : ) Your thoughts and apprehensions are such that I think a lot of us would have, but I am positive you will do great and enjoy it!

    Have a wonderful new start, I can’t wait to hear your news and impressions!

    Best best wishes,

    • Clive

      Hi Vicky!
      Thank you for your good wishes!
      You’re right, I’m sure I’m not alone in having these apprehensions.
      Just to balance what I said, I should also have mentioned that I’m actually looking forward to the challenge, meeting new people and learning something new. And hopefully I can put it all to good use when I go overseas again… a big incentive!

      Best wishes to you, too 🙂

  2. Ed

    Not a thing to worry about. I reckon you already have a better understanding of learning than all of them. Most likely it’ll be you who’s laughing! The tutors might be officious, but you can let that wash over you, secure in the knowledge you have a worldwide PLN to support you. You have enough knowledge and experience to be confident that you won’t make an idiot of yourself. The biggest concern, I’d say is the one about the toilet…

  3. gret

    Good luck Clive! I’m sure you’ll do wonderful. It’s a great learning experience. I agree with Ed, you already have a great understanding of learning and ELT. We’ll be here supporting you! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  4. Clive

    Hi Edna and Greta, thank you for your kind words and your faith in me! The first lesson is over now … I struggled a bit, especially trying to quickly identify parts of speech. I’ll write a blog post in a day or two and say more about it…
    Bye for now!

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