CELTA: The Dreaded Assignments


The assignments were made to help you develop as a teacher, but they also happen to be a real pain in the ass.

You’ll write four papers, each of about 900 words:

  • Focus on the Learner – A needs analysis and profile of your learners
  • Skills and Language – This is the one most people struggle with. It’s a two-part assignment. You’ll be asked to exploit a text for skills development, then you’ll design materials to present and clarify language.
  • Lessons from the Classroom – You’ll write about what you’ve learnt through teaching and observing others. It’s impossible to fail this last one, unless you truly have nothing to say. Simply look back at all your feedback, mention things you need to work on to become a better teacher and talk about what you’ve learnt from your peers.

What are Resubmissions?
If you submit your paper and it’s not quite up to standard, your trainers will hand it back to you. Fortunately, this won’t affect your overall grade. However, if your work is still crap the second time round, you’ll fail the assignment. You can fail one paper and still pass the course, but you won’t be able to get an overall grade of Pass A – very few people get this grade anyway, so I wouldn’t worry about it.  If you fail more than one paper, you automatically fail the entire course so make sure you put in the work, otherwise, you’ll be saying adios to that coveted TEFL certificate.

Here are 5 tips to help you pass:

  1. DO. NOT. PROCRASTINATE. As if the CELTA wasn’t stressful enough, putting the assignments off will only add to it. Do yourself a favor and regularly work on your paper. By the time the submission date rolls around, you’ll be feeling relaxed and happy with your work while your peers will be rushing around panicking about it. Don’t let that be you!
  2. Brain dump all your ideas before you write a draft. Simply putting your ideas to paper will get rid of your writer’s block and give you something to build upon.
  3. Reference published material. If you’re lucky, your center will have an abundant supply of teaching resources from all the TEFL greats… Scrivener, Thornbury, Swan, Underhill, etc. Use them and quote the relevant bits. It’ll show that you not only took the time to do further reading, you also clearly know what you’re talking about and have evidence to back it up.
  4. Each assignment comes with a set of assessment criteria – meet each and every one of them to avoid resubmissions.
  5. Lastly, make sure it’s presentable. This work is for Cambridge for goodness sake! Not some Mickey Mouse university. Make it look good! Proofread it to catch all grammatical and spelling errors. Your layout and fonts should be pleasing to the eye, too.



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