A list of things an ESL teacher should do before CELTA

Things to do before CELTA: a checklist

Things to do before CELTA: a checklist


  • Cambridge English
  • Teaching qualifications
  • Tips & Strategies
  • Methodology

Undoubtedly, CELTA is a pretty stressful endeavor. You may have some expectations; however, the reality usually hits differently.

We have prepared the checklist of things that will make the preparation process easier and the course itself free of stress and anxiety.

10 cool tips for CELTA tutors

Set true expectations

We often imagine things that are about to happen to us in our heads. We do it so intensively that when it turns out to be different, we feel frustration, lack of motivation, and confidence. 

However, there is a very easy way to avoid facing these emotions.

Before starting your CELTA journey, make sure you get acquainted with other people’s experiences. Ideally, you should talk to people who passed it and ask them everything you are interested in. Still, you may use various online sources if you don’t have such acquaintances and can’t get any first-hand impressions.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube where CELTA graduates share their studying tips, challenges, and insights; and frankly, getting access to something like this is priceless.

Listening to other people or communicating with graduates on Facebook, Reddit, and Quora gives a lot of new perspectives on the course and helps you to set true expectations.

Check your eligibility

Your acceptance fully depends on your eligibility. So, to avoid extra stress, you’d better make sure that you meet all the requirements, which are the following:

  • Age: 20+ (Candidates between 18 and 20 years old can be enrolled upon successful completion of the interview.)
  • English proficiency at C1 (Advanced) level and above
  • Higher education in any specialty (candidates with a level of education equivalent to admission to a higher education institution may be enrolled upon successful completion of an interview)

Additionally, you need to have:

  • A desire and potential to develop the skills necessary for successful completion of the course, namely: writing assignments and teaching practice
  • Technical conditions (for an online course): stable Internet connection, availability of a computer or laptop, basic skills of digital literacy

Everything you need to know about CELTA

Consider when, where, and how much you will be able to study

All people have different schedules, paces, and styles of learning.

Mind that while choosing whether you would like to study offline or online, full-time or part-time. Plus, it is crucial to be ready to pause commitments that require a lot of your attention while doing CELTA.

It is not just an easy evening course, you are expected to complete tasks, work on your mistakes, and generally show better performance throughout the course.

Therefore, if you are not sure that you can put in a lot of time and effort, it will be better to postpone starting the course.

Choose the right teacher training center

We have already talked about picking the right places for getting TEFL-certified.

The CELTA rules are the same:

  • Rely on the trusted sites
  • Ask for other students’ feedback
  • Never pay for anything unless you are 100% sure what you are paying for
  • Look for places with certified teacher trainers who are experienced enough

Where is the best place to take CELTA?

Be ready to do a pre-interview task and meet with a trainer for the interview

Before the start, it is important to do your best to complete a pre-interview task that is meant to test your language skills and the knowledge of ELT methodology.

Also, reflect on your application process and think about potential questions and answers for the interview.

Before the interview, clarify what the desired outcome of the course is, think about how you can present your previous working experience and learning, note how you will benefit from completing CELTA, and don't forget to focus on your personal values and beliefs.

It is not that stressful if you are honest and well-prepared.

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Try to be more relaxed about the whole endeavor

It is not as easy as it sounds but don’t treat your CELTA course as if your life depends on it.

Sure, it gives you access to better job opportunities and generally boosts your career. However, there is nothing about CELTA that requires luck or any extra knowledge that an experienced and motivated ESL teacher doesn’t have. 

Yes, you have to be focused, patient, and quick to learn. And yes, you definitely won’t benefit from being in a panic.

Treat CELTA as a new important step in your career and remember that as long as you are motivated enough to listen, learn, and change, you will be fine.

How to avoid burnout during CELTA course?

Plan to complete the pre-course task after the payment

Finally, even if you are accepted and have already paid for the course, it is not where you-time starts :)

You are supposed to complete a special pre-course task before the course itself starts.

It is not stressful at all and it allows you to gradually start focusing on your studying.

We hope that following the checklist above will help you to reduce the anxiety that you might have as a CELTA trainee. Make sure you start your preparation path early enough and with the right people.

Is it easy to combine full-time CELTA and full-time work?

Article authors & editors
  • Arina Kravchenko

    Arina Kravchenko


    Teacher of General English & IELTS



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