Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults: Lesson Planning

Pages: 7 (1575 words) Published: April 3, 2013

by Vladimir Široki
University of Novi Sad

CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is the world’s most honoured entry-level credential for teaching ESL or EFL (TESL / TEFL). It is accepted throughout the world by organizations which employ English language teachers. According to ESOL Examinations (University of Cambridge), over 900 courses are offered at more than 230 centres worldwide and produce over 11,500 successful graduates every year.

TEFL or TESOL are terms often used to describe qualifications for English Language teachers. CELTA, the most widely taken initial TESOL / TEFL qualification of its kind in the world, was previously known as CTEFLA and the RSA certificate.

CELTA is an intensive course that normally lasts for four weeks, and during that period candidates encounter a special CELTA terminology and various catchphrases. Terminology can be regarded as a set of technical words or expressions that are used in a particular subject; however, terminology is not the end but a means to describing the end – it helps people talk about their specialist area, language teaching, in an efficient and precise way. Therefore, it can be useful for CELTA candidates to learn terminology needed for the course. The aim of this paper is to provide a list of words and phrases used at CELTA courses all over the world[1].

In favourable circumstance, English teachers work with a small number of students and then when giving instructions (the words teachers use to set up a task, and these should be as clear and concise as possible), they should raise or ‘chest’ their worksheet for all to see as they orientate them to the task. The worksheet is placed at the level of chest, below the neck, so such a term is used. Teachers should also ‘withhold’ the worksheet, i.e. only give it out at the end of the instructions giving process in order to keep the students’ attention.

Having instructed the students how to do the task, ELT should check whether they have understood what to do or not; this process is known as checking instructions, whereas the questions ELT asks are called Instruction Checking Questions, or ICQs. These questions are usually closed questions in nature. For example,

ELT: Should you read the whole text?
Ss: No.

ELT: Are you given five minutes to do this exercise?
Ss: Yes.

CELTA makes distinction between Language-based lessons (where vocabulary, grammar and/or functions are taught) and Skills lessons (either receptive or productive skills lessons). Namely, it is important to be clear as to what your main aim is, and determine whether your lesson primarily focuses on improving the students’ ability with language, or improving their ability with skills.

The basic framework for analysing grammar, vocabulary and functional language is MFPA (Meaning – Form – Pronunciation – Appropriacy). This framework is applied in the given order of priority; the strategy of Meaning before Form is the idea that it makes more sense to convey and check meaning before you highlight form and pronunciation, i.e. why practise a phrase students do not understand. The last category of MFPA is Appropriacy – it helps ELTs consider whether a piece of language can be used universally or if learners need to know whether it is: formal, neutral, informal; dialect specific; colloquial; slang; taboo; more common in spoken or written language.

After conveying meaning it is important to check students have understood the meaning of a word or grammatical structure by asking Concept Check Questions, or CCQs. These questions can be simple but relevant closed questions, perhaps followed by more open and personalised ones; two or three CCQs usually suffice. Let us consider the following structure:

John was having lunch when his mother rang.

After analyzing the meaning, employing various techniques, ELT should check whether the students have understood the structure. Regarding this, some of the...
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