CELTA advice from Alžběta Polišenská

Alžběta Polišenská is a CELTA tutor at IH Prague in the Czech Republic


How long were you an EFL teacher, and how long have you been a teacher trainer?

I started teaching English in 1996. I trained as a CELTA tutor in 2001 and as a DELTA tutor in 2009.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

No, I have always worked in EFL.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

That they find out about what kind of teachers they are, what helps them feel comfortable with their learners, and that they leave the course ready to develop further.

When you were an EFL teacher what did you like most, and how do you bring that into the classroom for your trainees?

Encouraging autonomous learning and development. Working on real-life and purposeful tasks.

I avoid being prescriptive. I encourage reflection and guide trainees to discover what is or is not effective. I make the rationale and aims obvious. I lead trainees to finding solutions to problems

What advice would you give your trainees for successfully completing the course?

Be organised and manage the time well. Plan the lessons carefully but enjoy being with the learners and focus on them rather than on the plan. Be aware of the assessment components of the course but don’t make the grade to be the ultimate goal.

What advice would you give your trainees for an interesting and rewarding career?

Find a teaching environment or context that suits you and that enables you to develop. Read a lot and talk about teaching with those who care. Be inquisitive about language and language learning, keep asking questions and look for answers.