CELTA advice from Cathy Bowden

Cathy Bowden 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’ve been an EFL teach since 1996 and a teacher trainer since 2003.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

I worked in the Civil Service and in a local post office before becoming an EFL teacher.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

I hope that trainees develop their teaching skills from whatever starting point they are at when they start the course, and that they feel like they have learned something from the course.

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

I’m still an EFL teacher and I like it most when my students are communicating real information to each other about themselves or their opinions.

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

I’d advise you to keep organised: organise your handouts, plan when to do different pieces of coursework, don’t leave things to the last minute and set yourself a target for when to get your plans finished by. Also, try to take at least half an hour each day to do something non-CELTA.

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

See teaching as a chance to meet and find out about a huge range of different people. Every student has something unique about them and they make teaching constantly interesting.