CELTA advice from Claire Young

Claire Young is a CELTA tutor at IH Toulouse in France


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

I did my CELTA at IH Barcelona in 2000. I taught English in Spain, Mexico and Turkey. I did my DELTA in 2005 and became a teacher trainer in 2010. I have worked as a teacher trainer in Turkey, Libya, Tanzania, Sudan and South Sudan. I am now director of studies and head of teacher training at IH Toulouse.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

I studied politics at university but after graduating in 2000, I left the UK and started my career in the TEFL world.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

I hope that the CELTA course will give trainees the tools and techniques to be able to go into any classroom with confidence.

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

I really enjoyed adding variety to my lessons through adapting and personalising the coursebook material to make it more interesting and relevant to my students. I try and help my trainees develop this skill during the CELTA course.

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

Be organised and try not to put things off. Be open to feedback from the tutors and other members of the course. Feedback should be constructive and help you identify areas to work on. On an intensive course do allow yourself some downtime and do remember to eat! It's important to allocate some time during each week away from CELTA!

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

Keep trying to develop and progress. Observe colleagues, learn from each other, share ideas! Attend conferences, try and be part of the wider teaching community. Challenge yourself by accepting classes at different levels. Think about doing on-line courses to develop in different areas of teaching e.g. teaching young learners.