CELTA Advice from Lucy Gubbin 

Lucy Gubbin is a CELTA tutor at IH Torquay

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

I started teaching English as a summer job when I was 17 and never really stopped!  After teaching for a year in Spain, I did a PGCE in TEFL/TESL and then later an MA in Applied Linguistics.  In 1995, I became a CELTA trainer and then went on to work as Head of Teacher Training at LAL Torbay for over 20 years, running CELTA and DELTA courses. Having set up the CELTA course at IH Torquay, I now work as a freelance trainer. 

Did you have a different career before EFL?

I have always worked in ELT in various capacities - as a teacher trainer, materials writer, examiner and teacher. 

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

To start a new career which they find rewarding and exciting. 

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

I’ve always enjoyed the contact I have had with a diverse range of learners with different backgrounds, needs and interests. It’s a great feeling to be part of helping learners to develop their potential, and I feel the same every time I meet a new group of trainees.  

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

I think it’s important for trainees to come prepared. It’s a very intensive course, and taking the time to work on language analysis and to complete the Cambridge pre-course task before starting can be a great help. This, together with being organised from Day 1, can make the workload seem more manageable. It’s also important for trainees to make sure they can give the course their full attention and are able to put everything else on hold for 4 weeks. 

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

To think carefully about where in the world you’d like to work, and to apply for schools which can offer you varied teaching experiences, support, and development opportunities.