CELTA advice from Mike Carter

Mike Carter is a CELTA tutor at IH Seville in Spain


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

I have been an EFL teacher since 1987, and a teacher trainer since 1997.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

Very briefly in scientific publishing, as I studied science at university.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

Initially and obviously, that they learn as much as possible both in terms of both methodology and practice. However, overall that all trainees become more critically aware of what they are doing and why and question their assumptions about current practice.

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

I believe that personally caring about people and their learning, and helping students to feel comfortable about asking for help and taking risks brings out the best in the classroom. I bring this approach to teacher training in the same way as I do to English Language Teaching – by encouraging relaxed personal contact and open-ness to trying things out and asking for assistance.

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

My advice for CELTA trainees is to work hard and be open to change; not to be afraid to ask questions and seek help when you need it; work towards your professional independence; and always stay organised.

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

For a fulfilling career in EFL, I think it’s important to try to get experience in as many teaching contexts as you can; look for opportunities for professional development within and outside your organisation; and read about teaching and language.