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Interview Tasks

CELTA course
Interview Tasks

You have 20 minutes to complete sections A and B before the interview. Please review
the points in Section C. You will be asked questions about this section during the
interview.

The four-week Cambridge CELTA is an intensive course and demanding, both


physically and mentally. It requires long hours of preparation, planning and research
for the teaching practice and the written assignments.

Please sign below to indicate that you understand this and are able and willing to
undertake the course if offered a place.

Name: Sagar

Signature:

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Interview Tasks

Section A: Live Writing Task

Write about 120 words on each the topics below using paragraphs and full sentences
(avoid notes, bullet points etc)

 What is it about language teaching that interests you?


 What strengths/ skills/ knowledge do you bring to this teacher training course?
 What do you think might be your possible weaknesses or areas for development?

As opposed to other subjects, language teaching is much more interactive, and there are plenty opportunities
to present and listen to one another’s views on a wide variety of topics. Also, in cultures the world over,
teaching has always been considered a noble profession.

Language classrooms allow people of different backgrounds and cultures to come together, and if allowed, a
classroom can be a melting pot of different cultures. Being a part of this cultural amalgamation is also one of
the things that draw me to language teaching.

I believe that one must pass along the knowledge they possess, and I think I know a thing or two about the
English language which I am ready to share.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
My teaching experience is very limited, which, according to me is a positive thing because I will be free of any
apprehensions that an experienced teacher might have and will try new techniques with alacrity.
Other than this, I think I’m humorous and believe that if employed with caution, humour can be incorporated
into lessons and to build a good rapport with my colleagues. I still remember the lessons of a few teachers
who used humour to teach.

Back in 2016, I enrolled myself for an MA English course and attended the classes for a year but couldn’t
complete the course due to some reasons. Some of that knowledge may prove useful during the course.

Above all, it’s the passion for the profession, that I think is the greatest strength I bring to this course.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

When I think of myself as a teacher, weaknesses galore.

For I am not a native speaker, I sometimes find myself pronouncing words incorrectly (which I realize later
only), sometimes stressing the wrong syllable and if it is a loan word, my pronunciation could be completely
wrong. I have started paying attention to phonetic transcriptions lately, and need to improve in this area.

Although I believe I am humorous, I am an introvert too and need some time to open up and this is something
I need to work on, because only then I will be able to have a comfortable and conducive atmosphere when I
teach.

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Interview Tasks

Lastly, I find some grammar terminology daunting and this is another hurdle I have to learn to jump over.

Section B: Learner Errors

The following sentences are typical mistakes made by students. Can you identify the
type of error, make the correction and comment on possible reasons for the error?

1. She’s having a brother.

Type of error: Wrong tense used.


Correction: She has a brother.
Possible reasons for the error: The learner does not know which tense to use while
talking about possessions and relatives. Perhaps the learner is confused by different
forms of the auxiliary verb ‘have’.

2. You like Kerala, isn’t it?

Type of error: Wrong type of question asked for confirmation.


Correction: You like Kerala, don’t you?
Possible reasons for the error: The learner does not know other forms of
confirmation questions and is either satisfied with or used to using ‘isn’t it?’.

3. The manager explained me the problem.

Type of error: Problem in sentence structure.


Correction: The manager explained the problem to me.

Possible reasons for the error: Perhaps the learner’s first language has a syntax for
similar sentences in which the indirect object comes before the direct object.

4. I’m used to live in a tropical climate.

Type of error: Wrong form of verb ‘live’ used.


Correction: I’m used to living in a tropical climate.
Possible reasons for the error: The learner knows the usage of ‘used to’ associated
with the habits of the past only, and mixed up that rule here.

5. If you came early, we would have got the tickets.

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Interview Tasks

Type of error: Wrong tense used in the conditional clause.


Correction: If you had come early, we would have got the tickets.
Possible reasons for the error: The learner has mixed up the conditional clauses of
different types of conditional sentences.

6. They went to airport to meet their friends.

Type of error: Missed the determiner ‘the’.


Correction: They went to the airport to meet their friends.
Possible reasons for the error: The student avoids using articles.

7. When she got to the airport, she realised that she left her handbag in a taxi.

Type of error: Used wrong tense in the main clause.


Correction: When she got to the airport, she realised that she had left her handbag
in a taxi.
Possible reasons for the error: Maybe the learner was confused and continued with
the tense of the subordinate clause.

8. Teacher did not explain the grammar point clearly.

Type of error: Omitted the determiner ‘the’.


Correction: The teacher did not explain the grammar point clearly.
Possible reasons for the error: The student avoids using articles. Articles maybe
non-existent in his/her first language.

9. He’s made few new friends now and goes out more.

Type of error: Missing determiner.


Correction: He’s made a few friends now and goes out more.
Possible reasons for the error: The student does not know the difference between
‘few’, ‘a few’ and ‘the few’.

10. I’m a teacher since 10 years.

Type of error: Wrong tense used. Used ‘since’ with a duration of time.
Used simple present instead of present perfect continuous.
Correction: I’ve been a teacher for ten years.

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Interview Tasks

Possible reasons for the error: Instead of restructuring the whole sentence, the
student simply added ‘since’ to a sentence he already knew well i.e. ‘I’m a teacher’.

Section C: Practical Teaching Ideas

Imagine that you are about to teach the following language items – grammar,
vocabulary or functions - from your pre-interview tasks. Be ready to demonstrate your
ideas of how to teach any one of the items.

1. He stopped to call her back.


He stopped calling her back.

2. Any one of these pair of words:


assertive/aggressive
affect/effect
glutton/gourmet

3. I’m afraid I am not satisfied with the service, or


You could’ve fed the cat

Useful Tips:
- Think about how you would illustrate the meaning of the item in the classroom.
eg matching definition, example, visuals, situational context, mime, timelines,
etc.
- What aspects of pronunciation will you need to highlight? eg any sounds,
contractions, weak forms, etc.
- What grammar points or rules of form will you need to cover? eg parts of
speech, type of structure, verb tense, etc.

Teaching #1
I’d draw a two phone screens on the board with a line in the middle of the board
separating them.

a) On the phone screen on the left, I would write ‘two missed calls’ and
thecurrent date, say ‘25 July 2019’.
After this I start acting, taking out my phone from the pocket and telling the
students that it’s the very phone drawn on the board, I start walking in the
classroom and then glance at my phone, stop abruptly and start dialling a call.
He stopped to call her back.

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Interview Tasks

a) Now, I ask them to look at the second phone screen drawn on the board and
write the date ‘20 Aug 2018’.
Again, I take out my phone and tell the students that now it’s the phone on the
right side of the line and start acting, talking cheerfully on the phone.
Then, I change the date to ‘23 Aug 2018’ and I will still be talking on the phone,

but less happy than before.

Then, to ‘29 Aug 2018’ and still I’m returning her calls, my face devoid of

expressions.

Now the date on the phone screen is ‘29 Sept 2018’ and there are ‘5 missed

calls’. I look at the phone sadly and choose to ignore.

The date changes to ‘30 Sept 2018’ and there are ‘10 missed calls’. I still look,

this time angrily and ignore.

He stopped calling her back.

Section D: Discussion Questions – Teaching and Learning Issues

a)We should not teach students a British or any particular accent, but only improve
their pronunciation. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Is there a
difference between ‘accent’ and ‘pronunciation’?

b) Do you think it is important to correct students’ errors on the spot during a group
discussion activity?

c) What are the benefits of having learners work in pairs of groups in class?

c) What are the benefits of being observed by your tutors and by your fellow CELTA
trainees? How do you think you will feel being observed and receiving and giving
feedback?

d) Should we use translation in the classroom to teach English? Why or why not?

e) What are the main differences between teaching adults and teaching children?

f) How would you establish and maintain rapport with a group of adult learners?

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
Interview Tasks

© The British Council, New Delhi 2014

The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.