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The First Verse: CELTA - Assignment 4



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The First Verse

Sunday, October 21, 2012

About Me
Amr M. Abdu

CELTA - Assignment 4
Going into CELTA, I expected a rigid intensive course that had no room for
imagination or emotion. Fortunately, I'm a bad fortune teller; I found a course that
values student-centeredness, building rapport with students, compassion and
creativity. I found joyful trainers who gave constructive feedback and encouraged me
in every step of the way. More important, I found myself. Now I know what I'll do for
the rest of my life. Years from now, as I listen to an emotional orchestra, my eyes
will water as I remember this - my first step toward being a great teacher.
As a teacher, I have a few areas of strength. First, I monitor students effectively to
support them as they work on tasks. In my fifth TP (teaching practice), after having
set up a speaking task, the students were able to do the activity well, as I remodeled the task and gave assistance, encouragement and praise. Second, I convey
meaning efficiently. In my fifth TP, I used TPR (Total Physical Response) to convey
the meaning of the words 'near' and 'opposite'; in my sixth TP, I used visuals to
convey the meaning of words related to houses and pubs. In both TPs, as I checked
meaning, I found that students had completely understood. Third, I drill words
effectively. In my sixth TP, in the free oral practice, the students used words that I
had drilled earlier, with improved pronunciation.
Im not a great teacher but I intend to be one. There are many areas in which Id
like to develop. First, I need to use the whiteboard more effectively. In my sixth TP,
a few students couldnt recognize some of the words on the board; one student even
copied agent as sgent. Second, I need to exploit context more efficiently by
having an OHT or bigger pictures of the characters/scene. In my fifth and sixth TP, I
was too verbal so students were not really engaged; proper visuals/OHT couldve
helped. Third, I talk in lessons more than I should. In my fourth TP, in the feedback
of a listening task, it was mostly teacher talk with little elicitation; I tend to increase
my teacher profile when students dont respond immediately.
In the teaching of my colleagues, I was impressed by a few things. In the first TP,
Muhammad had the cleanest, most organized board that I had seen. This helped
the students understand, and no one had trouble copying language from the board.
His board work is something to emulate. In the fourth TP, I was impressed by
Asmaas composure and professional manner. Her voice was clear, loud and her
language was graded to suit the elementary learners. The lesson was clearly staged
and the transitions were smooth. In the sixth TP, while drilling, Ramy encouraged
the students by cheering, I dont think the people in the other class can hear you.
Louder! after which the students repeated the words confidently, loudly.
Encouragement motivates the students.

To write or not to write:

that is the question.
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2012 (3)
October (1)
CELTA - Assignment 4
January (2)
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I learned a lot from my observation of experienced teachers. In Helens lesson, she

kept students engaged through competitive games and creating information gaps by
having students read different parts of the same text. After the lesson, she explained
that Egyptians tend to talk in Arabic when theyre divided in pairs which is why
she divided students into groups of three or more; if two spoke Arabic, the third
would often bring them back. I also noticed that she grouped reserved Egyptian girls
together because they wouldnt talk as much if grouped with boys. All this goes to



The First Verse: CELTA - Assignment 4

show excellent classroom and culture awareness, something I should have as I teach
different classrooms around the world.
In Darrens lesson, he personalized Business English by discussing the Egyptian
economy and recent events in Sinai. This shows that he purposefully picked a topic
suitable for Egyptian students to make a more engaging lesson. I should also have
my students at the forefront of my mind as I choose a topic. In Melissas lesson
(DVD), she created a relaxing atmosphere by having students sit on the floor, take
deep breaths and remember recent experiences. This made a very effective
brainstorming session. She also re-paired students frequently to make more effective
communication activities and to refresh their minds. I want to produce the same
comfortable, engaging environment in my classroom.
A teacher never stops learning. Beyond the course, I plan to read about education
and different teaching methodologies, and to attend different ELT courses and
seminars. The following table outlines my top three priorities for future development:
Area to work on:

Action plan:

Decreasing teacher talk

1. Be more patient in elicitation.

2. Observe more experienced
teachers and how they maximize
3. Read Talk less. Teach more!'
by Pearl Nitsche.

Using the whiteboard more


1. Use more visuals and an OHT

where appropriate to reduce the
amount I need to write on the
2. Read Using The Board in the
Language Classroom by
Jeannine Dobb.
3. Find an empty classroom and
practise, preferably with a

Improving body language in the 1. Record videos of a few of my

lessons and watch them to be
more aware of my body
2. Read 'The Classroom XFactor: The Power of Body
Language and Non-verbal
Communication in Teaching' by
John White and John Gardner

Posted by Amr M. Abdu at 2:00 AM

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Labels: assessment, Assignment 4, British Council, Cairo, Cambridge, CELTA, certificate, egypt, English,
submission, task, teaching adults

Anonymous March 15, 2013 at 1:45 PM
I am plannig to do CELTA and whoever i asked she/he would say "OMG, be prepared for your worst
nightmare !!". But after reading your post i am prepared to face my worst nightmare.
Than you :)

Amr M. Abdu

March 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM



The First Verse: CELTA - Assignment 4

You're welcome. As long as you stay organized, manage your time well and have a positive mindset,
you'll be fine. Try to enjoy it! :)

Anonymous May 2, 2013 at 12:56 AM

I'm doing my CELTA currently - I have 1 TP left and the last assignment! Reading yours has
certainly helped! Thank you!
The advise I would give to anyone wanting to do the CELTA is be organised throughout, do a bit of
reading on teaching methodologies etc and have thick skin (prepare yourself for positive and
negative feedback) I've noticed some colleagues become a bit irritated when they are told how to
improve and where they went wrong, all I would say is the negative feedback from tutors/peers is
invaluable! That is what shapes you to become a better teacher In'sh'Allah!!

Anonymous May 5, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I am doing my CELTA I have 2 TP's left ,I must say I am really enjoying this coures even though it's
the hardest thing I ever done .
I loved your words I felt as if they were mine ...
Wish me luck

Anonymous October 8, 2013 at 4:53 PM

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naleye10 December 8, 2013 at 2:25 PM

I have my last TP this Tuesday and i must say doing CELTA has most definitely opened my eyes in
more ways than just teaching. Please for those of you who wish to do CELTA don't be scared, the
scare stories aren't there. the only thing i will tell you is be organised like you,ve never been and do
a bit of reading especially about stages and stage aims.

Anonymous October 20, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Im very jealous. I have one TP left and feel less confident than ever despite passing everything. We
have two tutors, one of which doesn't seem to know what is going on or what is expected and the
other knows her stuff but does not seem to be human in terms of sensitivity and understanding!
Saying that they have just been flown in for this month as the permanent CELTA tutors left but
still.... Guess I was just unlucky! 4 days to goooo! (saying all this, the course itself, though mental
and intensive, is helpful!)

Anonymous March 15, 2015 at 6:36 PM

I am pursuing my CELTA.It'll get over on 20th March 2015. I 've learnt that procrastination has no
place in the course. Your tutor can make or mar your experience. You've to understand your tutor
as well.For me, first 2 weeks were like searching something in the dark. But thank god 3rd week
onwards my assistant tutor made my learning experience more solid.Yes if you can learn the stages
and stage aims and most importantly can make an informative lesson plan,you'd atleast get'To
Standard' though your TP(teaching practice ) may not be great.



The First Verse: CELTA - Assignment 4

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