Should I read books before starting the CELTA course or wait until I start?

should I read books before starting the CELTA course


Hello again everyone. Steve here from and this time I’ve got another question from a prospective CELTA student. So over on Facebook Amrit asked me the following

“Plenty of books are recommended for the CELTA course. I have got three of them which were recommended on their website. Now the question is:

Do I need to study those books before or during the course? Why should I study them before? What is the difference between studying from books and then learning the same during the course? Thanks in advance.”

My Answers

Okay, so thank you for the question Amrit. That’s a very interesting topic because a lot of people wonder the same.

When you’re going to pay a lot of money for a course, do you really want to take all the time to try and learn a lot in advance and how do the books help you?

So let’s have a look.

Can you borrow books from your CELTA centre?

What I would suggest first of all is ask your CELTA centre if any books are included in the price of the course or any books are available to loan from a lending library they might have as part of the facilities they offer.

I did mine through a university, my CELTA course that is, and because of that I had access to a large library with lots of books so that was very helpful.

I couldn’t use them before I started because I didn’t have a student card, but either way I still had access during the course. None of them were free in my course but I did have access to a lot. So you can certainly ask your CELTA centre that one.

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Studying from books before your CELTA course

As for studying from the books then learning the same on your course I would say the following: You definitely need some of the books for the assignments but I don’t think really reading about teaching itself is going to help you that much because teaching, you know, it’s all about the experience and the practise. Yes you can get the theory, but when it comes down to it it’s all about learning from your environment and responding to student needs.

Books for Technical CELTA Terms

But having said that, certain books can be useful especially with the technical CELTA stuff, the jargon or the terms, depending on how you look at it.

For example, there’s all these things like CCQs, TTT, anticipated problems, stuff like that that really if you learn it in advance it can be helpful because it saves a bit of the learning when you get on to the course because it’s a lot to take in as it is.

So have a look, but probably more about the CELTA course or about the things you are having most difficulty with. But about teaching styles as such, that’s probably best left until your course.

So I hope that was useful and if anyone else has any questions leave them in the comments below and I’ll talk to you again soon. Thank you!

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Stephen Beale

After taking the CELTA back in 2007, I have since gained over 11 years' experience of teaching English in various countries. I have also worked in EAP for several years and like sharing what I've learnt along the way here.

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