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Any CELTA experts around? (Any EFL teachers maybe?)

(77 Posts)
BertieBotts Thu 11-Apr-13 22:43:54

Trying to finish one of my assignments. I have to think of a controlled and freer practice and I've been suggested to focus it on pronunciation, it's specifically for a Russian learner, so w/v or th would be best.

However - you can't really do freer practice for pronunciation, right? So what do I doooooo?

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 22:49:47

I'm old. So I have a CTEFLA.

Ahhh, let's think. Well (EASY!) toungue twisters would work for CP, althpugh personally I have a soft spot for running dictation....ah but!...FP could work into that.

Set them up in small groups and have them write their own toungue twisters using the target phoneme(s) which then get used by the other team as their text for the running dictation.

Please to not judge my English in this post. I had four groups of super teeny tinies one after the other. Am tired. 4 year olds can suck the life put of you if they are having a collective bad day.

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 22:51:28

Or my spelling. Please to not judge that either. Cannot spell even when having a good day.

Which does makes choosing this line of a work a tad masochistic.

BertieBotts Thu 11-Apr-13 23:06:34

Haha - don't worry!

That sounds good in theory but it's for a pre-intermediate group so probably a bit too complicated. However have just managed to get some sensible advice from the 5th person I badgered from my course, and a highly illegal PDF copy of Ship or Sheep, so I may finally be set. Love the idea of running dictation, though. If I can find something simple yet challenging enough.

NishiNoUsagi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:26:12

Well, I thought I was a CELTA expert, been teaching EFL for years, but just read the question and my brain just made a squelching noise and said "Wuh?" wink

I am supposed to be starting my MA (Applied Linguistics) this year, but I can't remember any of this stuff - I'm going to get my arse handed to me on a plate aren't I <sob>

I did shed a nostalgic tear at "Ship or Sheep"!

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:29:03

I'm finding Ship or Sheep quite entertaining. "What are we having for lunch, Wendy?" "Veal sandwiches!" Love it.

Please excuse the name change <very professional>

NishiNoUsagi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:31:16

How free does the free practice have to be, and does it matter what kind of activity?

Something that just popped into my poor frazzled brain that might work for pre int, is if you can give them the target sounds on pieces of paper (say 2 or 3 sounds) They can turn over 2 bits of paper and have to use those target sounds to make a sentence.

So if they turn over "w" and "v", they could make a sentence like "Wine is very nice." for eg. Would something like that work or is it too rubbish? It would be free in the sense they'd have to choose their own words (and recognise that that word should be a v or w) and produce their own sentences.

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 23:32:43

and my brain just made a squelching noise

Makes two of us.

I don't remember phonemes as TL when trying to get to grips with PPP.

That's just mean.

NishiNoUsagi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:33:57


PPP?? confused

<has nervous breakdown>

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 23:37:30

Breathe. grin

You do remember this. It is just languishing somewhere in the back of your head cos an inner roadmap of Headway Pre-Inter turned out to be more of a priority day to day than the jargon on the CTEFLA.

Target language

Presentation, Practice, Production

TTT, test, teach, test.

It'll all come flooding back as soon as you need it.

NishiNoUsagi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:38:19

Aahh target language blush
Had to google PPP though! I'm going to fail miserably aren't I grin

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:40:36

I don't know what TL is - teacher led? PPP is present - practice - produce.

I did wonder about getting them to brainstorm in groups as many words as they can think of which use the sounds v and w. I did this recently for an upper-int group with rhyming words, and that worked well and seemed to count as freer practice.

I don't know how "free" it's supposed to be, but you can't tell them what to say and you can't leave them totally to their own devices. Sometimes it feels very much like box ticking and trying to guess at what they (the tutors!) want. I've been told you can't really do free practice with pron anyway unless it's as part of another activity. So I don't really understand why my tutor has suggested I do an activity focusing on pron when the assignment dictates that we have to show one controlled and one freer practice for each activity we suggest for this assignment.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:41:05

Aha target language! Yes that makes sense.

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 23:41:30

I'm going to fail miserably aren't I

Nope. In fact you'll have an advantage cos the CTEFLA and all your practical experience will give you a leg up. And anyway applied linguistics has all its own "stuff" so everybody will be playing "what the fud does that accronym mean?!?"

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:42:06

Maybe you can tell them what to say then with pron if you're wanting to see how they pronounce it, as long as you don't model first? Running dictation starting to look v good.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:42:52

LOL. Yes to the course-specific acronyms and jargon. It will probably be totally different, don't worry!

NishiNoUsagi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:43:55

Thanks Carpe <takes notes and curses lack of brain>

I did my CELTA over 10 years ago, have been teaching constantly since then (overseas though, where they seem a bit less strict on "method") so either my PPPs and TTTs are so ingrained I don't notice them, or I am just babbling nonsense at a bunch of poor confused foreigners! grin I may and go dig out my old teaching practice books..

Sorry for the threadjack Botts Good luck with the assignments, let us know how it goes!

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 23:46:39

I did wonder about getting them to brainstorm in groups as many words as they can think of which use the sounds v and w

That'd work.

Or if time is a bit short you can give each team a clump of words from previous lessons (recycle that lexis, baby!) And then to make it a bit more "speaky" they can play definitions against another team. So they (orally) define their word. "meat of cow that is small" and the other team has to come up with veal (orally).


"the thing that a man is most proud of"

"drives badly, requiring rude hand signal" grin

<gets immature>

saffronwblue Thu 11-Apr-13 23:51:23

Yes it is weird setting a pron activity to demonstrate controlled and freer practice. The idea of controlled to freer practice is that the language use becomes increasingly personalised and meaningful.

How about controlled - sort out a list of words ( cut up on bits of paper ) and identify whether they have a w or v sound. this will involve lots of saying the words out loud as theyput them into two piles.

Freer practice - give them prompts to put the words in sentences. It is not totally free but if it is totally free they they may not use the target language at all. Or come up with a situation that requires the tricky sounds. eg ask Wendy to join you for a glass of wine (or vodka!) on Wednesday at the Victory pub.

(Having many years of being a CELTA trainer in the past, I do think this is a surprising task).

NishiNoUsagi Thu 11-Apr-13 23:52:45

I like that idea! Having had lots of Russian students, I have a feeling they would take that one and run with it for hours grin

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:53:50

Haha grin yes brainstorming is good I think - and also potentially increases vocabulary when done in groups, which would also help my particular learner! The assignment was to interview one learner, record and transcribe, then analyse their language problems and now come up with 2 separate activities to improve 2 of these particular problems. Oh, and they have to be suitable for the whole group, which is why I initially got a rewrite as they said my activity was suitable for a mother of a young child but not relevant to the group. I had photocopied a Where's Wally book and the activity was to describe what was happening in the picture using the present continuous. I mean, who doesn't like Where's Wally??

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:56:46

Saffron I was going to do two grammar exercises - one on tenses and one on articles, but I wasn't sure as one of my fellow trainees said he'd failed his initial submission as he had done exactly that, he was told he couldn't have two on grammar. And really, you can't do controlled/freer on reading/listening, and that doesn't help them with problems producing the language. So the only thing to do is either vocab - and my learner has limited vocab, but where do you start?? Or pronunciation, which is what my tutor suggested.

CarpeVinum Thu 11-Apr-13 23:57:00


I think at the beginning TTT and PPP just get dumped for "doing the book" cos the workload is horrendous and when I did it they never showed you how to integrate it into ...well...the real life of being a TEFL slave.

After a while you get to grips with recognising it in the text book and thenit just sorts of slips back in until it's second nature when you are forced to wing it cos some bastard went sick at the last minute.

I only realised that I was varying my microstaging on the fly (complete with a short flash of little diagrams in my head) a few years ago . Until then I would have confidently stated that I didn't even remember the whole half an hour we spent on it in a month long course.

saffronwblue Thu 11-Apr-13 23:58:05

Yes, CELTA is very hot on adult learning principles. The Where's Wally activity sounds nice but there are some adult learners who would look askance at anything that seems childlike. Some people already feel infantilised by being a foreign language learner and you don't want to disengage them.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 11-Apr-13 23:59:17

True, good point.

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