CELTA advice from Chris Jones

Chris Jones is a CELTA tutor at IH Rome Accademia Britannica and its satellite centres in Italy


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

I’ve been an EFL teacher since 2005. I’ve been a teacher trainer since 2010.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

Just as an occasional pianist.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

My job as a CELTA tutor is to give every trainee teacher on the course the tools, knowledge and skills they need to start their teaching career with confidence and competence. My hope is that they do as I’ve done (and continue to do) – go out into the world to work hard, experience new cultures and meet new people.

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

The best part about teaching is learning – not just about language, but about other people’s lives, countries, cultures and experiences. I think the same is equally true of teacher training.

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

  1. Be prepared to put your life on hold for the duration of the course.
  2. Work hard and keep on top of the workload.
  3. Enjoy it! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and as intense as it can be when you’re on it, most trainees have withdrawal symptoms afterwards.

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

Take every opportunity to try something new – whether it’s a different level, a different type of class (e.g. an exam or business English class), a different type of work, or a different country. Variety is the spice of life.