CELTA advice from Ian Nuttall

Ian Nuttall 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 for about 30 years and a teacher trainer for 10 years.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

No, I didn’t but I did have a break from EFL for about 6 years when I worked in the international relations office of an Italian NGO.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

I hope they learn how to engage with their students, listen to them and react to their needs. I also hope they develop good self-awareness in teaching practice and learn how to plan effective lessons and provide everyone in the classroom with a quality language learning experience.

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

I very much like the dynamic environment that the language classroom offers. It’s a great opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and learn so much. Getting to know your trainees is just as important as getting to know your students. It can help break the ice and lead to a more relaxed and productive learning environment.

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

Stay organised throughout the course and make sure you build some downtime into your daily schedule. If you find the going gets tough, talk to your tutor immediately. Don’t let things snowball!

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

By the end of the course you’ll have found your feet in the classroom and acquired the basic tools and techniques to plan and deliver a range of lessons effectively. It’s important, therefore, to get back into the classroom as soon as possible post-CELTA and continue putting into practice everything you’ve learnt on the course. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. You can always learn from your mistakes. Look for advice and support from colleagues at your school and think about taking a higher level teaching qualification.