CELTA advice from Neil Anderson

Neil Anderson is a trainer with IH Budapest in Hungary

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

22 years as a teacher, 18 years as a teacher trainer

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

To learn some essentials that will help them do the best job they can in the classroom when they start off their career; to begin the process of – hopefully – lifelong learning and reflective practice. 

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

I still am an EFL teacher - all trainers should consider themselves to be so. I particularly enjoy helping learners say what they want to say: to communicate the meaning they want to in a precise, natural way that empowers them as learners of English. Training is analogous: it is about helping trainee teachers find their “voice” and identity as a teacher

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

Enjoy the experience of being in the classroom; focus on the students not the people at the back of the room; listen to and reflect on the feedback given, and do your best to focus on improving action points.  

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

Try in the first instance to work for a school that prides itself on its continuous professional development. Where possible, teach a variety of contexts (levels, ages, needs, L1s) and see what you prefer and what you could improve at. Remember that the CELTA is just the start and development never, ever stops.