CELTA advice from Ricardo Fajardo

Ricardo Fajardo is a CELTA tutor at the IH Mexico Schools


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

24 years as an EFL teacher and 10 as a teacher trainer.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

No, I did not.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

I think this is 2-fold:

  1. I would like them to get to like teaching more; as this motivation will make them transmit the language better.
  2. I would really like them to get to their very next level, whichever they are in at the moment. They should always try and be better teachers and better practitioners of the language.

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

I really liked it when students learnt something new and you could see their sense of achievement at the end of the lesson.

What I do is to help trainees identify areas of opportunity in their students so they learn to “fill the gaps” and help their own students experience that sense of achievement.

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

Just work hard! Like any other profession, teaching has a number of techniques to be learnt and then mastered. And they also need to be ready to receive feedback and take it on board to learn and benefit from the course even more.

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

Keep motivated, try and work in contexts where they now they can make a difference, namely teaching young adults or adults or preparing students for tests, and so on and so forth.

They should not do as their peers do all the time when it comes to deciding where to teach, they must be comfortable in the context they are to teach; this is key to keep motivation levels up!