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Cambridge CELTA Pre-Interview Task

Name Tetiana Kushnir


Complete this task carefully. It is an important factor in considering your application. CELTA is an intensive
four-week course of study. Because of this, candidates need to be fully prepared for the demands of the
course and show that they are able to research language structures, a skill required of ESL teachers. Keep
in mind that we cover language analysis on the CELTA course, so we do not expect you to be an expert in
grammar before the course starts.

To help you please refer to a grammar book such as Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (Oxford
University Press) or any other grammar reference book you might have at home or find in the library/book
store.

Please make sure you proof-read your work carefully as the CELTA course requires a high level of written
English.
When you have finished, please send it to celta@grade.ua. Retain a copy of this task for your interview.

Part one: Language awareness


A. Error correction
Each of the exchanges below contains a mistake. In each case:
i) write the corrected version in the space provided
ii) clarify your correction in simple English to explain the mistake
Example
Mr. Smith:

Do you have much experience in the restaurant business?

Giorgio:

Yes, Ive been working as a chef since 10 years.

i) Ive been working as a chef for ten years.


ii) We use since before a point in time for example, since Tuesday, since 1992, since 5 oclock. We use
for before a period of time - for example, for two weeks, for six years, for ten minutes. In this case 10
years is a period of time, so we need for.
1.
Maria:

Id like some informations about your courses.

Receptionist:

Certainly, heres our brochure.

i) Id like some information about your courses.


ii) We use information, since its an uncountable noun and cannot be pluralized. This word is abstract and
is a conception.
We use the plural form for nouns that one can hold in a hand and can count.
2.
Jack:
Pierre:

How do you get to the CELTA center every day?


Im walking and then taking the subway.

i) I walk and then take the subway


ii) every day indicates a routine, therefore Present Simple ought to be used. Present continuous is used
for actions in progress, at the moment of speaking; plans for the future and annoying habits. Neither of the
above cited fits.

3.
John:
Helen:
John:

Did you see the movie on HBO last night?


Yes I did, it was so a good movie
Yeah, I think Tom Cruise is such a good actor.
(Comment on the difference between so and such)

i) Yes I did, it was such a good movie


ii) Though often having the same meaning very, so and such are not interchangeable. The difference lies
in the word being modified. Such is used before a noun phrase, whereas so is used before an adjective or
adverbs. Thus the reply Yes I did, it was so good is also grammatically correct.

4.
Carla:

Can you borrow me $10?

William:

Sure. Here you are.

i) Can you lend me $10?


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ii) This is a typical mistake since lend and borrow are combined into one word in some languages. Similar
to teach and learn, it is the same action viewed from opposite perspectives: lend equals to giving to, in
contrast borrow equals to taking from.

B. Differences in meaning
Comment on the difference in meaning between the following pairs of sentences, and outline how you
might teach these differences in meaning.
Example:
a) Claire is working late again; shes so passionate about her work!
b) Jane is working late again; shes so obsessed with her work!
In the first sentence, the word passionate suggests that Claires reason for working late is that she is
driven by a love for her job and a healthy desire to succeed. In the second sentence, the word obsessed
suggests that Claires reason for working late is that she lacks a healthy balance in her life. She is so
fixated on her work that perhaps she doesnt do anything else, or perhaps other areas of her life are
negatively affected.
To teach it, I would draw two pictures (or bring in two photographs). The first would be of a person working
at her desk in an office. I would show the time with a clock on the wall (showing 9:30 pm). She would have
a smile on her face to show that she was happy (and passionate about her work!)
For the second sentence, I would have a picture of Jane at her desk in her office, but she would look tired
(and a little stressed). The time would still be 9:30pm on the clock.
I hope these two examples would show the positive/negative aspects of the two sentences.

1.
a) She is alone.
b) She is lonely.
The words alone and lonely convey two different meanings; though both communicate to the reader she is
on her own.
One might define lonely as feeing alone at heart; conversely alone can be defined as being physically by
oneself.
To clarify the differences I would give an example for each.
Alone: a girl by herself in the woods, feeling scared knowing theres not a soul nearby.
Lonely: a celebrity, who doesnt feel he/she can entrust anyone, and has no real friends. When a person is
extremely lonely, he/she might not feel theres reason for living, and might give in to foolish actions as to
fill the hole inside him/her.
I would ask the students of their personal perception - if they feel lonely, when they are alone. To ensure
the class understands the meaning I would ask to give examples of behavior of a person who feels lonely.
For students with limited vocabulary I would ask yes/no questions, while providing the examples myself.
2.
a) What time is it?
b) Do you mind telling me what the time is please?
The difference is that the first question is used in informal English; in contrast, the following one is used in
formal English.
We use informal speech when we talk to someone were acquainted to very well and in personal
conversations.
Vice versa, we use formal speech when we talk to people were not well familiar with, e.g. in work-related
situations. Universally, in formal English speakers are more polite in order to show respect. It tends to be
the same case with written English, since the reader cannot interpret the intonation and tone of voice of
the writer.
I would also note that there are different degrees of politeness, giving the below examples:
May I ask what time it is? (High degree of politeness, formal)
Do you mind telling me what time is it? (Even more polite)
Would you mind telling me the time? (Extremely polite)
I would note that please is to show politeness and is never excessive. It is usually utilized to show
consideration, and helps to distinguish a command from a request, unless coming from a person with
higher authority (in such case it is simply a politeness marker).

To bring out the contrast I would try to amuse the students, asking them to imagine using phrases
wassup and peace out when speaking to the queen. Then ask to imagine a wife talking to her husband,
and saying the following phrases good evening and its been a pleasure seeing you, good bye.
To ensure the class understands the meaning I would request to give examples of inappropriate usage of
formal and informal English. For students with limited vocabulary I would ask yes/no questions, whilst
providing the examples myself.
3.
a) If I become president, Ill lower taxes.
b) If I had become president, I would have lowered taxes.
Example A is a first conditional, which is used to describe an outcome that is highly likely to happen, if a
particular situation, which has a real possibility of happening in the future, takes place. First conditional
can also voice superstitions or warnings.
The 1st conditional consists of:

if + present simple clause, where the person describes a probable

condition in the future


And will (other modal verbs, going to) + base verb, where the outcome is described.
The imperative can be used in the main (result) clause instead of will.
The conjunctions of time [when, before, after, as soon as, until] can be used in the dependent (condition)
clause instead of if.
Example B is a third conditional, which is used to describe a hypothetical circumstance that took place in
the past, and the imagined consequence of such a situation. Third conditional can also show regrets or
criticism.
The 3rd conditional consists of:

if + past perfect (past perfect continuous), where the person is

fantasizing of an unreal and impossible situation in the past


And would have (other modal verbs) + past participle (present perfect continuous), where what would
have happened is described in case the if cause were real.
To clear up possible misunderstanding Id ask the pupils to come up with their own examples, imagining
the undermentioned situations:
a) When I become a parent, Ill and If I get married, Ill
b) If I had known that , I would have

All words of more than two syllables in English have one specific syllable which is stressed. For example, in
the noun record (bought in a record store) the stressi.e. the louder syllableis the first syllable:
REcord Oo. But in the verb to record (e.g. Elvis tried to record an album every year) the stress is on the
second syllable reCORD oO.
In the following words, underline the syllable which takes the main stress, then put the word into the
correct column below according to the number of syllables and the main stress.
examples:
momentous
computer

banana

hospitality

bystander

menu

superb

burger

independent

ratio

undeniable

photograph

reliable

photographer

photographic
oO

Oo

record (verb)

menu

Photograph

superb

record

ratio

(noun)

Ooo

oOo

ooOo

oOoo

ooOoo

Banana

Independent

reliable

Hospitality

photographic

photographe

momentous
computer

undeniable

bystander
burger

D. Sounds
Match the underlined sound of the words in column A to a word in column B with a corresponding sound.
Note: the sound can correspond to any sound in the words in Column B. For example: advice goes with sip.
Beware! The spelling of the sound may be different!

Column A

Column B

i.

advice

a. unit

ii.

advise

b. jump

iii.

day

c. eight

iv.

beach

d. though

v.

lodge

e. thick

vi.

thin

f. sip

vii.

breathe

viii.

young

g. week
h. zoo

Part two: Approaches to teaching and learning


Write a minimum of 250-300 words about what you think constitutes a good language lesson, based on
your experiences.
If you go online and google what constitutes a good language lesson, youll get over 55 million results,
with each link providing half a dozen tips, aimed for teachers striving to master their professional skills. It
goes without saying that being a great teacher is an admirable goal demanding a fair amount of
perseverance. The way I see it, with a myriad of educational systems and styles a teacher performs a sort
of juggling act, if you will, trying to balance a vast variety of methods and techniques of introducing and
exercising a language.
In my humble opinion, the key to understanding of what constitutes a good language lesson lies in
embracing the fact that, whilst learning a language, there is no such thing as a perfect textbook that would
work for all age groups, people of different cultural backgrounds with various aims, language level, and
learning capabilities.
I believe a good lesson is one with successful results. The way I determine pure success, in respect towards
learning a language, is not when the student has understood the subject matter, neither is it when the
he/she has memorized it.
It is when the student had left the classroom with such inspiration, he/she has continued researching the
learned topic autonomously. From where I stand, a determinant of an ultimately fruitful lesson is when the
pupil actually draws upon the studied material appropriately, in a real life situation, and outside the
classroom.
It is important to recognize that each person has his/her own learning pace and the language mentor
ought to be sensitive about it. And thus a respectable teacher seeks to tailor the lessons to the class rather
than to simply follow the course book. The lesson plan should allow some level of flexibility, in case the
educator has to respond to anybodys emerged needs.
Another point is that the educator should demonstrate thorough knowledge of the subject. Although this is
something that makes rudimentary sense, the contrary has been known to take place. Learners can feel a
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teachers uncertainty, which may result in undermining their trust in him/her. It is crucial for the educator
to be particularly enthusiastic regarding the language theyre teaching. Genuine interest is contagious and
I reckon is one of the key factors in language progress.
Imagine a lesson as a musical composition. Without the intro (warm-up) jumping straight to the passage
(activities), the listener will be disoriented. In a lesson, timing is equally as necessary as it is in a musical
piece. It is a sad sight when the teacher has run out of activities for pupils to do. He/She must be armed
and ready for varying scenarios, including a possibly leaving out an exercise or two without affecting the
subject familiarization. The same as to the process of creating a memorable song, to spike peoples
interest a predictable course (task) ought to be avoided. To keep both children and adults interested, Ive
noticed that engaging visual (photos), auditory (songs) and kinesthetic (field trip) senses triples the
memorizing effect.
The topic of the lesson must be taught as a stand-alone unit, so that after the pupils leave the classroom
they would have a feeling they have learned something specific and concrete. It should give a sense of
completeness to allow the students replay the learned material at will.
Each activity should have an objective. When you share the goal of the lesson and its exercises, you make
the students realize the lesson has been planned and has a purpose. There is nothing more irritating than
studying a topic without rationale present. When planning a lesson ask yourself: what are the short- and
long-term goals of my students?
Starting a lesson with a warm-up allows the students to engage straight away. I for one, believe that a
personalized approach is imperative for overcoming the language barrier. To put the students at ease I
always start the lesson with candidly asking simple questions like: How was your holiday/ weekend/ day
so far?
Teachers ought to remember that language learning is a practical skill and the lesson should be centered
around the student instead of the characters in the textbook. The amount of teacher talk should be cut
down to a minimum.
We can safely say that for the most part people learn a new language merely to be able to communicate
with other people.
It is common knowledge that the best way to learn to do so is through authentic communication and social
interactions.
Thus although reading and writing skills are pivotal, listening skills have a higher priority in my list, with
speaking skills being paramount. Exposing the students to natural, native, everyday speech and imitating
language immersion by all means available are the practices I stress on the most. Challenging students
with creativity tasks, resorting to lesson planning, course books, media resources etc. should not replace
but compliment the teacher.

I firmly believe in mutual respect and give students a sense of control regarding the classroom activities. I
ask for their feedback and analyze the lessons held. To my way of thinking, a language mentor should
encourage a sense of unity among the class, and treat pupils as individuals enquiring about their
preferences, wishes, goas and beliefs.
Finish the lesson by asking yourself: Did I meet the students needs?, Did they enjoy my class? and
How can I improve?

Disclosure
Before submitting your pre-interview task, please read the points below and type your name with the date
below. If you have any questions concerning these points, please send your queries to celta@grade.ua.

1. I understand and acknowledge that upon commencement of a GRADE CELTA course, the course fee will
not be refunded if I decide to withdraw.
2. I acknowledge that the CELTA course is a Pass/Fail course, and that if I receive a 'Fail' grade, the result
cannot be changed, and that the course fee will not be refunded.
3. I acknowledge that the GRADE CELTA course requires 100% class attendance, in addition to work outside
of scheduled contact hours. As a result, absences, tardiness, incomplete or late assignments may
compromise my grade on the course.
4. I confirm that all of the information disclosed in my application is complete and accurate, including any
circumstances that may affect my performance on the course.
5. I confirm that the pre-interview task is my own work.

Signature

Name: Tetiana Kushnir

Date: 24 January 2015

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The Interview
Thank you for completing the pre-interview task!
Once we have received the pre-interview task we will get back to you to set up a suitable time for an
interview. We run most of our interviews during daytime working hours from Monday to Friday.
Please complete the following grid to give us an idea of the best time for you.
Candidates will be calling into our office for telephone interviews. In-person interviews are held only at the
GRADE CELTA centre when a qualified interviewer is available.

What type of interview would you


like?

By

In person

telephone/skype*

*Please indicate your skype contact here: ________________________________

During the next two weeks, are there


any dates you are not available? If
so, when?
Which time best suits your schedule
Is there any other information that
will help us to set up a suitable time
for an interview?

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