CELTA promotional event – a recipe for generating a bit of interest by Nick Baguley

Preparation time: 2-3 hours

Event time: About 2 hours (including 20 minute refreshments break)

Serves: About 30 participants in a reasonably sized classroom


  • 2 CELTA trainers
  • 2 ex-CELTA trainees from the centre
  • an International House teaching DVD
  • 3 decent sized pictures of interesting looking doors
  • decent sized pictures of a monk, The Great Wall of China and a class of English language students
  • copies of a Week 1 CELTA course timetable
  • an A4 CELTA information sheet and/or a CELTA promotional leaflet
  • some nice refreshments

Procedure on the day:

  1. Welcome participants, introduce trainers and ex-trainees and give a very brief outline of what the presentation is going to cover and how long it’s going to take. (5 minutes)
  2. Encourage participants to interact and ‘get to know each other’ a little bit with a fun EFL type pair work activity. Conduct limited feedback. (5 minutes)
  3. Draw participants’ attention to pictures of 3 doors on the whiteboard. In pairs they discuss which country each door comes from and what’s behind it. During feedback encourage a range of answers before revealing that the doors are from Thailand, China and Egypt. Reveal that behind the first door is a picture of a monk, behind the second is a picture of the Great Wall of China and behind the third is a picture of English language students at a school in Cairo. These visuals represent that fact that completing a CELTA course ‘opens doors’ to meeting amazing people, seeing fantastic places and really making a difference professionally on the lives of others. (10 minutes) *
  4. Dictate some numbers such as 6, 2, 75, 12, 4 and 8. Ask participants to guess what these numbers refer to in terms of doing a CELTA course. Trainers and ex-trainees monitor to support participants. Conduct feedback confirming what these numbers relate to and adding general course information. Hand out an example copy of the week 1 CELTA timetable. (15 minutes)
  5. Tell participants that they’re about to watch 5 minutes of a DVD in which an experienced EFL teacher is working with a small Pre-Intermediate class. Brainstorm what participants expect to see in the clip, especially in terms of the role of the teacher and the students, and get their ideas onto the whiteboard. Ask participants to watch the DVD and note down any differences between the ideas on the board and what actually happens. Conduct some whole class feedback. (10 minutes)
  6. Suggest that one of the most common questions asked at CELTA interviews is how English can be taught effectively without teachers using the L1 of those in the class. To show how this can be done do a very quick foreign language demonstration lesson and then reflect on the techniques used by the teacher, other than the spoken word, to convey meaning, give instructions and encourage learners. (15 minutes)
  7. Take participants to a separate room for tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes. Trainers and ex-trainers circulate to chat and answer any questions informally. (20 minutes)
  8. Outline what the centre has to offer in terms of training experience, facilities, teaching practice students, accommodation, support and job opportunities. (10 minutes)
  9. Conduct an open ‘question and answer’ session with the 2 trainers and 2 ex-trainees. (15 minutes)
  10. Outline the centre’s application procedure. (5 minutes)
  11. Hand out A4 information sheet and/or CELTA promotional leaflet and thank everyone for attending. (5 minutes)


  1. Be prepared to entertain early arrivals.
  2. Have a list of attendees’ names prepared before the event and check their contact details on arrival.
  3. Play some instrumental music during pair work.
  4. Have name badges and/or school t-shirts for the trainers and ex-trainees.
  5. Have another staff member on duty to welcome latecomers and deal with ‘pop-ins’.
  6. Consider offering participants a small reduction in course fees for a limited period (for example, the next 3 courses).
  7. Follow-up the event with an e-mail to all participants thanking them for attending.

*Thanks to Catherine McFarlane for the original idea of ‘CELTA opens doors’