Since I’m on the topic of CELTA, might as well write something about getting a CELTA Pass B. Yes, last year I took the CELTA and finished the course with a Pass B grade. When I first heard about the CELTA grades, I started browsing the net on requirements to getting a Pass B grade.
Sure, getting a Pass A is amazing but a Wikipedia entry suggests that of the over 10,000 CELTA trainees every year, 5% withdrew from the course, 3% failed, 63% received a Pass, 25% received a Pass B and only 4% received a Pass A (accurate as of 2000). So if you manage a Pass B, you’re the top 29% CELTA trainees in the world.
Although I did receive a Pass B, I must honestly say I don’t exactly know the requirements to get it. I wouldn’t say things like “read the suggested reading textbook before the course begins” or “take notes of every single thing the CELTA trainers say” because even I don’t know if doing those would get you a B grade. I must admit, I did finish reading the entire textbook before the course began. My friend didn’t and she too got a Pass B. Not trying to put anyone off reading the book but, I honestly didn’t find having read the book to be of much use during the course.
There are 3 different grades given for your Teaching Practice (TP) sessions. Above Standard (AS), To Standard (TS), Below Standard (BS). Of the 8 TPs, I received 6 AS gradings and 2 TS gradings. Also, of the 4 written assignments, I didn’t have to resubmit any of them. During an early interview with my trainer midway through the course, he told me that they were happy with my progress and if I continued doing what I do, I would be able to finish with a Pass B grade. So, since I’m already where I wanted to be, might as well aim higher, right? I asked him what I should do, if I want to get a Pass A. He told me to be more detailed in my lesson plans. So, I began writing a whole chunk for my class profile and tried to be a little more detailed in the lesson plans. But, another trainer told me, I didn’t have to write that much for the class profile and that a brief introduction would do. I got confused.
Today, after pondering on the issue for a year (I’m exaggerating), I might’ve figured out some things that I didn’t do that could’ve gotten me a Pass A. For one, my lesson plans might still not be detailed enough. And second, I took activities from the books and did them well, but a Pass A may possibly be someone who does activities both from and outside the book. I’m just guessing. Don’t quote me on this.
Last note for people aiming for a Pass B, don’t get too hung up on how many AS grades you get. The one suggestion I can make which I am pretty certain would make you do well is to remember the importance of the Task Cycle. Each time I manage an AS grade, the instructor brought up the point on a good Task Cycle. And if my memory doesn’t fail me, it’s Setup->Task->Feedback.