An Interview with Amanda Momeni and Emma Jones
Amanda Momeni and Emma Jones are both successful CELTA tutors based in Munich, Germany. Having helped hundreds of trainees through intensive and part-time CELTA courses, they decided to collate and publish the advice and guidance that they give to their trainees. Hence, “The Ultimate Guide to CELTA” was born.
The guide is aimed at helping trainees prepare for and tackle their CELTA. The narrative follows the ups and downs of four fictitious trainees, Anxious Annie, Chilled-out Charlie, Fastidious Felicity and Harassed Henry, at the same time offering plenty of tips to ensure CELTA success.
The Ultimate Guide to CELTA includes:
- Advice on how to make sure you are offered a place on a course
- Background information covering all aspects of the CELTA course
- Tips on how to ensure you get the most from your course
- Checklists to refer to during your course
- Trainees’ diary entries
- Glossary of terminology
How have trainees reacted to the book?
We’ve had a very positive response and most trainees found it prepared them well for their upcoming CELTA course. They generally love the combination of light-heartedness and more factual information and have said that they could relate moments from their own course back to sections from the book. One reviewer on Amazon pointed out that he thought much of the book was common sense but in our experience the information in the book is not always obvious to the majority of trainees.
What did you hope to achieve when writing this book?
We set out to write this book in the hope that CELTA trainees would be more prepared for what is essentially a very intensive course and for many, a steep learning curve. Before writing the book, the most common comment from trainees was “I didn’t realise it was going to be that intensive”. We wanted to help trainees to be as aware as possible of what lay ahead. Feedback from trainees who have read the book and completed the course confirm that our aim has been achieved.
Who is the booked aimed at?
The Ultimate Guide to CELTA is aimed at anyone who is considering taking an intensive CELTA course, no matter where they are in the world, no matter what age they are, no matter whether they have classroom experience or not.
Are the “fictitious” characters based on your former trainees?
All four of the characters are a mix of all trainees we have ever encountered. Everyone, including us, has a little bit of at least two of the four characters in them.
Emma: I was definitely a mix of Anxious Annie and Chilled-out Charlie but now I am becoming more and more of a Chilled-out Charlie every day!
Amanda: When I did my CELTA course I was like Emma with a mix of Anxious Annie and Chilled-out Charlie but now I am more Anxious Annie and Fastidious Felicity.
How long have you been teaching English?
Amanda: I completed CELTA in 1997 and have been teaching since then.
Emma:I did my CELTA course in 2000 and haven’t looked back
How long have you been running CELTA courses?
Emma: Amanda and I took over the running of the CELTA courses in Munich in 2011
What one tip would you give to a CELTA trainee about to do the course?
Amanda: Apart from read the book?! Make sure you have cleared your diary for the duration of the course. If you’re a parent make sure childcare is organised. If you’re in a relationship, make sure your partner is prepared to be at your beck and call but at the same time get out of your way when necessary.
Emma: Be as organised as possible from day one. But don’t forget to stop for a minute and enjoy the course!
What is your one lasting memory of when you did your CELTA?
Emma: I did CELTA before it was normal for everyone to carry laptops, I remember spending hours in a local restaurant writing my lesson plans by hand!
Amanda: Doing teaching practice on my 21st birthday and then going out for a meal in the evening with all the trainees and tutors to celebrate. Luckily it was a Friday so we didn’t have to produce a lesson plan for the next day!