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CELTA written assignment: focus on language structure

structure

The purpose of the assignment

The CELTA handbook explains that this assignment allows you to demonstrate that you can:

  • analyse language correctly for teaching purposes
  • correctly use terminology relating to form, meaning and phonology when analysing language
  • access reference materials and referencing information you have learned about language to an appropriate source
  • use written language that is clear, accurate and appropriate to the task

That's a lot to cover in 1000 words so you need to be concise and stay focused.  This is not the place to discuss generalities.


structure

The structure of the assignment

Your centre will probably give you a set of instructions for your assignments.  You'd be foolish to ignore these.
What follows is generic advice.

Most centres give you a choice of structures to write about, some may even give you a free hand.

This is in the genre of an Information Report and it has two parts:

  • A brief introduction stating the focus of the assignment and why you think the area is important.
    For example,
    I have chosen to focus on going to and the present progressive to talk about the future because expressing intentions and outlining plans are important communicative acts.
  • Now you need to analyse the structure step by step.  Include:
    • Form:
      For example, the present progressive is formed from the verb be + the present participle (-ing).  The verb, be, changes (am, is, are etc.) depending on person.  The negative and question forms are formed as follows ...
    • Meaning:
      For example, we use going to most frequently to speak about intentions we have now for the future.  (E.g., I am going to talk to my father about it.  It is also used for ...
    • Pronunciation:
      For example, The pronunciation of the participle ending (-ing) often contains a nasalised consonant, /ŋ/, which some learners find difficult.  However, in rapid speech, the sound is often reduced to /n/ rather than /ŋ/.  We have, therefore, /'hʌnt.ɪŋ/ or 'hʌnt.ɪn/.
      For this part, you'll need to access the guide to basic features of phonology or, if you are feeling strong, follow the short course in learning how to transcribe.
  • If you have the space, you may like to include a brief conclusion saying why the structure may cause problems for learners from certain language backgrounds.  You can also include this in the analysis, of course.

Graphically:

focus on systems structure


investigate

Investigating the language structure

Before you start, review the guide to Topic 2 of the CELTA syllabus.

In that guide, you were directed to sources of help and information:

A Basic Training Course This is a pre-CELTA course and this part will introduce you to some key grammar analysis.
A short Language Analysis Course This course covers the elements of pronunciation, words, phrases, clauses, sentences and text structures.
A Simple English Grammar This is written for elementary students and will help you to explain simply some grammatical ideas in the classroom.
Grammar reference materials For a list of grammars and some comments about which to use.
Search ELT Concourse If you are looking for something specific you have decided or been told to teach.
   
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