CELTA First Aid Kit: Soft skills you should know during CELTA


You have just read the title and thought about the damages and injuries, didn’t you? You have just imagined how hard it is to survive the course, haven’t you? This is not so frightening as you might think about. You just need to know what to expect. I was not ready when I decided to take the course. I thought that just having the experience is enough. However, I wish I had been told about the need to prepare for the course earlier.

However, to be able to “survive” the intensity and the stress of the course, you will need some soft skills. In general, soft skills are needed in any new project, and CELTA is not an exception. In this post, I am going to speak about those soft skills – first aid you will need during the course.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence During CELTA

The ability to understand your emotions is what we call emotional intelligence. You should be able to reflect and understand what your emotional strengths and weaknesses are.  CELTA course is challenging in a way that you are pushed hard to perform well and productively. This makes it absolutely necessary to understand how your mood can affect your thoughts and decisions you will make about lesson planning and other tasks during the course.

You may need to pause from time to time to think before you act or even speak to the trainer or your peers. This may help you stay away from embarrassing moments and avoid making quick and emotional decisions.

Well, you might now want to think that you cannot control the emotions you are experiencing during the course.  However, I will assure you that you can control your reactions if you focus on your thoughts. 

Furthermore, we all know that nobody enjoys negative feedback, but we can agree that criticism is a possibility to learn even if you do not like it. I learned the most in my life from constructive criticism rather than from positive feedback.  Criticism showed me the areas that I need to work on and improve, even if sometimes the negative feedback did make you feel bad.

Also read: 13 Mistakes to Avoid While Preparing for CELTA.

Stress management

Stress management during CELTA

In the first week of the course, I thought that I am losing control of my life, and that caused me significant stress. However, it is critical to understand that you are in charge of your life which is the fundamental part of stress management.

Despite the psychologists claim that the true sources of stress are not obvious, you will definitely identify them in the CELTA course.  You will be worried about your tasks, deadlines, lesson plans, the lesson procedures and the feedback from the trainers.

Let’s think about the ways to manage stress. You will need to ask yourself some questions about the length of the stressful period and the value you will get after the period. When I was in stress, I thought that this had to be a month, not a permanent period, and in the end, I would have the certificate that would open many doors of the educational institutions for me.

Also read: CELTA Preparation Tips.

Time management

Time management during CELTA

During the course, it may seem that 24 hours a day is not enough. You will have a lot to do as the training lasts for 8 or 9 hours, then you will have to come home and prepare lessons or do the tasks or read the material.

You should manage your time exceptionally well. In spite of the fact that time is tight and pressures are high, your improved time management skills will help you function more effectively.

Very often being busy does not mean being effective. You should try to organize and plan your day more productively. We also know that we can only manage how we use the time but not the time itself.  Therefore, you can write a to-do list of the activities you should do during the day so that you can plan the activities.

Further reading: Golden rules for time management during CELTA

Critical thinking

Critical thinking during CELTA

You should be able to think clearly and rationally to do the course. You will need to engage in reflective and independent thinking.  Remember that during the course you will not need to accumulate information or knowledge. Instead, you will need to reflect on the information and material in the course.

You should be able to think critically and rationally while doing CELTA. Critical thinking will definitely improve your presentation skills and the way you express your ideas and thoughts. Critical thinking will also help you understand the structure and the logic of the reading material and improve our perception skills.

You will also need critical thinking when planning your lessons for the course. The lesson plans that are created and thought over critically are usually doom to success. You will need to see the structure of the plan, analyze the logical steps to achieve the goals and the lesson aims, answer the questions of the trainers and the students. So, as you see, it is critical to improve these skills.


So, these are the skills that you will need in your First Aid Kit in CELTA. The soft skills should be taken as seriously as the hard skills, as these skills will add quality and consistency in our development as a professional.

CELTA is a course that people seriously think over before they decide to apply for it. Believe me, the experience you get in CELTA will remain with you for a very long time, and the lessons you will learn in the course, will not be forgotten.

The soft skills you will need and improve throughout the course will help you later in your professional life. You will change the perspective of the teaching,  the plans of professional growth and any time people ask you the questions: “why?” or “how?”, there will be only one answer: “CELTA”.

So, go ahead and share this article among those who are planning to take CELTA. They will definitely need to prepare a good First Aid Kit.

This article was originally published in Aug-2019 and was last updated in Dec-2019.

Author: Lusine Stepanyan

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