CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Tasks 17 & 18


Task 17:

The following examples of language contain different tenses which are underlined. The name of the tens is also given. decide what the time reference of each example is and remember that the time reference may not match the tense name. 

  1. The sun was shining brightly in the sky (past progressive) – Now
  2. They’ll have finished work on the bridge by then. (future perfect simple) – Future
  3. She’s been working in the garden all morning. (present perfect progressive) – Now
  4. Have you got a minute? I was wondering whether we could have a word. (past progressive). – Now
  5. They own most of the land around here. (present simple). – Now

Task 18: 

  1. What auxiliary verb is used to create the present progressive? – ‘be’, am, is, are, etc. e.g: I am studying, she is running. 
  2. What is the form of the lexical verb of the present progressive? – it ends with -ing, e.g. he is eating. 

CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Tasks 14, 15 & 16


Task 14:

Think of the past form and the past participle forms of the following verbs. Which are regular and which are not regular?

  • Hear – heard – heard – irregular
  • Do – did – done – irregular
  • Help – helped – helped – regular
  • Think – thought – thought – irregular
  • Take – took – taken – irregular
  • Steal – stole – stolen – irregular
  • Go – went – gone – irregular
  • Drink – drank – drunk – irregular
  • Arrive – arrived – arrived – regular

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CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Tasks 12 and 13


Task 12:

All of the following sentence (1-5) contain modal auxiliary verbs that are underlined. Tatch the modal verb to the definitions below (A-E). 

  1. You should see a doctor as soon as you can. – C
  2. You may go now, thank you. – E
  3. This letter must be from Frank – he’s the only one who hasn’t written so far. – B
  4. can’t play the piano very well. – A
  5. We couldo out, but I don’t know if I’m in the mood. – D
  • A. Ability.
  • B. Logical deduction
  • C. Advice
  • D. Possibility
  • E. Permission


Task 13:

Match the underlined verb form examples to the correct definition. 

  1. I worked until 7 o’clock last night. – past tense
  2. They’ve been seeing a lot of each other lately.
  3. She lives not far from here. – 3rd person/PST
  4. You have to try harder. – base form
  5. It was handed to me as I was leaving. – past participle
  • Base form
  • 3rd person – present simple tense
  • past tense form
  • past participle form
  • -ing form

CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Tasks 10 and 11


Task 10:
Decide if the underlined verbs in the following sentences and questions are lexical verbs or auxillary verbs. 
  1. He watches TV for at least two hours every evening.
  2. What are you looking for?
  3. They aren’t going to come.
  4. What does he want?
  5. They haven’t been here before.
  6. He was waiting on the corner.


  1. Lexical
  2. Lexical
  3. Auxiliary
  4. Auxiliary
  5. Auxiliary
  6. Lexical


Task 11:
Decide if the underlined verbs be, do and have have an auxillary or lexical function in the following sentences and questions. 
  1. I had a bad headache yesterday.
  2. When do you get up each day?
  3. How long have you been learning English?
  4. I did it without thinking.
  5. We do some exercise every morning.
  6. Have you had them long?
  7. I was hoping for a quick answer.
  8. Are they still here?


  1. Lexical
  2. Auxiliary
  3. Auxiliary
  4. Lexical
  5. Auxiliary
  6. Lexical
  7. Auxiliary
  8. Auxiliary

CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Task 9


Task 9:

Identify the underlined words in the following dialogue. Use a grammar reference book or a dictionary to help you with this if necessary.

A: What are you(1) looking at?
B: Well, it’s a(2) photograph of something very close up, but(3) I can’t work out what it is.
A: Yes, it’s quite(4) abstract(5), isn’t it?
B: Yes. It could(6) be one of those(7) things for(8) unblocking a sink.
A: Oh, you mean(9) a plunger(10)
1. Personal pronoun, Subjective. To tell the difference between subjective and objective, replace the word with ‘I’. If it works, then it is subjective. If it needs to me changed to ‘me’, then it’s objective.
2. Indefinite article
3. Conjunction
4. Adverb
5. Adjective
6. Auxilary verb
7. Demonstrative adjective.
8. Preposition (function word to indicate purpose)
9. Verb
10. Noun

CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Task 8


Task 8

Provide a list of reasons why English language teachers need to know about grammar. In doing so, try to give some thought to the learners’ perspective.

You can’t teach something until you understand it. Well, at least to older children and adults. This is because of the way we learn. We need to know why we say things in a certain order, and how we can use grammar rules to make sentences we haven’t learnt yet.

So if you know that you can put a gerund at the end of the sentence ‘I like …’, then suddenly you can make a bunch of sentences, including ‘I like swimming, I like dancing, I like walking’ etc. You can then give the rule, ‘I like to go …’ can ALSO be followed but a gerund, but ‘I like to …’ can’t, and must be followed by the verb stem e.g. run. When students know these ‘rules’, they can practice them, and know when and why they are making errors.

Teachers need to know these rules, and the exceptions. They also need to make sure they are teaching correct English and not colloquial/slang, especially if the students are studying English for the purposes of taking exams. When a teacher doesn’t know the rules, and can’t explain why certain things are they way they are, students can get frustrated and give up.

A personal experience was when I was teaching superlatives, and I got confused which words changed to ‘-i/est’ and which ones we used ‘the most’. A teacher should definitely have an in-depth knowledge of the the grammar s/he is teaching, especially if the lesson is a grammar lesson!!!

CELTA – Precourse – Section 2, Tasks 6 and 7


Task 6

Make a list of associations you have with the word ‘grammar’.

  1. Hard.
  2. Rules and exceptions.
  3. Important
  4. Often ignored by native speakers
Task 7
Look at the following sentences and decide which are correct. Write a correct version on the examples that are incorrect. I only wrote the incorrect sentences. 
  1. I’ve been to the movies last night. – I was at the movies last night, I went to the movies last night, I’ve been to the movies (before, in my life).
  2. He often come late. – He often comes late.
  1. Can I have a coffee black, please? – Can I have a black coffee please (Americano, Long black, etc).

CELTA – Precourse – Section 1, Task 5


Task 5

What qualities and skills a teacher might have would a student rate most highly (list of 23 given)

I would hope that a teacher embodies most of the characteristics on the list, but the 5 I would choose are:

  1. Enthusiastic and inspires enthusiasm. Learning can and should be fun, and the right teacher can help make it so. I think without enthusiasm in both the teacher and the students, much less learning takes place.
  2. Is sensitive to the learners as people (for me, this includes their cultural and background). When students don’t feel like their teachers respect them, they lose respect for the teacher and learning will suffer. The classroom dynamic becomes tense instead of relaxed.
  3.  Knows about language and learning. A teacher who knows their subject matter very well, as well as the fundamentals of learning can make an excellent teacher.
  4. Paces lessons to match the students. Part of this is planning a lesson, but being flexible enough to change if the needs of students change.
  5. Gives clear information and feedback. I think this is a personal observation. I really appreciate when a teacher communicates well and can help me in problem areas.

CELTA – Precourse – Section 1, Task 4


Task 4

If you were teaching a group of learners, each of whom had different motivations for learning English, which learners would be the most challenging in terms of motivation?

I’m not sure there is an easy answer to this. The obvious answer is the student that is just there because their parents or employer have sent them. However parents/employers can be very strong motivators, especially if there is some kind of reward or punishment associated with rate of progress.

Another group might be the casual learner. For example, English teachers going to Korea often start off wanting to learn some Korean, but when they realise that they don’t actually need to learn anything, that they can get by with just English, hand gestures, Google Translate and pointing at things, they often give up soon.


CELTA – Precourse – Section 1, Task 3


Task 3

1. What would you want to find out about a group of learners that you had to teach so that you could plan your lessons? 

You’d want to know how much English they already knew, in all 4 main areas including reading, writing, speaking and listening. These can vary wildly and would help you plan the lesson. I’d also want to know how old they were and why they were taking this course. A couple in their 60’s going for a holiday in the UK will have very different needs to a medical student and both are different to a group of business people and all of these are different to an immigrant seeking employment in the hospitality industry.

2. How would you find out?

You could do a placement test. Also, a good way is to ask the students what they would like to focus on. A good way is to plan a lesson that incorporates a little of everything and then just take notes throughout the lesson, and then maybe ask the students what they found too easy or too hard and what they would like from future lessons. I think this is such a positive thing about teaching adults, because they are able to give feedback like this (unlike children).