Jun 29

Some Thoughts on AI and CELTA Assignments from a CELTA Tutor

CELTA assignments and ai
Using AI for CELTA assignments-
Can you use AI for your CELTA assignments?! You might be asking this if you're about to do them! Here are some thoughts from an experienced CELTA tutor on the guidelines that Cambridge has given for this.
If you want specifics about each assignment, there are more videos in this series taking you through all four assignments, so watch out for them!
There is also lots of help on assignments in the Resource Library on my site...
Downloadable pdfs...
Video transcript

Interested in some thoughts on using AI for CELTA in your assignments?
If you have anything to do with the CELTA course and you scroll away at this point, I’m amazed- that’s got to be my best hook yet!

I’m Jo Gakonga, I’m a teacher educator and I’ve been a CELTA trainer and assessor for over 20 years. I’ve also got a website at ELT-Training.com where I make video based support material for English language teachers at all stages of their careers. Check it out and if you like this, give it a thumbs up and subscribe, I make a new video every week.

This is an introduction to a short series on using AI in CELTA and I’ll be making the same disclaimer on all of the videos in this series. Cambridge English have so far put out very little guidance for centres on how AI can be used by trainees so the first thing you should do before you use any of my ideas for using AI in CELTA is to ASK YOUR TUTOR what the policy is for this in YOUR CENTRE and follow what they say.

If you’ve done that- keep watching!

The official guidance that Cambridge HAS put out can be found in the link under this but the main thrust of it is that AI generated content from tools such as ChatGPT or Gemini is acceptable for CELTA and Delta Modules 2 and 3 for the following reasons.
  1. to generate ideas for teaching and learning materials
  2. to carry out initial research into a topic in preparation for an assignment
  3. to generate a bibliography for further research.

As far as we’re concerned on a CELTA course you’re not expected to do much in the way of ‘further research’ so that last one really applies to Delta. In any case, bibliography generation needs to be treated with caution in my experience as both ChatGPT and Gemini are apt to hallucinate. At best, they don’t give the most helpful sources available and they also just often make things up. ERIC is a better source here if you’re looking for research.

The main issue that Cambridge are concerned about in their guidance is that all sources, including AI sources, are properly cited. This is clearly essential, as it is for any source that you use whether it’s books, internet resources or AI. Cambridge give a couple of examples of how this could be done in their guidance.

It’s worth noting here HOW you can add a reference from AI Tools. Make sure that you’re starting a NEW search each time you use it and when you’ve finished, you can find the share button here on Chat GPT and here on Gemini to give you a link.

It’s also a good idea to copy the answers it gives you- you can use this button here on Chat GPT or here on Gemini –so that you can prove (if you were ever asked to) the results you got. You could also take a screenshot if it’s a single page of material.
However you do this, keep it somewhere safe!

In their guidance, Cambridge do give leads to a couple of other sources that it’s worth knowing about - the JCQ Guidelines and the NILE Guidelines (you can find links to both of these under here too) and they both have some useful things to say about AI.

Students must make sure that work submitted for assessment is demonstrably their own. If any sections of their work are reproduced directly from AI generated responses, those elements must be identified by the student and they must understand that this will not allow them to demonstrate that they have independently met the marking criteria and therefore will not be rewarded.

Basically, you can’t just cut and paste and get credit for it- that seems pretty obvious and reasonable to me.

The message is the same with NILE:
AI is used as a tool to support the development of information. The participant, however, maintains a critical analysis and contextualisation of any information so produced in the same way as they would any other materials, and are transparent in the processes they have followed.

The message across the board is clear.
  • AI tools can be useful and can be used in CELTA
  • You need to use them in a critical way- not just cut and paste
  • You need to be honest and open and clear about the way you’ve used it.

So, the bad news. If you were watching this video because you hoped I was going to tell you the secret prompt to put into Gemini or Chat GPT that would generate a perfect assignment… I can’t do that (and to be honest, wouldn’t if I could)…

But the good news is that as we go through these videos I’m going to show you how you CAN use AI tools effectively to give you enormous help with your assignments and more importantly with your teaching life in the future.

Buckle up – let’s go!

Created with