I haven’t been able to update the blog as much as I would have liked recently because I’ve been doing a couple of things behind the scenes.
I’ve been giving workshops on giving feedback to students and clients here in Berlin with a particular aim of focusing on making the positives more objective and clearer. This proved to be very fruitful for all involved and I was glad to see that the participants got a lot out of it. I also came away with a lot of food for thought, for instance, when reformulating students’ utterances, am I giving them sentences and words that they would actually say in their context? Am I speaking in their voice or my own? Building rapport and understanding my students’ situations and world has a newfound importance for me. It also got me thinking about how I can get the students to utilise the emergent ideas and language more, and how to stretch that further. This is quite exciting for me, and I hope to research these paths over the next few months.
I completed my Cambridge CELTA in June 2015. With regards to the full-time course, when they say it’s an intense course, you’d better believe it. Before I started my course, I was rummaging around the internet to find any information I could on what I would be expecting from the course and good advice to enable me to have the best possible chance of passing the course.
Now, I want to give back to the community a little bit and help any trainees in need of support as they embark on this journey. Here are some tips to keep in mind while navigating the course.
Consider your motivation(s) before enrolling on the course
CELTA is a very intense course. Your tutors will get you through a lot of content, you will need to complete a lot of assignments, and you will be expected to practice your teaching from the get-go. This may go without saying, but it’s very important that you ask yourself before the course if teaching is something you really would like to explore as the course demands a lot from you.
Make sure you have an idea of what you want to do after the course with the certificate later in hand. A lot of graduates go on to work in schools in their country and/or abroad. You will hear of other courses such as Dip-TESOL and Delta, but don’t be confused as I often see on social media of candidates not knowing if they should get a CELTA or Delta. CELTA is just your initial teaching qualification. It will get you in the door. Those other certs are diplomas to help you pursue careers in management, teacher training, publishing etc. As you can guess, you need to have been in the game a fair bit before taking those courses.
The Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a pre-service teaching qualification for those who want to teach English as a foreign language. CELTA is recognised and required by a lot of employers around the world when you are looking to step into the industry.
I completed my CELTA in June 2015 and have written a few blog entries on my experiences:
The course is great for those who are complete beginners, like I was, when it comes to teaching. The course provides you with the knowledge, skills and practice you will need to be a successful and confident English language teacher. Experienced teachers who are looking to provide evidence to prospective employers that they meet the required standard for teaching or those who are looking to improve their skills also take the course.
I completed my Cambridge CELTA in June 2015 with Kaplan in Dublin. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it propelled me into the ELT world. Looking back on my experience now, I would love to do it again, just to experience that magic once more. That’s why it is my objective, with my Delta now in hand, to be certified as a CELTA trainer either this year or the next. The following is what I can recall about my CELTA experience:
I was very much at a crossroads in my life before CELTA. I had been working in retail for over a decade as my main source of income and was getting gradually tired of it. You can get incredibly comfortable in retail, but it is something I think everyone should do at least once in their lives in order to be a better and forgiving customer.
I was looking for a change and had recently completed my BA in English and History. I was ready for the next step. My girlfriend suggested getting into English language teaching if I wanted to use my degree to pursue further interests in secondary school teaching. No word of a lie, I didn’t even think about English language teaching as an avenue for me. It is now a huge regret that I have today that I didn’t even consider this prospect when I was younger. But, you live and learn.