Last October I had a chance to share my 2009 CELTA course experience at a regular English teacher's meet-
CELTA is a four-
Why I took CELTA:
1) There was a big chance my husband and I might have immigrated. I wanted to work there and do what I like most. As Russian formal qualification would not suit I had to gain a globally recognized formal qualification. And employers around the world ask for CELTA.
2) At that time I had already been teaching general English for 6 years and business English for 3 years. And I was literally burnt down and slightly bored with the same text books. So I longed for some inspiration and encouragement in my professional development.
3) I wanted to study abroad and was carefully choosing the authorized center. But as soon as there appeared to be a chance for me to stay in Moscow for free, the question was settled, as I had to pay only for my tuition fee, food and tickets.
CELTA course details
The course lasts four intensive weeks.
You start at noon and finish at 8 p.m.
You have two tutors. They teach their own material. There are 12 students at the course. The general input is taught to all of them. But then you split up in two groups during preparation sessions.
You teach mostly every day. First two weeks you teach Elementary students. Second two weeks you teach Upper-
The assessment is continuous. All your lessons are assessed. You will have to submit your lesson plans, your self-
Peer observation – you have to do it during the lesson and give your feedback orally next day during the session as well as provide reflection on your own teaching . If you manage to notice your strong and weak points correctly – it is a big plus and it will be included in your tutor’s report.
You will have to attend several lessons provided by experienced teachers and later write your observation reports.
During the course you will have to write four papers – about how to teach certain things to different levels. You have to submit them on time. These papers have to be well written and be based on a number of books you have to read. You will be able to borrow these books from the center’s library and / or make copies of the needed pages. These written assignments will be assessed.
All your works will be collected and put into the folder. After you finish the course, your tutors will collect all the reports they have completed and will send them to Cambridge. In certain cases your portfolios will be sent there too. You can either pass the course or not pass. To get the CELTA certificate, you must meet the criteria for both the teaching practice and written assignments. You can pass with three different grades: Pass ‘A’, Pass ‘B’ and Pass.
As you can see the course is pretty demanding.
So here are my tips how to make most of your CELTA learning.
1) sleep 7-
2) always aim at getting better – CELTA is all about progress you make as a teacher.
3) Your tutors will use different techniques while teaching you – it’s a good idea to use the same techniques at your lessons the sooner the better.
4) The studying is rather stressful. Mistakes are inevitable. If you manage to notice your mistakes and immediately correct yourself while teaching – it’s good. If you do it during the feedback session – it’s still good. If you fail to notice your weak points – you might get lower results at the end.
5) Be active and proactive while studying. Don’t be lazy. Attend all the sessions. Do not be late. Ask questions. Participate in all the discussions. Submit your papers on time. Read as much as you can prior to the course and during the course.
My personal learning outcome after doing CELTA
My teaching has shifted from deductive to inductive approach. I started eliciting rather than giving myself. My role as a teacher is to provide the language the learners will need to discover the rules, to guide them in discovery and to provide more opportunities to practice.
When introducing new vocabulary I tend to use a personal story about myself or my family or my friends to elicit the words students will encounter later during the lesson. This way this information is more likely to stick and later it’s easier for me to trigger their memory.
I learnt how to use CCQ = Concept Checking Questions. They are not flawless, but they become pretty helpful with low level students and in case I need students to believe they came up to the idea without my help.
During my first lesson with individual students I analyze their sensory, cognitive and personal learning styles to use their strongest sensory channels (VAKOG) as well as cognitive skills and intelligence type to help them learn faster and more efficiently.
I prefer to work with authentic materials. If they are too complicated I follow CELTA rule -
I take notes of what students said – both errors and examples of great language and mention it while providing the feedback.
Since CELTA I always thank students for their work during my lessons.
So thank you for reading. I do hope I helped you clarify some unclear moments about the course.
Image credits: :
1) Photo from my personal archive.