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CELTA REFLECTA Mk 2

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I have a feeling this post has been long in the coming, but here goes…..

Some months ago I wrote a long rant about the CELTA – well not about the CELTA per se, but about the inadequacies, both linguistically and creatively, that displayed themselves in SOME of the CELTA trained teachers I have employed; particularly with regard to  teaching adults. I was roundly lambasted, but it didn’t change my mind.

I then reported, in my IATEFL reflection, some of the things that both new and somewhat more seasoned CELTA teachers had said regarding their CELTA experience. All who spoke about it, to a man and woman, said it was a gruelling, bruising, punishing experience that occasioned a lot of weeping, self-esteem bashing, many many sleepless nights and long bouts of agonising self-reflection. Now this in itself may be A Good Thing; I can’t rightly say. But when one considers what one goes through all that for, it must give one pause.

I did my initiation into ESL in South Africa and although I did not have to survive the rigours of a CELTA, I certainly paid my dues. On coming to the UK, I was advised – and I shall be grateful evermore – that my experience had put me beyond the remit of the CELTA and that I should do a DELTA  – which I did. (But more of that at another time).

So, having done the unpardonable and dissed the CELTA unreservedly and in public, and then having heard some people’s reflections on their CELTA experiences, I have taken it upon myself to ask CELTA survivors exactly what it is that makes it such an ordeal. And here are some of the things I have learnt:

– lesson-preparation.  “I did 12 hours of preparation to teach two modals.” Why? And did anyone tell her that she would not get any recompense for those 12 hours “in the real world”?

– lesson delivery.  “I’m not sure what kind of learning experience my class had, but I had to stick to my timing or lose marks.” I am not even going to comment, except to marvel at how much pressure the trainee must be under to deliver a wickedly fabulous lesson AND stick to some arbitrary time schedule AND capitalise on learning opportunites as they present themselves…… and to ponder how long after the CELTA  this state of affairs persists?

– volume of work. Far too much to read, absorb and apply in the time frame given. Some people I quizzed didn’t do the reading (“left it until later”, apparently), others were up until 2 in the morning trying to get it all done.

– essay -writing. Many of the people I asked about this are University graduates and they all found the essay writing a trial. Given that most University courses require the presentation, lots and often, of academically sound, well-researched, thought-provoking and intelligent essays, what is it that makes the CELTA essays so much more unmanageable? Some comments were – “I was told my essays were too detailed”, “I was told my essays were too academic”, “I’m not being specific enough”, “My essays needed to be expanded more.” What means all this, teacher?

– and last but not least, so many CELTA survivors feel insecure about their grammar. Is this because they “leave the reading until later” – when they have time away from essay-writing and lesson planning? I haven’t managed to nail down why it is that so many CELTA trained teachers feel shaky on grammar ground. Any suggestions?

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31 responses »

  1. We can comment! Excellent!

    Seems to me that you’ve hit on the issue above – 4 weeks doesn’t seem enough time to digest all the reading around CELTA, as well as learning to do all the weird things we do in lessons (well, we kind of do do weird things right?) that are totally alien to Joe Bloggs on the street. Timings, aims and objectives AND theories of language learning and acquisition. Sounds like a particularly grueling episode of the Krypton Factor to me.

    Incidently, the college where I teach is a training college – we have two CELTA trainers. Where it’s different is we only have part-time CELTA courses – i.e. two bunches of trainees come through the course every academic year. My assumption is so that it fits in with our ESOL FE provision, but maybe part-time CELTA is more desirable than a quick 4-week shot of teacher training in your arm??

    Reply
    • Hi Mike
      Indeed – I think there are two issues here. Firstly, the CELTA is what those in authority (not me!) call an “entry level” qualification, which suggests that there is an awful lot left to learn, so why do institutions try to squeeze everything into 4 or 8 weeks?
      And secondly, if it IS the entry level to a professional qualification, it should be much longer (6 – 8 months)and then there would be time to cover the basics.

      Candy

      Reply
  2. Perhaps because of its intensiveness, or lack of extensiveness, my boss doesn’t really rate half the people that pass and, after many bad experiences with ‘C’-graders, considers only teachers with ‘B’ or ‘A’ as being any good. I don’t know if that’s a common feeling but I do remember Alex Case highlighting the tiny failure rate for CELTAs a while back.

    Reply
  3. Rachael Roberts

    Really interesting post(s), thank you.

    Having worked on both intensive and part time CELTAs, I’d agree that intensive is very gruelling (and for tutors)and it certainly doesn’t suit everyone. It can be OK though for those with lots of energy and no outside commitments. Whether intensive or part time, CELTA is only ever intended to be a starting point and teachers with a C are expected to need quite a bit of support, so I think it might be a bit unfair/unrealistic to expect to ‘rate’ them without this. I used to work at a large school where most of the teachers each year were C passes straight off the course and some developed well (and later did DELTA, became trainers etc)and others were pretty dire and got out of teaching fairly fast.

    On the pass rate issue, I can’t speak for all centres, but the places I’ve worked on CELTA all had quite a demanding interview process to try and ensure that the person was capable of passing- hence the relatively low failure rate.

    Reply
    • Hi Rachel

      Many thanks for contributing to this thread. It is so important to me that people with experience share what they have learnt. I hear what you are saying about “C” graders. It is crucial that these trainees get ongoing mentoring and support. Sometimes, however, if the DoS/Academic Manager is also teaching 20 hours a week, there are very few opportunities for observation and hand-holding. It seems to be a “profession” fraught with overworked, underpaid, massively pressurised people trying to do a good job and keep body and soul together with what can only be described as paltry wages.

      I feel a crusade coming on!

      Reply
      • Rachael Roberts

        I completely agree about the ‘profession’ being underpaid and overworked. I think school owners need to recognise that if they want to employ van loads of teachers straight off the CELTA, the DoS needs not to be doing 20 hours and preferably have an ADoS as well. To be fair, in the school I was working in there was quite a bit of support, with regular training sessions and observations.
        I have also read Anthony’s post with interest. With regard to the amount of teaching practice, I think it is sometimes overlooked that although it is only six hours, this is usually within the framework of 36 hours when you or some of your colleagues are teaching and you are observing. Each teaching session is then discussed in detail so that everyone in the group learns from everyone else, so it is almost like having 36 hours of observed teaching practice. I think this is why people are often able to learn so much from such a relatively short course. Not all CELTAs are run like this, but most are, and many of the rest have a mentor scheme, where 2-3 trainees observe a teacher teaching a real class for at least as long and teach short bits of this lesson.
        I now work on a 2 year Cert Ed type course and, although the input is at a much higher level and much more thorough, many of the teachers do not develop as well in their classroom practice as I think they might on even a CELTA. We only observe them three times a year and there’s a limit to how much feedback that can provide. The best teachers are able to take the theory and apply it themselves and they do do well, but those who are struggling a bit would benefit from the practical support of having someone watch you teach almost every day.
        CELTA isn’t a panacea and it doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for many very well (as a starting point). Having been on both ends- training teachers and working with the newly trained- I do feel quite confident in saying this.

  4. Hey Tony
    Thanks for stopping by. Again, a very revealing comment. Why DO so many people pass the CELTA? I have had a “C”-grader who literally did nothing but dish out armloads of photocopies for students to manfully fill in while she sat on the window sill staring into space. This person should never have passed, but she did.
    I’ll check up Alex Case’s thing – thanks for the tip.

    Cheers
    Candy

    Reply
  5. Agree pretty much with what Mike said, although as someone who did the part time version over the course of several months, I still found it a hard slog!

    I was lucky in that my tutors were great and overall I would say it was a positive experience, but having taught a different subject beforehand (and in an unplugged style, at that)I can’t claim to have found it easy to get my head around some of the CELTA ways of doing things. Certainly my impression was that the people who had never taught before and arrived as blank canvases (so to speak) and who didn’t have to unlearn the way they had taught before (or at least sublimate it until they had passed the course 😉 seemed to have had an easier job of getting to grips with it.

    I’m not going to repeat all that I said on Alex’s thread, although in defence of “C” grade CELTA trainees, I think it’s probably fair to point out that a “C” grade is meant to indicate that a teacher is up to standard but they require more hand-holding after the course than an “A” grader or “B” grader would… and that the reason such teachers sometimes flounder and fail is that they don’t get the support they need to develop further after the course has finished.

    Why isn’t it spead over a more sensible timeline? My guess would be that the cost of running the course probably dictates the timeframe.

    I could probably have a full-on rant about the post-CELTA legacy that dogs many highly qualified and experienced English language teachers, who are expected to stick to timings and submit ridiculously detailed lesson plans if they want to teach in the UK public sector, but I think I’ve probably said enough for now.

    Sue

    Reply
    • Sue – thank you so much for sharing your CELTA experiences. As someone who didn’t do the CELTA, I am really interested in hearing what “graduates” have to say about it. It seems lots needs to be thought about and perhaps in this public forum, someone with clout can carry it forward.

      Really good t osee you again in Brighton…. hope we can meet up again soon.

      Candy

      Reply
    • Rachael Roberts

      Hi Sue,

      Just a PS about the timescale. Many centres in the UK do the course over 12 weeks part time or even a year and it makes no difference at all in terms of how cost effective the course is. The reason CELTA is often done intensively is because many people want to do it that way. They may be studying where they don’t usually live (I did mine many moons ago in Cairo because it was much cheaper!)or want to get the qualification over the summer before moving abroad in September or take it in the city where they hope to work and can’t get work until they have it.

      But I totally agree that usually the best thing is to do it part time- much more time for stuff to sink in and less pressure. (Though not always if you’re doing it part time while working full time in a non teaching job)

      Reply
  6. Very interesting post, thank you, and just in time to get morally ready for my CELTA.
    I do agree with many that a 4-wk long course is no substitute for extensive and proper teacher training process, particularly for people with no previous classroom experience. But as I have one, I just hope CELTA will give me a more structured frame as opposed to tons of bits of info I randomly get from various sources.

    Reply
    • Thank you for stopping by, Anastasia. Good luck with the CELTA! I have to say, I had loads of classroom experience before I did the CertIBET and that really helped me to structure the stuff I had lurking in files and in my head. I can’t compare the CELTA and the CertIBET, but I hope it helps you to get your random bits of info into manageable order. Come back at tell us how it went.

      Candy

      Reply
  7. Anthony Gaughan

    Thank you – Lots to cut my teeth on here! Just three small words will have to do for now though, Candy, as I have a previous engagement with the kitchen:

    I’ll be back…

    😉

    Reply
    • Men with kitchen engagements shall be waited for!

      Reply
      • Anthony Gaughan

        Please read the following with the fact clearly in mind that I am a tutor on CELTA courses who obviously has a vested interest in its being viewed as a reasonable choice for teacher training. Also, please bear in mind that I am trying to present an opposing case in the interests of having a good old barney 🙂

        First off, I think we should be clear that trying to go from having no teaching experience whatever to being able to manage a full teaching timetable with reasonable support within 120 contact hours (however they are spread across time) is a very tall order. The learning curve is steep and it isn’t for everyone, just as teaching as a job isn’t for everyone.

        However, it isn’t entirely appropriate to compare the timeframe for a pre-service course in ELT such as the CELTA and state teacher education leading to qualified teacher status.

        This is because short pre-service courses in ELT are purely subject-based and not bound to a particular educational context, whereas teachers preparing to enter the local state system have a far wider range of competences to develop.

        For example, learners on pre-service ELT courses do not need to learn about the history of education legislation in their country as it is irrelevant.

        Also, it isn’t necessarily accurate to suggest that shorter-courses provide less time to reflect and learn. At IATEFL this year, I was surprised to hear that on 4 year state teacher education programmes in China, the maximum amount of teaching practice for the entire period of training is 3 hours (and can be less). In comparison, a course like CELTA, with 6 hours spread evenly over a period of time with allowance for reflection and re-attempts at things which did’t go well, arguably provides more learning affordances.

        That by way of preamble; on to your points of contention…

        Agreed – there is a big difference between activity and productivity and trainees need to learn the difference. However, you ask why? and I think sometimes the answer is: the centre and its requirements demand too much of the trainee for the scope of the award at the point of the course they are at. For example, expecting trainees to produce complete formal lesson plans for their first or second teaching practice, on a specific area of grammar requiring lots of knowledge to treat safely and confidently. This is – in my view – unnecessary and counter-productive. The argument is an “in at the deep end” one – but I think too many people drown that way. There is no reason why it has to be this way (assuming the candidate who spends 12 hours isn’t doing it willingly)

        As for pay, I would have thought this would be self-evident to any trainee but on the other hand, as your previous post shows, work and pay in ELT are like a fart at a dinner party: everyone knows it stinks but they all try to ignore it.

        Have I lowered the tone? Moving swiftly on…

        There are two forces at work here: the pressure that the tutor applies and the pressure that the trainee applies on themselves. If a tutor grades a performance less highly simply because timing deviated, without consideration of the impact of these deviations, there is something wrong. Of course, it is entirely possible that the tutor did consider the impacts, and that, in their view, the timing changes did not help. As I said earlier, there is a difference between activity and productivity, and the trainee may have allowed something to take longer than was useful for the learners.

        A classic example of this would be when a trainee allows 10 minutes of silent reading time to go by when the task and plan required no more than 5. In feedback, the trainee will say that “the students needed more time”, whereas in reality the trainee had done no monitoring to uncover whether this was in fact true, and had simply allowed time to run. The learners simply occupied the time given with completing the task more slowly than they would otherwise have done, or reading the text at more leisure: neither are bad things in themselves, but neither do they support the trainee’s misapprehension.

        Then there is the possibility that the trainee, having planned a lesson in exquisite detail, feel compelled to execute it to the letter and to the second – regardless of what their tutor may have said about being flexible. You can blame formal planning requirements for this, or you can blame human nature.

        As I say earlier, becoming a teacher in 120 contact hours is a tall order and there are other courses available if you want to work in ELT. There is the argument that these courses would not exist if the market wasn’t there for them, which is true as far as it goes, and you are right when you say that longer course duration would not be financially viable (CELTA courses, by the way, are far from being “cash cows” – and if you run them the way we do, with smaller cohorts and more tutor contact time with the trainees, you are lucky to break even!)

        But this was a major reason why on our courses, my colleague Izzy and I started to try to adopt the principle of working with emergent ideas rather than “fattening up” with masses of provided input. There is still a lot to learn, but there are ways of reducing it and still ensuring that the trainees get to grips with the scope of the syllabus.

        What it may mean is that the trainee found it hard to work within the word limit (750-1000 words). This may be a function of the assignment rubrics, but I can’t say.

        From experience, it is difficult to write clearly and simply about language learning. People tend to make impressively sounding but vacuous statements (“learner X’s pronunciation is pleasantly solid” is one of my favorite quotes from an assignment…). They would be better served simply saying “learner X generally has no problem with the sounds of English but they do have trouble with these particular sounds (followed by list)”.

        To say something practically useful in a learner case study, for example, Point-Support-Quote is usually all that is needed. What you get can sometimes be more like Assertion-Assertion-Assertion (with these assertions being contradictory a great deal of the time)

        Now, centres and tutors need to take some responsibility for this: by providing examples of what we would like to read and by being good models ourselves when talking about language and teaching, we can be of help. However, getting through university does not necessarily mean you have acquired critical thinking and effective prose style (although it should!)

        For me the reason is obvious: grammar is a massively complex area and anyone who feels that they have a secure grasp on it is failing to grasp the scale of the task. It is perfectly natural to feel insecure in your grasp of the systems of English (I feel this way myself) – but this is unimportant. Of more relevance is why trainees get to the end of their course feeling insecure in their ability to ask the right questions of language, of their ability to find out answers to new problems they encounter, through reflection or research. In my view, only a fool would criticise a 4-week pre-service course for failing to provide trainees with an unerring and comprehensive command of the explicit rules of English. On the other hand, any course which fails to make its participants feel like they may not know the answers, but they know how to find them when they need to is failing in its basic task.

        Sorry for the absurd length of this comment!

  8. Anthony Gaughan

    Sorry for the formatting oddity in my last comment – never said I could handle technology!!!

    Reply
  9. Very odd formatting – blame wordpress!! Thank you for the time you have taken to answer the points raised in my post. These are all statements made by CELTA “grads”, as I skipped the CELTA and went straight to the DELTA.
    All your explanations are hugely cogent and have helped me to see the whole thing more clearly. So much depends on the tutor and I have a feeling that them as pass through your hands will be at the luckier end of the scale.

    I would like to go into the grammar more, but I wasn’t arguing for a full and comprehensive knowledge of th whole of English grammar, but when a CELTA “grad” comes to me with the notion that “I had breakfast” is a Past Perfect, and has no idea what a phrasal verb is, I’m at a loss as to what actually went on in the input session!

    I need ot be at work – Sunday evening, I know, but them’s the breaks!

    Candy

    Reply
    • Anthony Gaughan

      I’d love to blame WordPress – but it was my overambition with the HTML code 🙂

      The quotes you have here are all very familiar to me as well – and it is undeniable that there is something about short intensive courses like CELTA which places people under a great deal of strain.

      And I’d like to think that our trainees have less of a stressful time of it than they used to – but I’m sure that it hasn’t worked for everyone, and I doubt it ever will.

      As for I had breakfast being mistaken for past perfect, it may be interesting to know that lots of specific input on discrete language items (AKA grammar McNuggets) is not that common – mainly because time is at a premium and learning how to operate in a classroom is what the course is really about. So basics like that are often left to pre-course work (and this may or may not be effective).

      Anyway, you may need to get to work, but I need to get to bed (and I think I know who has the better deal there 😉 )

      Reply
    • Rachael Roberts

      Thank you for your kind words, Candy! Glad the comments have been helpful.

      I’d agree with Anthony about the grammar side of things. We try to teach them to research the grammar area they are teaching and anticipate what aspects of the meaning, form and pron they need to get across rather than teaching them grammar per se. The idea is along the lines of giving them a fishing rod rather than a fish (as the old adage goes).
      But it’s certainly true that once you get plunged into 20 odd hours of teaching a week, it’s challenging to teach yourself the grammar as you’re teaching it. A fair bit depends on the material they’re using. A good coursebook and teachers’ book will help a lot. Pity my poor ESOL teachers now who generally have to make their own materials..

      Reply
  10. Rachael Roberts

    PS

    Having to research the grammar is one of the reasons why it can take quite a few hours to plan a 30 minute lesson on CELTA.

    Reply
    • Thank you both! I am now much better placed to understand what it is that CELTA “grads” need when they come to me. I’m not very good at hand-holding, as I am the fishing rod sort, not the fish (good analogy Rachel!)but if I point them in the direction of our vast supply of grammar books here at school and keep a wary eye, I hope that will save both them and me from too horrid a time in the first weeks. I have to say I do give my new teachers an induction pack which has references to and examples of grammar bits. But at least now I understand WHY they don’t have that safely under their belts BEFORE they get to me!

      Reply
      • Anthony Gaughan

        I don’t think you are alone in wondering why Celta grads turn up with “weak language awareness”.

        It seems widely thought (even by people who really should know better, either having been through it themselves or who were once Celta tutors…) that the course should provide a thorough schooling in pedagogy and formal pedagogic grammar, which is unfeasible in the time and not something responsible centres should ever claim it is (my view).

        So people are disappointed when they find that graduates still need a long period of on the job learning on both these fronts.

        To make another analogy (albeit forced, but humour me, all this talk of fish has got me on a biological bent…): humans deliver their young to the world in a well-formed but immature state. They would die in hours if it weren’t for the nurturing support of their parents.

        Other species do this “entry into the world” malarky differently, with their offspring ready to fend for themselves almost instantly.

        Is that a reason to say that human evolution is rubbish and we should stay in the womb until we are bloody well ready to get a job and pay the rent all by ourselves?

        Or worse, is it a reason to roundly castigate recently born infants for being unable to operate like a mature member of the species from day one?

        Think of initial training courses a bit like this: a safe developmental period leading to a slightly premature entry into the professional world, which entails the need for support, but also enables maximum development in contact with the real world.

        …and please, none of this should be read to suggest that I am comparing Celta trainees to babies in any demeaning or derogatory way, including that Celta trainees share intellectual or behavioural qualities of non-mature humans. Sorry, but you can’t be too careful 😉

      • Anthony Gaughan

        By the way, don’t want to suggest that you are one of those “who should know better”!!! Present company excepted 🙂

      • You’re very kind, but sometimes I do fall into the “those who should know better” basket, probably because of my own fiery baptism into my particular world of EFL: that sort of “Well, I did it all on my own – no hand-holding was offered to ME and I survived!” But there was no hand-holding offered to me because of my great age and seemingly enormous experience in far-flung Africa. It was just ASSUMED that I “knew a lot”, which of course I didn’t and I wasn’t about to TELL anyone!! I was trained and bashed into as much shape as possible in two weeks for the specific teaching that is carried out here. I have never swotted up anything as hard as I did my grammar during those two weeks of training and thank God for Latin! But because we do it dogme style, I HAD to be on top of it – I was given a kind of “these are the most common areas that emerge flawed” list and I learnt heaps as I went along. The learning curve was straight into the stratosphere and I also stayed up many a night to keep ahead of my camera man (!) But I THOUGHT it was because I DIDN’T have a CELTA. Now I know better…. 🙂

  11. I’ve just finished my CELTA training. It was so strenuous and demoralising that I now have a slipped disc and absolutely no confidence to teach. I am a writer and editor and they found fault with my grammar while putting me in the same category ( I got a pass – which I now see is derisively referred to as a “C”) and so did others who were late for all the classes, did their lesson plans in the lunch break ( I worked 3 to 4 hours on mine often including a power point presentation as part of my teaching) and couldn’t string a correct sentence of English together. My tutors’ grimaces at my teaching, scribbles all over the lesson plan and fellow trainees putting down comments for not remembering to implement teaching strategies I had just learnt did not add to my learning curve at all.
    Its a good thing it was a 4 week course, I wouldn’t have found the time otherwise, but it is not doable in 4 weeks. Plus – I don’t know how I’m ever going to get a job – all employers want CELTA plus 2 years experience.

    Reply
    • Hi Prolifique
      Many thanks for your contribution to this thread. I can only say how sorry I am you had such a dire experience on your CELTA. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone – many many people feel exactly the same as you do. From the experienced tutors who have contributed to this thread, it would appear that indeed it is the tutor and/or centre that makes all the difference to one’s experience. It is an extremely intensive four weeks by all accounts, not to be undertaken lightly. But I imagine those weeks are only bearable if one has supportive, sympathetic, encouraging and constructive tutors.
      Take heart – keep applying for jobs – summer is coming up and perhaps you can get your feet wet on a summer school. Check out http://www.TEFL.com and I’ll be holding thumbs.
      Candy

      Reply
      • Rachael Roberts

        Dear Prolifique,

        To add to Candy’s comment. Sorry to hear you feel so demoralised. But please do not feel that a Pass (or a C as some old timers refer to it)is in any way derisory. As I said in a previous post, I personally know many people who ‘just’ passed who went on to become DoSes, teacher trainers, coursebook writers etc. A good metaphor is to think of it like an intensive driving course. At the end of the four week course if you can drive safely enough to be let on the roads you pass. Some within that Pass category will be more confident and accomplished than others- it’s quite a wide band. Those who get a B or an A Pass are quite rare because most people need a bit longer to get to the stage where they don’t need much or any support.

    • Anthony Gaughan

      Hello Profilique,

      I’m sorry to hear that you found your course such a strenuous and stressful experience.

      I just want to point out that no one in this thread (in my view) has referred to a PASS (or grade C, which is an inaccurate term) in any way “derisively”.

      Of the 10,000+ candidates worldwide who complete the Celta each year, roughly 65% are awarded the grade PASS.

      In Celta terms, this grade means that the candidate, given appropriate support in the initial post-qualification period (i.e. first 6-12 months), should be able to manage the planning and teaching of a full timetable of classes satisfactorily.

      Obviously, within this band some people will require some more support post course than others, but given that appropriate support (i.e. not planning everything for them but rather guiding their planning and giving observational feedback), they will mature in time into a more independent teacher.

      The fact that about 6 of 10 people meet these criteria by the end of a short intensive course is a credit partly to the award and the tutors (who in my experience genuinely do care about their candidates’ development and well being), but more than this it is a credit to the candidates themselves – and, incidentally, to you, as you are one of them.

      You gained a place on your course (while other applicants didn’t) because you seemed at interview to have “the right stuff”, and your centre has been vindicated in its choice of you by the fact that you succeeded in passing the course.

      So while you may feel emotionally and physically exhausted at this point, I would ask you to keep clearly in mind the fact that you have succeeded in a challenging task: that of getting to the stage in your development as a teacher where a busy and under-pressure school manager or Director of Studies can trust you with paying clients given some support and nurturing.

      You have succeeded: there is nothing “derisive” in that. Do not let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise.

      Best wishes for your teaching career,

      Anthony

      Reply
  12. The people who did well on the course (3) have all had prior teaching experience. It would seem that that is necessary to thrive and not just survive.
    I wouldn’t like all that learning to go to naught so I will volunteer to teach at a slum school and hope to implement my training there. Perhaps 2 years down the line I can get a job, and make some money.
    This was my alternate career – since Im already a writer.

    Reply
    • Anthony Gaughan

      Just a quick PS here:

      1) in my experience, pre-course teaching experience does not collocate especially strongly with higher grades on the course (as an example, my first A grade candidate was a young woman from Bosnia with no prior experience of teaching).

      2) Schools often advertise “Celta (or equiv.) plus 2 years experience” – but this is a wish rather than a requirement. If they need teachers, availablinity is king. Try your luck wherever you like.

      That said, volunteering is also an excellent way of gaining rich experience and doing some social good.

      Best of luck.

      Reply
      • Anthony Gaughan

        Heh heh, meant corrolate, not collocate (it’s the language teacher in me…)

        And of course, I really do know how to spell “availa… avia…aivlia.. ” 😉

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