The Cambridge CELTA course: an overview


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Monday morning and instead of being at CELT Athens for my CELTA course, I am at home, writing this blog post, realising that the course is over! So… that was it. 4 weeks have passed as if… Anyway, let me not go emotional, here!

What is this CELTA course, though? Well, one may find as many descriptions as s/he might want. I would like to share, though, two things about the course that I didn’t know and I found out while doing the course: The fact that success at the course is a personal and a group work, at the same time. Continue reading

TP6 to TP7: Not an easy transition!

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Now that all the assignments have been submitted and there is only TP8 left, I realised that the CELTA course is structured in a way that imitates biological development. Firstly, we begin preparing TPs receiving help and guidance by experienced tutors. As we proceed from TP to TP, though, assistance decreases. Isn’t that similar to growing up? As a child, one is protected by his/her parents and as s/he grows older, protection decreases.
In my TP6, I did a good job. Some things have been internalised (presentation, MFP, elicitation, ICQs, etc.) while others need more work (LA sheet, anticipated difficulties, etc). The thing that I did not understand, though, is that TP6 was the last stage of ‘innocence’. It is as if after this TP, the trainee becomes an adult who has the choice to either put in practice all the things that s/he learned as a child, or forget them once and for all. The latter could work in real life; not in the CELTA, though. The trainee at this stage should spend time going through his/her feedback and designing a lesson that will allow him/her show progress on areas that call for improvement.
Tip of the day: Same performance on TP6 and TP7 does not mean same results; quite the opposite. In TP7 – I guess this is true for TP8, as well – the trainee must show awareness of all the steps s/he needs to take in order to deliver a successful lesson. At this stage, one must combine the three ingredients of a ‘good’ teacher: knowledge, skill/technique, and attitude.
It is Wednesday of Week 4. There is only one day and one TP left. Have I ever gone through such an intensive month? No! Will I miss every second of it? Yes!
Hopefully, next post will be full of good news! 🙂

Week 3: Level Changeover; Easier Done Than Said!


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The so-called tough week has already started; yet, it doesn’t seem tough anymore. On Monday everyone was nervous as we were expecting to get two written assignments back and change levels. (For those of you that are not familiar with the CELTA process: Every trainee is required to teach two different levels of instruction. So, for my first four TPs, I was assigned to teach the intermediate+ level and, for the last four TPs, the elementary ones.)
First day of the week, we observed an experienced teacher and I was rather intimidated. Not that there was something wrong with the students. The group was great and supportive, willing to cooperate and ready to be exposed to various teaching techniques. However, that was the very first time in my career that I was in a classroom with elementary students.

CELTA Week Two: From Rise to Fall


Second week at CELT Athens is over – and, yes, I am still alive!
Before writing about my TP3 and TP4, I would like to make clear that the purpose of this blog is neither to teach nor to preach others on how to go through the CELTA course. This is just me sharing my experiences as a CELTA trainee in case someone finds it an interesting read. For potential candidates, it is always better to read information written from someone that is going through this process than an administrator.

Less is more was a success! What about less talking and more adapting, though?


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Preparation for TP2 started the minute that TP1 was over. I think that this was very helpful because I could apply most of the things that my Tutor, fellow-trainees, and myself had pointed out.
The things I focused on were:
  • Less things to teach,
  • Activities that serve the aims of the lesson, and
  • Constant repetition of new language learnt.

Teaching Practice 1, Revisited!

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24 hours after the end of my first TP and I am still thinking about it. Which activity was (un)successful? What did work well with the students? How many issues had I foreseen, etc?
Being an experienced teacher can be both a positive and a negative asset one might have while doing a CELTA training. For me it has worked both ways, today: On the one hand, I was confident, in control, and responsive. On the other hand, though, attempting to live up to the expectations, set by no other but me, transformed my lesson into a theatrical performance in which, instead of directing, I was acting.