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Published: August 1st 2010
It's Saturday and it is the end of a very long week. A very hard, demanding and study-packed week. I enrolled a CELTA
course in Earl's Court which is an intensive Mon-Fri 9.30am - 5pm course designed mainly to train English native speakers who wish to enhance their job prospects as EFL teachers abroad. CELTA
stands for 'Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults'
and the trainees get a Pass/Fail mark, according to their overall performance.
The course is very hands-on which means we basically go through the theory by doing loads of activities and putting ourselves in the students' shoes. The name of the school is LANGUAGE LINK
and I decided to sign up for the course running here after doing some research on the Internet and reading some reviews on different specialised forums. Everybody seemed enthusiastic when mentioning the course, the tutors and the teaching methods. So in my first week back in London I popped in to check how the enrollment process would go. I had to pass a Language Awareness
test and attended an interview with Richard, one of the course tutors.
There are two tutors running the course, Richard and Ali. They run the morning
sessions together, from 9.30 to 12.30, swapping and working with our group and another Celta running at the same time. We never get one moment of boredom or let-up. We need to be constantly on the ball, as we quickly go through Vocabulary Presentation, Stages of Grammar Presentation, Classroom Management, Concept Checking Vocabulary, Types of Reading Activities, Reading Skills, and many, many more. Words such as convey meaning, drilling, eliciting, modelling, check meaning have become really fast second-nature. I had worked with all these words and concepts in uni, but unfortunately the meaning and practical approach was never made clear, nor put into practice in our Methodology classes. The way this course is designed and taught is a far cry from everything I've ever seen taking place in a classroom. The methods are innovative, with great emphasis on speedy and correct acquisition of the TL ( target language).
There are 12 trainees in our group. The majority's native speakers, with 4 non-natives. Some of us already have some teaching experience abroad or in mainstream secondary schools. I have a pretty sound background in teaching, but I find myself getting a whole new approach to teaching and teaching methods. There
are loads of new things I'm learning or just recapping which is ABSOLUTELY amazing.
All of us are meant to complete 6 supervised hours of teaching throughout the course, called TP (Teaching Practice)
. For the fist part of the course we all get 4 slots of 30 minutes to teach a group of about 8 pre-intermediate students. I was allocated three for the first week and I have one more on Tuesday. Then we go into teaching 60 minutes, which is really scary!!!
Ok, so as this is my 'course diary'
let me bore you with a few details. Mon. 26th July
- we started the course. Ali taught a group of Pre-Intermediate students for 1h30 and we observed the methods and stages of her teaching vocab, grammar and phonology. We also got half an hour to interact with the students. Tue 27th July
- I taught SHOULD/SHOULDN'T
. It went really well and I got very positive feedback from fellow trainees and Ali. Thu 29th July
- I had to prepare a lesson on vocabulary- Family Members and Relationships and a Listening activity. Fri 30th July
- Dreadful! I had a Phonology
lesson to teach -
30 min. on different pronunciations of -ED endings
. I stayed up til 2am to do research and prepare. I really dread phonology, it's not really my cup of tea. I was so nervous! I think I had never been so nervous in my life, not even the first time I entered a classroom as a teacher and no longer a student. I was sooo happy when I got an EXCELLENT
for eliciting pronunciation rules from the students on my CELTA FEEDBACK SHEET
. I could not believe my eyes!! Sun 1st August
- 4am. I have just finished the LEXIS
part of my first CELTA assignment
. I still have VERB FORMS
to complete tomorrow.
Knackered. Going to sleep. Good night!
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