The CELTA trainees really bond; everyone helps each other to get through the work.

by ucclangcent

Here we continue the series of interviews with CELTA trainee teachers who have just completed the recent January to March 10-week intensive course. This time Ankie, from Holland, tells us of her experience.

  • Hey Ankie, thanks for taking the time to do this. Now that the CELTA course is over how do you feel?

Relieved, but I am also a bit sad, as I’ll miss everyone involved in the course.

  • What were your reasons for doing the course?

I want to be a teacher. I taught Dutch before and realized that I really liked teaching. I also love meeting different cultures, so this course was the most appropriate to combine both these things.

  • Can you tell us a little about the application process? What did you have to do?

I filled in an application form. In college I took a test, and then I had an interview.

  • How about the first few days of the course? What were they like?

Very exciting, but also very tiring, there was a lot of new information to take in.

  • On the course you have to teach for a total of six hours? How does that work out?

You teach every week, the first time you teach only 20 minutes, after that every class you teach is 40 minutes and the last class you teach is 60 minutes. This was definitely the best part of the course for me.

  • Are the students ‘real’ students?

Yes, the students are real and are from all over the world.

  • On average how long did it take you to prepare for a lesson?

That depended a bit on the class you had to teach, but several hours of preparation work was required.

  • Did the tutors give you a lot of help in the planning stage of your lessons?

Yes, especially at the start of the course. The teachers would give you feedback on your lesson plans. As the course progressed this feedback became less.

  • Going from one lesson to the next do you know what you need to do to improve?

After each lesson you get feedback from your tutor and your fellow students so that you are clear what you have to work on for the next lesson.

  • What about the afternoon input sessions? Tell us a little about those.

The afternoon sessions dealt with a variety of subjects, such as grammar, phonology, teaching methods etc.

  • Are there assignments? Are these easy?

There are 4 assignments. These aren’t too difficult and they are quite interesting.

  • What is the hardest part of the course?

For me the pace of the course was definitely the hardest thing. You constantly have to prepare lessons, teach and write assignments, it’s quite intense.

  • Was there anything you found easy?

I wouldn’t necessary say it was easy, but I really enjoyed the teaching and the essays.

  • Was there anything you had not expected at all; something that surprised you?

The CELTA trainees really bond; everyone helps each other to get through the work.

  • What advice would you give someone preparing for the CELTA course? Are there any books or websites you would suggest?

Raymond Murphy’s books are very good, as are Swan’s books. You’ll get a list of sources after your interview and it is advisable to have a look at some of these before you start.

  • If you could sum up your advice to new trainees on a CELTA course in one sentence; what would it be?

Don’t underestimate the course and be sure that you are fully prepared every day.

  • And finally, now that the course is over what are your plans? How do you intend to use your CELTA qualification?

I am hoping to teach English full-time.

Thanks for this, Ankie. Keep in contact and good luck!

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