Quirky Irish Traditions and All Things CELTA!
We talk to Dublin Dame Street‘s CELTA Tutor Stuart McMillan.
Beautiful scenery, hearty food and warm people. All these things spring to mind when we think of Dublin. With its pub culture, busy streets and large selection of museums and galleries, it’s not surprising that so many people travel here every year to take the CELTA course. Stuart McMillan, CELTA tutor at the Dublin Dame Street teacher training centre talks to us about his experiences in the TEFL industry, the CELTA course and this wonderful Irish city.
StudyCELTA: What are the main places you’d recommend visiting in Dublin?
Stuart: Dublin seems to have plenty to offer no matter the personality of the person. If one is into night life then Temple Bar, although a bit on the pricey side, always guarantees a great night out. Many of the museums and art galleries are free so they are always worth having a look around. If one wants to go for a pleasant walk then a short train journey to Howth gives you great views of Dublin Bay and the hills that surround the city. After a walk around this seaside town there are plenty of seafood restaurants to check out.
StudyCELTA: What is the best time of year to visit?
Stuart: Possibly May or September. Some of the attractions are quite crowded during the busy summer months. The weather in these two months do tend to be quite pleasant as well.
Food and Drink
StudyCELTA: Are there any famous dishes or drinks in Dublin?
Stuart: Guinness is obviously the one that springs to mind. For many people the best pint that one can have is here in Dublin. Dublin boasts some fantastic pubs in which one can sip a pint and have a friendly chat.
StudyCELTA: Are there any events or festivals going on in Dublin during the year? What would you recommend?
Stuart: From spring time onward there are many festivals taking place. These can be musical festivals or food festivals. Obviously St. Patrick’s Day is the most popular one and it’s a week-long festival. Ideally not a time in which to do the CELTA as there won’t be enough time to enjoy the festivities.
StudyCELTA: What do you think sets the CELTA apart from other TEFL certificates?
Stuart: I think it is the most widely recognised course that one can do. When looking for work abroad, all language schools will know what skills you have once they see that you are a CELTA qualified teacher.
StudyCELTA: What advice would you give to people preparing for the CELTA?
Stuart: Being good at time management is so important. The majority of course participants find the course challenging yet also a very rewarding experience. But, in order to stay on top of things, it is crucial that you ensure that you have suitable time to prepare for your teaching practice lessons and assignments. Leaving things until the last moment would not be advisable. It is also important to find some time for yourself during the course, every day there should be some quality time when you can put your feet up as well.
We also have our own ELTcampus Pre-CELTA course, written by industry experts. Please see here for more.
StudyCELTA: What sort of questions would you need to prepare for in your CELTA interview?
Stuart: Being able to answer questions on what it is really like to be teaching. Sometimes people are interviewed and they have not really thought what it may be like standing, and teaching, in front of a class of 14 students. It’s a good idea to think of the differences between teaching adults and younger learners as well as being able to what characteristics both a good teacher and a good language learner may have.
StudyCELTA: Do you have any top tips for how to manage to pressure on the CELTA course?
Stuart: All tutors are well aware of the time pressure involved with the CELTA course as many of us have been in the same situation as course participants. It is important not to fall behind schedule. Once this happens then the pressure does build up. Try not to leave things until the last moment. Find some time, especially at the weekend to unwind, but it is also a great time in order to get up to speed on preparing for your future TPs and assignments.
To see some recommended reading for CELTA, please click here.
StudyCELTA: Is it easy for find work in Dublin post-CELTA?
Stuart: Some times are easier to find work than other times. Winter time is a quiet enough period but it can be a time in which to send off your CVs as well as staying in touch with teaching. If it is a quiet period it can be a rewarding time to try and do some volunteer work.
To see worldwide TEFL jobs, see our sister site TEFLwork.
StudyCELTA: Which other locations do you find your graduates often teach at?
Stuart: Many of them wish to go abroad. Italy and Vietnam seem to be two exciting places that many of our graduates wish to go to.
To see our TEFL opportunities in Vietnam, please click here.
StudyCELTA: How can you progress in your TEFL career further down the track?
Stuart: Being able to reflect on the progress you are making is so important. It’s equally important to note what went well in your teaching as well as any areas which may need improvement. A great idea is to be aware of what workshops may be taking place and trying to attend conferences such as IATEFL or ELT Ireland. Further down the line, taking the Delta can be a great step.
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For more information on visiting the exciting city of Dublin, Ireland, you can see their tourism page here.