How to Prepare for an Online CELTA Course: Top Advice From Mexico City’s CELTA Tutor Orlando Delgado Mata
How do you prepare for the CELTA Online? What software do you need installed in your computer? What the Online Teaching Practice like?
These are some of the popular questions that we get asked here at StudyCELTA. With the online CELTA course format given the green-light until December 31st 2020, the course is here to stay a while longer so candidates can train in the safety of their own homes.
We speak with CELTA Tutor and Head of Teacher Training at the Mexico City centre, Orlando Delgado Mata. Orlando is the mastermind of the CELTA Online at the Mexico City CELTA centre, which was one of the first centres to make the switch to CELTA Online. They have been successfully training many CELTA candidates online over the past few months and have created one of the most flexible CELTA courses for candidates to take – most people worldwide can find an online solution with the centre.
We ask him some of your burning questions when it comes to preparing for an online CELTA and what is required from you. Afterall, preparation is key!
How computer-literate should candidates be to take the online course?
During the interview process, tutors ask candidates a range of questions on their use of technology and e-literacy. We normally ask candidates to tell us how well they use things like email, social networks e.g. Facebook and the extent to which they are familiarised with producing content online through apps like G Suite tools e.g. Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Jamboard, and other tools like Kahoot, or Mentimeter.
Recording audio and video is something we also ask candidates about. Based on their answers, we give them feedback and when they enrol on our courses we provide them with extra training and a complementary Teaching English Online course, which allows them to get self-paced training in a range of tools and resources e.g. Zoom, Edmodo etc. Candidates will benefit from these tools in their CELTA Teaching Practice.
What computer software or programmes should candidates familiarise themselves before taking the CELTA course?
Again, it depends on the candidates’ needs. We have had candidates who are completely new to apps like Zoom and our preparatory course on Teaching English Online helps them get ready for the kind of work you will do on the course.
There are no limits to what a CELTA online candidate can do if they spend time working on the tools and resources we provide them with.
What technical requirements should a candidate have before taking the CELTA Online? Should they have headphones/microphone?
We ask candidates to get a pair of headphones, a webcam, microphone and a steady internet connection. The course cannot be taken on mobile phones.
For the self-study element, how many hours should candidates expect to commit to the course per week?
Here, it depends on candidates’ preferences. We offer a unique combination of asynchronous with synchronous delivery. Most centres out there offer intensive courses where candidates are asked to be connected 5-6 hours a day, Monday to Friday on Zoom.
We believe this is not pedagogically sound and have created a course that allows people to work at their own pace, while minimising the time they need to be connected live online. In this case, on our most popular course option (Part time, 12 weeks) candidates have to be connected just once a week for 3.5hrs!
This means they could connect live online either in the morning (morning slot) or in the evening (evening slot) just 3.5hrs while spending the rest of the week working at their pace when they see fit to meet their own needs and cater to their time zones. This has made our course a truly unique and different course options from many other providers out there.
What should candidates expect from their online teaching practice?
Wonderful things! Through our training and induction to G Suite tools, Zoom, and other apps, online teaching practice is very student centred. We ask candidates to think of Zoom as just a place where people meet for classes, just like a physical classroom.
What the teacher does with learners in that space is up to them to decide, and the e-world if the limit! Our candidates have created wonderful materials asking learners to complete readings tasks on Google Forms, having them complete vocabulary tasks on Jamboard, create listening work on Google Slides, allow for debates and speaking tasks on Mentimeter, all in real time and live online.
Monitoring is easier as Zoom allows for breakout rooms where tutors can jump from one room to another to listen to what their learners are saying and providing them with more personalised and customised feedback than in a regular physical classroom. Lesson can also be recorded, which means learners and candidates can revisit their practice post execution and reflect on this.
Simply put, Teaching Practice online can be a bit more challenging at first, but once candidates have gained more practice in this and feedback, they perform much better than in a regular face to face setting.
What are the benefits of taking the CELTA Online?
There are many benefits! Currently, industries around the world are starting to realise many things can be done online and remotely. With this pandemic, many changes in the world of finance, education and the workplace have taken place and those changes that were in place already are simply being implemented more rapidly than before because of the needs of millions of people to keep working, living, and adapting to the new world we are facing.
One of those industries is that of higher education. Teachers, universities, colleges and schools are turning to online teaching as the answer to many of the future challenges this new world will face in the future. And so, being trained in an online environment will soon become an assess in the future competitive market of education.
CELTA qualified teachers trained in an online environment will be able to teach both face to face (as this input is still present on CELTA online courses) and fully online, making them twice as competitive in the teaching market of the future. Our part time courses also aim to provide a very flexible way to take what is normally a very intensive programme, in only 12 weeks, connecting live online only 3.5.hrs a week!
Similarly, our course provides extra tools that through our extra Teaching English Online course materials and extra training in using G Suite Tools in an online setting. The standards are the same, the input and content is the same in relation to face to face teaching and this is not complemented with online teaching and practice. The qualification is the same, if not even more valued by employers now given the current situation.
Simply put, we cannot see any other way in which CELTA can be taken than online!
Thank you, Orlando, for your valuable insight on the Online CELTA course.
More ways to Prepare for your CELTA Course!
Are you looking to prepare for your CELTA? Do you want to brush-up on your grammar before the course? Are you interested in the methodology that you will be introduced to on the course?
Take a look at the Pre-CELTA Bundle via our friends at ELTCampus. An online course which will enhance your confidence before starting the CELTA and give you a leg-up on the course content, so you can pass the CELTA with flying colours. Now with bonus online CELTA content!