An Interview with Francisco Senso - Teacher Trainer, Lima
We speak to Francisco Senso, Teacher Trainer in Lima, Peru.
"The motivation [to take the CELTA] was partly a career change and partly the ‘luxury’ of getting to know different places and cultures while working."
Francisco Senso took the CELTA in 2001, and has since travelled across the globe teaching English. Amazing places that he has taught include China, Morocco and Tanzania! He has been working as a Teacher Trainer since 2011, originally working in Spain, and has now travelled to the stunning city of Lima in Peru to be the CELTA main course tutor. Lima is known for its colonial facades, breathtaking mixture of city and coastline and of course, food to die for. We speak to Francisco about his TEFL experiences, CELTA advice and the best times to apply for jobs in backpacker heaven, Peru!
You first took the CELTA in 2001 in London. How do you think the course equipped you for a career in English language teaching?
Having walked into the CELTA course with no previous teaching experience, this equipped me with the basic teaching skills to improve over years of teaching practice to come. As with most newly qualified teachers, this represented a threshold stage.
Have you always known you wanted to be an EFL teacher? What motivated you to follow this path?
"The motivation was partly a career change"
To be honest, I had never considered it until I heard of CELTA and I decided to give it a try. The motivation was partly a career change and partly the ‘luxury’ of getting to know different places and cultures while working.
You’ve worked in many places across the world, including China, Spain, Morocco, Tanzania and Peru. What were some of your favourite teaching experiences?
My favourite teaching experience is definitely the various learning opportunities provided by students and trainees, with Young Learners being the most enriching one.
Interested in teaching Young Learners? See ELTcampus' online course here.
What drove you to take a PCGE? Not all language teachers take this route?
"The motivation is to complete this MA programme so that this can open doors professionally."
This qualification is a PGCE in TESOL and it is part of an MA TESOL which I am about to complete. The motivation is to complete this MA programme so that this can open doors professionally.
When did you decide that you would like to become a teacher trainer? How did you go about this?
Years after the completion of my DipTESOL, the opportunity to get involved in teacher training arose. Since this was on a full-time basis, it was a chance to bring some variety to previous years of academic management work and one of the most rewarding ELT experiences so far.
You’ve acted as a Main Course Tutor in Spain and Peru, what are your favourite parts of the job?
The most enjoyable parts of working as a Main Course Tutor are helping new Assistant Course Tutors develop as teacher trainers, and seeing trainees gradually become equipped with the teaching skills they will need during their post-CELTA lives.
What brought you to live in Lima permanently after all your travels?
As with all previous positions, the job itself has been the reason behind coming to Lima. Although not permanently living in Lima, this is an option. A new destination is also a possibility.
What are your favourite things to do in your spare time in Peru?
"My favourite pastime in Lima is enjoying Peru’s cuisine and the varied dishes it has to offer."
After only a year here, and not having had the chance to travel around the country yet, my favourite pastime in Lima is enjoying Peru’s cuisine and the varied dishes it has to offer.
What local tips do you have for those taking the CELTA in Lima?
Our CELTA courses incorporate sufficient study times to help trainees deal with the intensity of the programme. It is always advisable to make good use of these to complete any necessary work and/or organise themselves and their workload.
Finding a place to stay in Miraflores means that trainees will be at walking distance from the teaching centre and can also enjoy the various services this trendy district has to offer.
How would you recommend people deal with the intensity of the full time CELTA?
"Trainees who manage their time effectively by organising their week’s work in advance, tend to better cope"
This usually depends on each individual trainee and her/his preferred ways of working. In general, however, trainees who manage their time effectively by organising their week’s work in advance, tend to better cope with the intensity of a full-time programme. More often than not, this does also have a positive effect on their overall performance.
How easy it is to find work in Peru, post-CELTA?
The demand for English language learning in Lima and Peru is big, and it is on the growth. There are plenty of language schools in Lima itself and, provided teachers have a relevant qualification like CELTA, it usually takes a matter of weeks to find a job.
What are the peaking hiring periods?
Language school hire teachers based on demand and this takes place year round. However, it may be worth considering that the academic year runs from March to December. This should be useful if looking for jobs in primary/secondary schools and/or universities as well as in language schools.
What’s next for you professionally?
"Being involved in materials design would also be a possibility"
The obvious next step would be to train to deliver Delta programmes. Out of my own interest, being involved in materials design would also be a possibility.
For more information about Lima, you can see the Lonely Planet guide.
Want to see what our previous Lima CELTA graduates think? See their reviews here.