Interview with Melbourne (Carlton) CELTA Tutor: Barbara Munro
Looking to take the CELTA in Melbourne? It's definitely an exciting city to start your English teaching career! Melbourne is known as the cultural capital of Australia and is buzzing with entertainment and things to do. It's definitely perfect for someone who likes to go out with plenty of events happening all year round, a fantastic gourmet food scene, several theatres, art galleries and quirky street graffiti.
We speak with Barbara Munro, a CELTA Tutor at the Melbourne (Carlton) CELTA centre. She offers some gold advice on taking the CELTA in Melbourne, how the school support their students to her own favourite Melbourne hot spots to visit.
CELTA in Melbourne: Interview with CELTA Tutor, Barbara Munro
Hi Barbara, thanks for letting us interview you! You’ve taught in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Was there a specific place that was the most memorable or you particularly enjoyed (apart from Melbourne, of course!)?
I was very fortunate to be able to train and teach all over Canada. Montreal was the most memorable – I loved living in this cultural and bi-lingual city.
As you’ve lived and trained teachers in both English and non-English speaking countries, can you tell us a little bit about the differences teachers may run into teaching English in an English speaking country versus a non-English speaking country?
The main difference is the mono-lingual classes compared to multi-lingual. In Melbourne we expose our trainees to students from a multitude of backgrounds, and this can make the experience richer.
Teaching or training where all your students speak the same first language is also a valuable experience as you can go deeper in your analysis of their needs and become more expert at helping them with English.
You were originally a primary school teacher, what made you decide to take the leap into English Language teaching? Was there a moment you remember when you thought this was the path for you?
I had a fascination for other cultures and from a young age had friends from very difference backgrounds to myself. I chose to learn more and develop new skills. I still think of my teaching children stage of my career as the happiest, though.
What made you want to transition into teacher training? What was that transition like?
I was fortunate to be in a school that was doing teacher training. I was encouraged by another trainer to study the DELTA and become a trainer. It was a very long process and a big commitment, but I’m glad I did it as it is very rewarding to be a trainer.
What have you found to be the most difficult aspect of the CELTA for trainees? How can prospective candidates prepare for this?
Without a doubt it is grammar. Most people haven’t learnt grammar and find it very challenging to have to teach it while they are learning it on the course. People need to do the pre-course task and ensure they have a good grammar book. We realise it’s hard to learn grammar from a book so we have now put our grammar course online and made it a package deal with CELTA.
How can trainees make the most of their time on the CELTA?
Enjoy the process and don’t be too hard on yourself. Support others and respond positively to the tutors’ feedback, even if you don’t enjoy hearing it. Enjoy the students and realise that teaching is never perfect.
Why should a candidate choose your centre? What benefits will they get from taking the CELTA with you?
At our centre we focus on training teachers and developing them. We are a small team with a lot of knowledge, expertise and international experience. We want to make the CELTA as stress-free as possible and are known for being supportive and fun. We have a lovely school in the Italian quarter on Melbourne, lots of great coffee and food nearby.
We also follow up our graduates and offer an internship programme where CELTA graduates can get further experience without being assessed. We keep in touch and many of our graduates have returned to us to do DELTA or short courses in EAP and professional development that we offer.
What is the job market like for English language teachers in and around Melbourne?
In normal times our graduates can find work in Melbourne quite readily. Melbourne is an education city with large language centres attached to the universities and many language schools.
Some of our graduates return to other cities in Australia or New Zealand to find work. About 40% go overseas to work.
Check out TEFLwork for opportunities for post-CELTA jobs.
What is your favourite thing to do/place to visit in Melbourne?
In the summer you can take a ferry from Docklands (CBD) and go to Williamstown – a lovely port in Melbourne. In the cooler months you can’t beat some of the pubs, restaurants or cafes with open fires and great wine, food or coffee and sometimes great live music.
Last one: we’ve heard the Carlton centre is near Melbourne’s Little Italy. Any insider tips on good restaurants or cafes for potential CELTA candidates?
The best coffee near our school is a short two- minute walk across a lovely park – Parco.
The best restaurant and place to meet for a drink is King and Godfrey – great food and an outside upstairs bar. This is on Lygon Street a 5 minute walk from our school.
Thank you, Barbara!
Take the CELTA in Melbourne!
The CELTA centre in Melbourne offers a full time, part time and now online courses. Taking a CELTA in Melbourne is perfect for those who want to start their career in Australia in one of the most vibrant, cultural cities.
Applying for a CELTA is easy! All you need to do is fill out our online application (usually takes no more than 15 minutes!) and a member of the StudyCELTA team will get back to you.