CELTA via Frankfurt: Interview with CELTA Tutor, Belma Kartal
Often known as the gateway to Europe, Frankfurt is a majestic city situated on the River Mane. It is filled with cultural diversity, it’s filled with museum and hosts many festivals throughout the year, and the city is known for its Skyscraper skyline (of course, it even has a skyscraper festival!).
Due to the pandemic, the Frankfurt CELTA centre is now offering the CELTA online with the health and safety of students in mind. We speak with the Online CELTA Tutor, Belma Kartal, about the online learning experience and her own advice on taking the CELTA.
About Belma Kartal: With a background as a translator, Belma took the CELTA in 2010 and subsequently completed her DELTA in 2016. She has been teaching for over 9 years and teacher training since 2016, predominantly teaching English and the CELTA in Oman. She reads a lot on different issues but is interested in two areas: the use of L1 in language teaching and teaching lexically. Here’s her interview:
Let’s start from the beginning. What made you take the jump into English language teaching?
I moved a lot to different cities, different countries and initially I was looking for something ‘transferrable’. Teaching English as a foreign language gives a lot of flexibility. Very quickly I realised I really liked it too – teaching is a rewarding profession
In your opinion, why do you think people should take a CELTA course?
For inexperienced teachers, I think CELTA provides a solid base for developing skills. Teachers tend to develop their own style of teaching and CELTA can quickly bring them to recognise standards without years of trial and error. It helps introduce a greater range of techniques and can increase confidence in the classroom.
For more experienced teachers, it can take them to another level of teaching and widen their employment options. It also helps teachers to reassess their current style and introduce new ways or learning and teaching.
This year has seen some major changes with the CELTA as it is now offered online. What is the online CELTA like with the Frankfurt centre?
Initially, it took time to adapt the sessions and activities so they work online. Having done a few this year, I am not sure there is much difference. I am positive we have kept the same standards. Lots of things are better, such as accessibility – you no longer need to be close to a CELTA centre.
The most enjoyable aspect of the online courses is how much more international they are. CELTA courses always are, but we now have tutors, trainees and tp students all based in different countries which is great.
How will the Frankfurt centre support students who may not be as confident using technology such as Zoom?
Platforms such as Zoom are no more complex than for example Facebook or Facetime. They are reasonably intuitive and overall user friendly. We timetable sessions in which course participants can try out the most important features with their colleagues, then with students in a ‘safe’ environment, i.e. not assessed.
In input sessions, tutors will use the technology in a way that demonstrates how it can be effectively used. We give plenty of time for trainees to become comfortable with the platform being used. Even the biggest technophobes, if not master it will definitely get comfortable with the platform and tools fairly quickly.
How should a student prepare for an online CELTA course?
A good internet connection, a reasonably quiet room, and a decent laptop are a must. They don’t need to be proficient in any of the online platforms. Everything else is the same as in a face to face course in a physical classroom.
What advice would you give someone if they are looking to teach online?
People have been teaching and learning online for decades, but the recent pandemic has accelerated its use and availability. Now that many of us were forced to try it out, and have discovered its benefits, my advice is to simply not to be afraid and give it a try. Online teaching is here to stay, and those who master it will have greater opportunities.
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Do you have a particular highlight of your ELT career to date?
Nothing special comes to mind but I have enjoyed working in different contexts, with a diverse range of colleagues and students.
How to apply for the CELTA via Frankfurt?
Applying is easy through our online application form. Make sure you set aside 10 minutes of your own time and then a member of the StudyCELTA team will be in contact with you about the next steps.
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!