The CELTA: Why you should do it! Annie Hopkins has been teaching English as a second language for several years now since completing her CELTA course. She is currently working in Brighton and has recently started a DELTA course. Annie is extremely passionate about teaching and tells us of a few of the great advantages of having the CELTA course under your belt…
Studying the CELTA was definitely the best decision of my life. I found a new job, new social circle and a new confidence in myself. Teaching English is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things I’ve ever done, and the CELTA course was a perfectly structured introduction to this new skill.
My favourite activities are speaking mingles, where students try to talk to as many others as possible and remember what they’ve heard. I listen and note down errors and examples of good English. We analyse them together and then have a class discussion about what the student’s shared during the mingle activity.
I also like telling the students real stories from my own life, as a listening and note-taking activity. They have to piece my anecdote back together themselves, using key-words. Then they ‘speed-date’ around the classroom, telling their own stories, then passing their partner’s story on, so that their story travels around the room.
What I love about teaching is seeing students develop and encouraging them to get to the right answer. I also find that working with a group of students who are all studying the same thing, always seems to result in a lot of laughter, which I think makes any job a thousand times more fun.
Before the CELTA I was working in a primary school, as a teaching assistant. After the course I continued there for a couple of months, but was lucky enough to find a position at the school where I’d studied my CELTA. In Brighton, international students come from all over the world, so there are around 56 language schools. Teachers are in demand!
Apart from Brighton, I’ve also taught in Spain and Italy. In Seville, Spain, I hadn’t yet done a CELTA, and taught very basic English to the grandchildren of my downstairs neighbours! I was only occasionally paid with real money, but more often it was delicious snacks. Last year, in Bari, Italy, I worked for 6 months at a proper language school where they paid me actual euros! I got the train or bus all over the region, teaching huge classes of rowdy teenagers, little groups of 8-year-olds, and exam classes for school teachers in their 40s and 50s. It was sometimes tough and draining, as the classroom layout and class sizes were so different to what I was used to in the UK, but it was an experience I wouldn’t change for the world.
The CELTA makes you employable. It focuses you as a teacher, making your lessons slick and structured. As you begin to teach you’ll be able to bring in your own ideas, play games and create resources yourself using authentic texts. The CELTA training you receive will serve as a brilliant basis for you to develop from. It ensures that you have the knowledge to clarify grammar points and lexical terms effectively. It also keeps your lessons student-centred.
Having been teaching for 3 years now, I’ve just started my DELTA course – the next step! Without the CELTA I couldn’t have found the job I have now, met the people I’ve met and visited the countries I have (I just came back from Istanbul where I visited one of my former students and had the best time ever!) It’s a worthwhile investment for your teaching and for you.
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