CELTA Online Adelaide: Interview with CELTA Tutors Mo Killip and Niki Walker
For those stuck in lockdown and are located in Australasia, you can now take the CELTA Online via Adelaide, Australia. This is the perfect opportunity if you are at home or have been meaning to take the CELTA for a while,as the online format offers more flexibility, so you can work it around your daily routine.
We speak with the CELTA tutors, Mo Killip and Niki Walker, from the Adelaide CELTA centre about all things CELTA Online, such as how different the course is to the standard classroom format and what a trainee should expect to learn from the online CELTA.
CELTA Online Adelaide: Interview with CELTA Tutors Mo Killip and Niki Walker
Thank you for letting us interview you both! Let’s dive straight in. What point in your career (or education) did you both decide to go into English Language Teaching?
Mo: I did my CELTA equivalent (preparatory certificate in TEFL) in early 1987, and I’ve been working in the industry as teacher, trainer, manager, examiner and inspector ever since.
Niki: For me it was after I finished university. I was looking for a way to travel and live in different countries, then I discovered I enjoyed teaching!
Do you have any stand-out moments in your careers? Any classes that you particularly remember?
Mo: Early on, I had an amazing class of absolute beginners from Turkey, Japan, Eritrea, Brazil, Yugoslavia and Libya. At the time there were no published materials for such a low level and it was fantastic to teach according to their needs and follow a syllabus we created together.
Niki: My first ever class was in Crete, Greece with a group of teenagers. They were so cooperative and enthusiastic, completely unlike what I had expected. They were the perfect class and I was so lucky to have started my teaching with them. I have great memories from the many different countries I have taught in post CELTA and DELTA.
The CELTA Online is a new way to take the CELTA in light of the recent disruptions due to Covid-19. Can you let us know what the experience will be like through the Adelaide centre?
Mo: It is a great opportunity to do the course when face-to-face options aren’t available. We were one of the first centres to deliver the 100% online CELTA, and in that first course we had trainees from Melbourne, Wellington (NZ), Japan and Indonesia as well as Adelaide. Initially, the teaching practice students were all from Adelaide, but we started to get people from out of town, including Poland!
Niki: We’ve found with our current courses that doing some Zoom training before the course starts really helps. We also offer pre-CELTA online observation of experienced Adelaide and Melbourne teachers, where the trainees can observe a lesson online to get an idea of what teaching will be like. The trainees on our first online CELTA supported each other very well and trainees found this collaboration very useful.
How should candidates prepare for the online CELTA? Should they install any software?
Mo: Teaching Practice is done via zoom, so if you have a chance to practice using the breakout rooms that can be useful. It is also a good idea to make public access Google Docs, which you can paste a link to in the zoom chatbox for the students to access.
Niki: All the course units and forums are on the Cambridge CELTA platform and we give access to that on the first day of the course. The trainees have to install Zoom for teaching practice.
How will the teaching practice be different to the face-to-face?
Mo: It is incredibly important to maintain a positive and friendly appearance and not get frustrated with any technical problems as it is essential to create a warm learning environment across cyberspace and help the learners feel that they are part of a class together.
Sometimes you have to wait a little longer for learners to speak until they become confident in offering ideas in this virtual environment. Be aware that some learners will be doing the lessons on their phones, so it can take them a little time to be able to read texts.
Niki: Instead of a classroom in a building, the teacher can see the students in Zoom. In the onsite classroom, the teacher puts students into pairs and groups around a table, but in Zoom the teacher puts the students in breakout rooms. Instead of a whiteboard on a wall, the teacher can show a whiteboard in Zoom or share their computer screen with the group.
The teaching techniques are the same!
What benefits are there to taking the CELTA Online?
Mo: The basic methodology is the same so if you can work with it in the online environment, you’ll be able to teach in a physical classroom. However, becoming confident with using an online learning platform gives you a definite employment advantage in being able to teach more flexibly in a range of modes.
Niki: As the fundamental methodology and teaching is the same online and onsite, it means that trainees can develop their teaching skills while becoming more confident with the online environment. This may help with future employment and could help you find teaching work overseas while sitting at home.
What are the facilities and team like at the Adelaide centre like? What would a trainee expect?
Mo: I am based in New Zealand, but I have enjoyed working with both Niki and Penny on a number of courses over the last 15 years. It is great to be able to tutor ‘overseas’ while all the borders are shut. The Adelaide centre has a core team of three tutors: Kristin, Niki and me. We’ve have worked together for a number of years in various roles.
Niki: The centre is a fully equipped, nationally accredited English language school and has been an approved Teacher Training centre since 1993. The onsite CELTA is run on the fourth floor, where the candidates have access to CELTA dedicated photocopiers, computers and printers. There’s a kitchen up there for CELTA trainees only!
Teacher observations, onsite and online are organised with experienced teachers teaching regular classes of international students.
What is the ELT industry like for jobs in and around Adelaide? What should a trainee expect after completing their CELTA?
Mo: I don’t know exactly as I live in Nelson, New Zealand. However, I’d say generally that in the short to medium term being able to teach online will be essential and the course will prepare you well for it. The Adelaide centre also runs a post Celta workshop to help trainees with finding work and preparing for interviews.
Niki: The centre supports candidates when they are looking for work. There are a number of language schools in Adelaide and teaching online means you can teach anywhere in the world.
Known as the 20 minute city and one of the cosmopolitan capitals of South Australia, Adelaide is famous for its multiculturalism, rich history and it’s many festivals and sporting events. The city is full of interesting churches with one nearly on every street, some old and full of history, some more recent and modern — so the city is great for an afternoon walk and if you are disinterested in architecture. There are also plenty of entertainment options in the city from watching cricket at the Adelaide Oval, visiting the Adelaide Central market (with over 80 restaurants, cafes and food stalls!) to walking (or surfing!) on the beautiful beaches. It’s a gentler city compared to Melbourne and Sydney, but it offers you space to breathe and great for those who look for relaxation in their CELTA down time!
Apply for a CELTA in Adelaide
Applying for an online CELTA in Adelaide is simple! Click on our online application form (make sure you have a spare 10 minutes!) and tell us why you want to take the CELTA. A member of our team will then get in touch with you about the next steps. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!
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!