Teacher Training in Lisbon: Interview with CELTA Tutor, Xana de Nagy

Over the past few years, Lisbon has been one of the trendiest destinations in Europe! Known for its buzzing nightlife, ornate architecture and their beautiful…

Over the past few years, Lisbon has been one of the trendiest destinations in Europe! Known for its buzzing nightlife, ornate architecture and their beautiful custard tarts (I’m hungry at the thought of them!), this vibrant city has tonnes to offer – and we haven’t even mentioned Lisbon’s busy ELT job market!

We speak with Teacher Trainer, Xana de Nagy, who tells us about her own ELT journey and how she got into teaching the CELTA. She also shares insights into the Lisbon ELT job market, her tops tips for candidates before they take the course and talks about the DELTA certificate.

Teacher Training in Lisbon, Portugal

How did you get into English language teaching? Was there anything you were interested in doing before?

I actually ‘fell’ into teaching. I had recently moved to Portugal and I was given the opportunity of teaching a class. I liked it so much that I decided that I wanted to find out more, so I applied to do a training course and I have never looked back.

Why did you decide to get involved in the teacher training aspect of ELT?

After doing DELTA or DTEFLA at the time, I was asked if I wanted to train up. I had really enjoyed the teaching I had done up till then but was ready for a new challenge and training seemed to be the next logical step.

What one piece of advice would you give trainees before they start the CELTA?

To prepare as much as they can. We send out an information pack and the Cambridge pre-course task to all our candidates before the course so that they know how best to prepare. We also recommend that our candidates read a methodology book (such as Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener (Macmillan)) and that they work through the tasks we send them. Talking to other trainees who have completed the CELTA is always helpful, as is finding out a little more about Portugal so that they know what to expect outside the training rooms.

Do you have a particular classroom experience that has stood out in your career?

I always seem to remember the times when things didn’t go so well. There have been many times that a lesson didn’t exactly go to plan, looking back now I know I learned a lot from the ‘mistakes’ I made. Collaborating with other teachers and trainers over the years really stands out, too.

Lisbon also offers DELTA courses. Why should trainees look at achieving this certification?

The DELTA is for teachers with some experience and with enthusiasm for teaching who want to consider both their practical teaching and the theoretical principles behind what they are already doing in the classroom. It also offers the opportunity to discuss with and learn from likeminded colleagues. The DELTA is hard work – on many levels – but everyone who does it says that it takes their teaching to another level, leading to a greater awareness of how to help their students to learn effectively and enhances personal satisfaction in their role as a teacher.

What’s the ELT jobs market like in Lisbon?

There are more than 100 schools in the Greater Lisbon area – of different sizes and, of course, quality. Most of these work to an academic year calendar (October to June) so most opportunities for jobs are from June onwards when schools will start to look at their recruitment needs. Most of the trainees who stay in Portugal report that they get a job fairly soon. The school posts job advertisements – for local and international ELT positions and the tutors are always ready to offer advice.

Check out TEFLwork for opportunities for post-CELTA jobs.

What are the facilities like at the centre in Lisbon?

The Centre has been operating in its current location for nearly three years. Our premises are modern, well-equipped and welcoming. The centre has excellent transport links, the buses and metro are a 5 minute walk and you are only three stop stops from the historical centre of Lisbon. All the training rooms are equipped with the latest computer and projector technologies, there are also laptops for trainees to use. We have a small kitchen area with fridge, microwave and kettle as well as a coffee machine in the reception area. Many of our trainees relax in the beautiful park opposite the school or get together at one of the many outside cafes and restaurants in the area.

What are your recommendations for CELTA students to do in their downtime?

Lisbon is a vibrant, busy, friendly city and a top tourist destination. It is a city steeped in history whilst managing to embrace a modern outlook on life. There are reasonably priced, welcoming restaurants catering to everyone’s tastes, cafes with the most tempting local cakes and pastries and an exciting nightlife. The city offers a broad range of cultural activities: concerts, theatre, museums, art galleries and guided tours. The river Tagus flows through the centre of Lisbon, you are never far from world renowned river and Atlantic beaches where you can enjoy sunbathing or surfing. It’s a very easy city to fall in love with!

The teacher training centre in Lisbon offers full time course and an online blended. The school is also offering a satellite online blended in Braga (email for details).

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with a StudyCELTA member of staff.