Upon deciding to undertake a career as a teacher of English as a foreign language, the first question was; how? I began, like many in my position, by looking online. There are a whole host of websites offering courses, both online and classroom based, some more reputable than others. So, when I came across the Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults, commonly known as the CELTA, and noticed that it is Cambridge awarded and audited, I surmised that there could be few more reputable or worthwhile than this. Also, I noticed that having a CELTA is often stated as a minimum requisite within teaching job advertisements.
The next step was to contact an institution that offered the course, which is when I discovered the Teacher Training Center in Wellington and first contacted the CELTA course co-ordinator. My first impression of both was one of professionalism and dynamism.
The CELTA course itself followed suit and surpassed my expectations in its content. It offered a good amount of pedagogical theory which was only outweighed by practical, applicable and often entertaining teaching methodology. The CELTA course is very hands-on, as from day one each trainee teacher is expected to teach, albeit with the supervision and tutelage of highly experienced and learned teacher trainers.
In summary, through the ‘doing is learning’ approach of CELTA each of the trainee teachers, including myself, amassed a notable array of teaching methods, knowledge of teaching theory and how to apply both within the classroom.
From a personal perspective, life post-CELTA is testimony to the short-course’s validity, reputation and content. I was offered a job not four weeks after completion of the CELTA course. Unsurprising as having a CELTA is often stated as a minimum requisite for TEFL positions. A year on, I still look back to my CELTA experience to cement my understanding of, and my approach to, pedagogy.