We decided to ask Diana Vaselenko, our Director of Teacher Training, some questions about the CELTA course. Here’s what she’s got to say.
1. Why do you think this course is such a crucial step in a teacher’s professional development?
First of all, this course introduces teachers to the fundamental principles not only of the communicative approach, but teaching and learning as well. Also, it’s a fantastic experience for any teacher as it gives them the chance to implement the newly learnt techniques and methods in the classroom and reflect on this experience with the other teachers taking the course and the trainers whom they can always ask for advice. Not to mention the fact that this certificate helps graduates find a better job and changes not only their teaching, but also their lives for the better.
2. What do teachers often find difficult about the CELTA course?
Managing their time effectively and completing the paperwork on time. I can’t emphasize enough how time-consuming and even stressful the course can be at times, and when making the decision to take the course, candidates need to think how they’re going to cope with the workload. Also, a lot of people dread writing, but the only way to deal with this issue is simply sitting down and getting it done, not wasting your time procrastinating and finding excuses not to do it.
3. How can teachers cope with the workload and the stress during the course?
It’s important to remember that for the teachers taking the course, it’s the only CELTA course they’ll have in their life, however, for the tutors, it’s not. So if you feel that you’re struggling or feeling worried, talk to the trainers. it’s essential to plan your weeks and days in advance to have a clear idea what you need to be working this week and what the deadlines are. This way you’ll also be able to get some sleep and some food as well.
4. What is the funniest CELTA moment you can remember?
There’s never a CELTA course without a good laugh, but it’s difficult to find one story to tell. I think one thing that I remember well was when the trainees filmed me typing feedback while I was observing a lesson. With the sound off, it looked as if I was playing the piano at a concert and all of the training found it hilarious.
5. What was the worst CELTA moment or a difficult situation you can remember?
I guess one of the worst moments was when one of the trainees came in not quite sober for the teaching practice. That was some time ago and at a different CELTA centre, in another country, and he already knew that he was not going to successfully pass the course, so he decided to drown his sorrows. I must admit I got really worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle this situation on my own, especially, given the fact that another teacher was already teaching the lesson, but one of the other trainees on the course helped to take him out of the classroom and kept him outside for his colleague to finish her lesson.
6. What would you recommend to someone thinking about taking the CELTA сourse?
Just do itJ However, it’s important to plan how you’re going to survive it and make the necessary arrangements to help you do so. For example, if you are planning to continue teaching or doing any other sort of work, you’ll probably be better off taking the part-time course. Nevertheless, everything is possible, and you’ll definitely complete the course successfully with a little help from the tutors and your peers.