The last week! If you’re just joining my CELTA journey, you should really start at Week 1.
Tuesday: One final input session with Bobby on different teaching contexts. (Different as in not teaching a classroom full of adults.) We focused on two other common contexts for teaching English: teaching young learners (in the TEFL world, that’s anyone under 16 years old) and one-to-one tutoring. I enjoyed both sessions, especially since I have taught young learners and could contribute some of my Ukraine experiences to the class. We talked about how teaching young learners is different from teaching adults: different life experience, kids respond better to more visual/kinesthetic activities, kids have different levels of maturity… Classroom management is also more of an issue with schoolchildren, so we talked about some techniques that could be used to get silence in the classroom, such as “armchair aerobics,” a countdown, last one silent, or a stop sign. In Ukraine I often used the sit-in-silence-and-look-at-the-kids-until-they-start-self-policing-and-shushing-each-other technique; it often took a few minutes but usually worked.
What’s your most effective technique for silencing a class?
In the session on one-to-one tutoring, we talked about advantages and disadvantages for teachers and students as well as some good one-on-one activities. One of the ideas I liked the most was writing a conversation — if both the teacher and student are tired of talking, they can have a break and practice writing by scrawling notes back and forth. One of my classmates even pointed out that in today’s world you could do that via text message or email/chat on the computer. I noted that 20 Questions was always a hit with my kids and could also work well for one-on-one sessions.
Thursday: The final day of the course! We could hardly remember our first 15-minute lesson 12 weeks ago… No official input session today, though we spent some time talking about what job/career opportunities a CELTA can give you: work at a private or public school at home or abroad; tutor one-on-one, in English and/or writing; work at a summer language school; become an administrator at a language school; write materials for coursebooks or websites; get a DELTA and then become a teacher trainer… It is sort of exciting, how many options a CELTA opens up. Some people from my class are planning to go teach abroad, in Turkey and Asia, among other places. Others, like me, won’t use their CELTA right away but are happy to have it as an option for future opportunities.
After our post-CELTA discussion, we just finished up the administrative stuff in our portfolios, then went out for dinner to celebrate. It has been great to spend 13 weeks with such an interesting, fun group of people. I hope to stay in touch with some of them.
As I’ve said before, there are three (well, four) options in terms of the final grade / level of CELTA that we are awarded: Fail, Pass (the majority get this), Pass B (about 15% of all CELTA participants), or Pass A (2% of CELTA candidates). I should get my grade and preliminary certificate from Oxford House College within a week or two…fingers crossed for a good grade!