Teaching English - my CELTA experience

December 10, 2018


What is CELTA?

CELTA, Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, is developed and produced by University of Cambridge. Cambridge ESOL's CELTA high quality teaching programme can help you:

  • Gain a qualification internationally recognised and in demand all over the world

  • Feel more confident

  • Get a better job

  • Do a better job

  • Develop a lifelong career



Travel and work around the world and embark on a lifelong teaching career... that is why thousands of people take CELTA every year. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) can be a rewarding career. 

The main reason why trainees choose CELTA is that thousands of language schools, colleges, universities and teaching organisations around the world ask for CELTA when recruiting teachers, making it easier to get a teaching job anywhere.


And now.... my experience


I was always good at learning new languages. At the moment, I speak 5, the last one, Dutch, not really that easy, I learnt it (to level B2) in one year and a half.

So, because I enjoy it so much, I started teaching years ago through private classes. I had quite a few students in Cluj, Brussels and Antwerp. Some of them needed English to move to Canada, others for exams in school. It was a pleasure for me to work with all of them and to see their evolution based on motivation and hard work. 


However, I was sure that what I knew was not enough to provide excellent support, so I decided to take up teaching classes. But there were not too many options around. I could have chosen a 3 year Bachelor to become a SLO  - Specifieke Lerarenopleiding or ... or.. after searching some more, enrol with CELTA.


I started on September , 16 and I finished it on December, 15. ( I know, you might think, wait! this was published on the 10th:), 15 December is in 4 days - Indeed, dear reader, you are right, but I have just finished my last teaching practice last Saturday.)


There are so many positive aspects about this course that I do not have enough space to mention all of them:) 


1. Practice before theory


Having to teach to a class ( more than 10 students  -all adults) for 45 min without break was a challenge. Why? Because it is 10 times more difficult:) - you need to make sure that everyone pays attention and that they all get involved.

I had in total 8 TPs (teaching prcatices)  for 2 levels: lower & upper intermediate.  


I taught for 6 h ( 45 min x 8) and I spent some extra hours observing experienced Cambridge teachers.


2. Preparing your own lesson plan


This would take me at least 2 h a week. There is a standard lesson plan that we need to fill in comprising: anticipated problems, the aims, detailed activity and steps and nevertheless - language analysis. I would also have to adapt the materials from books so that I am sure that what I teach is cultural appropriate. After that, I would prepare a power point (if necessary) and the worksheets that would be given to students.



3. Online modules


30 of them, yes :) I completed all of them - 2 - 3 per week - again 2-3 hours. These modules provided by an online learning platform covered all subjects you can think of in the field of teaching: from focusing on the learner to teaching lexsis, test and provide feedback. We would also have a video call every two weeks on Mondays, for 1 h, with a tutor from Canada. We could easily address all our questions.



4. Feedback and evaluation


The evaluation consisted of 4 assignments that I had to submit. It was not a simple project - it was more than research and analysis. Feedback was very important too and strongly appreciated. We would get it from our tutors at the end of our teaching practice and from our colleagues. It is striking to see the amount of piece of advice you can get. It's priceless.


And in conclusion ...... Your motivation... 


If you want to become a really good teacher, just like me:), just go for it. You will be surprised in the end to see how deep the 'know how to' teaching procedure goes:) 




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