WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY ON THE COURSE LIKE?
WHAT DO THE INPUT SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS INVOLVE?
WILL THE INPUT SESSIONS TEACH ME ENGLISH GRAMMAR?
WHAT PAYMENT(S) ARE REQUIRED?
ARE THE COURSE FEES REFUNDABLE?
For all teacher training courses run by IH Bangkok and Chiang Mai:
More than 1 month before the course start date
- Cancellations are permitted but with a loss of deposit only and any related transfer costs
- Postponements are permitted without charge on one occasion.
- Any subsequent postponement after the first will incur a 100 USD administration fee. This fee will need to be paid in advance before any rebooking confirmation is made for a later course.
Less than 1 month before the course start date
- No cancellations can be made
- Postponements may be permitted under the following conditions: 1) If a replacement can be found and the booked course remains full then the trainee may postpone following the rules above for cases of which are more than 1 month before the start date 2) If a replacement cannot be found to make the booked course full then the trainee may postpone 1 time but must wait for a course to have a remaining place, 1 week before the start date of a given course. Therefore in these circumstances the trainee needs to appreciate that they cannot be guaranteed a place on a specific course in advance but needs to wait until 7 days before the start date.
- Only 1 postponement less than 1 month before the course start is permissible.
- The above also applies to accommodation if we are arranging it for you. Please note that once you check in to the accommodation refunds are not available.
HOW ARE THE TEACHING PRACTICE (TP) SESSIONS ORGANIZED?
At the start of the course, trainers give their trainees extensive support in planning and organizing their lessons. As the course progresses, trainees are expected to become more and more independent until they are able, by the end of the course, to plan lessons without much assistance at all. Trainers do still answer questions and give advice, even toward the end of the course.
Your TP students have paid only a nominal course fee and are fully aware that they are being taught by new and/or unqualified teachers. They are, however, motivated and engaged – in some ways they may be the best classes you ever have as a teacher! Many of our students are Thai but we also have quite a few students from other Asian countries and also a small number of UN refuges who are able to study with IH for free. The first language of communication for students is, therefore, English. Students will be at least 16 years old, though most are in their twenties. Though class sizes vary, they usually will not exceed 15 students.
HOW WILL I RECEIVE FEEDBACK ON MY TP SESSIONS?
The course strives to help trainees develop the skill of evaluating their own teaching – both with a view to succeeding on the course but also as a fundamental ability that all teachers need in order to continue their development after the course.
Trainees often find feedback stressful, especially when they feel that a lesson was unsuccessful. But the feedback is only meant to help you become a better and more effective teacher. By the end of the CELTA, most trainees agree these feedback sessions were one of the most rewarding parts of the course. In order for feedback to work as it’s meant to, however, you must be eager to learn how to improve and be open to constructive suggestions. This attitude is essential to success on the CELTA course. On the other hand, overconfidence and refusal to accept criticism can impede progress.
DOES THE COURSE ADVOCATE ONE PARTICULAR TEACHING METHOD OVER OTHERS?
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE FINAL GRADES?
WHAT IS THE FINAL GRADE BASED ON? WHO DECIDES IT AND HOW AM I ASSESSED?
Teaching practice is the key component in assessment.
You must pass at least 3 out of the 4 written assignments in order to pass overall, but assignments which are marked “not to standard” on the first submission may be resubmitted with corrections, so it is extremely rare for trainees to fail this component. (Please note that if a candidate’s written English is very poor, this can be grounds for failing an assignment. Normally, of course, this problem will have been detected during the selection process unless there has been some ultimately counterproductive effort to defraud.)
Teaching practice is assessed on a very wide range of criteria (42 of them, to be exact), which will be outlined for trainees at the beginning of the course in their official “CELTA 5” record-keeping booklets. The criteria fall into five major categories: lesson planning and use of resources; awareness of the learner; language analysis (i.e. dealing with meaning, form and pronunciation in the classroom); development of learners’ language skills (i.e. reading and writing, listening and speaking); and teaching skills and techniques and general professionalism. The criteria are not weighted equally. Trainers give more significance to those areas that are more critical to an effective lesson and/or more difficult for a novice teacher to do well.
A Pass is awarded to a candidate whose “overall performance” in the teaching practice (and in the written assignments) “meets the specified criteria”. The Pass candidate will be someone still in need of help and guidance during their first few months at work.
To receive a Pass B (in addition to fulfilling the requirements for a Pass) a candidate has to consistently demonstrate in their teaching practice “a level of achievement significantly higher than that required to meet pass-level criteria” in classroom teaching skills (that is, those gathered under all headings above except the first). It is expected of a Pass B candidate that they will need only a minimum of further help and guidance immediately on graduating from the course.
To receive a Pass A (in addition to fulfilling the requirements for a Pass) a candidate has not only to show consistency in significantly exceeding Pass requirements in classroom teaching skills but also in lesson planning (the first of the headings listed above). It is also expected that the Pass A candidate “will be able to work independently” without the need of any guidance immediately on graduating from the course.
There is no CELTA examination. Assessment is continuous. You will receive a detailed evaluation of every lesson you teach, which will include an overall grading of the lesson as “at standard”, “above standard” or “below standard” for the stage of the course you are at. In other words, the standards expected of you are constantly raised as you receive more input and feedback and gain more teaching experience over the course. This means that if you remain “at standard” throughout the course, you have made constant progress. It also means that what is happening towards the end of the course is more significant than what is happening towards the beginning, so that falling below the standard once in the early stages, for example, is unlikely to have any effect on your final grade. For this reason also, higher grades cannot be decided by simply adding up the number of times a candidate rose above standard. Attention will also be paid to the stages in the course at which s/he rose above standard and over how wide a range of lesson types.
Recommended grades are decided by the course tutors at the end of the course, at least two of whom will have observed you. In addition, every CELTA course is visited for one or two days towards its end by a Cambridge-appointed “assessor”, who will observe TP and feedback and read through candidates’ lesson plans and written work etc. The assessor’s primary role is to ensure that a course is running according to Cambridge CELTA regulations. In this sense, s/he is “assessing” the centre and the tutors rather than the candidates. Part of such an assessment, however, involves the assessor reading through candidates’ “portfolios” (which are maintained by the candidate during the course and contain all lesson plans, tutors’ comments on TP and written assignments), ensuring that the tutors’ views on candidates’ progress correspond with general CELTA standards and in cases where a grade is not yet clear, trying to help tutors establish exactly what a trainee has or has not yet demonstrated. In the rare event that the tutors recommend a Fail for a candidate, that candidate’s portfolio is automatically referred to Cambridge ESOL for a second opinion. There it will be re-examined by several experienced trainers and the centre’s recommended result may be either confirmed or overturned. The candidate may submit a letter querying the result for consideration together with the portfolio if they so wish.
ASSUMING I PASS, WHAT WILL I ACTUALLY RECEIVE?
WHERE IS THE QUALIFICATION RECOGNISED?
Whether or not the CELTA alone will be accepted as an adequate qualification to teach legally varies from country to country. In Thailand and in many other Asian countries, you will need to have a university degree in order to be able to get a work permit as a teacher. However, the CELTA (or a similar ELT qualification) is also a mandatory requirement for an English teacher in Thailand and a growing number of other Asian countries.
Within the United Kingdom, Cambridge ESOL Teaching Awards have been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) at Level 4 on the National Qualification Framework. CELTA is also the first module of a wider qualification, which will meet the requirements for teachers of ESOL in further and adult education and which has recognition from FENTO (The Further Education National Training Organisation). For more details please see the Cambridge ESOL website.
The new CELTA syllabus has meant a wider recognition for CELTA holders in terms of migrant teaching, which is a growing sector not just in the UK but in many English-speaking countries.
Cambridge ESOL also continues to work with various international ELT organisations to promote the recognition of CELTA globally and to ensure that your chances of finding suitable employment will be enhanced with the CELTA.
WHAT SORT OF HELP DO YOU PROVIDE FOR TRAINEES LOOKING FOR WORK?
IS THERE A CHANCE I COULD WORK AT IH BANGKOK IF I’M SUCCESSFUL ON THE COURSE?
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES IN GENERAL OF FINDING A JOB AFTER COMPLETING THE CELTA?
IS THERE A DRESS CODE WHILST TRAINING AT IH BANGKOK?
ANY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED?
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