How many trainees will there be on the course?
On the IH CYLT the ideal ratio is 4-6 trainees to 1 trainer. You can expect the IH CYLT course to have around 6-8 trainees.
I don’t have any teaching experience. Is that a problem?
Unfortunately, it is. The course is designed for people to apply their existing teaching skills to young learners. This means that we expect candidates to have basic classroom management skills, knowledge of how to plan lessons and ideas how to set up communicative lessons. If you don’t have any experience then we would recommend taking the CELTA with us and doing the IH CYLT as an extension.
I’m not a university graduate. Is that a problem?
Not for the course. It is a strong recommendation that applicants should at least have educational qualifications that would allow entry into higher education in their own country, but the centre is allowed to exercise their discretion in respect to this if a convincing case can be made for your suitability to do the course. Please bear in mind, however, that to work legally as an English teacher in Thailand and many other Asian countries, a degree or its equivalent is required.
I’m not a native speaker. Is that a problem?
No. The course is open to non-native speakers. However, all candidates must have a minimum English language level of C1 (Advanced) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. No formal academic requirements are set, but you must demonstrate in your application and in your interview that you have sufficient competence in both spoken and written English to cope with the demands of the course and the needs of your prospective students.
Is age a factor?
Like the CELTA, age isn’t necessarily a factor. However, all trainees need to be in good health and able to cope with a heavy workload and on some days a lack of a good night’s sleep. Also all trainees need to be aware that often teaching young learners requires more in the way of energy than teaching adult learners.
Is lack of grammatical knowledge a problem?
If you are already teaching then you should have a working knowledge of English grammar. On the course what you need to be able to do is to convey the meaning of tenses and various structures effectively and explain them in terms learners are able to understand. In order to do effectively it’s useful for trainees to have a good understanding of language beforehand.
Do I need to have an interview?
IH CYLT centres are obliged by the terms of their agreement with International House World only to accept trainees whom they confidently expect to pass the course. The written application is designed primarily to give the centre a clear idea of your existing knowledge about teaching young learners and your level of language awareness. The main aim of the interview is to assess your potential to build on this and your ability to handle the demands of the course. A secondary aim is to ensure that you understand how the course is organised and what you will be committing yourself to, and finally, it is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have. Whenever possible, IH Chiang Mai prefers to interview applicants face-to-face but because most of our applicants come from abroad, we will normally have to ask you to phone us or (preferably) conduct the interview using Skype.
Can I work during the course?
It’s very unlikely for trainees to have other commitments, such as work, and for them to still do well on the course. Like on the CELTA, your days are full and you will be expected to lesson plan and write assignments in the evenings and at the weekend. For an idea of what a typical day on the course might look like, go to Course Content. It is safe to say that it will keep you busy for the duration of the course, so it is essential to keep your days free.
What visa should I get to take the course?
All you need to attend the course is a normal tourist visa. The free visa available on arrival for the citizens of many countries only entitles you to a stay of 30 days, which is fine is you are just planning on taking the IH CYLT course. However, if you are planning on taking the YL course after the CELTA course after then we strongly advise you to apply for a 60-day tourist visa at a Thai embassy or consulate before you leave home. The fee for this varies from country to country so please check with your local Thai embassy or consulate. This type of visa can also be extended within Thailand for a further 30 days on payment of another fee.
Are the course fees refundable?
The deposit once paid is non-refundable. Failure to complete full payment of the course fee a month before the course starts may mean the applicant forfeits their place on the course and their deposit. If you later find that you cannot attend the course and you advise us at least a month before the course start date, we will transfer you to a subsequent course of your choosing. In cases where, due to a sudden illness or injury or a similar emergency, you are unable to attend, we will try our hardest to fill your place and to transfer you onto a subsequent course. However, this cannot be guaranteed and your placement on the later course may be last minute. We strongly advise trainees to obtain suitable travel insurance before starting the course, ensuring that it covers your course fee should you be unable to complete or start the course due to illness or emergency.
How much will I need for living costs in Chiang Mai during the course?
Thailand is no longer as cheap as it once was and how much you spend will depend very much on your lifestyle. If you stick to eating Thai food in inexpensive restaurants, you would have difficulty in spending much more than 200 baht on food in a day. But if you want to eat western food (including junk food), you could easily find yourself spending twice that. The same will be true if you eat regularly in air-conditioned Thai restaurants with more elaborate menus while places specifically geared towards tourists can be very expensive. You will also find that any kind of ‘partying’ can quickly burn a hole in your wallet with many alcoholic drinks having a starting price of 150 baht, especially in the bars and clubs catering to tourists or expats.
Will I have to buy a course textbook?
There is no IH CYLT course textbook as such. During the course, you will receive a large number of handouts from your trainers in input sessions which will effectively comprise one. All trainees accepted on to the course will receive a recommended reading list and there will be some pre-sessional readings to do before certain input sessions; however these readings will only consist of 3-4 pages.
Should I bring my laptop?
If you’re used to having your laptop with you, you’ll almost certainly miss it if you don’t bring it and in IH Chiang Mai we have wifi available throughout the school. However, you’ll need to save your work to a flashdrive/USB in order to print. There are 10 computers and 2 printers provided for trainee use, although these can get busy during peak times. It’s worth remembering that there is no obligation on you to produce typewritten assignments and lesson plans if you prefer not to.
Who runs the course?
There will be at least two trainers on each course, one of whom will act as the ‘Main Course Tutor’. All IH CYLT trainers have to be approved by International House World. Before undertaking the training necessary to become an IH CYLT trainer, your tutors will have acquired the Cambridge DELTA (a diploma requiring intensive study, assessed by dissertations, examinations and observations of teaching) and will have many years’ experience of teaching young learners in various countries.
What do the input sessions and workshops involve?
Input session topics include: understanding young learners and the practical differences between young learner and adult learner language acquisition; teaching methodology (for example, classroom management, ways of clarifying and checking meaning, ways of providing practice for students, ways of responding to student errors, etc.); how to structure different lessons so that they meet different aims (i.e. “lesson types”); individual sessions on how to develop the learners’ productive and receptive skills; the selection and exploitation of resources and materials; lots of practical games and activities to engage young learners and give the fun, meaningful and communicative language practice; how to deal with issues in the class such as L1, mixed ability classes as well as dealing with parents. Sessions usually last 75 – 90 minutes each and are led by a trainer but typically require a lot of active involvement by trainees, discussing answers, solving problems and analysing what you have been shown.
How is teaching practice (TP) organized?
Usually TP is a 2 ½ hour block and takes place every day. Trainees are divided into TP groups (with a maximum size of 6 trainees), and each TP group, with one trainer, is responsible for a particular class of students for a one-week period. Halfway through the course, the group changes to a different class at a different level. The TP groups are organised into two distinct age groups: young learners and teenagers. Trainees teach for periods of about 45 minutes twice a week. While you are not teaching yourself, a couple of times over the course you will be required to observe one of your peers. There is support from the trainers with the planning of lessons. The TP students will mainly be Thai.
What is TP feedback?
TP feedback is conducted the day after your TP. You will be expected to write a short self-evaluation of your own lesson and very often you will be given time to discuss each other’s lessons first as a group without the trainer. Once the trainer joins you, s/he will naturally take a directive role in the discussion. Contributions will be invited from all observing trainees and on days when you have taught, you will be expected to reflect on your own performance. Developing an ability to evaluate your own teaching is a very important component of the course. Trainees do often find feedback stressful, especially when they feel they have given an unsuccessful lesson. But the role of feedback is to lead you to see what you need to change in order to teach more effectively. By the end of the course, many trainees often agree that it was these feedback sessions that turned out to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the course. This will only be true, however, if you are eager to learn how to improve and open to constructive suggestions. This kind of attitude is crucial to success on training course and both overconfidence and refusal to accept criticism can be a barrier to progress.
What are the possible final grades?
Pass, Distinction and Fail. The IH CYLT is not a course you can be sure of passing simply through being accepted on to it. However, as centres won’t accept you unless they judge that you have the potential to pass, the failure rate is very low. The majority of candidates are awarded a Pass grade, with only a small percentage (around 25%) achieving a Pass B or above. There is no ‘quota’ of particular grades for each course. Throughout the course, trainees have all evaluations made of them in their possession and so should have a perfectly clear idea of their overall progress and their potential final grade. This will also be discussed in a mid-course tutorial with one of the trainers. Any candidates in danger of failing will be warned well in advance and told specifically what they need to work on in order to reach the required standard overall.
What is the final grade based on? Who decides it and how am I assessed?
Trainees will receive a grade based on the following: grades they receive for their teaching practice lessons, their two written assignments, their portfolio tasks, the completion of their observation tasks and their portfolio presentation. Trainees that achieve a Distinction have fulfilled the course requirements to an exceptionally high degree. Once the final grades have been decided then the portfolios will be submitted for the International House Assessment Unit to ratify the grades. Each course will also be moderated by Cambridge English Language Assessment with certificates containing both the IH World logo and the Cambridge logo. In the event that the tutors recommend a Fail for a candidate, that candidate’s portfolio 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.
What is a portfolio task?
Over the duration of the course trainees are asked to complete a variety of tasks and projects which are to be presented in the portfolio. Some tasks may be completed during the morning input session as part of the session, some may be started in the session and then completed at home, while others will be completed by the trainee independently at home. There are 11 Portfolio tasks included in the course focusing on areas of YLs and Second
Language Acquisition, Classroom Management, Practising Language, Receptive and Productive Skills, Methods and Approaches, Learning Styles as well as other areas. Trainees need to complete a minimum of 7 tasks, 2 of which are compulsory. They will be marked by the tutors who provide feedback and support as required.
Assuming I pass, what will I actually receive?
You will receive a certificate issued by International House World with your grade on it. The certificate will have both the IH logo on it and Cambridge’s logo. In addition to the certificate, you will also receive a personalised report from your trainers commenting on the following areas: Attitude and Professionalism, Contributions and Participation, Written Work, Personality and Rapport, Lesson Preparation and Teaching Skills. This can also be used as a work reference when applying for a job.
Where is the qualification recognised?
The International House World Organisation is one of the largest and oldest groups of premier language schools in the world. In the last 60 years International House has grown and it now has members in over 150 members in 50 countries spanning every continent. As only schools that meet International House’s exceptional quality standards are allowed to join the prestigious IH network, its members have a reputation for high teaching and training standards. International House can boast that it wrote the number one TEFL teacher training course in the world, the Cambridge CELTA course. International House luminaries include Jeremy Harmer, Adrian Underhill the late John Soars and his wife, Liz, authors of the Headway Series, one of the best-selling course books in the industry, as well as authors of some of the world’s most respected and popular EFL course books, such as Cutting Edge, Language To Go and Natural Grammar to name but a few. As a result of this, with each course being assessed by International House and moderated by Cambridge the IH CYLT standard is recognised across the globe.
What sort of help do you provide for trainees looking for work?
Your tutors have taught in a number of countries and organisations and can provide valuable suggestions on which to apply to. Being an International House school also means that graduates have access to the IH recruitment service worldwide. If you are looking for the more lucrative positions teaching young learners then having the International House Certificate in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers will put you set you apart from those with a standard TEFL qualification. As a result you should be much better placed to secure the job of your choice.
Is there a chance I could work at IH Chiang Mai if I’m successful on the course?
If we have a vacancy, we actively try to employ graduates of our training courses. However, because our teaching sector is small in comparison with our teacher training sector, we are unfortunately not able to make guarantees.
What are my chances in general of finding a job after completing the CELTA?
Excellent! If you are planning to teach young learners in Thailand or in any part of the world the chances are very good. With an ever increasing number of schools in countries such as Thailand, China, South Korea and Taiwan requiring suitably qualified YL teachers, there has never been a better time to get a qualification in teaching younger learners and teenagers and to put yourself ahead of the pack for the better paid jobs.
Is there a dress code whilst training at IH Chiang Mai?
IH Chiang Mai is not only a teacher training centre but is also a working language school. Like in many Asian cultures, teachers in Thailand are held in high regard and so are expected to dress and behave in a manner that befits their high status profession. Therefore, we would ask that our trainees dress smartly when on the school premises. Men should wear trousers and a shirt and tie, and women should wear a blouse and smart skirt or trousers. Please note that shoulders should be covered at all times, as should any tattoos, and skirts should not be too short.
Any questions unanswered?