Thursday, February 26, 2009

Celta in Solihull...

Today I had an interview at Solihull College to hopefully convince them that I possess the right material to partake in an intense course run by the very prestigious Cambridge University.

The CELTA course stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching Adults and is the best credential a teacher can have other than a degree in a specific subject.

I had sent in my application packet consisting of an essay on why I wanted to take the course, a 5 problem sheet with grammar and spelling mistakes and a lesson plan to teach the mistakes about a month ago. I was contacted about 2 weeks ago by admissions to arrange an interview and when I arrived today I was given another worksheet with 5 problems to correct.

This time I had to explain to the interviewer what my corrections were and why I deemed it necessary as well as briefly indicate how I would do teach it in a classroom setting. I was given 30 minutes to complete that and then the interviewer came and sat with me in the room and asked me some questions such as why I desired to take the course and what I hoped to achieve by taking it.

We then went over the work I had done and she explained to me certain aspects of the course such as the amount of individuals that would be with me as well as the type of students we would be teaching during the classroom modules.

The interviewer's knowledge of the English language was quite extraordinary and we discussed the variations of British English and American English quite extensively. I was told that if I was accepted that I should teach American English in my classes and not try to teach British English as it would not come across right. This seems logical enough. Why try to fake knowing British grammar and what not?

But then I was thinking what kind of effect will that have on the student I would be teaching? I mean, they are real students paying to be taught English as a second language in Britain. Some are spouses coming form different countries looking to learn English for a test they need to obtain permanent residency and others are students form other European countries looking to improve their English. Me teaching American English to students in Britain seems problematic to their development but the interviewer didn't see to think so.

And the interviewer definitely has more experience and knowledge in the field than I do...

And then I was told that I would be offered the 12Th and final place in the program. So I accepted and ran across to the main reception with my acceptance slip to register before minds could be changed...


  1. salamaleikum akhee, so we shall inshAllah meet there very soon!(Muslim)

  2. Although International Mother Language Day is now over, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO's campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

    The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008.

    The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations' Geneva HQ in September. or

    I hope that you do not mind me passing on this information

    Brian Barker

  3. please let us know how you get on as i am hoping to do the celta course either here at solihull or in italy this year, depending on availability, course dates, and of course being accepted! im 26 years old with no teaching experience whatsoever, but id love to teach people as i feel it would be so rewarding, i'd definately gain a lot more out of it than my regular 9-5. good luck

  4. I plan to write an overall view of my whole CELTA experience and why it has hopefully made me a better teacher once the course is completed.

    But, I am sure that there will be a few blogs written about the happenings of my classes as well.

    I am taking the medium length course which is 3x a week. I have friends that have taken the intensive 4 week course but they said it is really difficult when you have a family and other things going on and that the 12 week course would be better suited.