07 May What Do You Get from A CELTA course?
The benefits of doing a CELTA course (“Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages”) are multifarious. The greatest advantage is, of course, that on successful completion of the course you get a professional qualification which is accredited by Cambridge University, and the corresponding certificate which is widely recognised (and demanded) by employers all over the world.
But to detail the specific teaching-related benefits that doing a CELTA course implies, let us go through the syllabus of the course. It includes 5 strands, each of which entails different skills and aspects of professional development.
1) The strand about learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context makes you aware of the specifics of adult learning. Here you learn how to motivate your students, what de/motivating factors you have to take into account when teaching, and what other linguistic factors (such as the students’ mother tongue) can interfere with the learning process.
2) In the language analysis and awareness strand you acquire the basic notions in TEFL terminology, with a special focus on teaching grammar and vocabulary. You will learn how to analyse the target language (the structures you plan to teach) paying attention to meaning, form, pronunciation and register, and you will become aware of a range of grammatical terms and rules, as well as the manner in which you can convey them to your students.
3) The third strand is about language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Here you become familiar with the difference between receptive and productive language skills and you learn to recognise, select and/or design activities by which your students practice their reading for gist or listening for detail sub-skills, and improve their speaking and writing skills.
4) Next, the strand about planning and resources for different teaching contexts teaches you how to prepare a lesson, including all of the following components: the stages of a lesson, the lesson and lesson stage aims, the timing for each stage, the kind of classroom interaction envisaged for each stage, and the materials used. The latter aspect is particularly important, since much of our teaching work implies vital selection of material (whether from coursebooks or created by ourselves) which is appropriate to the aims of the lesson and serves the linguistic goals we aim at.
5) Finally, under developing teaching skills and professionalism you learn a range of techniques about grading your language taking into account the students’ level, clarifying new vocabulary, monitoring the students’ in-class performance, correcting errors and giving feedback. Last but not least, here you also hone your self-evaluation skills, including some self-reflection techniques and procedures.
So what you get from a CELTA course amounts to a 360-degree substantial update of your teaching capability. The kind of professional empowerment a CELTA course gives you is literally priceless.