A Franbrow tribute from the CELTA trainees

Fran’s CELTA group gave this to her on the last day of her and Kate’s January course. Apparently there’s this thing she does with her eyebrows! But they still loved her!


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An overview of the CELTA Course (and how not to implode).

If you’re not sure what CELTA involves, then this account from our affiliate cousin IH Belfast is a very good guide…

An overview of the CELTA Course (and how not to implode)..

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A Capitol CELTA…

Was great to hear today from one of our January 2014 alumni, who’s currently putting everything she learnt on her CELTA at IH Buenos Aires into practice…

Dear Kate and Fran,

It’s Jessica from the January 2014 CELTA class. I just wanted to drop you a quick line with a warm hello from Washington DC.

Capitol Hill

For two months now I’ve been teaching ESL to young Hispanic immigrants from Central America (ages 19-21) at a public school here and absolutely adore my job! I’ve thought of you so often…the CELTA training has been extremely helpful in so many ways and I can’t thank you enough for really instilling these points (drilling pronunciation, chesting, CCQs etc) in us. Even after having taught German for 6 years I learned so, so much in your training and thanks to you I would hope (!) have become a better teacher.¬†

Anyway, today I’m even reusing my CELTA TP 8 (going to a restaurant, ordering from a menu etc.) because tomorrow we’re off to a “real American restaurant” to practice ordering in an authentic environment!


Long story short, thank you again. You were INCREDIBLE teachers. Toughūüôā but we all learned so much. I can’t thank you enough! I find it’s rare that theoretical training actually comes in hand later in life but my CELTA materials truly do.

Hope you’re well.


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CELTA September 2014


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The Celta Survivors’ Club

CELTA – Cambridge English Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

This course provides speakers of English with initial training in teaching English as a foreign language, and leads to the internationally recognized qualification: the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)

Message from the survivors

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From BA to Oh Man! We’ll take good care of you…

Eric did the CELTA with us back in March this year. ¬†Armed with his new teaching techniques and a head full of ideas and activities, he started applying for jobs around the world. ¬†Here he updates us on his travels and where’s he’s ended up…


Neil and Fran,

How goes it? 
I’m writing to let you guys know about what’s new with me. I traveled a bit around South America after the CELTA. After that, I began the job search with my fiance. ¬†Armed with the CELTA and our three years of experience teaching children in South Korea we had multiple offers from Universities and language institutes in countries such as Russia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkey, and, where we ended up accepting positions, Oman. These were just some of the countries we applied to, so the list could potentially be more extensive.
An important note about interviewing after the CELTA is the use of the technique terminology. Not only does the CELTA teach you how to conduct a well-oiled class, it also gives you the vocabulary employers look for in their hires and allows you to label methods which previously might have been evident but unnamed (e.g. eliciting).
‘ve recently taken on a position teaching at a university in Oman. It’s a small college outside a rural desert city, but I think it’s the perfect opportunity for me to get my feet wet in higher education. I teach classes of around thirty students segregated into male and female classes. Sadly, this hurts the CELTA method a bit, but I’m chesting handouts, eliciting, CCQing, and generally trying to keep my lesson plans up to snuff.
You guys really did wonders for my classroom management and preparation. The students seem to enjoy it, and they remain engaged (which could be a result of their culture or my wonderful teaching savvy, I haven’t figured that out yet).¬†
–The individual Emoji¬†pair/group¬†Emoji¬†whole class method works wonders in a class of beginners at the university level. Not only does it help with time management, they really seem to take to it once you get them in the swing of things. After the first class they would actually be quiet while doing an exercise because they knew they could talk with their friends afterwards. I think everybody likes to showcase their knowledge a bit, so it’s an incentive to do well on the activity at hand then tell your friends.¬†
–Pre-teach vocabulary is key at this level. Though I haven’t taught the Ss how to use IPA, showing the stress and having them repeat the word using a sentence works wonders.¬†
–CCQs and ICQs. They help. They’re wonderful. Coming up with them on the spot is growing easier the more I do them. You were right.¬†
–Gist task¬†Emoji¬†Detailed task. I’ve tried this twice, and both times it seems to have helped with their comprehension of the text/listening. Putting the activity into context puts them in a better position to learn, and with such a rural community context can be difficult to understand sometimes.¬†
–My board management is markedly better. It really helps, especially in the class of all girls. They’ve taken to using the same color distinctions I use. Clarifying your methods and giving them better notes to look back on.
Living in the desert has its drawbacks, but I have my now fiance, Danielle, who’s also teaching at the university. We’re keeping each other from going mad out in the sticks.¬†Neil, that little talk about the ‘future tense’ might have sparked something deep inside, after all.¬†I’m planning on starting my MA in Linguistics around January.¬†
Anyhow, I wanted to touch base and let you guys know that I’m using my CELTA for good.¬†
Hope all is well in BsAs. 
We hope you enjoy Eric’s account and if any of our other alumni are reading this please do drop us a line and let us know how you’re getting on…
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Considering doing a CELTA

Here are a couple of useful resources for those of you thinking about doing a CELTA but are still not quite sure what you’d be letting yourself in for…

First up, is a very useful video from Cambridge English – The Ultimate guide to CELTA:


You do need to register to watch the video, but it’s well worth it and the website as a whole is an excellent resource for all you budding teachers out there.

Secondly, a very useful Facebook page which discusses doing CELTA courses all around the world. ¬†Funnily enough, it’s called CELTA! ¬†And you might see one of our tutors, Neil, posting some helpful advice on there every now and again.

CELTA on Facebook

And this is also where we found the third and final suggestion for today – a brand new blog by a teacher just off their TEFL course. ¬†Read their account of what they got out of the course and you can’t fail to be inspired!

ELT Experiences

And if you do the CELTA here in Buenos Aires we promise you’ll get even more out of it than Jared did!

Hope these suggestions help you to make the right decision.  Please add comments if you have any other favourite sources or questions about our courses.

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From CELTA to Saudi…

Elizabeth did the CELTA with us here at International House Buenos Aires in February 2012. Here she writes about her experiences teaching in Saudi Arabia post-CELTA. Enjoy!

For most of my first year, I was teaching as a classroom teacher at an International School. I taught English (literature), Math, and Science. Very different from what I was hired for.

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When I was first hired, I was hired to teach adult women at a language center/training center in Al-Khobar. This being a contractor position, I was first contracted out for a month to a government high school to teach at a camp. It went ok – wasn’t organized and the assigned curriculum didn’t work at all, so I came up with alternative topics. The curriculum I was teaching was rather outdated (a lesson on directions is good, a lesson on how to turn on a computer seems unnecessary) but we made it work. After the camp, I started teaching at the language center. I taught level 1, conversation for level 5, a TOEFL class, and another camp for the Human Resources Development Fund (another camp, but more like business English).

We were off for 3 weeks for Ramadan and then in October the language center had to reduce its number of foreign teachers due a drop in demand, so I was transferred to the company’s new international school. I then taught 3d grade boys as a classroom teacher. The school was going through the process of gaining AdvancEd accreditation, so everything was very hectic. I finished out the year and in the fall I am going to be teaching EFL again for grades 3-5.

Overall, teaching in Saudi Arabia isn’t bad. In the end, most of your life will be at work so you have to make sure that you’re at a decent place. The culture here isn’t as strict as you think and many of your problems will be with work and coworkers. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of restrictions on what you can and can’t do, but if you put in time to really know what the restrictions are before you go, you’ll have less of a problem. I know Dave’s esl cafe isn’t a great place to get information about a workplace, but you can get some insight as to what people are complaining about – and the type of coworkers you’re going to have. Take what they say with a massive grain of salt, but it is a resource about a workplace. At least check to see if they pay on time. Overall, teaching in Saudi Arabia has been an interesting experience. I’ve gotten to do a wide variety of teaching jobs all with one country, and I’ve learned a lot about different types of jobs available. I’m excited to do one more year but I’m not sure about long term.


The Middle East is changing rapidly and you never know what might happen. I live right across the bridge from Bahrain and many of my students are from an area in Saudi that is known for protesting – Qatif. I haven’t seen anything happen, but you never know. It’s an absolutely fascinating place to teach with good students and an interesting culture. I recommend trying to teach here, if you’re prepared, for at least a year.

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From ladders to mountains – cutting Demand High down to size

A Muse Amuses

This is a talk that I first did at the Macmillan Annual Conference at the Anglo on Saturday May 11th 2013.  I then repeated it as a workshop at International House in Buenos Aires on Friday 31st May 2013 at our weekly interschool teacher development meeting.


IH Facebook photo

They were two very different and very worthwhile experiences and they both showed different ways in which using the ‚ÄėDemand High‚Äô meme (as Adrian and Jim suggest we call it) can be a very powerful reflection tool for teachers of all experiences in all contexts.


First of all, in Montevideo, Hitting the Heights was much more of a talk, since there were around 300 people present and we were in an auditorium at a conference, so the set up was very talk-oriented.  Hence the use of the following slides, which you can access here: Hitting the Heights

But let me talk you through them…

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A trip down memory lane with Martin Eayrs

ImageMartin Eayrs has posted a fascinating trip down memory lane, nostalgically recalling the early years of International House Buenos Aires on his Blip…forty years is a long time!


Definitely worth a read as we celebrate 60 years of International House…

And remember if, like Martin, you started out with IH, then please do sign up to our Alumni list so we can keep you up to date with all things IH – free teacher development workshops and conferences, free resources, competitions and just keeping in contact with the IH teaching community…


See you at an IH event soon!¬† Let us know if you use one of the IH60 lessons…

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