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 pair/group 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 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…