In November 2015 I took (and survived!) the Cambridge CELTA course. I took it, despite having been a teacher for several years, because after some research, I felt it was the only certification program that I thought I would learn from after years as a secondary school teacher.
The Celta is a qualification/ credential for teachers of English as a foreign language. It is internationally recognised and highly respected. I chose to study my Celta at Bell Language School in Cambridge. The course was financed by the Erasmus+ project at my school in Seville (Spain)
I have gone through lots of teacher training courses in the past from which you get back with lots of new ideas to try, which, in my experience, end up gathering dust in a folder. The Celta course is different. It is very practical; everything you discuss in the input sessions is put into practice straight away. During the course you teach actual classes of students and you get immediate feedback. The fact that I was thoroughly assessed and given action points to improve my following lesson is what made a difference for me .
It’s also really important to say that the 4-week, full-time CELTA is a really stressful experience. It was very difficult despite having lots of experience. We had input sessions (where you picked up lots of new ideas and techniques), written assignments (which you had to squeeze around lesson planning) and then the actual teaching (preparing a 40 minute lesson could easily take you up to 3-4 hours)
The challenge now is using the “Celta methodology” in a different environment. At secondary, we teach large, mixed ability classes. The students are monolingual, teenagers and not always very committed with their work.
This year I am working on improving two areas of my teaching practice; grammar ( with an emphasis on form, meaning and pronunciation) and giving a twist to skills lessons (basically reading and listening, where the focus is on creating a context that allows for lots of speaking opportunities along the way)
Teacher of English at IES Santa Aurelia.