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CELTA failed seeking consultation

 
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toto321



Joined: 13 Mar 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject: CELTA failed seeking consultation Reply with quote

Hello,

I took CELTA in London, U.K. ad my tutors failed me!

I'm wondering, is there anything I can do so that I don't have to take the whole course over again, perhaps somebody has gone through a similiar situation? Is there anything I can do?

If you care to read the story, here it is:

My main tutor never used to offer me general advice when I would come to him about the lessons I was teaching. He used to tell me, when I came with general questions to ask specific questions and wouldn't just tell me what he thinks I should do with the lesson. Especially at the beginning of the course. So I stopped coming to him with my questions. It was only after I finished the half way mark that I talked to administration with my worries that the main tutor decided to talk to give me general advice on how I should be carrying the lesson. But by then it was too late cuz I already was failing. They were very strict on marking but not very clear in giving me instructions on how to teach properly. It was only until failing the last lesson and giving it all that I finally realized what the tutors wanted.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9302
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My main tutor never used to offer me general advice when I would come to him about the lessons I was teaching. He used to tell me, when I came with general questions to ask specific questions and wouldn't just tell me what he thinks I should do with the lesson.

I have been involved with teacher training curriculum and active training for teachers in similar courses. I would read this as your tutor trying to direct you to the general classroom input on teaching. I might give tips on specific items in a particular lesson, but the questions a candidate is asking are an indicator of how much he/she is taking on board. Trainers need to find out if the candidate understands in a general way how to plan and deliver an effective lesson overall - the goal of the course.

So far as not taking the whole course over: there are posters here who are directly involved with CELTA, and I am not. However, I have heard of some courses offering a re-sit of the teaching section - you might ask if this is a possibility. I would expect that you'd have to pay something for it, but I would think less than the cost of the course. Meanwhile, you might want to do some practice teaching (if possible) as a volunteer, to help you solidify what you know about lessons, planning, and delivery.
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1828

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is hard to make a hard and fast judgement without knowing what the problems are, but I think it reasonable to say that not many people fail the course. I do think that you need to think long and hard about whether or not you are well-suited to teaching English as a foreign language. Forgive me if there was some factor which affected your learning or teaching at the time that makes my comment too sweeping.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trouble with the CELTA course is that it is actually a very demanding and stressful 'entry' level requirement for TEFL teaching. Some people may do it without any prior experience and flourish but I think most participants are already experienced teachers. Either they've done some other initial training or they've just started teaching without anything and more or less learnt how to teach along the way. They're doing the CELTA to get a recognised qual. That means if you've done absolutely nothing, you'll be in competition with all those who have. Yes, in theory you're only being assessed against yourself (how good your last lesson was) but I've rarely found theory and practice to be the same thing.

The course operators have a responsibility not to take on those who they don't think have a good chance of passing. On my course was someone who clearly wasn't suited but I think it was a financial decision. I'm not saying that's the situation here with the OP who maybe should have been advised to do some other initial training first. Either way, it's quite likely he/she just didn't get sufficient input from the trainer. Once you're on the course that responsibility continues. If they've taken you on they might just have to put a bit of extra time in if it looks like you're going to fail.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just another thought on this subject. Cambridge explicitly states the responsibilities of its course providers with regard to accepting participants onto the course and their ongoing responsibility to those participants.
Iíd suggest to the OP that you contact the Cambridge Administrators directly and see if you have a case with them. Of course people occasionally fail the CELTA but if you feel you didnít get the assistance and guidance you needed from the trainer then you may have a case - particularly given that the lack of specific input from the trainer only changed after you approached the admin with your concerns.
This would probably have best been done immediately after your course (but I suspect you were still reeling...). IMHO there arenít enough checks and balances with the CELTA, beyond the audit, no doubt because enforcing more would be an administrative nightmare for Cambridge.
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Echidna



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's unfortunate that people do occasionally fail the CELTA course, and I am truly sympathetic toward you. There's no doubt that it's a rigorous class, and often surprisingly demanding for those expecting a relatively easy certificate out of it.
In my experience, what inevitably happens when a student fails the course is a lashing out at the CELTA instructor, curriculum, etc. Part of the problem is the false perception of our entire field; that if one speaks English, than it MUST be a simple step to teach the language. Obviously, this is not the case. I think it's also crushing considering that many CELTA students already come laden with previous job success or multiple academic degrees; PhD holders are fairly common in the CELTA program at my school. For someone who's been successful at running a company or obtaining a higher degree, to 'lose face' and fail a measly certificate course must be heart-breaking. Thus the resulting fury.
Obviously, there are situations when a failure is truly not justified, so I don't mean to down-play your dilema. If you truly feel that you were treated unfairly, then by all means, forge ahead and try to get some resolution.
Good luck!
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baa_baa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. I'm sorry for Wwhat you had to go through. But you hit an important spot. You pay so much money and sign a disclaimer then the stinky tutors don't do their job. In my case they didn't teach the usage of iwb- then she writes please use the iwb. There are many examples like that.

Now I'm so worried. I have 9 to standards that I got from TP s and 3 Fs on assignments. So do I fail now?? They gave my friend 2 resubmits and let her pass. I tried speaking to the assessor. He didn't even open his mouth. You VE got to see the silly reasons for failing the assignments. I don't get it. There must be Sth we can do.

Good luck with ur CELTA. I don't know how I'm going to redo this whole thing.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 647
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

baa_baa are the other students on your course also unhappy with the tutor? Are they also failing? Maybe worth having a chat with them. Do you feel you were misinformed about the course assessment requirements?
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mmcmorrow



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 95
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:14 pm    Post subject: Assessment of Celta Written Assignments Reply with quote

In order to pass CELTA, teachers need to pass both components of assessment - teaching practice and written assignments - (pages 19 + of the Celta syllabus). Passing one of them isn't enough.

If teachers fail any of the four written assignments first time around, they get an opportunity to resubmit in whole or part, making changes suggested by the tutor in feedback.

It's only if this resubmitted version also fails, or if the teacher doesn't resubmit it in time, that the teacher receives a fail grade for the assignment. If this happens for one of the four assignments, the tutors may still be able to recommend a pass, if they can provide evidence that the teacher has demonstrated the relevant knowledge or skills in other parts of the course.

But that can't happen if a teacher has failed more than one of the four assignments, having been given an opportunity to resubmit each time. In that case, they've failed the CELTA as a whole, irrespective of how they did in the teaching practice component.

The assignments need to be explicitly graded according to standard assessment criteria, which ought to be included on the feedback sheet; this is intended to make it clear to teachers which particular criteria were achieved or not. To help in standardisation, a proportion of the written assignments are double-marked by different tutors and assignment marking is also reviewed by the assessor during his / her visit.

Apart from receiving direct feedback on the assignments themselves, teachers who have failed assignments would normally be given some further feedback on this issue during the course - typically during one or two tutorials which teachers have during the course. The purpose of the tutorials is to make it clear to teachers how they are getting on as they go through the course, so it's normally an opportunity to remind teachers of the need to pass assignments. If any teachers feel they haven't been informed of their progress or they've been graded unfairly, then this can be the grounds of a complaint.

Some questions for teachers in this situation to consider might well be:

Was the grading and feedback on the assignments explicitly linked to stated assessment criteria?
Was it made clear why the assignment failed?
Were they given an opportunity to resubmit during the course?
If so, did they resubmit and, again, was the feedback and grading clearly referenced to assessment criteria?
Did they have one or two tutorials during the course?
If so, were they reminded of the need to submit and pass written assignments?
Were they reminded of this in any other way (e.g. in a letter, email or meeting)?
Were they told at any time or in any way that they needed to pass written assignments in order to pass the course?
Were they given an opportunity to talk to the visiting course assessor?
If so, did they report any concerns they had about the course, including assessment of written work?
Were these concerns shared by other teachers on the course?

It sounds like the teacher who made the posting above has had a chance to speak to the assessor during his / her visit - the fact that the assessor hasn't talked about things is neither here nor there - their role is to listen and observe. They'll be sending a report to Cambridge at the end of the course and any complaints made by teachers to the assessor need to be included.

The whole complaints procedure is explained at the back of the blue CELTA 5 form, in which teachers record their progress through the course. Any complaints about the course or grading need to be made promptly, and in the first instance, to the centre itself.

Martin McMorrow, Massey University, Auckland, NZ
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baa_baa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
baa_baa are the other students on your course also unhappy with the tutor? Are they also failing? Maybe worth having a chat with them. Do you feel you were misinformed about the course assessment requirements?


Hi muscat gary Very Happy I appreciate your reply.

Everybody else is happy AND I was informed well. I have had 9 to standard peaceful TPs. I don't know what happened exactly with the assignments. I did however demanded a meeting with the assessor.

I caught 3 people who received 2 submits which is not allowed. I took picture of these papers.

In another assignment my trainer told me the staging was wrong. I have a sheet that shows the staging. SHES the one who gave it to me. So with these 2 pieces of evidences I should win this round unless the assessor turns out to be a scumbag.

Hopefully everything will go well.
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baa_baa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmcmorrow-wow thank you so much for your time and effort. Are you an assessor. I wish you were mine.

I read your reply thoroughly. Unfortunately it's a fail on the resubmissions. Though they actually had a feedback session and tried to be clear they weren't. For an example on the easiest assignment I had chosen a worksheet. In the resubmission the trainer said please convince me why you chose this. Does it really help the students weakness.

So I explained thoroughly. THEN he fails me and says this worksheet isn't suitable. I got so so furious and shouted out well why didn't you say so. It didn't even occur to me that it was a bad worksheet. He could have said Sth verbally. You know this just shows his intention. You know when you are a student or learner you need obvious hints sometimes. Sometimes you fall desperate and just pick anything. I knew part of it was not right but I thought it would be enough to pass. I never thought I would fail because of that. I am a teacher who has 8 yrs of experience. Sometimes we need to kneel down and help students.

You won't believe the amount of effort I put in to find information on Tagalog and the difficulties for them in learning English language. When I saw the F I thought I failed that part. I was sort of expecting it since my sources were so limited.

After the resubmission I actually put more time and effort. The paper was 1500 words. He said it's ok just that part.

But it turns out that I couldn't pick a worksheet and to top that he didn't WANT to help. I was so upset. It's so simple.

Thank you again for your reply.
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golsa



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't comment on whether or not you deserved to fail the CELTA, but you do have my sympathy for having experienced a bad tutor. Quite a few of us have, and I hope you find some solace in that.

I passed with a B despite having one bad tutor and one excellent one. The bad one failed me on an assignment for claiming that elision can occur within words, but I passed upon resubmitting it with a citation to Thornbury's A-Z of ELT and a highlighted reference on the page.

He also only gave me a S for keeping a 100% up-to-date CELTA 5, which we had words over during the mandatory single tutorial, and then later canceled a full input session so the other 11 people could complete theirs before the moderator arrived. I was told that I'd have to sit in the room and wait or "you'd be missing one of your 120 hours and I'd have to penalize you for that." I couldn't even get an S+ for keeping the CELTA 5 up to date while he had to cancel the input session about guided discovery so everyone else could do what they should have been doing for the last 3 weeks Rolling Eyes S- for course management on that one.

Have you considered sharing your assignments with others so we could give you some guidance about what may have gone wrong? Most of us aren't CELTA trainers, but have been through the process and may be able to give you some advice that may help you if you reattempt the course in the future.
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