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CELTA INTERVIEW - ADVICE PLEASE!!

 
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linguisticsgrad



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject: CELTA INTERVIEW - ADVICE PLEASE!! Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
I've been browsing round this forum for quite a while, and I have yet to find what I'm looking for:

I have an interview for the CELTA course next week, and I would really appreciate any advice anyone can give me as to what to expect.

All I know is that there will a be a short task of some sort and then the pre-interview task will be discussed. I really, really, really want to get on this course and this is the 2nd time i have applied, as it was full the first time.

I am 22 and have just graduated with a degree in Linguistics, but have never done any sort of teaching before. I would be sooooo grateful if anyone here could tell me what I am to expect, or at least point in the direction of somewhere that could!

Thanks, hope you can help.
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linguisticsgrad



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok thanx for your help everyone.. Sad

great forum Rolling Eyes
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1368
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes people don't have the experience to answer posts. I, for example, have no idea about the CELTA. Actually, I think it is a great forum. You said you were having the interview in a week, and it appears that it must be over. Perhaps you might like to add some information about it here, so those of us who know nothing can learn, and so the next person who wants that help will get some?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3003
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry that nobody answered (spotted, even?) your post until now, linguisticsgrad (it's a shame that there isn't a Teacher forum dedicated to initial teacher training...the AL one is sort of an "in-service"/post training one, though! FWIW now, questions about the CELTA and various other courses are generally asked and answered over on the General Discussion and Newbie forums of the International/Job Discussion forums).

As Lorikeet says, why not tell us how you got on? With you being a linguistics graduate, I'd imagine that the tasks at the interview would've been a doddle for you (dealing as they do with quite basic issues and/or errors in grammar, punctuation and perhaps phonology - it's been almost ten years since I had my interview!).

Actually, I'm a bit surprised that you didn't get invited to even the interview the first time around - the centre that you're hoping to train at must be very popular (and probably above-average) if they have far more applicants than they can even interview! (I'm also surprised that they couldn't make space for a linguistics graduate - perhaps they felt others needed the training more, or they would've felt threatened by your presence! Heh, only joking). Anyway, here's to hoping that your interview went well, that you didn't fall around laughing at the questions they asked, and that you were offered a place on the actual course itself (if that's what you indeed decided you wanted)!

There are a few threads I recall (mainly cos I started and then wrote about this on them!) where CTEFLA* pre-interview and training are mentioned. Scroll through the first post in the following thread until you hit a large quote section, then start reading:
http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=2796

Then follow the two links towards the end of the post (the second of which is the other thread mentioned above).

On my CTEFLA we were all assigned pre-course reading (from Harmer's The Practice of ELT, Second Edition) and quite a few often linked questions and tasks, and had to hand in the completed answers (about ten A4 pages, with plenty of space for the trainee to write their answers!) on the first day of the course proper. I don't have it with me here in Japan (left it in the UK), but it would be interesting to hear if other training centres/courses encourage and expect similar preparation from their trainees. (The feedback I got was something like, I kid you not, 'You have obviously done a great deal of thinking and preparation, so we hope that the course gives you the practical tools and techniques that you are expecting'. Not trying to blow my own trumpet or anything - the tasks weren't THAT difficult - just saying, for anyone with half a brain and a desire to do a good job, this kind of "apology" almost, might not be all that uncommon).

Interesting, dare I say extremely useful even, for any CELTA trainee:
http://www.englishdroid.com/celta.html

*The CELTA was called a CTEFLA when I did it (in 1996); the name (not sure about the content) changed I believe in the following year or two.
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Superhal



Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are paying for the course, it's probably just a formality and you have nothing to be worried about.

Usually, one of the most common tests of teaching ability is to put you in a high-pressure situation and see if you fall apart. If you have no teaching experience, then one of two things will happen: either the teacher in you will emerge, or you will start panicking.

Either way, if you are paying, they will probably take you anyway and tell you they can make you a great teacher. That's BS. If you don't have that ability to begin with, there's no program in the world that will give it to you.

Imho, the only way to tell if you have it or not is to do it.
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linguisticsgrad



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

ok, this is how it goes (you might want to make a cup coffee before you start):

*Lorikeet*, I certainly don't expect everyone to know about everything - those people can just ignore this topic altogether, unless they are bored. I would only expect a reply from people who could help in some way...

*fluffyhamster*, u mention my post possibly not being spotted, which would be a fair point if it hadn't been viewed 52 times (according to the counter thingy) by the time i wrote my second post... i mean i don't expect everyone who looks at it to reply, but i thought it was the job of the moderators to at least make sure all (or most) posts are answered/ moved to the right place/ not offensive etc. Even a "sorry can't help you on that in this forum" would have been nice.

also, just to clear things up, i did not get invited to an interview the first time i applied (for the intensive course run in the summer), as i applied a little too late and it was already full, so obviously they couldn't interview me. But thanks for the threads - useful reads.

You also assumed the centre to be very popular...well let me tell you what happened:

The day before my interview i got a nasty virus or food poisoning or something, and was far to ill to go anywhere, so had to try and reschedule my interview (bearing in mind that it specifically said on the application form that rescheduling is not always possible).

Fortunately i got another chance to have my interview - which took place 2 days ago... Now, the actual course starts this monday, so at first i was a little bit anxious, as i know there will be pre-course reading and tasks...

On reflection however, i realised that unless i seriously messed up the interview, i was pretty much guaranteed a place on the course. How?
Well, they tell you that you find out in the interview whether you have been accepted or not, and i know that are only 12 places on the course, so i figured that if they hadn't yet decided to accept me (based on my application form and pre-interview task), they must have at least left a space open for me, because surely they wouldn't make all the other applicants wait until i had had my (very late) interview to tell them if they were accepted. It just wouldn't be fair, and plus, i think they want the money quite early on..

My only conclusion is that this college is not exactly popular/standards are not very high/it's quiet season/i was the only applicant that did linguistics or was bilingual...

oh well, at least they'r relatively cheap! i won't name this centre, but the long and short of it is that i got accepted so now have loads of reading to do by monday.

For those who want to know about the interview i was panicking about, it was like *Superhal* said - just a formality. what worried me intitially was it was an hour long - what do you talk about for an hour!? but it went quickly - the questions focused on my language learning experiences, a few basic grammar questions, and a lot of the interviewer talking about his time teaching in Prague...
if anyone wants any more details i will be more than happy to share, as i think i've written far too much in this post (sorry).

Admittedly, i was rather more confident than i usually would be (having figured out that they must want me), so you could always try this method yourself (of course if they can't reschedule, they probably don't want you!)

Anyway, thanks for listening, and sorry for being so negative initially.

I should get back to my copies of Harmer and Swan, and i look forward to contributing to this forum more regulary (though not so lengthily i hope)now that actually i'm doing the course.

thanks again
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linguisticsgrad



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all

I'd like to say everything's going well on my CELTA course, but, after postponing the course start date by one month, they finally told us the truth...the course was cancelled coz they didn't have enough people apply..grrr Crying or Very sad (no wonder they were happy to rearrange my interview)

I assume they didn't have enough money... They were charging much less than other places (about 550 compared to the more usual 1000), but this centre is government funded so i don't really know why they cancelled or how come they don't have enough money (i assume that's the essential reason behind the cancellation)...
I guess it just wasn't meant to be...

shame though, i was getting used to the idea of becoming a teacher...i did loads of reading as well...*sigh*

anyway, i shall continue using this forum as an ex-gonna-be-teacher and now just a wannabe-teacher...seeing as i can't afford to go to one of those posh language schools that charge a grand...

guess i'll have to wait and see what comes up....you can become a good teacher just by reading about it......right......? Sad
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3003
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you'd learn on a short course like the CELTA is little more than a taste...just take a look at all the questions, doubt and confusion there is on Dave's (and that's not just from those posting the questions, but often from those answering too! Just look at some of my replies! Razz )! So, obviously whatever reading you can do before, during and especially AFTER the course will be helping you develop an approach as well as filling in the gaps in one's formal knowledge whilst pondering how to apply it.

Then, there are some who would advise you to not bother with the CELTA at all (it's true that quite a few employers don't ask for one), work for a few years and see if you like it, and then jump ahead to the MA level (if you feel you need to).

It'd be interesting actually to hear if the linguistics you've studied seems like it will come in useful...phonetics would seem so, and grammar generally (not sure about half the Chomsky-inspired syntactic stuff-guff though).
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