Month: September 2015

CELTA Trainer-in-Training: Input Log Sheets

This was one of the several ‘During CELTA’ Trainer-in-Training tasks I had to complete for the portfolio. I had to observe experienced CELTA tutors on my course deliver their input sessions and comment on various aspects.

T-i-Ts are required to attend at least 80 percent of the inputs – so about 25 of the 30+ inputs delivered on my CELTA course. This meant that while the other tutors had a chance to deliver their session and take a break, go for lunch, check their facebook, I was in the CELTA room almost all the time – waiting for one input to end and the next one to begin.  (more…)

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CELTA Trainer-in-training: Candidate Interviews

This was one of the more hands-on tasks pre-CELTA (see the complete list in this post). I attended a CELTA candidate interview, made notes, and then wrote down my observations and reflections.

According to the handbook, a trainer-in-training is required to sit in “on a number of interviews”. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this option because most of the candidate interviews had already been done even before I had submitted my T-in-T application. The timing was really bad – I arrived back from a long holiday a week before Ramadan started. In Saudi Arabia, Ramadan is like Christmas in the West, Dusshehra in India, Tet in Vietnam – most people return to their home towns or home countries and everything shuts down. The course administrators expected a lot of candidates to go away on holiday, so the interviews had started a couple of weeks earlier. Both prospective T-in-Ts for the course were invited to shadow the remaining interview before Ramadan started. (more…)

CELTA Trainer-in-training: Written Assignment Standardization

This is probably going to be the shortest post in the series.

This CELTA Trainer-in-Training task (here’s the complete list) requires the trainer-in-training to go through the written assignments on LMS Fronter, which contains all the CELTA standardization material, make notes based on the assessment criteria specified in the syllabus, and then compare it against the tutors’ feedback and final grading.

There are several sample assignments and accompanying tutor remarks for each of the four assignments required on the CELTA:

  1. Language skills
  2. Language tasks
  3. The learner
  4. Lessons from the classroom

It was actually quite interesting reading the various assignments and comparing my thoughts with the official feedback. This was the only task that I sort-of avoided (more…)

CELTA Trainer-in-training: TP Standardization

As part of my pre-course preparation (here’s the complete list of Pre-Course tasks), I had to watch several videos on LMS Fronter, which contains Cambridge’s archive of CELTA standardization material. Once you get your Trainer-in-training (T-in-T) approval, Cambridge will send you a username and password so you can access this website. The ‘rooms’ I was able to access on the LMS were: TP Standardization lessons, Written Assignment Standardization packs, Discussion tasks, YL Ext., and the assessors’ standardization material.

There are fifteen videos with accompanying lesson plans and tutor comments under TP Standardization. Perhaps because I had previous teacher training experience, my trainer asked me to only watch a couple of videos. Just as well, because I found watching these videos supremely tiresome. But it was useful in a way because it prepared me for teaching practice observations throughout the course where the tutors and I sat at the back of the classroom, observed three TPs everyday, and made detailed notes for feedback.

Here is a sample of the notes I made after watching one of the videos: (more…)

CELTA Trainer-in-training: Familiarization with the course program

This CELTA Trainer-in-Training task (for a complete list, see this post) involves a close study, analysis, and reflections on the course programme followed by your center. The questions, along with my answers, are below:

1. Study the timetable and compare this with the syllabus specifications.

  • reflect on how the syllabus units are translated into a timetable

There are 5 syllabus topics which have been realized over 32 input sessions, observations of experiences teachers, several supervised lesson planning sessions, TP, peer observations, and lesson feedback.

  • reflect on the extent to which teaching methodology is made explicit. Note that methodology may be delivered explicitly in discrete sessions or implicitly within other sessions

I believe teaching methodology will be made explicit in the Input Sessions relating to Unit 1 of the syllabus. Methodology will also be implicitly taught within other sessions via loop input, modeling of activities, in SLP and TP feedback. (more…)

CELTA Trainer-in-Training: Familiarization with CELTA documentation

This was the first of the pre-course tasks and involved a close reading and analysis of the handbook. The idea behind this task is to give you a good inside-out view of the course so that you’re prepared for the day-to-day happenings over the next four weeks. The task was divided into two parts:

A. Familiarization with the CELTA syllabus
B. Familiarization with the CELTA administration booklet and Candidate profile

A. Familiarization with the CELTA syllabus

Here are the questions you need to answer in this section: (more…)

CELTA Trainer-in-Training: Day 0

Most people come to this post for a list of all the CELTA Trainer-in-Training tasks. The list of tasks is at the bottom of this post or more conveniently, you can see it here. If you’re interested in the story, read on.

I’ve just completed my CELTA trainer-in-training and found that extensive and meticulous preparation before the course went a long way in ensuring I still got decent sleep and actually enjoyed the four weeks of CELTA.

During the course, I only worked about 12-14 hours a day, everyday (there’s no such thing as weekends on the CELTA), and my trainers repeatedly said I looked very relaxed and stayed on top of all the tasks easily. Imagine how stressful life would’ve been if I hadn’t done as much preparation as I had. Future CELTA T-in-Ts, read on to find out everything you need to do to keep your head above water during the course.

I’ve wanted to train as a CELTA teacher trainer for three years now – ever since I completed the Delta in early 2012. Foolishly, in 2013, when the opportunity to train as CELTA and YL ext. trainer was presented to me, I turned it down because I had itchy nomad feet! I’d been in Vietnam for nearly five years and had an urgent need to get out and go somewhere new. And so I ended up in Saudi Arabia where my teacher training dreams were quashed for the next year or so.

Finally, the opportunity presented itself again in June this year and I applied for the position of trainer-in-training.

The Interview

…was an hour long. The interviewers questioned me about my teaching and teacher training experience, how my teaching had evolved sine having done the Delta, what my thoughts were on training and my organizational skills. When I left the interview, I thought there was no way I’d get the job because I’d been so relaxed during the interview. At one point, I’d found myself with an arm draped over the back of the chair like I was in my living room. There was one more step in the selection process before I got the results. (more…)