CELTA TRAINER-IN-TRAINING: Trainee Progress

This was one of the most interesting of the During CELTA tasks (a complete list is here) primarily because it allowed me, as a Trainer-in-Training, to track trainee progress along with my predictions and reflections throughout the course.

I had to pick four trainees in the first week of the course and reflect on their development through the four week intensive CELTA course, noting strengths and weaknesses in their teaching practice and response to TP feedback.

The course tutor had asked me to prepare a Find Someone Who for the first day of the course, as an introduction and ice-breaker activity. For this, I had to go through the candidate application forms and isolate interesting facts they had mentioned in their personal statements. I also needed to profile all the candidates before the start of the course for the Trainee Progress task. So I combined my efforts and made this killer table, killing two birds with one stone. (more…)

CELTA TRAINER-IN-TRAINING: Written Assignments

We’re getting ever closer to the end of the endless CELTA Trainer-in-Training tasks :D. Now you know why I canceled my two-week holiday to Hong Kong before the start of my training in August last year.

The Written Assignment task was the eighth in the series of tasks I had to do before and during the intensive CELTA on which I did my training. And the one I almost didn’t do. There were two parts to this task:

TASK 1: Shadow marking of written assignments
Before you begin shadow marking, look again at the criteria for the assessment of written work in the CELTA Syllabus. Include the copies of these assignments and your comments in your portfolio.

TASK 2: Designing written assignments
In the latter stages of the course, design two written assignments which you think could be used on future courses. Attach these to your portfolio.

I avoided marking the assignments because I hadn’t done the Pre-course task related to this, and therefore felt under-prepared to dive into the assignments during the course. Essentially, I had to do the pre-course task and familiarize myself with the written assignment assessment criteria before I could mark the assignments.  (more…)

MA and morning sickness

So I did start my Masters almost exactly a year ago but unfortunately, I had to withdraw. I found out I was pregnant not long after I started the MA and when first trimester symptoms hit, I was caught quite unprepared for the misery that became my body.

Everyday I woke up feeling I had been hit on my nose by a cricket bat – and I know the feeling, because when I was about 13, I was actually hit on the nose by a leather cricket ball that came flying off some punk’s bat (I passed out, as one does in such blinding pain). And everyday I felt ready to tear my guts out of my system. I had heard of morning sickness but when it hit me, I realized (and then read online about) what a misnomer ‘morning sickness’ is, because what hit me was all day, all night long, debilitating sickness.

It’s a surprise that women get maternity leave but not morning (bah) sickness leave, because I know I couldn’t function at all for the month I suffered. Mercifully, I had been very sick for the two months before and was therefore on reduced hours, no teaching duty for a month. And then, I was on holiday for two months which took me into my second trimester (what a breeze that was!).

Anyway, since the morning sickness hit me soon after I had started my MA, I had to withdraw. But not before one cracker of an assignment. I’ll post it here soon. Perhaps that will be my legacy. Unless I can one day go back to the MA (which seems like a dream now that I have a newborn).

Flipping the classroom and feedback

Write this.

Flipping the classroom – input occurs outside the classroom

In classroom, there’s more time for practice and feedback

Feedback stages become central in the lesson and much of the teaching can take place during feedback.

Because input has already been done (flipped), there are several opportunities for peer teaching and learning.

CELTA TRAINER-IN-TRAINING: Peer Observations

This was the seventh in the series of During CELTA Trainer-in-Training tasks. All the trainees were assigned peer observation tasks for the duration of the course, wherein they were expected to make notes while their colleagues taught so that they could contribute to the teaching practice feedback discussion afterwards.

There’s great value for trainee teachers (and qualified teachers!) in having peer observation tasks to follow. In an intensive CELTA course, where teachers have very little time to complete their various tasks, it is natural for them to become pre-occupied with their own work when others are teaching. This is because teachers at this stage are not aware of the benefits of peer observation tasks. In my own experience, I have found that observing teachers is useful not only to learn new ways and techniques of doing things in the classroom but also what not to do. (more…)

CELTA TRAINER-IN-TRAINING: Teaching Practice Feedback

The sixth in the series of “During CELTA” Trainer-in-Training tasks (see the complete list here) – the Teaching Practice Feedback task – was one of those tasks that needed pre-course prep work as well as regular updates throughout the course.

I divided it into two parts:

  1. Pre-CELTA: Make a note of different approaches to feedback I expect to see during the course.
  2. During CELTA:
    • Notes on feedback observations (during/after every TP feedback session)
    • Reflections on feedback observations (weekly – this turned out to be one of my weekend tasks while the CELTA was on)

Let’s go through it one by one.

1. Pre-CELTA: Here are some preliminary notes I put together about different approaches to feedback. I reached back into the recesses of my cobwebbed, pregnancy-addled brain for memories of how feedback was conducted during my own CELTA (2009) and CELTYL (2010) courses, and made the following notes.. (more…)

A complete list of CELTA Trainer-in-Training tasks

Here’s a list of all the tasks required of a CELTA Trainer-in-Training (or T-i-T, as you will be amusingly known for the duration of your training). You can click on the links below to see associated posts with a description of each task, and downloadable documents and templates you can use during your course.

  1. Pre-Course Tasks
  2. During Course Tasks
  3. Post-Course Tasks

I wish someone had given me all of this to work with when I started the course because it took me a few days to wrap my head around the very dense handbook and organize all the tasks I needed to do. I decided to upload all of my material here so that future T-i-Ts (I’m guessing you are one or you wouldn’t have landed on this page) wouldn’t have to go through the heartache I did when I first started to get organized. Good luck!