TEFL Is An Iceberg – Reflections on CELTA and Standards

Iceberg

When I worked in Costa Rica, my school required teachers to be CELTA or equivalent qualified. They didn’t care where the person was from, whether they were local, a native speaker or a non-native speaker, as long as you had the qualification and experience, then you could work there. To my knowledge, it was the only private language school in the country that had that requirement. The only one. The other schools, and there were quite a few, did not require  the same level of qualifications or experience. Most of them had a preference for native speakers (as I’ve written about here), but qualified teachers were not on their radar. As a result, the school where I worked normally recruited teachers from abroad to come to Costa Rica because, as my DoS once pointed out, all of the qualified teachers living in the country were already working there. Continue reading “TEFL Is An Iceberg – Reflections on CELTA and Standards”

A Letter To My Younger Self

Studio

This post is part of a blog challenge created by Joanna Malefaki in which we write a letter to our younger teaching selves. To read more posts in the challenge, click here.

Hi James,

So you’re just about to give your first lesson, armed with nothing more than a few pages of interview questions and a whole lot of curiosity. Before I give you some advice, you should know that I’ve teaching English for 9 years now and you have no idea about the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve seen. But you’ll discover all of that in time. Here’s what you need to know right now… Continue reading “A Letter To My Younger Self”

Why Is ELT Politics Free?

P - Pizzeria

On a recent trip back to the UK, I met up with an old friend of mine who works as a lecturer at a university training new primary school teachers. I asked him about learning styles and its place in the current training of teachers, and what struck me about the conversation was not so much his thoughts on the subject, but rather how politically he viewed it. Continue reading “Why Is ELT Politics Free?”

Shut Up!

Let’s face it, one of the hardest things for us teachers to do sometimes is to shut up. We can feel the need to keep teaching all the time and somewhere deep in our subconscious  we have been led to believe that teaching means talking.

Maybe we don’t realise what we are doing, or we find it hard to resist. We might be waiting for the training that makes us realise it’s okay to be quiet for a while, or we might have a great story we want to share and half way through we realise we’re really going on a bit too much here. Continue reading “Shut Up!”

A Tale Of Two Teachers

Angry Evil Face
Meet Steve…

True story…

Here’s a tale of two teachers, Steve and Bob. They both teach the same class, one after the other. After almost every lesson, Steve returns to the teachers room, sits down at his desk, lets out an audible sigh and then proceeds to moan about the students. They don’t engage, he complains, they don’t get what he’s trying to do. The atmosphere around him is negative and other teachers look at each other with a look that says “here he goes again…”. Steve then opens up his big folder of lesson plans, photocopies the materials he needs for tomorrow’s lesson and goes home early. Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Teachers”