Four Week Course: CELTA in London: WOW!

Aug 27th, 2005, 12:48 AM
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Four Week Course: CELTA in London: WOW!

I just came back from completing a four week course called CELTA. CELTA stands for Certificate of English Language Teaching for Adults. It gives you the basic knowledge to teach English at language schools anywhere in the world. It's a great option for people who would like to live and work in China, Eastern Europe and any other country that has a great demand for English teachers. I chose International House in London because of it's reputation, however there are schools all over the world that offer this course.

London, itself, was absolutely magical. I lived with a host lady in Willesden Green and took the Jubilee line to school everyday, getting off at Green Park. The tube wasn't very crowded at the beginning of August (especially the Piccadilly line), but by the end of August, it was pretty much up to its original capacity. The tube is a wonderful and quick transportation option with only two disadvantages: you are always in a tunnel and they are usually fixing parts of a line. The latter means that you need to check the boards at the tube station to see if your line has: good service, minor delays or no service.

I saw the Tower of London, standing in line at 9.00 on a Saturday morning. No crowds! I did the London Eye on Monday night with only a ten minute wait. There was a 1.5 hour wait on Saturday night, so avoid that day if you can. I saw the Producers, which is fantastic and probably the best show in London at the moment (this is a matter of taste, of course). I saw the Philadelphia Story with Kevin Spacey, which he played wonderfully. However, if I had to choose between the two, I would definately choose the Producers. We got cheap tickets because we chose the restricted view options, which really weren't restricted at all. We paid 20 pounds for the Producers and 15 pounds for the Philadelphia story.

I ate at the Laureate, a wonderful Chinese restaurant close to China town and across the street from Les Miserables. Very, very good. I also ate Indian at the Khans of Kensington twice (close to the South Kensington station). Fantastic. Since the school was near Shephard's Market, we visited the King's Arms and Ye Grapes pubs almost on a daily basis. Many students went to Pret a Manger (spelling?) which offers high quality sandwiches at good value prices. They are the McDonald's of the next generation, offering more nutritious foods of the same quality in all of their stores.

I went to Covent Garden on a Saturday night. There were so many hen parties (female stag parties) that each place we visited was overrun by gorgeous young groups of females having a wild time. I've never seen anything like it.

I walked the southern bank of the Thames twice, which was sooo wonderful. It was my favorite part of London. We also visited Borough Market on Saturday lunch time. Great food booths but it was so crowded that we lost each other twice. We also had a very pleasant tea near the market at the Tea Museum.

I also did Wagamamas, which is the rage in London at the moment. I had their vegetable soup, which I really didn't enjoy at all. This rather surprised my fellow London students, since they loved everything they ate.

London fashion: longer, flowing skirts and blue jeans! Rarely does a Londoner wear capris. Unfortunately, I brought five pair and stuck out like a sore thumb in the classroom.

To sum it up: Going to a London pub is like going to a fraternity party: the beer keeps flowing. Prims is a wonderful alcoholic drink that everyone should try. The tabloids are definately comparable to the National Enquirer and the women love to show their cleavage. Of course, I saw London through the eyes of a student and avoided any higher priced restaurants. And I always minded the gap.

kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 02:41 AM
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I'm guessing that Prims - Pimms (served with lemonade, fruit and mint)?

And Wagamamas was vaguely the rage in London when it opened several years ago - now it's just one of many, popular, inexpensive chain restaurants that are particularly good for groups, low budgets and short timeframes.

Does sound like you had a fantastic trip! How was the course itself?

Thanks for sharing!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 02:56 AM
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PIMM'S! Of course! Sorry about the spelling.

Here's a rundown of the course:

Teachers: Fantastic and inspiring. Our teacher had even written a book on how to teach English as a second language.

Course: four weeks: 9.00 - 3.45 daily. There are also afternoon courses available as well.

Teaching practice lessons and assignments: We had 8 observed teaching practice lessons and 4 written assignments. We taught 40 min. and 60 min. lessons to a group of 6-14 students from all over the world. Each lesson was evaluated through oral and written feedback.

Homework: For each lesson, most students needed 2-5 hours of preparation outside of class. There is a very good library at the school available for resources.

Career possibilities: We were told at the end of the course how to find a job abroad. There were a number of jobs available at language schools in China and Eastern Europe. Finding a job without teaching experience is harder than with experience.

Hope this answers your question.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 03:14 AM
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Thanks, and do you now have a standard TEFL qualification/ diploma?
Kavey is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 03:44 AM
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It's a TEFL certificate. If you want to do a diploma, you need to do the DELTA, which would be the next step after CELTA. With CELTA, you can teach students. With DELTA, you can teach teacher trainees.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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Is teaching English overseas lucrative?
Aug 27th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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You can make a living but you won't get rich.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 06:43 AM
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I just saw your post and had to respond because I did my CELTA at International House on Piccadilly too (in 2000!). I am from London though and did it part time but it was great fun. I ended up spending two great years in Italy - didn't make my fortune but had a lot of fun in the process! (I remember them telling me too that jobs were much more easy to come across in the Far East and Eastern Europe but i had my heart set on Italy!).
I really did find that the reputation of the place you did the CELTA was important - especially as I ended up teaching in an International House school for my second year in Italy. Best of luck with the teaching!
vnh is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for your note. It's great to meet a fellow graduate.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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There's an internet course that you can take to get a TESL certificate. Has anyone here looked at that as a possibility- cheaper, I am sure , but not as much fun.

I wonder how helpful that course would be to get a job teaching in a foreign country.
Saraho is offline  
Aug 13th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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It seems to me that here in the U.S. you hear more about the TEFL or TESOL. How does the CELTA compare in reputation world wide? I've seen job listings for TEFL and they seem to be in every country around the world.
How much did the CELTA course in London cost? Are these courses less in Europe?
winesaavy7 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2006, 09:52 PM
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a friend of my daughter's came to valencia spain to do the TEFL or CELTA, (not sure), also at int'l house.. and she said she saved a LOT compared to U.S. prices.

lincasanova is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 02:27 AM
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Thanks for the report, S.

>London fashion: longer, flowing skirts and blue jeans! ....<

That seems rather odd.

ira is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 02:36 AM
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Dreamer2 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 03:26 AM
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TESL is not TEFL.

How much you make depends dramatically on where you teach. In popular cities, you won't be able to earn a living with it—you'll need some other source of income as well. In less popular places, you can get paid a lot more. You also need working papers no matter where you choose to work (although, if you are an EU citizen, you can work in other EU countries with a minimum of paperwork).
AnthonyGA is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Where are you from? And what is the difference between TEFL and TESL? And how do they compare to ESOL?

Thanks for any insights.
Dreamer2 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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A lot of Americans were able to work in Italy without a visa. There are many schools that will hire you for a pittance as long as you are a native speaker. You'd need to get a codice fiscale (similar to a social security card) but those aren't too difficult to get.
fnn is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 10:35 PM
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you know I realized how much the prices varied as I was web searching the exam sites. I found a program in Seville for half the price of here in the U.S. I could pay for lodging and a plane ticket and the program for what it would cost me here for just the program. Although I understand the quality varied from site to site. I have emailed Cambridge to find out if they have any ratings. Anyone have any more stories about Italy teaching? I know a good amount of Italian as I just studied there for a year. I also have the EU and US passport.
winesaavy7 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2006, 02:10 AM
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I'm an American in Paris.

It's complicated. TESOL and CELTA are certifications in English teaching from Trinity and Cambridge, respectively. DipTESOL and DELTA are the next steps up, but usually only teachers who want to teach other teachers get those.

TESL just means teaching English as a second language, as far as I know (but as I've said, it's complicated, so I'm not sure). ESOL is English for speakers of other languages. The language field is very fond of acronyms and abbreviations.

TOEFL is something that non-Anglophone students need to get to attend an English-speaking university (sometimes). TOEIC is similar, but for businesspeople who need to have some proof that they can understand English in an everyday context. So lots of ESOL students taught by TESOLs or CELTAs are looking to pass TOEFLs or TOEICs.

Just keep in mind that teaching English pays very poorly in most of the cities where you might want to visit (too poorly to keep you afloat without help). It pays well in places where nobody wants to go. But even in the best circumstances, you'll never get rich teaching English.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Aug 15th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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Interesting! Very politely; 'schuler' may I ask what other English education attainments you have? A BA with an English major? A teacher's school degree with some English courses?
Caution, recent internet stories have been about problems with Chinese English 'Factories'. American school teachers command salaries of $50,000 and up. Compare off-shore salaries for similar work.
GSteed is offline  

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