After the end of last year’s school term, I headed up to Bangkok for an intensive, month long CELTA (Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults) certification course. It was a stressful month, but I think it’s helped me in the classroom this year. As a part of the course, each of us taught 8 practice lessons. The lesson plan was amazingly brutal!! However, I think it’s helped me see traps in my lessons and how to avoid pitfalls. Anticipating problems seems like an obvious thing to do, I just never focused on it as much as I should. Additionally, I think my instructions have become clearer (thanks, instruction cycle notes). I know I still confuse them from time to time, but I’ve cleaned up my approach. Even something as simple as a whiteboard/chalkboard plan has helped me de-clutter my board. With all the areas for points, homework, and weekly items, it’s easy to get messy!
I knew this certification course was aimed at adults, not the P4 class I’m currently teaching. Never having any sort of certification, I figured might as well take the best one out there and not an online TEFL course that will provide minimal results. I was amazing the amount of time and energy poured into these lesson plans–not because I wanted to, but because I had to in order to pass! Filling our a Grammar Analysis Form or a Lexis Analysis form for each lesson really makes one think about aspects our our language–connected speech, pronunciation, etc.
We also had to write 4 written assignments to complete the course. I do recall a few late nights burning midnight oil, grimacing over every sentence. These topics varied from the grammatical/pronunciation mistakes we observed of students during others’ teaching practices, analyzing text for meaning, and other things.
While it was a hectic month, I do recommend the course, even to somebody teaching Prathom-level students!