I have been wanting to do a CELTA for a long time as it is all about language learning theory and methodology. We figured it would be a smart move for us since we anticipate additional time abroad and it opens up more doors for employment with actual paychecks instead of small living stipends which we've survived off of in the past. We opted for the month-long intensive course because the timing worked out well (we're headed back to Michigan right when it's over) and decided to do it in Medellín to experience a different country and culture for our last weeks in South America.
|This is what our classrooms look like at the language center|
So far, the course has been a bit more work than we anticipated. There are plenty of warnings in the application process about how much work it is, how stressful it is and how it's possible not to pass. During my interview, the evaluator predicted that I would probably cry (she was right). What makes this course so intense/exhausting/emotional? It requires that we teach a real class in front of our peers and evaluators every other day which is, frankly, quite terrifying and extremely mentally draining.
|Medellín - a gorgeous, clean, modern and safe city nestled in the mountains|
Teaching goes from 8-10 a.m. every day followed by an hour of feedback. After that there are classes on language learning theory, teaching methodology etc. until noon when we lunch until one. At one we have more classes about teaching prounciation, speaking, writing etc. and finally from 3-4 p.m. we have assisted lesson planning with our groups and teachers to get ready for the next day. In addition to making lessons, activities and powerpoints to teach our classes, we have to do four small papers throughout the course and each one requires a different bibliography of reading. Now I understand why most people prefer to do the normal course over a three-month period. . .
|The university where our course is held|
I haven't worked quite this much or this hard for a long time now and it's a bit overwhelming. We are one week in and I have already learned more about teaching than I have during the education crash course in graduate school. Even though it's causing us a lot of stress, I am loving the opportunity to learn so much about teaching ESL. Fingers crossed that we make it through the next three weeks and successfully pass!