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Thread: CELTA Schools

  1. #1
    uaflyer is offline Newbie
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    CELTA Schools

    I am somewhat narrowing down my selection between International House and British Council. Given Cambridge CELTA is a standard, but I believe I would likely work for BC.

    I really wanted to go to Argentina, (Belgrano) but they have answered none of my emails and when you phone them there is nobody there to talk about CELTA.

    I have a preference for a Spanish speaking country, however I am considering Budapest and Kiev.

    I find the pre-interview tasks to be a hassle. Being they will be reviewing these skills in the course, an essay should be enough. Its pretty clear a primary goal is to make money, considering there is nearly no monitoring of these schools once they are authorized.

    The biggest issue I have seen is that most schools never answer their email.
    Just wondering if anyone else experienced this.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    The tasks may be a hassle, but they will serve to get rid of many time-wasters, so from the schools' perspective, they're probably seen as a good thing. They also get people started and give them some pointers for self-study. That said, I agree with you that they are mind-numbingly dull and seem to go on forever.

  3. #3
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    ICAL_Pete is offline Member
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by uaflyer View Post
    The biggest issue I have seen is that most schools never answer their email.
    I think this tells you everything you need to know about the school!

  4. #4
    david151 is offline Newbie
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The tasks may be a hassle, but they will serve to get rid of many time-wasters, so from the schools' perspective, they're probably seen as a good thing. They also get people started and give them some pointers for self-study. That said, I agree with you that they are mind-numbingly dull and seem to go on forever.

    I totally disagree with this. They are not simply to “get rid of time wasters” – I failed the tasks at 2 different institutes before being accepted onto a course. I am a native speaker, have a first class degree and finally achieved a CELTA B pass - so it just shows you how tough the pre interview tasks are. I also know someone who is a PGCE qualified primary teacher and still failed the pre interview tasks.

  5. #5
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by david151 View Post
    I totally disagree with this. They are not simply to “get rid of time wasters” – I failed the tasks at 2 different institutes before being accepted onto a course. I am a native speaker, have a first class degree and finally achieved a CELTA B pass - so it just shows you how tough the pre interview tasks are. I also know someone who is a PGCE qualified primary teacher and still failed the pre interview tasks.
    The assessment procedure is certainly not infallible, but training establishments have to try to weed out people who might not have the potential to pass.

    While all reputable establishments will fail a candidate who has clearly not reached the required standards, there appears to be a general belief that if someone is accepted for a course, completes all the assignments and behaves reasonably, they will pass. For this reason alone (and there are other reasons) reputable establishments try to ensure that they accept only people who appear to be likely to pass.

    Of course they don't always get it right - but is it not better to be turned away before the course than to pay a lot of money, work hard for four weeks and then fail?

    My time in training taught me that people with first class or higher degrees, PGCEs, or even years of TEFL experience, are not necessarily any more likely to perform well on the course than some people coming straight from school at 18.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by david151 View Post
    I totally disagree with this. They are not simply to “get rid of time wasters” – I failed the tasks at 2 different institutes before being accepted onto a course. I am a native speaker, have a first class degree and finally achieved a CELTA B pass - so it just shows you how tough the pre interview tasks are. I also know someone who is a PGCE qualified primary teacher and still failed the pre interview tasks.
    I didn't say that; I said they "will serve to", which does not mean that this is their purpose. It means that this is one effect they will have.

  7. #7
    david151 is offline Newbie
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    "Of course they don't always get it right - but is it not better to be turned away before the course than to pay a lot of money, work hard for four weeks and then fail?"

    I disagree with this. I think the worst thing in life is not being given the opportunity to strive for your dreams. I would rather fail trying than never have the opportunity. I think the CELTA course is challenging, however I believe anybody of reasonable intelligence has the potential to pass. There is something wrong with pre interview screening when someone like myself fails the screening stage, but manages to come out with a solid B grade at another institute (I was told I only just missed out on an A). In my mind CELTA screening should only consist of very basic assessments to see if the candidate is literate and has adequate speaking skills. I really don’t see the point in checking grammar knowledge etc. Just because an individual has very limited knowledge of grammar theory does not mean they are incapable of filling in gaps during the course. Let’s face it everything you need for the course is in the input sessions. Before I studied law at university I came from a science and mathematics background and knew very little about the law. Despite this I maximised my learning experience throughout the degree and achieved a first. If my university tutors had followed the same admittance policy as some CELTA institutes I would never have been given the opportunity to attain a first class degree. Where is the sense in that?

  8. #8
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    If schools accepted everybody and then failed quite a few, they would be accused of unscrupulous behaviour. If, in order to prevent this happening, they have an interview procedure that rejects people who might be capable of passing, some of the rejected people complain.

    Whatever they do, they are going to make some people unhappy. Determined people who have been rejected can try elsewhere and, if they really have the potential, some school will accept them, so I don't think there is any great harm done - except perhaps the initial blow to some people's pride.

  9. #9
    petit_minou is offline Junior Member
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    Then what is an acceptable standard for admission to an accredited/recognized TESL certificate?

    I have a postgraduate certificate in TESL (30 university level credits, 300/400 level TESL courses) and the only entry requirement was a four year degree with a 2.67 GPA or higher. There were quite a few students who clearly did not belong in the program and thought a gerund was something off an Oktoberfest menu. Of course, the graduation numbers were remarkably lower than the entrance numbers.

    CELTA is in an awkward position - is an essay really sufficient? I'm sure most people on usingenglish.com who try to assist ESL students are passionate about teaching ESL. Unfortunately an essay might be easy to BS for someone who has less than honest intentions in the ESL industry. The tasks may not be ideal for everyone (as I'm sure David is more qualified than most CELTA trainees) but I'm not sure where else they can draw the line.

    Just my 2 cents but I have not taken the CELTA course. My TESL certificate took 3 full-time semesters not including a one month full-time teaching practicum, but CELTA is still more well known than that

  10. #10
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    Re: CELTA Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by petit_minou View Post
    My TESL certificate took 3 full-time semesters not including a one month full-time teaching practicum, but CELTA is still more well known than that
    The CELTA is well known in the private sector TEFL business. It is, on its own, worth nothing in state-sector schools (5-18) in the United Kingdom, where you need a government-recognised qualification, normally a minimum of a PGCE (post-graduate certificate in education), awarded after a one-year full-time course. Even in the state further and adult teaching sector, a CELTA alone may not be considered a sufficient qualification.

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