Contrary to what the name suggests, Panama hats are from Ecuador. Long story short. In the 19th century, Ecuador started producing these straw hats but they didn’t have many customers to sell them to. They came up with the brilliant … Continue reading →
The purpose of the interview is to find out whether you’re suitable for the course and whether you’ve got the potential to pass. My interview was conducted over Skype (voice, no video) and lasted for about an hour.
I came prepared. I read through my entire application, skimmed through a few chapters of Scrivener’s Learning Teaching, memorized TEFL jargon I thought would be nice to throw in to show off my knowledge. I thought of good answers to typical interview questions and lastly, I compiled a short list of things I would ask them. 10 minutes from the agreed time and I was pumping with adrenaline and ready to go!
Surprisingly, it was very relaxed interview. I was slightly disappointed by this, actually. All the work I’d taken to prepare for it had gone to waste. I was asked a couple of questions about my application and on the English language, but nothing too difficult. They mostly wanted to find out more about me and my past experiences.
For the rest of the “interview” I asked my questions. We went through the course organization, the resources, the location, the students, the tutors, visa and immigration queries, and the job opportunities. Everything I wanted to know was answered. I instantly felt more confident about my decision to complete the course with them. At the end, I was told I had a position and I received my acceptance letter.
I’m aware that this is not how most CELTA interviews are conducted but perhaps the lengthiness of their application task (18 pages) made up for the laxness of the interview questions – who knows?
All in all, I’m glad I over-prepared. You can never predict what type of interviewer you’ll get. They may ask you tons of questions, or hardly any. Read through your application and go over the questions you struggled with the most and finally, think of at least 3 questions to ask about the course. It’ll be worth finding out what you’re getting yourself into before you take the plunge.
This was by far the oddest border crossing I’ve ever done. And I’ve experienced a few in my day. Flashback to February 2013 – I had just begun a tour with G Adventures. Little did I know what I’d got myself into.
We left Costa Rica’s hippy, beach town of Puerto Viejo and made our way to the border at Sixaola. It took us about 1 hour. When we got to the government office, we signed immigration forms and lined up to get our passports stamped for departure. Then, our guide ushered us to the perilous bridge of doom.
The idea of observations and feedback is to target the areas you and your peers need to improve on so that you can teach better lessons as the course progresses.
What happens when I’m observing? You observe your peers’ lessons and hopefully you’ll be able to pick up on things the students really enjoy so you use them in your own lessons. It does get boring at times but you can tune out for the tedious moments. Make sure you look like you’re paying attention, though. Nod your head every now and then – that should do the trick.
What happens when it’s my turn? While you’re up there playing teacher, your peers and your trainer watch and take notes. Your trainer also reads through your plan and evaluates your performance. It’s odd to look back and have 6 pairs of beady eyes staring at your every move in silence, but once you get past your third lesson, you won’t even notice them anymore. Don’t panic (like I did), focus on your lesson and most of all, focus on your students’ reactions and respond to them naturally.
When you’re done, you’ll write a short statement about your performance. Then, your trainer writes their comments alongside yours, but doesn’t show it to you until after feedback, where the group goes over what went well with your lesson and the areas that could be improved i.e. what you screwed up. Dealing with criticism is difficult no matter how constructive it is. Try not to take it personally, but look at it as a way to ace your next lesson. Dwelling on the negative will only set you back, and there’s very little time to waste on this course.