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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general

Posted By: Alex <voxnox8@yahoo.com>
Date: Tuesday, 7 January 2014, at 11:32 p.m.

Well, I just wrote an extremely long post but had to delete it because the forum thinks there is a "naughty" word in it (there is not). So I'll make this concise. Plus the software that runs this web forum is straight up from 1990 and that is no help at all in writing my questions.

How grammar intensive is the CELTA course? I am a native speaker and can write very well. But I am extremely lacking in knowing the specific rules. I'll compare it to Jesse Pinkman on the show Breaking Bad. He can make extremely good meth, but couldn't tell you a thing about chemistry like Walter White can. I am the Jesse Pinkman of English.

There is a local university offering a TEFL course for $1000 less than the CELTA and is spread out over 5 months, 1 day a week, rather than 8 hours for 4 weeks. I would find it a lot easier to soak up knowledge if I wasn't extremely pressured like the CELTA makes people become. It starts in less than a week though and is probably too late to register also. But are local university offered TEFL programs worth it?

In the CELTA program, do they give you any idea on how to create lessons? I've read a lot of things ranging from that the teachers leave you to your own crumbling devices, to actually giving helpful guidance. I've never taught a class before, and am extremely worried that the CELTA teachers just leave their students up for dead while walking to the bank with our $2500 checks. For $2500 I expect the teachers to actually teach me and help me pass this class and get my foot in the door to a job.

From what I've read it is an extremely intensive and highly stressful jam packed class where students sometimes even cry. I'm not sorry to say this, but that sounds like an extremely horrible and detrimental way to teach someone. Why don't they spread this class out, allow us to soak up the lectures?

I have a BS in mechanical engineering and have worked just a few years in the field. So my education was not too entirely focused on literature and grammar. I don't remember much of anything about "direct objects", predicates, and other such things. Will the CELTA people expect me to be extremely grammar knowledgeable?

I know that CELTA is held in very high regards among the TEFL community. But is it necessary? Just like having a college degree is not necessary, but good luck getting any decent job without it. I'm not aiming to be a tier one super teacher or anything. I'd be happy being placed in a small city/town teaching children. Children don't need to know what "active voice" or "indirect objects" are. Neither do people who just want to know how to order food at a restaurant more effectively communicate with English speakers. People who are not looking to become professional English journalists for the regional BBC or something.

I was in Ukraine a year ago and I happened to meet a person who was a part-time English tutor for children. Her spoken English was sloppy and her written English was comical. Yet she majored in language studies and was a tutor (I don't think she is now though). So if that girl was a tutor, how exacting in grammar do I have to be? While in Poland I had fun correcting some Poles and Belarussian's spoken English (they asked me to). It was in a casual setting with people my age, but I didn't seem to have any trouble. For example, I had to explain to one guy how the word "gonna" was not used in professional and official speech, and that it was more of a slang word. I didn't have to explain about future tense or point to a thick grammar book or anything like that. I'm just worried that actually teaching real students in a real classroom will be like an everyday intensive CELTA course, instead of me using my 27 years of native knowledge of English. That would burn me out.

I'm mainly doing this as an opportunity to travel and stay abroad. I am more interested in learning about their language than teaching them my language. So I'm not sure if this is the best idea. But I hear about so many people doing TEFL. So how hard can it be?

Messages In This Thread

Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general
Alex -- Tuesday, 7 January 2014, at 11:32 p.m.
Re: Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general
Carl Taylor -- Wednesday, 8 January 2014, at 3:17 p.m.
Re: Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general
Tim -- Wednesday, 8 January 2014, at 11:52 a.m.
Re: Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general
Katrina Bourke -- Wednesday, 8 January 2014, at 11:35 a.m.
Re: Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general
Alex -- Friday, 10 January 2014, at 10:45 a.m.
Re: Is it right for me? CELTA and TEFL in general
Tim -- Sunday, 12 January 2014, at 10:27 a.m.

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