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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Re: CELTA for advanced high school students?

Posted By: nomad soul
Date: Friday, 4 April 2014, at 4:19 p.m.

In Response To: CELTA for advanced high school students? (Anne)

Hello! I did things a little backwards, by landed a teaching position prior to obtaining a certificate. I'll be leaving the country in August to teach high school students in the following subjects--'Critical Reading/Writing', 'English', and 'Psychology' (my undergrad major). All the courses will be instructed in English, so it's my understanding that the students are near-fluent.

Since I didn't major in Education or have any classroom experience, I'm looking for a certificate that will truly prepare me to teach. The universities/extention programs near me offer TESOL certifications which take 2+ years to complete (they are designed for working individuals--infrequent course offerings, night/weekend only). The CELTA seems to be the only rapid (~4-5 weeks), well-regarded program which truly trains people how to teach; however, from my understanding, it seems to be geared towards educating adult beginning learners. Would it still be my best bet, or is there anything else I can do to better prepare me? I'm almost wondering if I should take anything for US public school teachers (since the curriculum might be near-equivalent).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Be aware the CELTA and other TESOL certificate courses are entry-level teaching qualifications that focus on teaching English language and not on teaching content to near-native speakers. A cert may help somewhat but won't be relevant to the teaching situation nor to the curriculum you're expected to teach. In fact, you're looking at apples-n-oranges in terms of objectives, teaching strategies, etc., which is why you're probably a bit confused. Generally, teachers who head overseas to public or international schools are licensed to teach their content area in their state or province. That doesn't appear to be a requirement for the job you're going to.

A couple of suggestions:

1) Check with your library, local school district, or state's department of education, or better, office of Adult Basic Education (ABE), about evening adult literacy/GED classes and commit to at least a couple of months of volunteering as a co-teacher alongside a seasoned teacher and as a GED preparation tutor.

2) Approach your local vocational school or community college's education and/or English departments for permission to observe classes related to those you would be teaching abroad.

The students in these teaching situations won't be high schoolers but many will likely be young adults. Anyway, this should give you some classroom experience and confidence once you head overseas.

Messages In This Thread

CELTA for advanced high school students?
Anne -- Thursday, 3 April 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
Re: CELTA for advanced high school students?
nomad soul -- Friday, 4 April 2014, at 4:19 p.m.
Re: CELTA for advanced high school students?
Tim -- Friday, 4 April 2014, at 1:10 p.m.

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