CELTA at The Lan­guage Cen­tre

Saint Mary’s Univer­sity

The Coast - Career Minded - - SPONSOR CONTENT -

Tami Mered­ith

I’m adding a world of op­por­tu­nity to my computer science back­ground.

Ijust fin­ished my Cer­tifi­cate in Teaching English to Speak­ers of Other Lan­guages, or CELTA, and I couldn’t be hap­pier about. The way it’s run at The Lan­guage Cen­tre at Saint Mary’s, it’s a very in­ten­sive month-long pro­gram that throws you straight into the teaching role, which makes it both chal­leng­ing and re­ward­ing.

My back­ground is be­ing a PhD in computer science, and there is very lit­tle work for some­one with those qual­i­fi­ca­tions th­ese days. I know that with CELTA I’ll be able to find work in­ter­na­tion­ally, and I’m look­ing for­ward to the chance to teach out­side of Canada.

At SMU, the course starts with ob­serv­ing your in­struc­tors in the course run­ning a class for peo­ple learn­ing the lan­guage. They set the stan­dard for how the class is run, and then the next day you’re put in the teaching role. You do 45-minute classes in the morn­ings, and then in the af­ter­noon par­tic­i­pate in in­put ses­sions, teaching you how to teach every­thing from pro­nun­ci­a­tion to gram­mar. You get great feed­back from both your peers and your in­struc­tors, and then you take that feed­back and put it into prac­tice. You teach two lev­els of abil­ity, be­gin­ners and in­ter­me­di­ate.

The course doesn’t expect you to re­cite gram­mar off the top of your head, but pro­vides a frame­work so that you can teach oth­ers. It’s one of the best cour­ses I’ve ever taken, and I can say that be­ing some­one with a PhD! The pro­gram was every­thing I needed to de­velop the skills to be able to teach English to a class­room of adults un­fa­mil­iar with the lan­guage.

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