CELTA at Saint Mary’s Univer­sity

English teach­ers have never been so em­ploy­able

The Coast - Career Minded - - NEWS -

In ac­cor­dance with the Lan­guage Schools Act of 2013, teach­ers of English as a sec­ond lan­guage in Nova Sco­tia are re­quired to have an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree and a rec­og­nized English lan­guage teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion. With TESL Canada ceas­ing op­er­a­tions last year, and the un­cer­tainty of who will step in to over­see and ac­credit English lan­guage teach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions in Canada, hav­ing a cer­tifi­cate that is in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized is an at­trac­tive ad­di­tion to any teacher’s re­sume.

The Cer­tifi­cate in Teach­ing English to Speak­ers of Other Lan­guages (CELTA), awarded by Cam­bridge As­sess­ment English, is used as a bench­mark of ba­sic teach­ing skills by or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­sti­tu­tions in the English lan­guage teach­ing world. There are cur­rently more than 300 cen­tres in over 60 dif­fer­ent coun­tries around the world, in­clud­ing one in Hal­i­fax at The Lan­guage Cen­tre at Saint Mary’s Univer­sity (SMU-TLC).

The CELTA pro­gram is an ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion to an ex­ist­ing teach­ing de­gree, or for some­one who is look­ing for a new chal­lenge. “English is a global lan­guage and more peo­ple re­quire English in schools,” says Ju­lian L’En­fant, the Aca­demic Man­ager/CELTA Ad­min­is­tra­tor at SMU-TLC. “Stu­dents are de­mand­ing good qual­ity teach­ing, so many peo­ple choose the CELTA be­cause it is more por­ta­ble than a lo­cal or na­tional TESL qual­i­fi­ca­tion.” Be­ing a Cam­bridge Teach­ing Awards Cen­tre, each CELTA is as­sessed by an ex­ter­nal as­ses­sor who vis­its the course. The CELTA at SMU is both ac­ces­si­ble and flex­i­ble, of­fer­ing full-time, face-to-face cour­ses over four weeks, or as dis­tance learn­ing though the CELTA On­line.

CELTA On­line is a blended pro­gram that is com­pleted part-time over 15 weeks. The course is the same as the face-to-face op­tion, but with the course con­tent de­liv­ered on­line. Qual­ity is en­sured, as each CELTA tu­tor has also com­pleted a Cam­bridge-ap­proved course in on­line tu­tor­ing. The teach­ing prac­tice com­po­nent is com­pleted at SMU-TLC in weeks 10 and 11.

“This part is good fun!” says L’En­fant. “We of­fer free ESL classes to adults at two lev­els of abil­ity, so that trainees can work with real stu­dents and get hands-on teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. There is a de­mand for English lan­guage classes in the com­mu­nity, and the CELTA en­ables us to con­tribute to this need.” The course is ex­pe­ri­en­tial with method­ol­ogy de­liv­ered con­cur­rently with teach­ing prac­tice. It is an ef­fec­tive way to learn how to teach.

“But we’re not only talk­ing about teach­ing ESL cour­ses. We’re see­ing a greater num­ber of English lan­guage learners in our pub­lic schools and many lo­cal teach­ers have taken the CELTA to im­prove their ex­ist­ing skills. There­fore, knowl­edge about lan­guage and know­ing how to in­te­grate lan­guage into con­tent lessons is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for teach­ers work­ing in a va­ri­ety of teach­ing con­texts.”

CELTA grad­u­ates from last year: Back left to right: Maryam Esse, Cather­ine Luk­its, Erin Har­ris-MacLeod, Ju­lian L’En­fant (Tu­tor), Tami Mered­ith. Front left to right: He­len Mer­lot, Sue Holmes (Tu­tor), Hi­roko Ueda, Jill McKen­zie, Denise Ryan.

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