CELTA Course Query

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  • Robert100
    Participant
    2 April, 2009 at 21:28
    • Total posts: 8

    Hello all.

    Totally new here (and to the world of TEFL) so hopefully some of you will be able to give me advice.

    I have recently been accepted on a five week intensive CELTA course at my local college. It is accredited by the British Council and is a large well known college in the area.

    But…. I am suddenly having pangs of doubt after browsing some forums on the web.

    I chose the CELTA course because it was a five week course instead of four therefore giving me that extra week that would (hopefully) relieve some of the intensity I keep hearing about.

    Also, it is local to me and I felt that, living on my own with no dependants, it would provide the comfortable and familiar surroundings around me to concentrate on the vast amount of effort required for the course as opposed to new surroundings.

    My doubts arise when I keep hearing some of the recommendations for other schools in the UK for CELTA (mainly International House and other London based schools).

    Am I right in thinking that due to the certificate being run by Cambridge that a CELTA is CELTA wherever it is taken and is looked upon the same internationally wherever it’s acquired in the UK? Also, am I unnecessarily putting extra kudos to a five week course over a four week course when I should be concentrating on where I take my CELTA?

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.

    Keith
    Moderator
    3 April, 2009 at 8:45
    • Total posts: 258

    Reply To: CELTA Course Query

    Hi Robert

    Welcome to the forum.

    I chose the CELTA course because it was a five week course instead of four therefore giving me that extra week that would (hopefully) relieve some of the intensity I keep hearing about

    It depends on how they timetable it over the 5 weeks, but theoretically this should give you a little more breathing space than the course done over 4 weeks. It will still be intensive though!

    Also, it is local to me and I felt that, living on my own with no dependants, it would provide the comfortable and familiar surroundings around me to concentrate on the vast amount of effort required for the course as opposed to new surroundings.

    I absolutely agree – very good idea.

    Am I right in thinking that due to the certificate being run by Cambridge that a CELTA is CELTA wherever it is taken and is looked upon the same internationally wherever it’s acquired in the UK? Also, am I unnecessarily putting extra kudos to a five week course over a four week course when I should be concentrating on where I take my CELTA?

    Yes, the CELTA is the CELTA wherever you take it. This is the most important thing – potential future employers will look at your CV and see "CELTA", and because of the reputation that this qualification has, to the vast majority it won’t matter where you did it or how long it took.

    There are no doubt a few employers who would attach marginally more kudos to a particular centre, perhaps because of its name, location or trainers, but this is not a significant factor that you should worry about. The CELTA is the CELTA.

    Good luck,

    Keith

    Robert100
    Participant
    5 April, 2009 at 18:33
    • Total posts: 8

    Reply To: CELTA Course Query

    Many thanks for your reply Keith.

    I found all the different options and ‘hard sells’ from all the different colleges a bit confusing and daunting. You have put my mind at ease.

    Many thanks.

    steveh
    Participant
    9 April, 2009 at 9:11
    • Total posts: 17

    Reply To: CELTA Course Query

    also worth noting: the British Council doesn’t accredit CELTA courses. The accreditation applies to the school or institution not the courses it runs.
    Speaking frankly, my experience with 5 weeks over 4 (having run them both) is that some trainees are stressed out for a week more than necessary and most will ‘fill the time’ by adding to assignments or touching up portfolios unnecessarily. The trainers know that their trainees have a week ‘extra’ and can therefore assess the benefits (if there are any) but trainees have no comparison to make as they generally don’t do more than one course.
    On the topic of where you do the course in terms of familiar or new surroundings; some might argue that being in a new area means fewer distractions from friends, family and habits.


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    Robert100
    Participant
    19 April, 2009 at 14:41
    • Total posts: 8

    Reply To: CELTA Course Query

    Many thanks for your views ‘stevenh’.

    Speaking frankly, my experience with 5 weeks over 4 (having run them both) is that some trainees are stressed out for a week more than necessary and most will ‘fill the time’ by adding to assignments or touching up portfolios unnecessarily.

    Good point. Knowing this and having yourself run a 5 week course, have you any advice then on how to take advantage of the extra week? There must be, if approached correctly by the trainee, some advantage of having an extra week to what is already a very intensive course.

    On the topic of where you do the course in terms of familiar or new surroundings; some might argue that being in a new area means fewer distractions from friends, family and habits.

    Again, a good point. Luckily I live quite a ‘solitary existence’ in my own house, so friends and family are not an issue, but habits is a tough one.

    I have looked at other locations, but the extra cost of (in some cases) course fees, but mainly accommodation, seem to the prohibiting factor for me.

    Again, many thanks for your views.

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