CELTA, a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.
Please read the Wikipedia page for a bare bones explanation of the course.
I always wanted to work in another country after graduation. It was a case of ‘anywhere but here’ for me – Indonesia, China or wherever. I didn’t really care which country as long as I could stay abroad for a year or more. The problem was: why would anyone in some other country hire me over a local? Hiring locals are always better. There would be less fuss with the authorities and the local would know how to get past red tape better than a foreigner could.
I could only think of one thing that could make me employable: my fluency in the English language (and some other languages). There would be people who wanted to improve their English language skills, even in English-speaking cities.
That brought me to another issue: Some language schools would not consider an Asian to be a native speaker of English, even if my main language of communication is English. I would not stand out from the thousands of native speakers from the US or the UK. I had to get some official-looking certificate to tell language schools abroad that I am very suitable for the vacancy they might have.
Thus, I took the first step towards fulfilling my dream of working in another country.
Taking the CELTA in Singapore
There are only 2 schools in Singapore registered with the University of Cambridge (the examining authority for CELTA). The British Council is the first school to offer it and they only offer the 4-week full-time course. The second school, Heartpower, offers full-time and part-time courses.
I have read that taking the CELTA online is not going to cut it for most language schools, so I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.
I have heard the following from graduates of CELTA:
- Taking the 4-week full-time course is suicide. The 8-week part-time course is more manageable if the person was unemployed.
- Be prepared for many sleepless nights and by the 5th week, the candidate might want to kill someone. Possibly himself.
- Despite the amount of pain and anti-social behaviour involved, most of the accounts I have heard/read say that taking the CELTA was possibly the most challenging BUT most rewarding thing they had ever done.
What other people have Written about the CELTA
- How to get the top grade, Pass A, in CELTA
- Surviving the CELTA with your sanity
…the trainers demonstrate the sort of annoying activities you will be expected to use with your own students. For example, to help you remember the other trainees’ names, a ball is tossed around the group. You have to call out the name of the person who throws the ball to you or to whom you throw the ball. Needless to say, this is an extremely stressful activity. You can remember the names of only the trainees you would not mind shagging. You resolve never to do this activity with your students.
- A low-down on the CELTA, complete with teaching hours and pre-course preparation tips. Very informative.
- The CELTA is cheaper in Thailand. This is written by a Singaporean who did his CELTA in Thailand.
N.B: For all CELTA-related inquiries, please ask the relevant schools.