Inshallah

Hello Everybody!

Very long time, no blog.

Yes I’m still in Abu Dhabi, and yes, generally things are going great. There are a few reasons why I haven’t been updating you all as frequently as I used to, which are:

  1. I’m SUPER busy nowadays. I spend more time out of my apartment that in it and in the evenings I’m usually too tired to write anything!
  2. Abu Dhabi is a very easy place to live in. Hence my adventures here aren’t as weird and wacky as they were in Indonesia or China. So I don’t have much news to report on a regular basis.

However, seeing as it’s been so long I thought it might be nice to give you somewhat of a synopsis of my life here.

The Good

  • The weather here is A-MAZ-ING. It’s always warm and sunny and it NEVER rains, apart from a few seconds of light drizzle every few months. We do have sandstorms now and again, but seeing as I have my very own eye shields (in the form of my glasses), they don’t bother me very much.
  • Most of the people living here aren’t U.A.E. nationals, so English is pretty much the main language spoken here. No language barrier=an easy life. I have managed to pick up some Arabic though 🙂 I actually really like the sound of it. Don’t ask me to read it though.
  • I have a routine now for my week days! It’s sooooo nice to finish work in the afternoon instead of starting.
  • You can find pretty much anything you need here. Food, clothes, indulgences, everything!
  • It’s incredibly safe here. Although I’m still not brave enough to drive.
  • I have a habitable apartment. Its actually very cosy 🙂
  • I’ve met some incredible people.
  • No tax. Yay!

The Challenges

  • Although generally I’m SO much happier in this school than my previous ones, the transition from working with small classes and teaching ESL to working in a ‘proper’ school has been difficult at times. Classes are bigger, kids come from all sorts of backgrounds and depending on the day/time/what lesson they’ve just come from they can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed or whiny and mopey. Or smelly (I’m looking at you P.E.).
  • I’ve had to completely change the way I teach and organise my class. But I do love having my own classroom! Back in the day, if I had trouble with some students I only had to deal with them temporarily. Now I have to figure out ways to fix my issues (which, for the record, I’ve manged to do for the most part). Buy hey, if it was easy everyone would be doing it, right?
  • I can’t find BBQ Hula Hoops here and it’s really upsetting.

The Miscellaneous

  • The wealth here is dizzying. Seriously!! I had gold flakes in my coffee once!
  • I have serious car-envy most of the time.
  • Taxis usually just pull up alongside you when they see you.
  • Considering that we’re in the desert, there’s a lot of parks and green spaces around.
  • The in-thing here is what they call ‘brunch’. But it’s not actually brunch. They’re buffets that you go to, usually on a Friday. All you can eat and drink for about 4 or 5  hours. I’ve been in many happy food comas.
  • Yes you can buy pork here, but it’s really expensive.
  • I actually quite enjoy the Call to Prayer. It’s nice! And I can’t hear it in my building at 4 in the morning which is a delightful bonus.
  • Children have called me ‘Mom’ by accident on quite a few occassions.
  • If you come to the Emirates, get used to the smell of Oud-a traditional perfume here.
  • The designer shops usually have a sort of bouncer outside them who decides if you are rich enough to enter. I’ve never gotten an invitation 😦

So that’s a basic rundown of my life here right now! So far I’ve no regrets at all about moving here-it’s definitely been the easiest so far out of all the places I’ve lived!

I’ll hopefully give you guys another update in due course but until then,

Thanks for reading!

 

Louise

 

 

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Little by Little…

Hi everyone!

Well,I’m happy to report that since you last saw me I’ve moved into my new apartment, settled into my new school (well, for the most part) and overall just been laying the foundations for my new life here in Abu Dhabi.

I must say that I haven’t experienced any culture shock at all. Well, at least nothing that I would consider to be culture shock. I think it’s probably because of all my time already spent in China and Indonesia-I’m already used to the differences between Ireland and this part of the world.

It also helps that Abu Dhabi is as modern a city as they get. I have everything I need right on my doorstep, and since there are so many different nationalities living here, English is used as more of a main language than Arabic. At least in my experience anyway. Hence, getting by when I’m out and about is as easy as it is back in Ireland. Part of me feels like maybe I should be learning Arabic, seeing as I’ll be here for at least two years. But it seems that you really have to go out of your way to learn it and seeing as I don’t really need it…I’ll report back on that one.

School wise, things are going quite well. although I’m still adjusting. Since I’m at an international school and most of the students are pretty much fluent in English, I’m teaching English as more of a core subject now rather than as a language. I still do vocab and grammar but I also do a lot of reading comprehension, descriptive writing and all that jazz. I’m actually really enjoying it as it gives me a lot more structure in terms of what I need to cover every day. Plus I don’t have to make everything into a game which takes a lot of pressure off me.

I’m really liking the fact that I now have a schedule that I can plan around, by which I mean have a personal life outside of work. These days, I’m physically in school at 7am, I finish at 3, and of course I have weekends off, so I feel like I now have a healthy balance between my work and home life. In Indonesia, I’d start at 3 and not finish until 9 some nights, which was overwhelming and exhausting. So yay for actually being able to go home, cook dinner, exercise etc., instead of just collapsing into bed.

I’ve also been out exploring as much of the city as I can. So far the only ‘touristy’ places I’ve been to are the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (which was mind-blowing), Yas Island (hello Ikea!!) and of course the Corniche (I got burned within about five micro seconds). The water at the beach here is actually warm, kind of like bath water that’s cooled down a bit. There are no waves, and it’s really salty so you just sort of float which I find very relaxing

So apart from waking up every Friday in a blinding panic thinking that I’ve overslept (the weekend here is Friday and Saturday), things are going very well for me! Hopefully they’ll continue to do so!

Thanks for reading,

Louise.

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First Week in the Emirates!

Hey everyone!

Well I’m happy to report that I did indeed make it to Abu Dhabi in one piece last week and as of right now I have not seen any camels (unless you count the dead ones at the meat market…).

I flew straight from Dublin last week right into the desert. The view from the plane at night was AMAZING-like a giant switchboard or something. I could literally feel the heat through the plane it was so hot. The first thing I had to do upon landing was go straight to security to get my visa stamped and my eyes scanned. Then one more stamp on my passport (and a “welcome to Abu Dhabi” from the nice Passport Stamping Man) and I was home free. By the way, the staff at the airport here are ridiculously helpful.

I was met by one of my school drivers who brought me straight to the hotel where I’m staying until my apartment is ready. Since then, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind trying to teach and adjust to the city, but here are some general observations that I’ve made thus far:

  • It’s BOILING hot to the extent that you can’t really be outside for very long. I’m talking 38-42 degrees most days. It’s actually pretty breezy but it feels like I’m being blasted with a hairdryer, so not exactly refreshing. It’s also really humid-my glasses fog up a lot when I go outside.
  • In contrast, the air conditioning is so strong that you actually need a cardigan or something when you step inside.
  • I’ve yet to see a cloud. But I’ve seen lots of red sunrises 🙂
  • Buildings are huge here.
  • Most footpaths are covered in a light dusting of sand. But it’s really clean in most places.
  • They have lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money.
  • I’ve spoken to a ridiculous amount of people in the last week, but I have yet to meet anybody who is actually a native of the U.A.E.
  • Taxis are abundant and cheap, but you have to kind of know where your destination is as they don’t really use addresses here. So it’s helpful to know the big landmarks-malls and hotels usually work.
  • I’ve seen more Porsches, Bentley’s and Lamborghini’s in the last week than I have in my whole life so far.
  • Dates (the fruit) are delicious here.

I started teaching last week too. The first day was overwhelming to say the least. But I’ve slowly been adjusting. I’ve got my own classroom this time round, so my students come to me which is great! Suits me down to the ground actually because I have all of my books and material right with me so i can’t forget to bring anything to class. All of my co-workers have been really helpful too in answering my billion questions and helping me get settled.

My students are great too. My classes are a lot bigger this time around, but then everything is a lot more structured here too, seeing as I now work in a-for want of a better word-‘real’ school. I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence when it comes to classroom management, and I’ve actually gotten a few compliments on my kids’ behaviour so I’m happy about that 🙂 Let’s hope it stays that way!

So that’s all I have really to report. Sorry if this was a bit brief/all over the place but I wanted to at least give you guys a little update now that I’m a week into my life here. So far I’m very content and I’m hoping I’ll still be content this time next week. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading!

Louise

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Third Time Lucky?

Hi Everyone!
First off, I need to apologise for my erratic posting over the past year. I have always tried to post quite regularly so I’m kind of sad that I haven’t done that this year. But I really didn’t have much to write about and I doubt that you guys would have enjoyed tales of me working in retail as this is supposed to be a blog about teaching,

But anyway. I’m moving on now (and I’m taking you all with me) to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, where I will be teaching in an international school for the first time. I’ve decided to have one more go at living abroad, and I’m hoping that Abu Dhabi will be a much more positive experience than what I have done previously (let’s just say I won’t be racing back to Jakarta any time soon…).

Like my past adventures I’ll be travelling solo, but I know that my school is hiring a few new teachers this year, so I’m glad that I won’t be the only person who’s a bit clueless/overwhelmed for the first few weeks. Not to mention dying of heatstroke probably. And freaking out with excitement when I see a camel for the first time.
Now, I’ve technically been to Abu Dhabi before, when I got stuck there overnight two years ago on my way to Jakarta. But seeing as I only saw the airport and the inside of a hotel, it doesn’t really count in my mind as a visit. So I’m excited to have the opportunity to explore the city properly!

So that’s all for now. Next time you hear from me I will (hopefully) be in Abu Dhabi. And I’d like to thank you all for your patience and sticking with for this long-I do appreciate it!

Thanks for reading!

Louise

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Summer Camp

Hi everyone!

So you know a couple of months ago when I said I’d be posting regular ‘Teaching Advice’ type posts? Yeah, that failed epically. I do have a lot of drafts saved but…I don’t know. I don’t like to pretend to be an expert at living abroad, so I think its best if I stick to heinously long rambles 🙂

Anyway, when you last saw me, I’d just completed a CELTA course. For the last two weeks, I’ve been teaching in a summer camp which has now ended, so I thought I’d write a post about the experience. Nice way to keep my machine oiled until my next adventure (which I’m keeping under wraps for now as I’m very superstitious about these things).

I’ve never taught in a summer camp before, so when my dear sister showed me the ad she stumbled across online I thought ‘hey, why not give it a bash?’ So I sent in my CV, went for an interview and was offered the job the day after 🙂 Here’s how it went:

I was teaching Spanish kids aged between 10 and 12 for two hours every evening, and three hours on a Saturday morning. They were a group of kids from the same school, travelling with two of their own English teachers, and no parents. Each morning, they would go to a sports camp in the city, or do some other type of outdoor activity, giving them a chance to mix with Irish children and practise their English that way. Then in the evenings they would come back to their accommodation and have English classes with moi and two other teachers.

On the first day, we did a placement test to break them up into three groups. There were only 16 kids, so we ended up with two groups of 5 and one group of 6. I was hoping to have either 4 or 6 students in my class as I think even numbers are a lot easier to plan around, but I ended up with 5. Oh well!

The set up was extremely casual. No set curriculum or topics-it was left up to us. All we were told was to keep them speaking as much as possible, and basically do whatever we wanted with them. Although they did have homework everyday which was to keep a diary of their time in Ireland, for which there would be a prize at the end for best one (just an Ireland key ring).

So I devised a plan which was to pick a topic for each day and then do activities based around it. Unfortunately I’m still not at a stage where I can just make up a lesson on the spot (and I probably never will be, if I’m honest) so I did spend a good bit of time planning for each day. I chose the topics as I went along based on what I thought the kids needed to work on plus some vocab that I thought might be useful for them. We did things like tenses, prepositions, body parts, clothing, food and we also learned the song ‘Cups’ from Pitch Perfect (complete with cup choreography!). Of course I also pulled out all my tried and tested games for warm ups and emergency time fillers.

Emergency board game counters made out of card and washi tape!

My classes took place in a sitting room with a kitchen joined onto it (open plan kitchen? Interior design people-please feel free to help me out!) which I thought was nice because the kids could sit on the couches-making for a much more relaxed atmosphere. Although I did use the kitchen table a good bit too depending on the activity.

The kids themselves were awesome. Really enthusiastic and eager to learn, making a genuine effort to speak English to the best of their ability. They were also extremely well-behaved which of course made life a lot easier for me!

To be honest, I was amazed by these young people. Given the fact that I was just a random person who they only saw two hours a day for two weeks, I was dumbfounded by the fact that were so easy to work with. Everyday they had their homework done without fail, nobody ever forgot to bring pens or paper, they were so well-behaved and everybody participated in everything as best they could.

Thank you notes written by the kids-so sweet!

Thank you notes written by the kids-so sweet!

After my year in Jakarta, I was hell-bent on only teaching adults in the future, based on my experience there. But now, after this experience, maybe teaching children isn’t so bad after all 🙂

So that’s pretty much it for my first summer camp experience. Would I do it again? Sure, I really enjoyed it. It’s a handy bit of work which adds to my experience-I’d definitely recommend seizing the opportunity if it comes your way.

Until next time, Adiós amigos!

Louise.

 

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How to Survive Your First Lesson!

Hey everyone!

A belated Happy New Year to all of you!

Now, seeing as I’m not teaching at the moment, I have no tales from the classroom to entertain *cough* you all with, but I still want my blog to remain active and informative to you all, so I thought that I’d post some more practical advice on here for now, in the hope that it will help some of you!

Today, I’ve decided to share some advice on how to survive your first day in the classroom. So without further ado, my tips for getting through this teaching milestone (in no particular order) are as follows:

In the hours before:

1) Have a plan

Make sure that you have a clear lesson plan. You simply CANNOT walk into a classroom without having at least some idea of how your lesson is going to play out. If you think that you can just make things up as you go along then think again my friend (and possibly reconsider teaching as a career-I’m serious).

Now, you don’t have to have a crazy, elaborate, Lourve-worthy plan laid out on laminated cardboard. But it is good to have at least some stages mapped out on a piece of paper. That way, if you feel yourself getting lost you can just glance at your plan and get back on track! (Depending on your school, you may have to submit lesson plans in advance anyway).

2) Prepare materials

One advantage of having a plan is that you can see exactly what materials (pictures, handouts, etc) you are going to need in your lesson. So make sure that you start getting them ready as soon as possible. Oh, and it’s not a bad idea to have one or two more photocopies than you need, just in case you get any last-minute additions to your attendance list (very common in language schools).

3) Check your equipment

Are you planning on using a computer/CD player/projector/TV/any other electronic device in your lesson? Then for the love of God, check beforehand to make sure that it’s working! And come up with an alternative if it’s not.

4) Prepare your teaching arsenal

Make sure you have plenty of markers/chalk, pens, pencils and spare paper. I’d also recommend a copy of your students’ book and a bottle of water or some type of beverage to combat the dreaded dry mouth (especially in a hot climate!)

5) Relax!

Take some time to chill out and compose yourself before the class. You should have everything prepared by now so there’s no reason for you to be rushing around at the last-minute.

During the class itself

1) Smile!

Nobody wants to learn from a grouch! Chances are, your students are just as nervous as you are, so a smile can go a long way towards relaxing them.

2) Introduce yourself, but don’t regale everyone with your life story

People have different opinions on how to begin a first lesson. Some people think that it’s important to tell your students all about yourself, but personally, I think it’s better just to get straight down to business. For one thing, depending on the level of your students, they might not even understand what you are saying (making for a very awkward atmosphere) and for another, if you are teaching children, you’ll just bore them to death.

I usually just start with ‘Hi, I’m Louise’. Then straight into an activity. That’s it!

3) Break the ice

Now, there’s a good chance that your students may not know each other. So it’s important to start with a fun activity to break the ice and create a nice atmosphere. These activities are called ‘warmers’. They should be short, simple and (hopefully) fun activities that get your students engaged and ready to speak in another language for a while. There are hundreds of activities out there that can be used as warmers, but these are some of my favourites:

  • Find someone who: This is a great activity to use as it gets students up and moving. All you do is give everybody a sheet with a set of questions on it to ask their classmates, for example, ‘find somebody who loves chocolate’, or ‘find someone who can play the guitar’. Set a time limit and have students walk around and ask each other questions, then report back as a group. An awesome way to get a group conversation going.
  • All the alphabet: Write the alphabet on the board. Divide students into teams. Set a time limit and have them race to write down a word for every letter of the alphabet. Whichever team gets the most wins!
  • I went to the shop and I bought…: I’m sure there’s a proper name for this but that’s just what I call it. Similar to the activity above, somebody goes first and says ‘I went to the shop and I bought’ and then a word beginning with ‘A’ e.g. ‘I went to the shop and I bought an apple’. Then the next student must continue with ‘B’ e.g. ‘I went to the shop and I bought an apple and a ball’ then you keep going around until you get to ‘Z’. Naturally this helps with listening and memory. The words can be anything too-not just things you can buy in a shop, so it can be a lot of fun!
  • Taboo: Type out some words, cut them up and put them into a hat. Students must take turns to pick a word, then describe it to the class (or team, if you want to make it competitive!) who must guess what the word is!

Again, there are loads of activities that you can use but these are my go-to ones. You can use them anytime aswell to revise vocab or grammar, and adapt them to suit the level of your class.

4) Zip it

Being a teacher, and therefore probably a person who quite likes having an audience, it’s only natural to sometimes lapse into a lecture. But this is really unhelpful for your students! Remember-you can speak English fluently. You don’t need to practise. Your students on the other hand need all the practice that they can possibly get-especially if you are not teaching in an English-speaking country.

So stop talking and find ways for your students to talk as much as they can. For example, after you introduce your topic for the day, have students discuss what they know about it for a minute or two instead of you telling them what it is. Or, let’s say a student asks you what a word means-ask if anybody else in the class can explain it.

5) Vary your activities and interaction patterns

Don’t feel like you must have your students doing something incredibly energetic all the time. For one thing, you’ll exhaust yourself (and probably them too, to be honest). Instead, have a variety of activities to keep your lesson flowing along nicely. So after something active, do something quieter like reading or writing, then something active again and so on. This will keep your students on their toes.

Also, don’t have your students work with the same people all the time. It’s not good for them. Mix them around from time to time to keep things ‘fresh’ and prevent cliques.

6) Say thank you!

Once your class is over (which will be before you know it!) make sure to thank your students and tell them what a good job they did. You’d be surprised how encouraging this can be.

After class

1) Take a breather

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? Chances are you’ll be buzzing after your first lesson so go outside for some fresh air or have a snack in celebration.

2) Do a quick review

Have a think back over your class and write down anything that you feel would be important in planning your future lessons. What activities did they like? What activities fell flat? Who are the big personalities? Who is quiet? Was the work too easy/difficult? Do they work quickly or slowly? Should you review anything in your next class?

3) Get ready for your next class!

Begin the whole process again!

So there you have it, my tips for getting through your first lesson. I really hope this is helpful for some of you (it’s certainly long enough-I think I have a problem!). If any of you think that there are some things that I left out, please feel free to pop them in the comment section below.

Until my next post, thanks for reading!

Louise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CELTA Overview and Tips

Ahoy there mateys!

Today I’m going to give a brief (yeah right!) description of what to expect when you complete a CELTA course, plus some of my own little tidbits of advice for getting through it. If you’ve randomly stumbled across this blog and would like some more detail on CELTA, just scroll back through my older posts for a weekly breakdown of happenings.

Everyone sitting comfortably? Okey dokes, here goes:

What is CELTA?

CELTA stands for Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (It was recently changed from Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. I guess they kept the initials to avoid confusion) and it is a ESL qualification awarded by Cambridge Language Assessment at The University of Cambridge. It is recognised internationally and its pretty much the qualification that you need in order to secure a decent teaching job in many parts of the world (apart from DELTA of course, but that’s another blog post!).

There are loads of institutions that offer CELTA courses, which can be viewed here.

How long does it take to do?

There are two options:

Full time CELTA- Five days a week for 4 weeks

Part time CELTA-Two days a week for 10 weeks (this is the one I did)

How much does it cost?

This depends on your centre, but most will cost at least €1500 which you should earn back once you’re teaching.

What is the application process like?

Well, first you need to choose which centre you want to do your course at. Then you should pick up an application form either on the centre’s website or in person, fill it in and send it back. If the centre likes the look of your application you will be invited to attend a written test (to assess your knowledge of language and grammar) followed by an interview. After that they will hopefully accept you 🙂

Do I have to do anything before I start the course?

You will be sent what they call a ‘Pre-Course Task’. It’s pretty much an extension of the pre-interview task, but it’s really long so you might not want to leave it until the last-minute. I believe that it is optional in a lot of centres but it helps to at least attempt it.

What will I do/learn during the course?

CELTA is extremely practical and hands on. You’ll be teaching on your third day!

You will teach real life students (ideally at  least two proficiency levels) for a total of six hours. Now, in my centre, those hours were broken down like so:

Lesson 1: 20 minutes

Lessons 2-8: 40 minutes

Lesson 9: 60 mins

This may vary according to your centre, but you will have to teach at least 6 hours in order to pass the course. You will also observe the lessons of your classmates. After all the lessons are finished for the day, you will be given feedback on your class and you will be expected to give feedback to your classmates (i.e. don’t daydream during their lessons!).In addition to all those hours, you must observe at least six hours of classes outside of your course.

In the afternoons (or mornings I suppose, depending on your centre) you will have what they call ‘input sessions’ on all sorts of teaching basics like classroom management, using the board, grammar, skills, pronunciation, etc.

Finally, you also have to complete four written assignments, of which you must pass three in order to pass the course.

Is there a final exam?

Nope! You are awarded a result based on your performance throughout the course.

So that’s CELTA in a nutshell. Now here are some tips from me that might help you if you do decide to get CELTA qualified:

  • The very first teaching practice is designed to help you find your feet more than anything else. So just try to relax and get used to standing on front of a class. It gets easier as you go along, I promise!
  • Some of the assignments take AGES to do, so get going on them as soon as possible.
  • Make sure to send your lesson plans in to your tutor a few days in advance so that s/he can give you some help if necessary.
  • Try to do your observations of experienced teachers as soon as you can, so that you can pick up some teaching techniques.
  • Consider investing in a grammar book. I’d recommend Practical English Usage by Michael Swan.
  • Use a stopwatch during your lessons to keep yourself on time. I used to just use the timer on my phone and I found it  very handy.
  • On days when you are teaching, make sure you get to your centre nice and early so you can organise yourself.
  • Remember that your tutors are there to help you! So make sure to take all their advice on board and don’t be afraid to ask for their help with anything.

I hope this helps make CELTA a bit clearer for you all. If anybody has any questions about it then please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below!

Louise

 

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CELTA-Final Week

Hello everyone 🙂

So I finally got to the end of my CELTA course-the time absolutely flew! Here’s how things went down this week:

Day 19:

Today I just observed two of my classmates’ final teaching practices. It was torture watching everybody finish up before me!

Then in the afternoon we had a session on how to find teaching work, both in Ireland and abroad.

Day 20:

Today I had my last observed teaching practice. It was a listening class, based on Billie Holiday’s ‘Stormy Weather’ so easy peasy. Although, I must admit that even though I thought the song was nice, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it myself for a class as it’s a bit slow and sad. Still, my class went pretty well so I’m happy anyway.

Then in the afternoon we just made sure our portfolios were in order and had kind of a general feedback session on how we found the course.

So that’s it! Done and dusted! I’ll get a provisional result sometime in the next few weeks, then my official result and certificate will arrive in the new year.

“So…what now Louise?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s back to the drawing board really in terms of jobs *disgruntled sigh*. I’m just sending applications out right now in the hope that somebody will hire me, although I am particularly interested in the United Arab Emirates.

I’ll still be blogging away though! Stay tuned for a general overview of CELTA as well as some tips if your thinking of doing it.

Thanks for reading!

Louise

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CELTA-Week Nine

Hey everybody!

Here’s what’s been happening in my second last week.

Day 17:

Today I had my eight teaching practice, which I’m happy to report went extremely well! I was a bit more nervous than usual because of my disastrous lesson last week, so I was very happy to get back on track. I only have one more to go now! I’m actually the last person to go on the last day. Typical. Let’s hope I end on a high note.

In the afternoon we had a class on cultural taboos, which I personally found very interesting. We were also given back our final assignment. I have to resubmit mine because I didn’t reference. Grr!

Day 18:

I was just observing today. Two of my classmates had their final teaching practices-needless to say the rest of us were very jealous!

In the afternoon we had a class on teaching young learners, followed by a grammar quiz which was REALLY hard. Fun, but hard.

That’s it for this week!

Thanks for reading!

Louise

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CELTA-Week Eight

Hey guys and gals!

Here’s what went on this week (I only have two weeks left after this):

Day 15:

So today I had my seventh teaching practice.

DISASTER.

I crashed and burned so hard it wasn’t even funny.

I was doing relative clauses, which on paper seem straight forward enough, but to teach they’re a nightmare-especially when you only have forty minutes! Oh God, it was terrible. They just weren’t getting it and I had to keep moving on in order to meet my criteria for the lesson plan stages.

To make matters worse, we had an official assessor from Cambridge come down and observe our lessons! No pressure or anything!

I don’t want to sound cocky or anything like that, but up until now I’ve been doing really well in my teaching, so naturally I was a bit upset with this lesson. However, my tutors were really nice about it, telling me that relative clauses are a b**** to teach across the board. In fact, the assessor lady came up to me after our feedback session and told me that if she was a CELTA tutor, she would never assign somebody relative clauses for their teaching practice. So they told me just to see it as a blip, learn from it, and don’t see it as the be all, end all in terms of my final grade.

In the afternoon, we just had a short session with the Cambridge lady. She asked how we were getting on in the course, gave us some teaching tips and some advice for getting work afterwards.

Day 16:

I was only observing classes today, thank goodness! Everybody did a great job which was really nice to see.

In the afternoon, we were handed back our ‘Language Related Tasks’ assignment (I passed-yay!).

After that, we had a class on types of examinations and testing, followed by a class about one-to-one teaching.

That’s all folks for this week!

Thanks for reading,

Louise

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