My latest observations on being a CELTA tutor... honestly, in brief this time.
Grade your Language
This sounds a bit like what we always tell the (trainee) teachers to do. It's true for us as well - especially when there are 8 or 9 experienced teachers on the course. It's easy to start chatting along with them using all the technical jargon without remembering the course is pitched at people new to teaching, and those other 3 or 4 teachers have no idea what you're talking about. So keep it simple.
Don't make it Overly Complicated
I haven't really been caught out by the above point... it's just something I notice a lot when the trainees themselves are talking. On the other hand, this one has really caught me out. A session on Intonation is the best example - one teacher brings up a bit of a question, by saying,
"Someone told me that 'wh' questions always end in falling intonation. Is that true?"
Well, we were looking at two 'wh' questions in which one specifically didn't end in falling intonation... this lead me to introducing the three main approaches to intonation: grammar; attitude; discourse. That was a mistake. After slogging through as concise an explanation as possible about each, accompanied with one or two examples, and being bombarded with 'what about this' questions, I lost a lot of time when really the CELTA's supposed to be covering the basics and encouraging them to pay more attention to it.
Save the super-technical stuff for the DELTA, or at least for in-service training - don't try and squeeze it all in in a 75min session that also has to cover sentence stress.
Week 3's a Dream
For the tutor that is. Weeks 1 - 2 have bite through all the really important stuff as quickly as possible to make sure the trainees are well prepared for all the classes they have to teach from day one. Week's 3 - 4 start including stuff like: observing other qualified teachers, study sessions (to keep up with assignments, lesson planning, reviewing course notes, etc), and some more optional or more fun input sessions (like using music and video in class). This means tutor's have more spare time (while other qualified teachers are teaching or while trainees are in study sessions) and often have more fun.
Still loads of work and prep to do - but at least I get to knock off roughly on time now (instead of the regular late nights of Weeks 2-3)
So things are going pretty well for my third course, as we are entering week 3, with a great trainee group.
- Teaching resources
- Teacher development
- Teacher training