If you are reading this, hopefully you have already read Part 1, which was posted last week. That post gathered quite a lot of attention from people who, I imagine, are interested in sitting the course or becoming tutors themselves. Whatever your reason may be, do leave me a comment or question at the end.
So, without further ado, here’s part two.
2. During the Celta
In Part 1 we went over Input Sessions and Teaching Practice, which is where you are going to spend most of your time. There are however, many other important things to cover.
2.3 Written Assignments
During the course, Celta candidates have to hand in four Written Assingments, focusing on the following:
- Adult learners and their learning contexts;
- Language systems of English;
- Language skills;
- Reflection on: the candidate’s own classroom teaching, observation of peers, observation of experienced teachers or identification of action points.
The first thing to keep in mind is that candidates are going to ask you lots of questions about their assingments, so it’s important to know exactly what they are supposed to do for each of them in advance. Make sure you ask your tutor about things you are not sure, though.
Your tutor is going to send you a number of these assignments for marking. This means reading them, adding comments and deciding whether the candidated should pass, fail or resubmit the assignment. These marked assignments are then sent to the main course tutor who is also going to add his/her own comments. Save these marked assignments as they are going to be needed at the end of the course.
2.4 Candidate Tutorials
There are three tutorials during the Celta course. These are meetings between candidates and the main course tutor and they work similarly to a performance review.
As a TiT you are going to sit in on one tutorial, likely tutorial two, which happens at about halfway through the course. It’s very important that you create a document that shows the external assessor you have covered this step. I mostly took notes of the questions the main course tutor asked and the kind of feedback he gave. Much in the same way as the feedback for TPs, it’s important to strike a balance between positive and negative feedback during tutorials.
It may sound obvious, but there are two main reasons for that. When you are talking to a strong candidate, you should show him or her the areas where there is room for imporvement and how they can best achieve their potential. On the other hand, you also want to show the candidate the areas where he or she excels at.
With a weaker candidate you need to point out there is a chance he or she will fail if they don’t pick up the slack. You don’t want to discourage them, though, so it’s also important to highlight areas that are the candidate’s strong suit.
I observed half of the candidates, but I’m not sure how that would work on a larger course. Between each candidate’s tutorial I got a chance to discuss things with the course tutor. These exchanges (my questions and his answers) were also included in the document created for the tutorials.
3. At the end of the course
3.1 Evaluative Piece
One final thing you will need to write as a TiT is something called an evaluative piece. As the name suggests, you are going to evaluate the progress you made during the different stages of the Celta course. This may be done at the end of the course, as you should include something about ‘post course’, but I would recommend writing it in parts throughout the course. You should draw on the other documents you have created and include your reflections, strengths and weakenesses.
I divided it prety much the same way I did this two-part blogpost (before the course, during the course and after the course). There’s a 1,500 word limit here, but unlike other Cambridge documents this one is not very strict.
3.2 Assessor’s visit
Towards the end of the course an external assessor will come to, for lack of a better word, assess the course and yourself.
On this day he or she will observe the Teaching Practice with you. After TP is done, you will have to tell the assessor what mark you gave each candiate and back up your choices with reasons (pointing out candidate’s strengths and areas where they still need to improve). After that, the assessor will shadow the feeback session you give the candidates. He or she won’t take part on it, just take notes.
You will also be observed during an Input Session and will need to provide the assessor with a copy of lesson plan and any handouts you may use. After the input session, you and the assessor will have a talk where he or she will go over your portfolio (as there may be things you haven’t done or documented), give you feedback on your performance (TP feedback and Input Session) and, hopefully, let you know that you’re going to be recommended as a tutor.
Finally, you are going to take part in the grading meeting, where the assessor and main course tutor go over candidate’s performance and possible marks.
4. After the Celta
If everything went according to plan, you are now an assistant course tutor. You will need to work on three Celta courses before possibly becoming a main course tutor.
Also, if you’d like to meet my tutor, he’s giving a free workshop on writing this Friday. You can find more information here.
Thanks for reading.