CELTA Stories – Andres Novi

Have you thought of doing a teaching qualification? Well, the CELTA course (Cambridge Certificate for Teaching English to Adult Learners), run by the department, is an internationally recognized professional qualification that gives you access to graduate employment in teaching English across the globe.

The great thing about the course at Swansea University is that we have a flexible approach to study, and so it is available either as an ‘add-on’ in the summer holidays, or embedded in the degree programme (both subject to a successful interview).

We spoke to Andres Novi, a final year undergraduate, who has already taken the qualification, to see what he had to say about the experience:

Andres Novi BA (Hons) English Language

Why did you choose to do the CELTA course?

I chose to take it as it is one of the most reputable and recognizable entry qualification courses for teaching English to speakers of other languages.

How does the CELTA course work as part of your working week?

I took the course as part of my degree programme and so it was undertaken on a part-time basis spanning nine weeks. It involved two seven-hour days per week. The course is a challenging one. However, the skills you gain make it worthwhile.

How much work did you have to do for the course?

From having to attend the course on two full days on a weekly basis (with attendance being of utmost importance) to hours of lesson planning and independent work, I would say a lot! You have to be committed!

What did you find the most enjoyable about the course?

Standing in front of the students with a genuine feeling of getting through to the students and imparting knowledge.

What did you find the most surprising, or unexpected, about the course?

The amount of support you get from the students, who are aware it is an entry level teaching course. That helps, as they are quite ‘forgiving’ when you make mistakes, and it creates a lighter atmosphere in the classroom.

What did you find the most intimidating about the course?

Being plunged straight into the deep end having to stand and teach my first lesson (even if only a twenty-minute one) very early on in the course. It was also in front of other trainees and my tutor, which was quite intimidating.

Describe a typical day on the CELTA course.

The early afternoon would be allocated to teaching. In the beginning, many of the trainees teach on the same day. However, as the course progresses and lessons become longer, less trainees are able to teach on the same day.

The late afternoons are spent with the tutors in a friendly, welcoming but nonetheless focused environment, learning about the craft of teaching itself.

How were you supported on the course?

The support on the course is absolutely unrivalled from everybody involved in the process.

Being able to email a tutor at seven o’clock in the morning and have a reply within minutes is a good example!

What will you be able to do with the qualification?

I can teach English as a foreign language to adults. However, the qualification is not recognized within the state schools in the U.K. and so, to teach in school you would need to take further postgraduate qualifications.

Have you got any plans to use the CELTA qualification? What are they?

At the moment, my undergraduate studies are a priority but the qualification is a valuable asset to have. However, CELTA is like a passport. Whenever you feel like travelling, teaching and earning all at the same time, you can do that!