Sunday, January 29, 2017

CELTA Review at IH in Chiang Mai Thailand

I did the CELTA at IH Chiang Mai this past(2015) January.  I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of the classes and evaluations.   I do have a couple items that I would like to mention for people looking to take the course there.
  • The grounds and housing are separated away from the city.  You are a bit secluded.  I found this great for being able to study and focus.
  • You will get informational packets the first Sunday.  READ THOSE MATERIALS.  THis will help you with getting information for the coming weeks.
  • Talk to the students before and between classes.  Even if you want to throw up before a teaching lesson day.  The investment is worth it in terms of student interaction and for assignments.
    The students are fantastic!  Moreover they WANT you to succeed.  The intermediate students have been coming for a while and pretty much know the CELTA teaching way so they will get up and move around and follow your instructions without any gripe or unwillingness.
  • The instructors that I had were very good at teaching the classes.  If you have learned something in a class(a proctoring technique, a drilling prompt, whatever) you  are expected to use that technique!
    Not everyone who pays and takes the course passes.  We had a few people drop out and not return, a person drop the proctored portion but still take the course(just no certificate at the end) and a person was asked to leave halfway through as he was not going to pass the course.  
  • If you need to fix one of your papers-Find the evaluator who graded the paper and FIND OUT WHAT HE WANTS TO SEE.  This will help you with corrections.  Do this as soon as you get your paper back.  
  • The food at the center is AMAZING!  The chef is wonderful and really the food is a good variety of Thai and western food.  
  • I can only speak for IH Chiang Mai - Copy Machine - you only get 400 copies with your copy code.  You will go over and then have to pay per sheet used.  *Pat the Bunny tip* The people who have dropped the course(there will always be a couple) still have their copies allotment and copy code in their file.  Get that code and you can use those pages.  I had to pay just 10 baht while others had to pay several hundred baht. 
  • Remember that they are teaching their CELTA technique.  You may not agree with everything they instruct.  It is best to file away the disagreements in your head and not try to push issues with instructors.  If they say 'don't drill from the board' well...don't do that.  
I would recommend prep-wise the books:  LEARNING TEACHING Jim Scrivener (Macmillan), PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE, Michael Swan (OUP), SOUND FOUNDATIONS, Adrian Underhill, (Macmillan) they have copies at the school as well.

I got a lot out of the course, especially the proctored teaching.  I had previously finished the TeacherReady course and had my license.  The whole first week I was wondering why I had chosen this stressful course and not a month in Bali.  I am now a teacher at an international school teaching Literature and Writing to middle schoolers.  I'm happy with my time in Korea, but much happier now.