Friday, 10 January 2020

#CELTAchat Thursday 9 January 2020: Supporting emotions and mental health on CELTAs

We are looking for a volunteer summary writer to summarise our first chat of the new year.  Could it be you?  Let us know in the comments below or post a tweet using #CELTAchat hashtag. We'd be so grateful!

                                                                                        Photo by Hans M on Unsplash

Thursday, 7 November 2019

#CELTAchat Monday 4 November 2019: Flipping CELTA

A quick summary of #CELTAchat on Flipping CELTA: 
Benefits, Questions and Concerns

An innovative idea
Intrigued by the idea of spending more time on practice and reflection than input
Trainee led
Trainees watch/do sessions at the point of need

Are the input sessions shorter?
How long are they?
You could vary how flipped they are according to trainees needs. Would you say? 
Some sessions may be better f2f?
Is hybrid the way to go with flexibility – flipped/f2f input?
Does flipping CELTA not mean setting learning outside class, followed by sessions to practice/clarify/deal with questions?
Are cultural implications taken into consideration? e.g. a context where teacher-led support is expected at first.
How do trainees take to it?
How do they get good demos of boardwork in context?
Is flipped CELTA the best of both worlds?
Does the pressure of an intensive course mean they skimp on reading/viewing input?
If input need to be online, it means initially someone needs to write it. Who?
Are input sessions shared? Created collaboratively? How does it work?
How do centres get  trainees to understand and buy into the approach?
How are new trainers trained up for flipping? Is flipped CELTA for experienced tutors?
How is the course presented at interview if so many things: hybrid /flipped / f2f?

We can’t just take f2f CELTA and flip it.
One of my misgivings – trainees often say a good thing about sessions is that we use techniques and general classroom management in them…
Other concerns (as a freelancer), getting paid for the time spent writing input  and ownership of materials...

                                                                        collated by @fionaljp

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

#CELTAchat Monday 9 September: Reflecting on CETA2019 in Edinburgh

#CELTAchat Summary writers needed for June and July

Looking for volunteers to write #CELTAchat summaries for:

June: Ensuring To Standard Lessons
July:  What to do when there are Assessor problems / How to build trainees ability to set up and maintain relevant contexts / Is this a relevant topic for updating input? 

Please respond in the comments below if you can volunteer to write one for us!

                                                                                Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Summary of results to What's Going On? survey

We had 15 responses to our #CELTAchat survey: What's going on? Many thanks for your time and answers as your replies help us to understand a lot more about our followers, which was our purpose.

Summary of results

Question 1

2 out of 15 respondents identified themselves as not being teacher trainers but senior teachers looking after new teachers and / or needing to be aware of initial teacher trainer practice. This is great to know as collaboration with teachers who provide ongoing support for newly qualified teachers is very much welcomed.

Question 2
This 63.3% who have never participated are our target audience for this survey.  We really wanted to attract the attention of followers who are not participating to find out why.  The following question gave us some insight into this.

Question 3

We are extremely happy to see a 93% readership for summaries or transcripts 😀.

Question 4
If you have answered 'no' to any/all of the
above questions, please let us know why 
you are following us.

Reasons given were:              

A feeling of exclusion               

😕 Oh dear!  We decided on the original name as we were 
three CELTA trainers but pretty soon we realised that
wanted to be inclusive and encouraged Trinity CertTESOL trainers too. If you are a trainer or a mentor of newly qualified teachers, you are a very welcome follower as either an active participant or a reader, as of course is anyone who is interested in reading our blog.

Time constraints                      

This was a problem in terms of geographical time zones and/
or teaching schedules and/or personal workload/life balance.
Having a one-hour live chat followed by a 24-hour 
asynchronous chat was designed with some of these issues in mind. If anyone has any ideas on how to address this, please let us know in the comments below. Maybe we could have a volunteer moderator in another time zone so we could have two live chats within the 24-hour time scale? 💭

We also had some positive feedback here and some thanks.  😎🙏                         

Question 5 
Please let us know how we can persuade 
you, or make it easier for you, to join us in
suggesting topics and to participate in our
monthly chats. Any other feedback is very 

Some responses here followed a similar theme in terms of time constraints. There was a suggestion for the time to be rotated month to month. Again, ideas welcome - do we have a volunteer daytime moderator to have possibly three live sessions on the same day? Let us know in the comments below!

Another issue mentioned was #hashtag conversation confidence.  In my experience, the best or only way to gain confidence is by having a go. It's certainly how I'm learning. Theory is useful but limited as active participation is practical.
However, I can offer some tips:
  • Use TweetDeck on a PC - this tool makes it much easier to follow a hashtag chat - in fact, I wouldn't recommend trying to follow a chat without it
  • Prepare some ideas before the chat starts - you could even write down some ideas if you know what you want to contribute or ask and then copy and paste into the chat
  • Don't forget the hashtag # so participants in the chat can see your tweets
  • If you want to participate and it's your first time, just have a go!
One respondent mentioned a difficulty in locating older transcripts.  Thank you 🙏 for drawing this to our attention. If you go to our CELTAchat blog and look on the right-hand side, you'll see first of all a Twitter Feed and below that you'll see Pages - this is a list of all our transcripts which you can just click on to access any transcript. However, I originally used Storify to create transcripts but this social media service shut down. Before they went out of business, I understood that downloaded transcripts would be safe. However, sadly, it seems that these transcripts have been lost. 

Below Pages, you'll see Blog Archive where you can find summaries and this experience of losing transcripts highlights the importance of summary writing, which was another factor mentioned as a reason for not participating in suggesting topics - 😱 fear of being asked to write a summary. Please don't let this stop you. We don't and can't force anyone to do anything, although yes, we might ask.  We are extremely grateful to those that do but completely understand if you can't or don't want to.

Thank you for participating in our survey - very much appreciated! Any more feedback also very welcome in the comments below.

By Fiona @fionaljp

Sunday, 12 May 2019

#CELTAchat May 6: Local Adaptations - What & How?

A Summary of #CELTAchat May 2019 By Adi Rajan

Many thanks to @bellinguis@fionaljp @adi_rajan@Cathyofnusleand @angelos_bollas for their contributions to May 2019 #CELTAchat
 We discussed ‘meaningful local adaptations: what and how’?  

Adaptations for future work contexts

·      @bellinguist included 3 hours of lessons to ESOL students along with 3 hours of lessons to ELT students in a 10-week part-time course to prepare trainees to become ESOL teachers in further education, addressing a need at the time in the UK.
·      @Cathyofnusle suggested including TP teaching materials that would be used wherever the candidates are likely to teach if this could be determined. @adi_rajan raised the issue of poor-quality teaching materials in the formal education sector and a lack of materials in the informal one in his South Asian context, posing problems with adapting TP teaching materials in this way.
·      @angelos_bollas said his courses in Athens had very diverse trainees but certain input sessions such as professional development, teaching YLs/teens were tailored to the demands of the local market.

Adaptions for local linguistic needs 

·      @fionaljp, @bellinguist and @angelos_bollas shared examples of having made changes in the way they taught the phonemic chart/pronunciation to Irish trainees to accommodate Irish speakers. @fionaljp adapted RP collaboratively with her trainees.
·      @angelos_bollas also changed phonology sessions to include “transcriptions that best illustrated Irish pronunciation and the importance of developing learners’ receptive pronunciation skills”.
·      @cathyofnusle said her trainees tend to have a mix of different accents including North American English and she covers variations in pronunciation.
·      @fionaljp shared a pronunciation site with resources on different types of English accents: The Voice Cafe.
·      @adi_rajan referred to an Indian academic (who did the CELTA recently) who gave feedback on the centre’s use of British English pronunciation models instead of General English ones. @adi_rajan highlighted the challenges of making adaptations here when Indian English pronunciation hasn’t been standardized and the fact that it might exclude non-Indian trainees and have an impact on the external assessment.

Adaptations to take into account varying levels of teaching experience 

·      @fionaljp minimised language analysis and increased planning and teaching techniques on a course for experienced teachers. @bellinguist has observed a similar trend in courses, suggesting that it would be better to focus on language needed in the lessons trainees were going to teach. @adi_rajan felt that experienced teachers in his context needed just as much language analysis as everyone else.
·      On the other hand, @angelos_bollas includes more language analysis sessions in English-speaking countries or on courses with many native speakers who haven’t had much explicit grammar instruction at school.

Adaptations to texts 

·      @fionaljp has adapted authentic texts used for reading input sessions by making them relevant to the location of the course. She highlighted this as a way of setting an example for the skills assignment. However, @cathyofnusle felt this could be counter-productive and cited an instance of trainees selecting a text about Prague which was interesting to them as visitors but had nothing new to offer to students.
·      @adi_rajan and @fionaljp recommended including more authentic, local voices in listening texts by way of L2 speakers.

·      @adi_rajan shared an example of a British tutor using texts with references to current events in the UK such as Brexit which Indian trainees weren’t familiar with. This could be both an argument for making texts contextual to trainees as well as finding opportunities to develop trainees’ awareness of the wider world.

Challenges with adaptations 

·      @Cathyofnusle and @angelos_bollas have worked with very diverse candidates and this raises the question of who to adapt for and how best to adapt in these situations.