CELTA at The Language Centre, Saint Mary's University

Learn to teach English to a classroom of adults unfamiliar with the language.

Tami Meredith
I'm adding a world of opportunity to my computer science background.

I just finished my Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, or CELTA, and I couldn't be happier about. The way it's run at The Language Centre at Saint Mary's, it's a very intensive month-long program that throws you straight into the teaching role, which makes it both challenging and rewarding.

My background is being a PhD in computer science, and there is very little work for someone with those qualifications these days. I know that with CELTA I'll be able to find work internationally, and I'm looking forward to the chance to teach outside of Canada.

At SMU, the course starts with observing your instructors in the course running a class for people learning the language. They set the standard for how the class is run, and then the next day you're put in the teaching role. You do 45-minute classes in the mornings, and then in the afternoon participate in input sessions, teaching you how to teach everything from pronunciation to grammar. You get great feedback from both your peers and your instructors, and then you take that feedback and put it into practice. You teach two levels of ability, beginners and intermediate.

The course doesn't expect you to recite grammar off the top of your head, but provides a framework so that you can teach others. It's one of the best courses I've ever taken, and I can say that being someone with a PhD! The program was everything I needed to develop the skills to be able to teach English to a classroom of adults unfamiliar with the language.

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