In January 2017, British Council Singapore was proud to become one of the first approved centres in the region to offer the Cambridge CELTA Online. This exciting development offered new flexibility to many people who had previously been unable to do CELTA due to their location or time commitments.
Over a 12-week period, participants from three different countries got to know each other, participated in live online sessions and collaborated on tasks as they worked their way through the CELTA input sessions, hosted on Cambridge’s own online platform, with the help of a dedicated online tutor. Towards the end of the course, the group came together at British Council’s Toa Payoh centre for the teaching practice component of the course. As anyone who knows CELTA will tell you, this is the most stressful and demanding part of the course, whatever the mode of delivery – but also the most rewarding.
There were plenty of ups and downs along the way but we’re delighted to announce that 100% of our extremely hard-working first cohort passed with flying colours! We caught up with some of them recently and asked them to share some of their experiences of CELTA Online.
Why did you choose to do CELTA Online?
Akshi: The online course gave me flexibility and I could complete the coursework at my own pace.
Natalia: I couldn't spare one month doing a face-to-face course due to family responsibilities. Also, I'm currently living in a country where online CELTA courses are not available.
Ines: It was because the full and part time courses tend to be during my teaching term. [The] timing of the online course happens at the tail end of my school term and the teaching practice was during my institution's holidays.
What was it like doing CELTA Online with BC Singapore?
Akshi: British Council has a strong reputation for the courses it administers, the CELTA being one of them. I really enjoyed the teaching practice stage of the course which required us to go in to the British Council centres. Also observing the teachers at the centres was a valuable learning experience.
Ping: British Council and the tutors have many years of experience in teaching English and CELTA courses. As a result, learning from them provides candidates with real-life teaching experience and is especially useful for candidates without prior teaching experience.
Natalia: The course was organised very professionally . . . All the questions during online component were answered quickly and fully . . . I found Teaching Practice very intense and stressful . . . [but] I had excellent Teaching Practice tutors and learnt a lot from them.
What advice/tips would you give to future CELTA Online participants?
Ping: The course is intensive especially if you are new to teaching English. Therefore be prepared to put aside sufficient time throughout the course to gain the most benefit from the course.
Louise: As much as the course is done online (most of it), it does require a lot of time and effort and participants should be aware of the number of hours spent every week, including commitment level during the teaching practice period.
Natalia: Time management is essential . . . Don't get too stressed, the course is difficult but manageable.