Friday, August 17, 2012

MY CELTA Experience; Episode-3

Second morning in CELTA was better because by then we had got answers to many of our questions. Our group of trainees, schedule and many other things. First session was about lesson planning. The main points to consider were:
Aims, aims and aims.
  • While making a lesson plan, the first thing to focus is Aims.
  • Keep anticipate problems in your mind and also mention them on your lesson plan.
  • Skills and language frameworks are different and they should be kept in mind.
    The second input session of the day was about Needs analysis. The main points to consider was to keep in mind the VAK (Visual, auditory and Kinesthetic learning styles of our learners. While planning and designing our activities, we should keep in mind the needs of these three types. Running dictation is an example of these kinds of activities which fulfills needs of all three types of learners.

The First Encounter:

On first day of CELTA, we were told that unlike many other courses, CELTA is going to be more practical. Whatever we are learning and discussing in the morning input sessions, we were required to show its evidence in the afternoon output session. In fact that excited me a lot. I love to deal with the students but here I was going to face a completely new group of students, about whom my knowledge was limited to their nationality and financial background.     

On second day of the course I, along with my two other colleagues, was to teach those students. I was last of the three to enter the class and by then the students were completely drained away. These students were a bunch of youngsters that was brought forcefully to join these classes, while their class-fellows were enjoying their holidays during this unusually hot summer of Istanbul this year. The venue is very close to the airport and sound of big planes on busy Ataturk Airport compelled us to keep the windows closed. Without any air-conditioners, working in 38+ Celsius was indeed a nightmare. 
Every one looks happy; Yes, it's the final day.
Like a referee in boxing ring, Caroline called start and I came in the ring (my class that was like an oven then). Just like my normal classes I started with enthusiasm and energy but my opponents were not ready to fight. Yes, it was a speaking lesson and despite my all efforts the students were not ready to speak at all. They just wanted to run away. It was indeed one of my worst experiences in any classroom. I continued trying but forgot golden principle of CELTA,  

"These are students who need to speak, you already know English"  

My trainer, Caroline was as cool as ice. No expressions whatsoever. My group mates, Isak, Hasan, Muhamad and Seyf were trying to keep their calm but tiredness and fatigue was eminent on their faces too. Anyhow I finished the lesson somehow and the time came for feedback session. The trainer and my group-mates were present in the room and ready to discuss all the shortcomings of the lesson. 

 Lessons from TP1 (Teaching Practice No.1): 

  • Reduce TTT and try to increase STT.
  • More S-S interaction than T-S interaction.
  • Stay back and never enter into students' comfort zone.
  • Getting feedback from every single student is not necessary.
  • Answers could be given as handout or could be shown through power point slide.
  • Key is in planning.
This TP gave me many lessons and I decided to show my real talent in the next lesson. I realized that unlike my country where English is second language, here students feel hesitation while speaking. Even the best students in written expression will feel it difficult to speak and that too in front of a foreigner. It gave the best lesson so far,

See you next time with another episode. Till then BYE. (Your comments are welcome)

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