Passion for CPD: Gamified Sharing Board for Developing Teachers

The idea of a sharing board first came to me when I saw the bulletin board at my school, and thought we could use it for sharing stuff. However, the idea as it is, came from reading the informative book, The Developing Teacher by Duncan Foord, where he talks about creating a sharing board, its benefits for teachers, and how it can be used effectively.
The board is a very effective way to share and develop with teachers at your institution. It costs nothing other than 2 sheets. It doesn’t take time to maintain since many teachers will be working on it.

Sharing Board

The Sharing Board that I’ve created is two A3 sheets with spaces for websites, YouTube channels,  webinars, seminars, books, articles, blogs, activities, games, materials and worksheets, rules, and thanks. You can download the sheets and print them on A3 or A4. However, A3 is recommended to have some space for what is going to be written.
If you don’t like the layout, or some of the sections, you can use some labels to cover  the sections’ titles, and write above them the section you want. Or you can design or draw your own, it is practically some squares/rectangles, but I thought a colorful one would make it a bit attractive. If you have suggestions for other sections, please write them in the comments so I can add them to the current design.

 

The Rules

These are the rules that I’ve written on the board. You can add/remove as appropriate:
• Post one idea at a time.
• Leave space for others.
• Put your name on the material, or near it so that people will know who posted it.
• If you post something, make sure it is clear how to use it.
• If you use something, thank the person who posted it.
•use a pencil to write so we can erase the old posts to make place for new ones.

Gamification

To make the experience fun, and to add an element of competition to it, I’ve created a point chart. The teachers can be in team a (Awesome) or team b (Brilliant). For each thing shared by a team member, the team get a point.They can circle a star. Every 25th star is golden to make it easier to keep track of points. The team that reaches 200 points (the big star) is the winner. If you like, you can make a small party for the winning team where the team that lost gets a cake and some juice, or something else! Then you can reprint/erase the point chart, and start over.
This is my first attempt to gamify a learning experience. If you have a suggestion to enhance the experience, please let me know so I can add it to the point chart, or change the design altogether. Having said that, I tried to keep the gamification experience to minimum so it won’t take time to track since we’re already busy teaching.

Extra Stuff

I have added two plastic sleeves next to the board. The first is going to be used for ‘Article of the Week’. Each week I will print out (or one of my colleagues will) an interesting ELT article that I’ve read to share with my coworkers. The other is for the materials and worksheets, so teachers can provide a sample copy for other teachers to photocopy.

Download

These ones are the same as the first, but I’ve added ‘online courses‘ with seminars and webinars. The second has ‘YouTube Channels‘, and the third one has ‘Games and Activities‘ in the same box. Pick the ones that you like most.

Photos

The board one day after sticking it on a wall in our teachers’ room:

10 Minor Mistakes to Avoid when Writing in Delta Module 2

image credit
Going back and forth between writing, rewriting, reading, citing, and making a final draft in a limited time would probably be the reason to forget doing the following little things. Some of them are crucial and you will get a ‘not met’ or ‘partially met’ because of them.

this is one of many memes that I created during my Delta module 2 course

I categorized the mistakes into 2 sections, background essay, and lesson plan.

Background Essay

Cover Page

The cover page of your Background Essay, should contain the following: the title, the number of the assignment, whether it’s a system or a skill, your name, your center, your candidate number, the date of submission, and last but not least the word count.

Word Count

not stating the word count on the cover page. There is one criterion related to word count: respects the word limit (2,000-2,500 words) and states the number of words used. The key words are underlined. So, respecting the word count is half of the criterion, stating the word count on the cover page is the other half. So, respecting without stating will get you a ‘partially met’ for the criterion. And take my word for it, it may happen because there’s a lot to take care of.

Footer

Not adding a footer with your name, LSA number, and its title, and the page number. I have no idea if there is a criterion related to the footer (probably there is), however, it is important to do it since my tutors told us to include a footer containing: Name, LSA number, LSA title, and page number.

Bibliography

Misspelling the authors’ names or confusing them. I got a ‘partially met’ for the criterion related to citing and referencing in on of my BEs because I’ve used the first name of the author when using in-text citation, and because I didn’t use italics in the bibliography. I used MLA as a citing system, and MLA italicizes the titles in the bibliography.

Appendices

Not adding the appendices in the same document. If you use any activity in the Suggestion section, you need to add a copy of that worksheet/slide/document an an appendix. You need to name them, something like Appendix A, Appendix B … etc. You also need to source them.

 

Lesson Plan

Learners’ Strengths and Weaknesses

When writing the learners’ profile, you need to write their strengths and weaknesses. However, a common mistake is that candidates usually write about those in general, while you should write only those which are related to the focus of your lesson. So, if your focus is Phonology, writing “this learner can’t use conditionals correctly” is not valid.

Links with other Lessons

Another common mistake is that writing all/any lesson that was prior to THIS LSA. The criteria 5d dictates that the lessons listed/mentioned should be related to the focus of the LSA. In other words, ‘relevance’ is a key word here. For instance, your LSA focus is past perfect, you need to to mention a lesson when the learners learned how to use the simple past. And as a subsequent lesson, you might be able to mention using the same structure with another context, or using the structure in a skill-based lesson like  writing or speaking.

Stating Assumptions

When stating assumptions related to your lesson focus, you need to include assumptions related to learners knowledge, abilities, and interests. If you exclude one of those, you’ll get a ‘partially met.’ For example, you can write:
Interests: I assume that the learners will be engaged in the theme of the lesson because … .
Abilities: I assume they will have a difficulty when applying reading subskills since … .
Knowledge: I assume they will know the key vocabulary related to … because … .

 

Copying the Analysis from the Background Essay

The analysis in the lesson plan is going to be narrower when compared with the analysis of the skill/system area in your background essay. In the background essay, you’re analyzing the area in general. On the other hand, in the lesson plan you’re analyzing what is going to be presented in the lesson. Let’s say your focus in the background essay is noun + verb collocations, you will analyzed the collocations in general. In the lesson plan, you will need to write the list of collocations you are going to present, and analyze them.
I made this mistake in one of my LSAs, and got a ‘not met’, and the tutor was not happy at all when he saw it.

I REALLY love memes

 

ًWriting a Detailed Procedure Form

This is just my personal opinion: writing a procedure form that is way too much detailed can, and probably will backfire. For my LSA1, the procedure form was 4 complete pages! When I reviewed it, I found out that I will absolutely forget something, or do something in a way different from what I’ve written. One of the things that I’ve written in details and changed later on, the ICQs. I wrote the exact ICQs that I should ask, however, I removed the questions and wrote “T checks the instructions using ICQs.” I figured writing that is better than writing the exact questions, because if I forget to ask one of the questions, the tutor is going to highlight it. I tried to write enough details to understand how the lesson will flow, but not too much details that something here or there might be forgotten.
For some, a detailed procedure form might seem better, and that might be true. It’s just I found out that writing too much details will make it hard to stay on the exact track in the lesson. The rationale behind that is although you’re an experienced teacher, but there will be a bit of room for stress, for an obvious reason, you’re being assessed. If you disagree, please let me know in the comments 🙂
So there it is, 10 minor mistakes to avoid in your Delta Module Two. If you can add other, please do in the comments.

The Unspoken Rule to Survive CELTA or Delta

For some, this post might seem a cliche. However, I decided to write about the issue due to the fact that this ‘rule’ is usually overlooked.

Many people who did CELTA or Delta have told me that it was really a bad experience. That wasn’t because of the nature of the course, their tutors, the pressure, the amount of work needed to be done, nor lack of knowledge. It was simply because of their peers.

I’ve heard about a lot of people who would fight during the course, or provide each other with destructive criticism, rather than constructive one. Or, not sharing materials with other peers.

During my CELTA and Delta, it was a privilege from me to meet friendly, kind, collaborative, and caring people (shout out to my CELTA peers: Tatyana, Fatma, Idil, Alper, Tevhide, and Taylan. And for my Delta peers Duygu, Romina, Ebru, Charles, Saoirsi, Basak, Maria, John, Nastya, Gamze, and Dilek.) We collaborated a lot and comforted each other when any of us had gone through a bad TP or was feeling stressed because of what was coming. We shared materials, resources, books, activities, plans, feedback, and food. I’ll always be grateful for them because they have made the courses an even better experience.

An important reminder

What you need to know is that you’re not assessed on how many times you answer a question, nor when you dominate a feedback or an input session. You’re not going to be assessed against your peers, and there’s no ‘the teacher’s favorite student’ here. Nothing of what I’ve mentioned will affect your grade.

You will be assessed based on your performance when writing assignments and teaching lessons against a list of criteria, that’s it. So, trashing your peers’ lesson will do no good for both parties. Nor hiding materials/resources would.

Another thing to add, is that helping other teachers (in this case your peers) is a kind of professional development. Simply because you’ll help them to overcome troubles, listen to how they react to an arising issue, and the list goes on.

A Final Word

Collaborate, and enjoy the experience with your peers so when you or they talk about their course later on, you will all have a smile on your face. Doing such a course is a great opportunity to meet professional, developing teachers, and you will probably be friends for life. In the end, it is only a course that lasts for a few weeks, so why not make those weeks count?

 

 

Image credit: Freepik

Writing the Peer Observations in Delta Module Two

Delta Module two peer observation
Delta Module two peer observation

 

Peer Observations

In Delta Module 2 you have to observe 10 hours/lessons and write anything from 800-2000 words for each observation. Though they might seem a lot to do, but you are going to learn a lot from them. This was the consensus in my course when we discussed the peer observations and what was their impact on our learning. If you are doing an intensive course, 6-8 weeks, it is good to write a couple before the course starts (as I heard). It is also good if you write some of them in week 1 when you are observing your peers’ Diagnostic Lessons. Don’t rely on writing them when observing your peers’ LSAs, because the norm is that no one is allowed into an LSA except for the assessor. Everything in this post is descriptive, and not prescriptive.

Defining your Focus

You need to link each observation with a focus. The focus should be related to your action points from your PDA. The focuses might be monitoring, reducing TTT, giving instruction, varying feedback, exploiting materials and learners’ output, dealing with learners’ errors, focusing on drilling and pronunciation, and the list goes on. So, you need to know your focus when you are observing the lesson, and later when you are writing the peer observation, you need to state it.

Using an Observation Task/Sheet

Your center is probably going to provide you with observation tasks sheets. They are helpful because their layout and the notes/questions on them are focused to target teaching areas that I’ve mentioned in Defining your Focus. Try to use them while observing because they will guide your and offer good tips for observing the lesson.
Asking the teacher for a copy of the lesson plan might come in handy too. Also, be ready to give feedback to the teacher, because probably they would be expecting it (for some it might be a part of their action plan in their PDA.)

Writing the Peer Observation

You need to include 4 parts in a peer observation: Introduction, Description of the Lesson, Analysis, and Reflection.

Introduction

It shouldn’t be long. You can write your focus for this observation, and some information about the lesson like the lesson’s focus, lesson’s context, level of learners, and how many there are. Should be something like 40 words.

Description of the Lesson

Here, you write what happened during the lesson, i.e. running commentary. What the teacher did and how they did it. What the learners did, and their reaction/involvement/participation. How the lesson developed, and how stages unfolded. It could be about 300 words.

Analysis

In this part you analyzed the techniques and the way the teacher acted throughout the lesson. For example, you’re commenting on the way the teacher  managed the pair/group work, then you support your comments by quoting from ELT literature. For instance, Harmer notes the importance of pair and group work by stating: “Groupwork and pairwork have been popular in language teaching for many years and have many advantages.” But, you need to state the year and the page.

Reflection

In this part you will express your thoughts about the the approach the teacher followed. Remember, you are not criticizing the teacher. You need to state whether you do things differently in your teaching practice, and whether observing the lesson will make you change the way you do things.

 

The Golden Tip

What turned out to be helpful the most was that when I observed a lesson, I wrote directly using my laptop. That way when the lesson was over I would end up writing 300-400 words and some notes that I will elaborate on when writing the complete observation. Believe me you need to save as much time as you could. However, you need to check with the teacher, because some might be irritated if someone is using their laptop at the back of the classroom. My kind, awesome, lovely, and amazing peers (now friends) always allowed me to use my laptop.

 

 

Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Delta Background Essay

There’s a lot to consider when writing your Delta Module 2 background essays (BEs). Some things might be more explicit than others. I provide a list here of some of what needs to be done when writing a BE.

 

Dos

Always respect the word count. Cambridge is strict when it comes to word count. If they say 2000-2500 words, that is exactly what they mean. There is no 10% tolerance or anything else. Don’t go over or under it, not even by 1 word!

Do specify your area, the genre (if you think you need one,) the subskills/language structure in the title.
Don’t just come up with a title like “teaching past tenses for English learners” this title has a wide scope and it is too vague for the reader. For more information about the titles of BEs, check out my other post here.

The evaluation of suggestions mustn’t be just a sentence or two. You need to evaluate a suggestion critically, and not only mentioning its strengths. For example, comment by saying something like ‘this activity will not work with lower level learner because …’. You need to support your evaluation with your reading from research. You need to quote someone to back up your evaluation. There is a criterion about this, and it won’t be ‘met’ if you don’t evaluate it well enough.

Cambridge guidelines suggests that the minimum should be 3 book in the bibliography. However, you need to use more than that to be able to analyze the area well enough. Use key sources that are credible such as books and professional journals. Avoid using any titles that are written for language learners. Avoid quoting blogs unless the author is someone who has been published in the ELT world like Jermey Harmer or Scott Thornbury, i.e., someone credible.

Use your own voice when writing and try to paraphrase rather than direct quoting. A mistake that I made when paraphrasing (and had to spend 3 hours rewriting) was changing just some of the words and using fronting or another grammatical structure. However, it turned out that you need to write the whole thing with your own words when paraphrasing, which is actually, paraphrasing. Do check this page to be able to differentiate between quoting and paraphrasing so you won’t be accused of plagiarism. Even if you think you know the difference, I urge you to check it to be on the safe side.

Link each issue to a source from your own teaching context(s). Meaning, what is the source of the issue, is it the learners’ L1, the level of the learners, or confusing the target structure with other similar structure?
Here is a part of what I mean that should be done, associating the issue with its source (this is from a background essay about reading sub-skills.):

When I am teaching lower-level learners, they quite often stop the reading task to ask me, their classmates, or to check a dictionary for the meaning of each word that is new to them. They tend to do this regardless of the reading task assigned, which, in turns, affects the subskills and the general aim behind the task.

 

Don’ts

Don’t write anything related to language learning and learning problems in the analysis. The analysis should be only about what proficient language users do with the skill/system. The learning process and the problems can be discussed in later parts, issues and suggestions.

Don’t write about the teaching process from your own perspective. Meaning, don’t use phrases like ‘I will teach the learners’ or in the title ‘teaching learners…’ rather use the learners’ perspective by using phrases such as ‘helping the learners to use,’ ‘enabling the learners to recognize,’ and ‘developing learners’ reading subskills.’

Don’t insert images of text in the body of the essay without including the words in the images in the word count. What I was told is that the background essays are scanned by programs that count every word in the body of the essay including the ones in the images. So, if you want to insert a table from a book, try to write it in the word processor in order to be clear on the word count.

Do not write 2000 words and stop. This is a mistake that some trainees commit. You need to use those words to analyze the area, and to write about problems and suggestions. If you end up writing toward the low end of the word count, then you probably haven’t analyzed the area well enough.

In the issues and suggestions, do not write about 2 issues. A minimum is 3, though I was advised against it. And was recommended to go with 4 or 5. If you write more it means that you are not giving enough details, back up from research, and critical evaluation. When writing the issues vary the type. For example, if you are writing about a grammar structure, come up with an issue with meaning, another with form, and one with pronunciation. You can write two about form/meaning/pronunciation, however, you need to provide an issue for each aspect.

 

Hope you find the tips helpful. Feel free to ask any question or add any other tips in the comments.

 

Delta Module 2 Timeline

Delta Module 2

In this post I will show you the Delta Module 2 timeline. Meaning, what you have to do, and when you have to do it. I’ve finished my Delta module two last Friday, and I’m already at it! It was a great experience for me, and I learned a lot from it. I met really great people and enjoyed learning with and from them about teaching.

I will be posting more about Delta Module 2 in the next few weeks. And feel free to ask any question you want, and I will try to answer it in a comment or write a post here about it to give more information.

Module 2 is  broadly speaking offered in 4 versions (in parenthesis is what I like to call them): over 9 months (part-time), over 12 weeks (full-time), over 8 weeks (intensive full-time), and over 6 weeks (insanely intensive full-time).

This Delta Module 2 timeline is for the insanely intensive full-time (6 weeks) course. In part-time course you’ll have to do things in the same order, but spread over more weeks. However, check with your center/tutor.

If you have done an eight or twelve week Module 2, please write in the comment how it was different from the six-week one.

The abbreviations

The abbreviations used in the infographic (you NEED to know them because everyone at the course will be using them):

LSA: Language System/Skill Assignment.
PDA: Professional Development Assignment.
BE: Background Essay.
LP: Lesson Plan.
RE: Reflection and Evaluation.
EP: Experimental Practice.
PO: Peer Observation.

NOTE: don’t forget to download and print the Delta Module 2 Planner from here to keep you organized throughout the course. some of my peers and I used it, and it was really helpful.

click on the image for a larger version or to save it

Delta Module 2 Timeline

Cambridge Delta Module One in a Nutshell (an infographic)

I have created this Cambridge Delta Module One infographic to function as a simple introduction to module 1. In the infographic I have listed the tasks of paper 1 and paper 2, the marks available for each task, what is the task about, and what to read to prepare for the task.

When to start reading?

It’s a good idea to start reading early for Module 1. So, if you are planning to take the course in December, maybe you’d like to start reading as early as January since there’s a lot to cover, and not to mention that you are already working full-time. The readings in the infographic are suggestions and you might wanna read more to be able to score high, or get your head round the topic.

How to prepare?

To prepare for Delta Module One, you can either study on your own and sit the exam. Or, you can take a preparation course with a center. From my experience, I’ve found the course to be a great option, since it provides you with practice, feedback, tips, and techniques to tackle the tasks.

I’m taking the a preparation course at ITI Istanbul. They run a great course online and they offer a HUGE advantage: you can retake the course as many times as you want without having to pay again till you pass the test! (NOTE: I’m not an affiliate for ITI Istanbul nor was asked to talk about their course here. I’m doing it out of love. They did a great job, and still doing so since I haven’t sat the exam this June.)

Some Random Thoughts

You can take the preparation course for Delta Module One in a center and sit the exam in another. It won’t be an issue.
Module One exam fee is 140 GBP and you pay it once you decide to sit the exam (the fee might vary).
You need to register for the exam at least 4 or 5 weeks before its date.
Once you pay for the exam you can’t postpone it. (meaning you can’t take back your money or change the date of your exam).

The Inforgraphic

click on the image for a larger version

Cambridge Delta Module One
Cambridge Delta Module One

CELTA Planner

Before you read this post, if you wanna know more about CELTA check out my posts: CELTA in a Nutshell and Why Do I need to take CELTA?
Summer has come, and with it comes the time when motivated teachers do their CELTA course. So, I’ve decided to create this planner to keep the candidates on track. Print it on an A3 sheet, and you are good to go!
CELTA Planner
CELTA Planner
There are 2 formats of the planner. One for the course of 8 TPs, and the other for 6 TPs. What does that mean??
Well, in the course you have to teach 6 observed hours. These 6 hours might be spread over 8 TPs (lessons), 6 TPs, or any other number. The most common ones are 8 and 6. That’s why you can find 2 formats, pick the one that you’ll be doing, and tick as you go!

The Calendar

You might wanna mark the days of your TPs on the calendar. Your TPs will be on either Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Wednesdays and Fridays (provided that your centers follows the 8 TPs format and not another one, like 6 TPs.)
If your course will have a different number of TPs, you might wanna ask your tutor/center about the days of your TPs so you can mark them on the calendar.

 

Action Points

I have created on the planner a spot for ‘Action Points’. Action points are the elements related to your teaching practice that you need to work on for the next TPs. They could be giving instructions, analyzing target language, using concept questions, monitoring, or any thing thing your tutor comments on in your TP Feedback.
I think it’s imperative that you write on the planner your action points, think about them, include them in your lesson objectives, and fulfill them to show that you are a developing and a reflective teacher.
You can download the planner from the following links. Feel free to share and comment 🙂

Should You Take Cambridge CELTA? (With an Outcome Quiz)

cambridge celtaWhy to Take CELTA? After introducing what CELTA is as a course and what it has to offer in my previous post, in this one I’m gonna tackle the question which many teachers ask (me): “Why should I take CELTA?”. Well, the best person to answer this question is you. (To be honest I always recommend taking the course if there is no financial problems. And that was my advice to my wife too!)

A word about me before taking the CELTA so you wouldn’t think I’m biased. I finished my B.A. in English Language and Literature in 2012, I followed that with starting M.A. in ELT. I finished 9 theoretical courses with their research papers, and 1 practicum module. Then I dropped out and left my country, Syria, due to the situation. So, as you see, when I took my CELTA course in 2014, I wasn’t new to the ELT world. To add, the reason I’m writing this post is due to the high number of people asking me whether CELTA would benefit them or not, and what is really there in CELTA that they would need to know and add to their skill set. All the issues that I’m addressing in post are firsthand experiences, and through the communication with other teachers which I do a lot.

There are many things to consider when thinking ‘why to take CELTA?’. One which is highly important is whether you hold a university degree in ELT, or English Language and Literature, or another field of study since this means whether you have ELT-related knowledge or not.

cambridge celta

Some other things that you need to consider are:

Have you been observed by a teacher trainer?

Why this is important: This is imperative, and I would argue that it is the most important element in teacher training, since we can’t notice everything we say and do in the language classroom. We need an objective view where someone else can observe us and give us feedback about our strengths and action points. This is important for those who are not new to teaching as much as it is for new teachers, because the issue of fossilized errors is in play here. Countless experienced teachers who decided to take CELTA after teaching for many years said that they didn’t know they should do this thing or that thing, in a specific way. A common problem among these teachers is TTT (teacher talk time). They all have commented/said that their CELTA tutors informed them that they talk (way) too much during the lesson and they should reduce their TTT time to raise STT (Student Talk Time).
How this is related to CELTA: As a CELTA trainee you’ll be observed by 2 experienced teacher trainers (a shout out to my awesome trainers Steve Darn and Billy Sevki Hasirci) who would provide you with valuable feedback regarding your teaching practice.

Have you observed other teachers in practice?

Why this is important: Well, now you can be that objective person and see other teacher in their teaching practice. You’ll be able to learn from their strengths and action points, and think about those and compare them to yours.
How this is related to CELTA: When taking CELTA you’ll have the chance of observing other trainees, and also experienced teachers. When observing other trainees, your tutor will provide you with a handout asking you to comment on specific teaching areas in that lesson. When observing experienced teachers, you’ll have to write an “observation report” about 250 words (as far as I remember) and hand it to your tutor.

Reflecting on your lessons:

Why this is important:Being a reflective teacher cannot be stressed enough. Taking some time to think after your lesson to consider what went well and what didn’t. Reflection would allow you to learn from your action points, and alter your lessons, aims, strategies, and techniques accordingly.
How this is related to CELTA: In CELTA, after each TP (lesson) you give, you have to write a self evaluation reflecting on how well your lesson went, what would you change, and how did the learners react to/during the lesson. Another thing is starting from your second lesson (TP 2) you should include in your lesson plan your personal aims for the lesson. And you can take that from the feedback form given to you by your tutor. For example, you should write like ‘in this lesson I will work on my TTT, or my target language.’

Have you analyzed language areas before?

Why this is important: it goes without saying that as a language teacher you do know grammar. However, have you analyzed grammar areas in terms of forms and functions? what is a tense and what is an aspect? how many tenses are there in English? (the answer to the last one would probably shock you!)
How this is related to CELTA: Many input sessions in CELTA are about language analysis. Although you won’t be taught grammar-this is a misconception that some candidates think CELTA includes a ‘grammar module.- but you will be taught how to analyze grammar areas. And trust me you gonna like this a lot.

Do you know how to teach language skills and systems?

Why this is important: Knowing how to teach the four skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking)  Language Systems (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse) with their logical stages is what actually teaching is. And it’s not like ‘of course I do, I play the listening file and voila, that was listening skill’. For instance, each skill has stages like pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading. And for each stage there are specific activities that would work well with one, but not with another.
How this is related to CELTA: In the course there will be input sessions about the skills and systems where you can learn the aforementioned stages, and experience them firsthand.

Some other ELT techniques that you will learn during CELTA are conducting feedback and varying the methods for it. Monitoring, when to monitor and how to monitor depending on the task at hand. Another one is correction, when to correct, how to correct, and varying your correction techniques. Giving and checking instructions to make sure your learners know what to do next. If you think the answer for those techniques are respectively: giving feedback is when telling my students ‘that’s good/work harder;’ 2 monitoring is simple I just look at my learners and walk around the classroom; 3 correction is when my students make a mistake I correct them and carry on; 4 and when it comes to instructions; that’s a piece of cake; I tell my learners ‘do this exercise,’ then I have to tell you that you surely need to take CELTA.

You also need to take into consideration what other advantages CELTA provides; better job perspectives to name one. I once had a talk with a language school manager in the UK. She said that whenever she gets job applications she categorize them as: those who have CELTA, and those who don’t. Another point is that many schools when posting job vacancies they ask for a certain number of years of experience AFTER certification. Another advantage is the ability to continue developing and get Cambridge DELTA. And let’s not forget that CELTA is provided by Cambridge University!

The Quiz!

Now let’s give you what you are here for, the quiz. Take this quiz which I have created based on the most important things that the CELTA will train you for. See for yourself whether you need to take the course or not. Don’t forget to share the quiz with your colleagues!

Now, tell me in the comments, what is your result, and has it changed your opinion?

Delta Module Two Planner

UPDATE 28/5/2017: There was a mistake in the second planner and I have edited it. Please redownload it.
UPDATE 13/6/2017: I have added an eight-week version 🙂
My DELTA Module Two is starting this July, 2017. I know I should be very organized and manage my time properly since the course is highly intensive.  That’s why I’ve created these 2 planners which are for full-time DELTA Module Two courses. The calendars is a ready-to-print, A3 sized.
You can print them on A4-sized paper too, but it would look a bit small. Stick it on your wall, and tick as you go!

DELTA Module Two Planner
DELTA Module Two Planner

DELTA Module Two Planner
DELTA Module Two Planner
The abbreviations (They are used during the Module 2 course, so you need to learn them):
LSA: Language Systems/Skills Assignment
BE: Background Essay
LP: Lesson Plan
TP: Teaching Practice (the lesson that you will teach)
SE: Self Evaluation
PDA: Professional Development Assignment
Click on the the download link to get the planner:

                

Hope you like, and find them useful. I will write more posts about DELTA Module 2 once I finish the course this August. So, stay tuned to my blog 🙂
Good luck with your DELTA Module 2, and feel free to comment on and share this post 🙂

Vocabulary Revision Game

Vocabulary Revision Game

I prepare my students for Cambridge Exams (Flyers, KET, and PET). And since the examination date is just around the corner, I thought I should revise the vocabulary list. Also, my learners asked me for an activity or a game to revise the Flyers word list. So, I came up with the following game, and it went well!
You are going to need the Thematic Vocabulary List for Flyers. You can download the list from here (PDF file. Size 1.66 MB, taken form the Cambridge YLE Handbook.)
I grouped the learners into groups of 4s and 3s and asked each group to get 1 sheet of paper, and a pen/pencil for each student.
The instructions were that I’m going write a category on the board taken from the vocabulary list, and they will have 1 minute to write as much words as they know on their sheet, and when the time is up, they should stop. You can use the clock on the wall as a timer, or if you have a stopwatch on your phone. I used Google Stopwatch, and projected it on the board so the learners can know how much left. You can find it here. (press the CTRL key while clicking on the link to open it in a new tab.)
When the time was up, I asked each group to pass their sheet to the group next to them, and showed the aforementioned vocabulary list on the board. The learners checked the sheets against the vocabulary list. Giving 1 point for any word that is on the list, 2 points for any correct word that is not on the list, and crossing any word that doesn’t belong to the category or that is false in a way or another. And wrote their points under their team’s name on the board. If you don’t like having a competition in your classroom, you can skip writing the points on the board. However, my learners enjoyed that a lot!
After getting back their own sheets, I asked the learners to write on their notebooks any word that is on the list but they didn’t write, so they would learn and study this word later.
And that’s all about it. I’m gonna try out this activity with my KET and PET students and see how it goes!
What do you think about the activity? Any comments or alterations?

 

image source file

Passion for CPD: Webinars

You can access the page behind this post here, and if you like you can read the post too 🙂

There are many forms of continuing professional development, one that I just love is webinars. They’re held regularly, and tackle different issues in ELT. I always learn new things from webinars, that’s why I keep attending them. So far, I’ve attended more than 30 certified webinars, and half as much of recorded webinars.
Before going any further, I’d like to say that this is why I’ve decided to create The ELT Webinars Calendar. I’ll add the webinars that I know so you can check them and attend those who interest you. You can also find a form beneath the calendar which you can use to add an event or a webinar which is not already on the list. And beneath the form you can find links for recorded webinars in case you wanna watch some.
So, back to the track, here’s my list of reasons why you should attend webinars:
-You can access them on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and cellphone.
-They don’t take a lot of your schedule. Usually they are 40-80 minutes.
-You can gain certificates to prove your CPD (continuing professional development) to your (potential) employer.
-In case you miss one, you can watch the recording when it’s convenient for you.
-They keep you up-to-date with what’s new in the ELT world.
-You learn about an area that is new to you OR you deepen your knowledge in an are that you already know.
Jack Richards give these reasons for attending a workshop (workshops and webinars are practically the same thing) in his book Professional Development for Language Teachers, on page 25:
Attending workshops can provide input from experts.
Workshops offer teachers practical classroom applications.
Attending workshops can raise teachers’ motivation.
Workshops develop collegiality.
Participating in workshops can support innovations.
Workshops are short-term.
Workshops are flexible in organization.
I can’t stress the importance of attending webinars enough. If you are new to them, try them a couple of times, and you’ll become addictive.
Over to you: what is your take on webinars?

Cambridge CELTA in a Nutshell (an infographic)

Update: read this post to know the benefits of CELTA and take the quiz!

Ever since I’ve finished my CELTA in December 2014, I’ve been contacted by countless people from all over the world (I hope you are reading this post) who want to take CELTA. And always, I was happy to help my fellow colleagues.

That’s why I’ve decided to create this infographic hoping it would be helpful for teachers who don’t know what CELTA is. or what it does offer. And to function as  Cambridge CELTA introduction. Of course, this is not what all is CELTA about. To know ALL about CELTA you gotta read the CELTA Course Trainee Book, or take the course yourself  😉

click on the image for a larger version and share if you care

Cambridge CELTA Introduction. An infographic about Cambridge CELTA.
Cambridge CELTA Introduction. An infographic about Cambridge CELTA.

 

did you find this infographic helpful? Was it a good Cambridge CELTA Introduction?
do you have any question or comment about CELTA? then ask or comment in the comment box.

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