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TEACHER TRAINING IN THE 21ST CENTURY –
IS CELTA STILL RELEVANT?
Nick Beer
Regional Commercial Head
Europe and North Africa
This talk was originally given by Clare Harrison,
Assessment Group Manager, Teacher Development
and Curriculum, at IATEFL Conference 2018
CELTA – recognition in 2018
Annually,10s of 1000s take CELTA at
300+ centres in 70+ countries
72.4%* of employers in Europe, the
Middle East + Africa request CELTA
(88% require CELTA in the UK)
*Based on a 2018 study of 600 ELT job adverts in 60 countries
CELTA – some history
• 50+ years of CELTA
• ‘born out of practical necessity to find
reliable teachers quickly’
Studies in Language Testing 42: Assessing Teachers’ Professional Skills and
Knowledge, edited by Wilson and Poulter, 2015
English in the 21st century
• By 2020 – 2 billion speakers of English
• Non-L1 speakers outnumber L1 speakers
• Global shortage of English teachers
The English Effect, The British Council, 2013
CELTA – course features
• Language as communication + interaction
• Teaching practice + feedback
• Observation of experienced teachers
• Input sessions on language + methodology
Studies in Language Testing 42: Assessing Teachers’ Professional Skills and
Knowledge, edited by Wilson and Poulter, 2015
International initial teacher training in the 21st century
‘The most common mix among the OECD countries includes
courses:
- in subject-matter (content knowledge)
- in teaching techniques (pedagogical knowledge)
and practical school experience.’
Musset, P. (2010), Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Training Policies in a Comparative Perspective:
Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review on Potential Effects, OECD Education
Working Papers, No. 48, OECD Publishing.
Carter review of initial teacher training in the 21st century
• Subject knowledge
• Subject pedagogic knowledge
• Observation of good teaching
• High quality mentoring
• Emphasis on planning
• Focus on assessment
• Understanding and undertaking research
Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT), Sir Andrew Carter OBE, January 2015
Language learning in the 21st century – what’s new?
• English earlier in compulsory education
• Digital learning + communication tools
• Online access to reference + authentic/adapted
materials
• Increase of specialised learning (e.g. CLIL, EAP)
• Greater understanding of how people learn
Stakeholders surveyed
CELTA Research
Purpose: to ensure CELTA remains fit for purpose
and a compelling proposition in an increasingly
crowded market.
Stakeholders surveyed
Surveys completed by:
• 72 centres in 16 countries
• 240 Tutors / (Senior) Assessors in 50 countries
• 1500 CELTA candidates – 100 nationalities, 70 L1s
• 300 potential candidates
• 31 employer interviews
• 27 competitor candidate interviews
Very high satisfaction + little appetite for change
87% of candidates say it prepared them very well for
teaching.
‘The CELTA course was one my greatest experiences in life. Having been
so challenging, it unleashed massive potentials I never expected they
existed. What distinguishes it from my Bachelor Degree is that it was
more practical than theoretical, giving me the ability to witness what was
learned in context.’ (CELTA candidate, Lebanon)
‘The training was very rigorous and the trainers were very dedicated to
imparting as much knowledge as possible. Real-world opportunity to
teach was greatly appreciated.’ (CELTA candidate, Malaysia)
Very high satisfaction + little appetite for change
99% of centres and 83% of tutors say they are
happy with the content.
‘I believe it is an excellent basis for any new teachers, giving them the
tools they need to start teaching. (CELTA tutor, Germany)
‘CELTA is an excellent course. It provides a solid basic training which is
very practical, but where some underpinning theory can be explored too. I
have lost count of the praise that has been heaped on the course, and
occasionally someone says, "it changed my life." The qualification gives
confidence to first-time teachers and can extend the skills of seasoned
professionals’ (CELTA tutor, France)
Very high satisfaction + little appetite for change
Employers rate CELTA graduates very highly
• more organised, particularly when planning lessons
• better understanding of terminology and grammar
• better understanding of classroom management and
teaching techniques / ideas
• more confidence in their teaching ability and knowledge,
making them better teachers
• more committed to teaching – opting to take CELTA over
other courses
Content suggestions – young learners
Candidates expect/want to teach adults/teenagers
- most go on to teach adults (74%)
- half teach teens
- a third have taught very young children
BUT
Market for younger learner classes is growing
Employers and tutors say CELTA doesn’t always prepare
teachers for all teaching situations they might meet
Content suggestions – greater focus on digital
1/3 of employers want greater focus on tech –
but recognise CELTA cannot prepare for all
aspects
• interactive white boards
• designing ‘digital lessons’
• using digital elements of coursebooks
Content suggestions – greater focus on digital
‘Those that know how to use the whiteboard ahead of time
are seen as having a lead on other teachers. Technology isn’t
going away - I think it’s going to get more common. Anything
that can give your candidates an edge is a good thing.’
(Employer, China)
‘A basic knowledge of how, why and when technology can be
used in the classroom would be an addition to learning in this
day and age.’ (CELTA candidate, Netherlands)
CELTA Syllabus – digital focus already there
Syllabus area
4.4 The selection, adaptation
and evaluation of materials
and resources in planning
(including computer and
technology based resources)
Select and evaluate materials and
resources (including technology and digital
tools etc.)
5.4 The use of teaching
materials and resources
Make appropriate use of a range of
materials and resources, including digital, in
relation to specified aims
5.9 Professional
development support
systems
… by finding out about opportunities for
further development in teaching English,
including … digital resources
https://thedigitalteacher.com
CELTA candidate information data – first language
2005 – 75% L1 and 25% non-L1candidates
2010 – 65% - 35%
2016 – 50% - 50%
CELTA candidate information data – experience
First half of 2000s
c. 20% had some teaching experience
2016
c. 60% had some teaching experience
- c. 70% of non-L1(even spread up to 11+ years)
- c. 50% of L1 (mostly 1-2 years)
Courses for candidate needs
Centres design courses based on
Cambridge English syllabus, requirements +
assessment criteria
to suit the needs of their candidates
What would YOU do next with CELTA?
How can we meet the needs of everyone in 120 hours ITT?
Is CELTA fully online workable?
What changes should we make to the delivery of the course?
How can we address the need for YL teachers when YL
courses have not proved attractive?
How can we ensure candidates are digitally equipped for
teaching?
Should the required language level be lowered?
How can we embed use of L1 as a tool when many courses
are multilingual/candidates don’t all speak learners’ L1?
Thank you!

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Nick Beer: Teacher Training in the 21st Century is CELTA Still Relevant

  • 1. TEACHER TRAINING IN THE 21ST CENTURY – IS CELTA STILL RELEVANT? Nick Beer Regional Commercial Head Europe and North Africa This talk was originally given by Clare Harrison, Assessment Group Manager, Teacher Development and Curriculum, at IATEFL Conference 2018
  • 2. CELTA – recognition in 2018 Annually,10s of 1000s take CELTA at 300+ centres in 70+ countries 72.4%* of employers in Europe, the Middle East + Africa request CELTA (88% require CELTA in the UK) *Based on a 2018 study of 600 ELT job adverts in 60 countries
  • 3. CELTA – some history • 50+ years of CELTA • ‘born out of practical necessity to find reliable teachers quickly’ Studies in Language Testing 42: Assessing Teachers’ Professional Skills and Knowledge, edited by Wilson and Poulter, 2015
  • 4. English in the 21st century • By 2020 – 2 billion speakers of English • Non-L1 speakers outnumber L1 speakers • Global shortage of English teachers The English Effect, The British Council, 2013
  • 5. CELTA – course features • Language as communication + interaction • Teaching practice + feedback • Observation of experienced teachers • Input sessions on language + methodology Studies in Language Testing 42: Assessing Teachers’ Professional Skills and Knowledge, edited by Wilson and Poulter, 2015
  • 6. International initial teacher training in the 21st century ‘The most common mix among the OECD countries includes courses: - in subject-matter (content knowledge) - in teaching techniques (pedagogical knowledge) and practical school experience.’ Musset, P. (2010), Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Training Policies in a Comparative Perspective: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review on Potential Effects, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 48, OECD Publishing.
  • 7. Carter review of initial teacher training in the 21st century • Subject knowledge • Subject pedagogic knowledge • Observation of good teaching • High quality mentoring • Emphasis on planning • Focus on assessment • Understanding and undertaking research Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT), Sir Andrew Carter OBE, January 2015
  • 8. Language learning in the 21st century – what’s new? • English earlier in compulsory education • Digital learning + communication tools • Online access to reference + authentic/adapted materials • Increase of specialised learning (e.g. CLIL, EAP) • Greater understanding of how people learn
  • 9. Stakeholders surveyed CELTA Research Purpose: to ensure CELTA remains fit for purpose and a compelling proposition in an increasingly crowded market.
  • 10. Stakeholders surveyed Surveys completed by: • 72 centres in 16 countries • 240 Tutors / (Senior) Assessors in 50 countries • 1500 CELTA candidates – 100 nationalities, 70 L1s • 300 potential candidates • 31 employer interviews • 27 competitor candidate interviews
  • 11. Very high satisfaction + little appetite for change 87% of candidates say it prepared them very well for teaching. ‘The CELTA course was one my greatest experiences in life. Having been so challenging, it unleashed massive potentials I never expected they existed. What distinguishes it from my Bachelor Degree is that it was more practical than theoretical, giving me the ability to witness what was learned in context.’ (CELTA candidate, Lebanon) ‘The training was very rigorous and the trainers were very dedicated to imparting as much knowledge as possible. Real-world opportunity to teach was greatly appreciated.’ (CELTA candidate, Malaysia)
  • 12. Very high satisfaction + little appetite for change 99% of centres and 83% of tutors say they are happy with the content. ‘I believe it is an excellent basis for any new teachers, giving them the tools they need to start teaching. (CELTA tutor, Germany) ‘CELTA is an excellent course. It provides a solid basic training which is very practical, but where some underpinning theory can be explored too. I have lost count of the praise that has been heaped on the course, and occasionally someone says, "it changed my life." The qualification gives confidence to first-time teachers and can extend the skills of seasoned professionals’ (CELTA tutor, France)
  • 13. Very high satisfaction + little appetite for change Employers rate CELTA graduates very highly • more organised, particularly when planning lessons • better understanding of terminology and grammar • better understanding of classroom management and teaching techniques / ideas • more confidence in their teaching ability and knowledge, making them better teachers • more committed to teaching – opting to take CELTA over other courses
  • 14. Content suggestions – young learners Candidates expect/want to teach adults/teenagers - most go on to teach adults (74%) - half teach teens - a third have taught very young children BUT Market for younger learner classes is growing Employers and tutors say CELTA doesn’t always prepare teachers for all teaching situations they might meet
  • 15. Content suggestions – greater focus on digital 1/3 of employers want greater focus on tech – but recognise CELTA cannot prepare for all aspects • interactive white boards • designing ‘digital lessons’ • using digital elements of coursebooks
  • 16. Content suggestions – greater focus on digital ‘Those that know how to use the whiteboard ahead of time are seen as having a lead on other teachers. Technology isn’t going away - I think it’s going to get more common. Anything that can give your candidates an edge is a good thing.’ (Employer, China) ‘A basic knowledge of how, why and when technology can be used in the classroom would be an addition to learning in this day and age.’ (CELTA candidate, Netherlands)
  • 17. CELTA Syllabus – digital focus already there Syllabus area 4.4 The selection, adaptation and evaluation of materials and resources in planning (including computer and technology based resources) Select and evaluate materials and resources (including technology and digital tools etc.) 5.4 The use of teaching materials and resources Make appropriate use of a range of materials and resources, including digital, in relation to specified aims 5.9 Professional development support systems … by finding out about opportunities for further development in teaching English, including … digital resources https://thedigitalteacher.com
  • 18. CELTA candidate information data – first language 2005 – 75% L1 and 25% non-L1candidates 2010 – 65% - 35% 2016 – 50% - 50%
  • 19. CELTA candidate information data – experience First half of 2000s c. 20% had some teaching experience 2016 c. 60% had some teaching experience - c. 70% of non-L1(even spread up to 11+ years) - c. 50% of L1 (mostly 1-2 years)
  • 20. Courses for candidate needs Centres design courses based on Cambridge English syllabus, requirements + assessment criteria to suit the needs of their candidates
  • 21. What would YOU do next with CELTA? How can we meet the needs of everyone in 120 hours ITT? Is CELTA fully online workable? What changes should we make to the delivery of the course? How can we address the need for YL teachers when YL courses have not proved attractive? How can we ensure candidates are digitally equipped for teaching? Should the required language level be lowered? How can we embed use of L1 as a tool when many courses are multilingual/candidates don’t all speak learners’ L1?