Before the pandemic I was very much against the idea of the online environment for language learning. I felt that an online classroom would not provide the active participation opportunities the physical classroom offers. I freely admit that I was wrong as you can also read in one of my earlier blog posts. Even now that my school has gone back to classroom teaching, I continue to deliver some of my lessons online but what about delivering a CELTA course fully online?
As Course Director of CELTA in Munich, Germany, I have made the decision not to offer the fully online CELTA course which so many centres around the world are now offering.
There are a couple of reasons for this decision.
- Our CELTA centre aims to employ successful candidates as soon as they have completed the course- if our candidates had only completed online teaching practice, I would not, with good conscience, be able to recommend them to our Director of Studies as physical classroom teachers.
- While our school does offer some online courses, the majority of our courses are face-to-face, we need teachers who are trained in face-to-face teaching.
- Much of what has been learned in a face-to-face course can be transferred to the online environment, but I am not convinced that the same can be said for the other way round.
Interestingly, Cambridge English Assessment charges centres more for an online CELTA candidate than they do for a face-to-face CELTA candidate, yet many centres around the world charge their candidates a lower fee for their online courses than they do for their face-to-face courses – why? Could it be that they feel that their online courses are not as good as their face-to-face courses? As a candidate I would want to know why….
Have you done an online or a face-to-face course? What do you think, why did you choose that particular course type?
One thought on “Face-to-face CELTA v Online CELTA”
In my humble opinion, online CELTA courses require the candidate to be more proficient in computer literacy than their ability to teach English through conventional classroom methods.
There might well be a crossover in some teaching methods, but UNLESS you’re familiar with a host of computer programmes before you commence the online course you could well suffer – the course is hard enough without the additional time consuming stress of having to learn such programmes as ZOOM and SLACK with only a weekend’s notice of such before the course commences on a Monday morning.
Course centre Administration need to be a lot more specific in their pre-course information other than just saying, that you need to be ‘Computer Literate’. You will need a full MS Office package and it doesn’t help when course tutors send documents you cannot edit in any of the aforementioned programmes as they forgot to mention that you require some form of PDF file reader too. There is nothing to test one’s computer literacy in the application process other than completing forms and writing essays in a MS Word format.
I am of the opinion and have read such from CELTA Tutors that the full online course was rather hastily rushed through for financial reasons without being fully thought out beforehand. It would be interesting to see a comparison of pass to failure and dropout rates of online, mixed and classroom based CELTA Courses.
Bottom line is, before you part with your money for a CELTA online course, do your homework and ensure that you are fully conversed in the software programmes required for the course to avoid additional stress and frustration.
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