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Embassy English 30 June 2016 - by Suranne Bowles and John Marshall, Students, Embassy English Cambridge

Embassy Cambridge and the CELTA Teacher Training Course


Students love studying English at Embassy Cambridge because of the city’s illustrious history in education, which dates back to the Middle Ages. Our school’s proximity to the world renowned University of Cambridge, as well as metropolitan London, makes Embassy Cambridge an exciting place to study for students  who come from around the world to be part of the intellectually charged atmosphere of Cambridge. We are proud to announce that several of our students recently passed the intensive CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.)

This week, Suarnne Bowles and John Marshall share their stories. 

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By Suarnne Bowles

Tell us about yourself!

I was a Tax advisor for 18 years working for big corporate companies. In one job 3 years ago I headed up some tax training for a large oil company. I trained people in tax from all over the world and met people from different cultures. I then got promoted but really missed the training element to my job and the classroom dynamic. I thought about what to do during the last year and then decided to focus on people rather than numbers so chose to train to be an English teacher.

Had you any teaching experience before?

Not teaching as such but training facilitation (see above) which gave me a lot of classroom experience.  Tax can be really dull so making that interesting and engaging was challenging at times!

What made you choose Embassy English for the CELTA course?

To be honest, it was to do with timing. I wanted to do a course ASAP. Embassy Cambridge is not too far from home and was holding a course at the right time.

What have you most enjoyed?

I’ve most enjoyed the real Teaching Practice being in the classroom. Also watching colleagues and other teachers and learning from them. I enjoy the energy in the room, when the students are engaged and there is a positive feeling.

Were there any challenges?

Yes. I did expect it to be hard work and I put everything else on hold. Around the end of the 2nd week, and start of week 3 there were lots of assessments – hard work with long hours! My time management skills from my previous job really helped.

Before CELTA I watched lots of Youtube videos with tips. One lady said stay on top of everything ,  don’t get behind and read literature before. Don’t let things slide. This was good advice.

What’s the best memory you will take with you?

The best memory was in a class when s someone else was teaching. One of the students had formed an opinion about a person in a text. The man in the text turned out not to be the romantic person the student had expected. She said ‘oh no’ and expressed huge disappointment – it was just a funny moment.

 What has surprised you most about the experience?

How much the feedback really helps you improve. I’ve had lots of feedback throughout my  career which has not always been useful, but here it’s very specific and very useful and gives you something to focus on. Corporate feedback is not always about how to improve your skills, it’s often more of a pay grade thing.

I was also surprised to learn that I have good classroom management skills – I didn’t really know that before. I was expecting to feel more daunted but didn’t when I  went into the classroom.

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What are you going to do now you have the qualification? Where are you thinking of teaching?

I am going to go to Budapest to see if I can get some freelance work. I am only going for a few months and then will look for something permanent in teaching but also in Europe (thinking of Spain).

Would you recommend Embassy English to others considering a CELTA qualification and why?

Yes I would. I think the tutors are very supportive and very clear in feedback. It’s a nice environment here, it’s a nice place to study and Cambridge is also a great place. The school has a very friendly atmosphere.

I stayed in the residence. It was a bit of a last minute decision as I thought I might drive here every day – but am very pleased I stayed in the residence. It is very nice, a  nice walk here to school (so gives you time to clear your head) – super convenient!

Embassy Cambridge

By John Marshall

Tell us about yourself!

I used to work in China for a management consulting company, then in the UK in the civil service. For the last 2 years I was an advisor for companies moving to China but  I was looking for a career change.  My wife and I are thinking of moving to Asia. My wife is a teacher – she has always been very satisfied in her job and I was a bit jealous of this so thought I’d try teaching.

Had you any teaching experience before?

None whatsoever.  It’s been one of the things I’ve been pleasantly surprised about. I was worried whether I  would like it but I have really enjoyed it, especially the interaction with the students.

What made you choose Embassy English for the CELTA course?

Convenience, it’s located near to where I live. I also did some online research – I saw that Embassy had a good reputation. I also looked at various teacher qualifications – CELTA seems the  best one to get.

What have you most enjoyed?

Mainly 2 things:

  1. The quality of the tutors, both have been brilliant
  2. The teaching practice and the interaction with the students. On day one I was nervous and now feel more comfortable. I’ve learned a huge amount of things during the course.

Were there any challenges?

Yes. The biggest one is how intense the course is. It’s 4 weeks of non-stop learning. There is a lot of info to take in, lots of skills to practice and develop as well as the assignments. It’s a very large commitment.

What’s the best memory you will take with you?

Probably my last teaching practice lesson – it went to plan, I felt I was able to implement all of the skills learned and felt I was really on the way to becoming a good teacher.

What has surprised you most about the experience?

The amount you can develop in the 4 weeks. Working so intensively does have results.

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What are you going to do now you have the qualification? Where are you thinking of teaching?

I’m thinking  of going to either Japan or Korea, mainly as I lived in Asia for a number of years. I’m interested in both countries and I don’t know much about them. Living there and working there will help me learn more about them.

Would you recommend Embassy English to others considering a CELTA qualification and why?

I absolutely would recommend Embassy English. The tutors are fantastic, the facilities great and the overall experience has been great.

 

To learn more about studying English at Embassy Cambridge in the UK, contact us today! 

 

 

 

 

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