trešdiena, 2010. gada 21. jūlijs

above standard!

Today was the first time to teach elementary students. That group is very strange, to say the least.

Got my first ABOVE STANDARD! :)))

I was so happy! ;)

I just tried to make my instructions as simple as possible and that was great ;)

piektdiena, 2010. gada 16. jūlijs

The 2nd week is finally over!

I have been waiting this moment since the beginning of the week.

I haven't been able to get a single 'above standard' in my Teaching Practice - everyhting has been 'to standard'. Good thing of course, there is no 'below standard'. The lessons were different (I felt so and I could also say so because of the feedback). Now I feel much better when I'm teaching, I am not struggling with a lack of ideas if I still have time left. And, more importantly, I don't care if I am being observed! :)

piektdiena, 2010. gada 9. jūlijs

1st Week is OVER!

Yeah. That has actually happened. The first CELTA week is over.

Basically, I am really enjoying the course, but it is really intensive, as I had heard it. We are eleven people in the course, and the tutors have said that we are very professional and experienced - usually all the tasks take ages because they didn't have the knowledge we have. Cool.

However, people are different, some are happy, some not so happy with the course. I am enjoying it. It is even more exciting than I thought it would be.

I have also understood that my English is brilliant:) My tutor 1 wrote in the first feedback - "a bright start". Now the main thing is to be bright at the end as well. I wish to get a couple of 'above standard' for my teaching practice. I have done 2 out of 9. During the next week I will have 3.

pirmdiena, 2010. gada 5. jūlijs

First day

First day.
11 crazy people (including me) who just didn't know what to do with a month of the summer! Holy cow - it feels as if two days have passed already! So imagine how intensive that is... Lots of activities. Interesting and exciting but at around 12-1 o'clock starts feeling tiring and even exhausting.

And that's just the first day - we didn't even do any teaching practice 9I am doing the first one already tomorrow).

Yeah, teaching practice - actually, the scariest part of the course (maybe because I feel that that's the most important part of the assessment). Only 6 hours (if I consider how many hours I am doing at PSU every week, this seems a piece of cake).

By the way, there are onbly two Latvians in the course :D
Many Russians, some Brits and Americans.

OK, maybe will add something later. Now I have a horrendous migraine. Still have to prepare for tomorrow somehow.

svētdiena, 2010. gada 4. jūlijs

One day before the course - the evening

Yiihaa. I wouldn't actually say that I am on the seventh heaven. Not because I don't want to study, but because I am a bit scared of that 'being intensive, 9.30am-5.30 pm thing'.

Today I printed out the timetable that Robert sent us. I was reading what is going to happen tomorrow, on the first day of the course:


Introductions and warmers.
Foreign Language Lesson.


Classroom management and speaking activities.


Course overview.
Introduction to teaching practice (TP) and Guided Lesson Planning (GLP).

Ah well. It doesn't sound that bad. Not yet, at least. However, I admit, it is not very clear what is meant by 'Foreign Language Lesson', for example. That's why I googled a bit and found CELTA timetable (a bit more detailed than the one I have).

Session 1 (90 minutes) Introduction

A whole group session where trainees experience a range of introduction activities.
Aim: to get to know each other, the course and the centre.

Key concepts:
1. dynamics, rapport, warmers;
2. classroom management: seating, names;
3. course administration: timetable, portfolio, course record booklet, tutorials;
4. centre facilities: resources, safety, regulations.

OK, I have no idea what is meant by protfolio, the course record booklet, etc, but I sincerely hope I will find it out tomorrow. Classroom management is something that I already know so that shouldn't be anything painful, either.

Session 2 (90 minutes) Foreign Language Lesson

Format: an approximately 40-minute session teaching the participants a language they are not familiar with, followed by a discussion (small group open class).
Aim: to experience communicative language teaching (CLT)

Key concepts:
1. learning style: experiential vs. analytic;
2. factors affecting learning: anxiety, motivation;
3. teacher roles: organising, facilitating, modelling, correcting;
4. classroom management: grading language, instructions, eliciting, drilling, correction;
5. communicative tasks: interaction, involvement;
6. communicative language teaching.

Some things are more familiar to me than others. I guess, nothing weird and nothing special. At least, the good thing is that I know some of those things already, so it doesn't feel as if I am going to do something that I have not the slightest idea about.

Being a non-native speaker of English, I am lucky of having already experienced a foreign language lesson. I know how it feels when you are taught a language and how frustrating it can be when you are unable to express yourself just because you don't know a specific word or you can't find the correct grammatical construction.

What is 'grading language'? I am not sure. Maybe I will find it out soon.

Student anxiety and motivation - good thing. I have experienced some of that...

Session 3 Who are the learners?

Format: Observation (30 minutes). Focus on the learner, small group and open class discussion.
Aim: to raise awareness reagarding the learners, their backgrounds, their level of comprehension and production.

Key concepts:
1. factors affecting learning: age, cultural and educational background, learning styles;
2. reasons for learning English:ESL, EFL, EIL, ESP;
3. L1 and L2 differences: acquisition vs. learning;
4. monolingualism and multilingualism;
5. comprehension, production; [receptive and productive skills, probably]
6. classroom language: grading.

Session 4 Classroom Management

The first teaching Practice session usually involves all the candidates, divided into two or more TP groups, setting up or monitoring simple activities for about 20 minutes each - for example, find someone who, name learning game, simple speaking activities.
Aim: to familiarise trainees with TP procedures; to learn how to plan classroom management.

Key concepts:
1. groupings: individual, pair, group, mingle, information gap activities;
2. establishing rapport;
3. interaction: T-ss, ss-ss
4. teacher talk: giving instructions/grading language;
5. variety and pace.

H-E-L-P!!!!!!! Teaching practice already on the first day??!!! How? When? WHY? Everyhting is OK, but how to think of a simple activities out of the blue? And if you are asked to do something, do you know how difficult it is to do something on demand? I hope only 2 students show up. At PSU that was quite common.

Session 5 Facilities

Introduction to library, photocopying facilities, resources.

Speaking about resources, I have ordered Michael Swan's book "Practical English Usage", but it hasn't arrived yet. I hope I get it as soon as possible because I have the feeling that I need it already!

OK, Let's see how my first day goes.

svētdiena, 2010. gada 27. jūnijs

June 27th, 2010

What's new? Nothing special, I guess.

I have been in Latvia for a couple of days now, but still haven't gone out. I don't know why. Just didn't feel like.

Being a good employee (yeah right), I am checking my PSU e-mail even in my vacation. Liliane has sent a bunch of e-mails - all of those some kind of goodbye-thank you stuff.

My CELTA course starts on the 5th July, I guess I will have more interesting things to post here then.

Meanwhile, I could put lots of vacation pics here. The pics though are still to be taken.

piektdiena, 2009. gada 3. aprīlis