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A quick coffee with… Anna Stubbs (CELTA Course Director)

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If you’ve read our two latest blog posts, you’ll know that we’ve been introducing our readers to the key people at Oxford TEFL. Our dedicated and experienced staff members are a major part of what makes us stand out from the crowd, so we want our community to know who’s who! That’s why I sat down for coffee this week with CELTA Course Director, Anna Stubbs.

Our founder and Leadership in ELT tutor, Duncan Foord, and Trinity DipTESOL Course Director, David Young, have already taken their turn. Now, we are also learning more about another figure who’s been with us since the early days.

In her role as CELTA Course Director and Certificate in Observing Teachers and Giving Feedback tutor, Anna Stubbs is the first face many of our trainees will see when they begin their language learning journey with Oxford TEFL. She’s also a hugely experienced teacher and trainer who has helped thousands of trainees and tutors to reach their maximum potential over the years.

Where did it all begin? How did she get to where she is now? What advice can she give prospective English teachers? For the answers to all this and more, read on!

CELTA Course Director, Anna Stubbs
Anna Stubbs, Oxford TEFL CELTA Course Director

What is the Cambridge CELTA?

Before we jump into the interview, let’s review some basics! We’ve already seen that Anna is the Course Director for Oxford TEFL’s CELTA course, but what does that mean? Well, CELTA means Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

It is the mostly widely-recognised and in-demand English teaching qualification worldwide. Indeed, about 75% of employers in the field require CELTA or equivalent, and it can also be used to apply for working visas in various countries around the world.

CELTA is suitable for those who have no teaching experience, and a good course like Oxford TEFL’s provides you with all the instruction you need to become a confident, competent teacher of English.

Since 2020, the course has been available in-person or online, and Anna Stubbs is the Director of our CELTA in Barcelona and 100% Online CELTA, both full- and part-time. We’ll learn more about the format of the course, requirements, and how to apply later. For now, though, let’s get down to business and see what Anna has to tell us!

NAME: Anna Stubbs

NATIONALITY: British

ROLE: CELTA Course Director

1. How did you become CELTA Course Director with Oxford TEFL?

I moved to Barcelona in 2001, started working at Oxford TEFL and signed up for the Trinity DipTESOL at the same time. Having the Trinity DipTESOL made it possible to become a Trinity CertTESOL tutor the following year.

I worked with various Course Directors and when David Young went to start up our school in Prague I took up the Course Director position in Barcelona.  Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time. I oversaw the switch to CELTA in 2018, and continue to enjoy new challenges!

2. What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of being CELTA Course Director?

I love it when trainees get back in touch years after graduating to tell me what they are doing and how the course changed their lives (regardless of whether they are still in the industry or not).

On the other hand, it can be challenging dealing with different personality types. However, I have learnt – as the saying goes – ‘sometimes those who challenge you most teach you best’.

3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over your years working on the CELTA course?

Any graduate who has trained with me will know my ‘cheesy’ moto ‘Teach the students not the plan’.  This works for all aspects of life.  It’s important to have a plan but if you are not flexible the plan is useless.  Also, always have a Plan B.

CELTA Course Director, Anna Stubbs, celebrating 20 years.
Anna celebrating 20 years with Oxford TEFL in 2021.

4. What advice would you give someone about to begin their TEFL journey?

Try everything!  In my first year I taught General English, Business English and Young Learners. After a year I knew I was definitely NOT a young learner teacher. I was terrible, didn’t enjoy it and neither did the kids! However, it did give me the opportunity to go on a summer camp and be the Course Director in charge of 200 kids which was great for my CV.

5. Where would you like to see Oxford TEFL in ten years’ time?

I’d like it to continue being the welcoming and inclusive place where teachers, trainers and students enjoy working and learning. We are already the largest provider of the 100% Online CELTA course worldwide and I expect us to keep growing and refining this.

We’ve all really enjoyed the return to face-to-face CELTA in Barcelona as well – I’m sure we are going to see this go from strength to strength as the last of the covid restrictions wind down. There are other exciting developments, too – I always enjoy seeing the latest Teacher Development Courses and Specialised Workshops my talented colleagues have designed.

6. What do you like doing when you’re not at work?

Simple pleasures! Eating, drinking and walking my dog.  Before the pandemic I started doing short triathlons and my plan is to get back to these this year.

CELTA Course Director Anna Stubbs is an animal-lover.
Anna’s furry friend, Coco!

7. What’s your favourite spot in Barcelona?

For me it’s impossible to choose just one! It depends on the season, day of the week, time of day etc. Having said that, though, Montjüic has a lot to offer. It is full of surprises and not visited by many tourists. Best of all it has a small bar at the top near the castle which has live music, flamenco dancing and great views.

Favourite spot for CELTA Course Director, Anna Stubbs.
Montjüic is one of Anna’s favourite spots in Barcelona.

8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise our readers.

I wouldn’t like to go spilling all my secrets! 😉

So, what have we learnt about Oxford TEFL’s CELTA Course Director?

Well, now we know that Anna is a dog-lover, and she’s given us a great recommendation for somewhere to visit here in beautiful Barcelona.

More importantly, though, I hope that Anna has demonstrated how the Cambridge CELTA can lead to a varied and interesting career. From her early days working with all sorts of students, to her later role leading a team of tutors and trainers, Anna hasn’t had a dull moment!

CELTA Course Key Information

If you have been inspired by Anna’s story, perhaps you’re thinking about taking a CELTA course yourself! As we’ve seen, you don’t need any prior teaching experience, and it can be a great way to find flexible, rewarding work at home or abroad. Here’s a little more information about the Cambridge CELTA course from Oxford TEFL…

CELTA Course Requirements

The CELTA appeals to prospective students from very many different backgrounds. You don’t need to be a native English-speaker, and there’s no requirement for a university degree. The most important requirements are the following:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have at least a C1.2 level of English
  • Demonstrate the right motivations to become an English teacher

You will also need to keep in mind the following:

  • For the online course, you’ll need to have certain items of technology.
  • Candidates must be healthy enough to deal with the demands of an intensive training course.
  • You will need to pass our application process (which you can begin by applying here with no obligation).

CELTA Format

Online or in-person?

You can take the course at our modern language school in Barcelona, or 100% online from the comfort of home. Whichever option you choose, you will receive exactly the same level of tutoring and support. The certificate you receive is also the same, meaning that potential employers will only know which modality you chose if you decide to tell them.

Full- or part-time?

As well as selecting the format, you can choose between full- and part-time courses. The former takes 4-weeks, and requires you to clear your schedule entirely. You will work intensively for a month, and leave the course a fully-qualified English teacher! The 14-week part-time option is more flexible.

You will have six weekly face-to-face hours, and complete the rest of the work at a time to suit you. Whatever CELTA works best for you, we have a very wide range of courses to suit every schedule and time zone. Click here to see the Oxford TEFL calendar, and here for more advice about which course to go for!

What next?

If you’d like to follow in Anna’s footsteps, the CELTA course is your first port of call! You can begin by applying here. Next, our Admissions Team will be in touch to schedule a Zoom interview and send you the pre-interview task.

After the interview is finished, you will be offered a place, which you can secure by making payment. And don’t think the support will end when your course is finished!

All our graduates gain access to our lifelong Careers Service, meaning that we can help you to find jobs to apply for, perfect your TEFL CV, prepare for interview etc.

So, what are you waiting for?

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