Denys Hab is originally from Ukraine but has lived most of his life abroad, including in Ireland and Canada. In August 2022 he completed our 100% online full-time CELTA course.
In this blog post he tells us about his experience on our 100% online full-time CELTA course and how it helped him to become a great teacher of English.
1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Denys Hab. I am originally from Ukraine and have lived most of my life abroad. I grew up speaking Ukrainian and at an early age my family moved to Ireland where I was an ESL student.
Later we moved to Canada where I worked in various positions and studied nursing. Living in both Canada and Ireland I have been exposed to a variety of English dialects from an early age.
I was also an ESL student and have experienced a lot of the lessons that are provided by CELTA teachers myself.
I decided to return to Ukraine and change my career to teaching as I wanted a more flexible lifestyle and enjoy learning about languages. Currently I am travelling around Europe and working as an English teacher both online and in-person.
2. What were you doing before you enrolled in the CELTA course in Barcelona?
Prior to enrolling in the online CELTA course I was a nursing student for several years. In the time I was in nursing school I provided a lot of patient education to inform patients about their health condition and improve their well-being. This sparked my general interest into education and the college also provided courses on education theory.
3. Why did you decide to get a CELTA qualification?
After doing some more research I became enthralled with the idea of being a teacher. This has led me to change my career paths but I needed something that would have been flexible and online.
Oxford TEFL provides many online options which has allowed me to pursue my goals in changing my career path by providing me with the essentials of teaching language effectively through the CELTA qualification.
4. What attracted you to the CELTA course with Oxford TEFL?
I chose Oxford TEFL because their website provided a lot of information upfront about how the course is organised and what you will gain from undertaking it. The admission process provided background information about what we had to know and there was a lot of material provided for self-studying.
5. What was the course like?
Once I started the course it was structured in a way that you could easily cover a lot of material and the tutors spend a lot of time guiding the trainees through the learning process. We would start the day with teaching practice and try out things we learned from input sessions from the day before.
We did work a lot with Zoom which required us to have clear instructions to effectively teach and manage the classrooms virtually. After teaching your classes we would reflect and brainstorm with our peers how to improve for the next class and then have input sessions to learn more teaching techniques.
Teaching students was definitely the highlight of the course as you encountered a variety of students with different motivations to learn English. Observing other trainees and our instructors enabled me to learn a lot from observing their teaching techniques.
6. What were the other people on the course like?
On the course, we had people from practically every time zone as some people were only starting their day while others were logging into Zoom during the night.
Some of us were new to teaching and others had many years under their belt. My group was of all ages and walks of life. Often, on the weekends, we would message each other in the group chat to complete assignments or just chit chat.
Our sessions together were welcoming and you could learn a lot as there were people with all sorts of experiences. We still keep in touch and exchange information about our teaching experiences.
This was also true for the practice students as they also came from a wide mix of nationalities, professions and levels of English. The students were quite engaged and had lots of questions which made it enjoyable as it helped us prepare how to address learners’ needs.
7. How did the CELTA course help you become a great teacher?
Having the CELTA certification has enabled me to improve how I deliver classes and further expanded my knowledge about the English language. Not only did I delve into learning the mechanics of how the language works, I was also able to learn how to convey that knowledge to people learning the language.
It was a challenging experience as the course covers a lot of ground in a short space of time and what made it rewarding is the amount of time you share ideas on how to improve your teaching with your peers and tutors.
8. What do you wish you had known before the course started?
One thing I wish I had known before the course started is how to better manage technology and anticipate that students might also have tech difficulties. This involves having lots of backups whether it is also having your phone data just in case your Wifi starts to lag or having documents prepared that you can share with your students in case they cannot access your slides.
9. What are you doing now?
Currently, I have some online English classes with Oxford TEFL which is a wonderful opportunity as I am already familiar with the format of the classes and the material used. Additionally, if I need it, I have the support from the same tutors who taught me on the CELTA course which made the transition into teaching easier for me.
I hope to gain further work with Oxford TEFL online, teaching groups and tutoring in-person, or one-on-one English classes. In the future I also hope to complete the DipTESOL / DELTA to further hone my English teaching skills.
10. Who would you recommend the CELTA course to?
I recommend the CELTA course to people who are already teaching or are thinking of switching careers as it provides you with a career path that is flexible. It is a rewarding career path as you are constantly learning and can see the students improve as well.
Would you like to gain an internationally recognised qualification to teach English as a foreign language anywhere in the world? The Cambridge CELTA is your fist step into a rewarding career as an English teacher and is requested by around 75% of employers worldwide.
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