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Interview with Online CELTA graduate: Ruhinda Adam

Online CELTA course

Aribariho Ruhinda Adam is Ugandan and he has been teaching primary and secondary school learners for almost 10 years at Cambridge international Schools, Khartoum Sudan. Although, he is originally from an accounting background, ever since he started teaching he has come to the realization that he makes more contribution towards society as an educator. In this blog post, he explains his experience on our 100% Online CELTA course.

Why did you decide to take get a CELTA qualification?
I took the CELTA course for two reasons. First of all, I wanted to improve on my knowledge of teaching and, acquire and practice more research-based teaching approaches. Secondly, there is no doubt that the CELTA is the world’s leading teaching qualification and attaining such a qualification will open more job opportunities from all around the world.

What attracted you to the 100% Online CELTA course with Oxford TEFL? 
Although I had originally planned to do the 100% face to face CELTA Course at British Council Khartoum, Sudan in June 2020, the pandemic struck which made it impossible. This would have meant postponing my plans for the year. However, while talking to a friend, he recommended that I check out the 100% Online CELTA course with Oxford TEFL.

When I looked at the website, I was surprised to learn that it was possible for me to complete the course online and still receive the same certificate as a person who had attended a face to face course. On reading the tutors profiles, I was impressed by their qualifications and experience. I made further inquiries to make sure that the center was legitimate and once that was confirmed by Cambridge English, I started on the application process.

I would be able to complete the course before the time I had originally planned to and make better use of my time during the lockdown. I couldn’t have found a more convenient CELTA course.

What was the application process like?
The application process was extensive with lots of preparation and reading. It was highlighted in the initial communication that the interview would talk about the pre-interview task, the requirements for the successful completion and effective participation in the course. I was informed about the intensity of the course as well.

The first step was the completion and submission of the pre-interview task. After that I was informed on when I would have an oral interview with my interviewer, Justin.

What was your day to day life like during the course?
The course was extremely time consuming and therefore there was no time for anything else. Since the lessons would start at 3:00 O’clock, I would spend the morning either doing some reading or lesson planning or completing assignments. On most days we would start with input sessions on teaching and learning methodologies. This would be followed by teaching and observing my colleagues where we would put into practice what we had learnt up to that point of the course. Receiving and giving feedback was an important part of the course. Time was set aside where we would meet one of the tutors individually or as a group for guidance and further support. We would end the day with an input session. I had an endless amount of work to cover so, I would take a small break for dinner before completing the pending work.

24 hours a day were insufficient for the amount of work we had to cover but with help from the tutors and support from my colleagues, I was able to successfully complete the course.

What was the teaching practice like?
Honestly, I was not used to teaching online, and the first two weeks were a challenge. Completing lesson stages and the lesson on time, using the Break out Rooms on Zoom, planning lessons, were all new to me. Then the content, the lesson sequence, using Concept Checking Questions (CCQ) Instruction Checking Questions ICQs to make sure I was using the communicative approach were also a challenge. With feedback and support from the tutors, I was encouraged to work harder and incorporate the new teaching approaches in my teaching.

Our students were of different nationalities and age groups. They were hard working, friendly and surprisingly comfortable learning online.

What were the other people on the course like?
The biggest advantage of the 100% Online CELTA course was having people from different corners of the world. I am from Uganda and my fellow trainees were from Colombia, Switzerland, America, Romania, England, Ecuador, Armenia, New Zealand etc. The youngest person in the group was in her mid-twenties and the oldest was in his mid-fifties. Most were in our thirties. The majority of my colleagues had teaching experience. We bonded quite well as the course progressed and shared ideas.

What were your tutors like?
The tutors had lots of experience and were extremely supportive. I read through the tutors’ profiles before the course and I was impressed with, for example Sean Hayward’s more than 20 years’ of experience in the ELT industry. Nigel and Jon’s styles give you that deeper understanding of the content which culminates to the hands-on experience and confidence that I was looking for from the CELTA course.

What was the most challenging aspect of the course for you?
Zoom, being a video centered application, needs a steady internet connection which I never thought of from the beginning and this was a serious challenge at the start. Dan, the course director helped me understand the dynamics and I adjusted to the standards. The other challenges were using the different features of Zoom because I was not used to teaching online. Also the speed at which things moved (the pressure), and applying the communicative teaching methodology was not easy.

What has been the most rewarding aspect on the course for you?
I am now better able to use the communicative approach in language learning. Further, I now understand that learning online can be just effective as teaching and learning in a traditional face to face classroom.

Which one thing do you wish you had known before the course started?
I wish I had known how truly intense it was. Maybe I would have started some reading long before the course. When people who have done this course talk of the dedication and the concentration required, one doesn’t take it seriously until they are on board.

What’s your best piece of advice for someone thinking about taking the 100% Online CELTA course?
The challenge that stands out in this part of the world (Africa) I believe is internet connection. I would advise anyone planning to take the course to have high speed internet in place. In addition, I would recommend researching and reading about teaching in general and dedicating the entire four weeks to the course.

What are your plans now?
I would like to see myself improve my English teaching capabilities a lot more for example going for DELTA / DipTESOL or something higher. It is understandable that the more qualifications you have, the more the paycheck.

Who would you recommend the 100% Online CELTA course to?
I would recommend the CELTA to anyone who is interested in language teaching whether they have teaching experience or not. I have already recommended the course to my colleagues at the school I teach. The Cambridge CELTA is very important because it provides teachers of English as a Second Language with practical knowledge and experience.

Don’t miss this chance to gain your CELTA qualification 100% online. Complete the application form here and take the first step to becoming a certified CELTA teacher intensively over 4-weeks or 13-weeks.

How can I find out more about the 100% Online CELTA course?
Visit our main course pages for our 4-week or 13-week 100% Online CELTA course or complete the enquiry form below and we will be happy to help you.

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