Unprecedented circumstances have “temporarily” brought about monumental changes to our life, as we knew it. Indeed, millions of people expect and hope that sooner or later we will go back to the way we were before it all started. And although this may be true where social relations, enjoyment and travelling are concerned, I can’t help feeling that, at the end of this world crisis, education will have received a ground-shaking tremor.
No, it’s not my intention to make a prophesy of doom! Quite the opposite actually!
I believe that this will have been the kind of eye-opening shake, which clears stagnating waters, allows talent to surface and provides new opportunities for those who are poised to grasp them.
From day one of the school closure in Greece hundreds, maybe thousands, of ELT practitioners resolved to bite the bullet and get out there grafting away in an attempt to provide online lessons to their students. Some may have been more successful than others. Some students may have been more receptive than others. Some may have lacked the proper equipment or IT skills. Yet, they did their best, they attended courses and webinars kindly provided by the ELT associations and organisations, and eventually - through adapting and adopting - they have acquired a new skill..
By Michael Anetopoulos
On the other hand, our learners and their parents have had the chance to get a taste of an alternative learning process. I don’t wish to be read wrong, but I can’t help feeling that this learning method will be increasingly sought by many learners in the not too distant future. And although I would be ready to stand by those voices asserting the benefits of real face-to-face classroom teaching, I believe that this is the start of an avalanche that can’t be stopped, and hence there will be nothing to stop me from going with the approaching tide of online education.
The question is “how does CELTA fit with all this”.
Well, all one needs to do is to look at the wider picture. Online teaching has no limits – no locality boundaries – such as town, area or neighbourhood. Organised language schools can sell anywhere nationally or internationally, while language teachers can get a teaching job with an online language-course provider irrespective of where it may be based. Similarly, a foreign language teacher would be able to get employment with such a business based in Greece.
Work for such international concerns will be plentiful, but it will require proper international teaching qualifications. Qualifications sought by most schools and students everywhere in the world. Certificates such as the Cambridge CELTA, which coupled with a course on the necessary skills and techniques of online teaching, will make one’s application for such distance employment successful.
Though most readers would probably know it, I am compelled to remind that CELTA stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching, and it is the first Cambridge teacher training qualification for teaching English as a second or foreign language.
In the light of the current situation, Cambridge has reacted swiftly and responsibly by approving the 100% online provision of CELTA courses for the period of this international lock-down. If one takes into account that most of us have plenty of time to fill at home, an online CELTA course during this lock-down period could prove to be worthwhile, both in terms of productive engagement and cost-effectiveness.
I would like to encourage all colleagues out there to utilize their time productively by arming themselves with the skills to face these new challenges in education and make sure they are ready to navigate towards a successful career in language coaching.
QLS will endeavour to organise such courses. I would urge the readers to seek relevant information on our site at www.celtagreece.gr, and just imagine that you could be one of those teachers who will surface from this unprecedented turmoil being a CELTA holder.