Read n’ respond: “Non-Native + CELTA + Pass B = Possible!”

Linkity-link to a blogpost published in May, 2012: Non-native + CELTA + Pass B = Possible!

^ I really enjoyed reading this eloquently candid post about the author’s experience being treated poorly as an NNST and ‘getting even’ with the experience, negative feelings and disappointment by rocking a Pass B on the CELTA.

I had only one NNS on my CELTA course. He was from Japan, a really nice and intelligent guy. He struggled somewhat processing everything from input sessions (didn’t we all tho?!?) and surely had to face similar fears and anxieties about being ‘other’ in a room full of NSs. I wish I had connected with him more on the course.

Because of the intensity of the course it may be that relationships and social bonds that form tend to follow the path of least resistance. You’re thrown together suddenly, spend all day (and sometimes all night) together and everything revolves around your training tasks, etc. Perhaps the *relative* complexity of intercultural social interactions sometimes makes way for whatever the most familiar, ‘efficient’ social harmonics is present. Does that make sense? In a nutshell: whereas someone like him might be the 1st person I seek out in other circumstances, on the course I might let myself gravitate towards peers I simply have the most in common with (more superficially) simply because of the demands of the program.

What do people out there think? Maybe someone should do a study on the interpersonal dynamics between CELTA trainees with special attention to the effects of the intense/high-demand environment on intercultural social interactions, etc (or maybe that’s mostly a muddle!).

If you are a non-native speaker, did you feel anxious about the CELTA? Did you feel as if any particular needs or issues were being ignored or papered over? Did you feel any kind of exclusion or disconnection socially amongst your cohort? Did it feel it any harder than usual to make the connections that you did and ‘fit in’ to the whole social ecology of the course?

Also, have you ever – like the author of the blogpost above – experienced discrimination as an NNST? If pre-CELTA, was obtaining your CELTA certificate in any way a response to the sense of professional insecurity that may have triggered?

A google search for further reading around the webs: –>”CELTA for non-native speakers”

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One Response to Read n’ respond: “Non-Native + CELTA + Pass B = Possible!”

  1. Zhenya says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post, and the questions you are asking. I am a NNS teacher/trainer myself, and took a kind of course to CELTA many years ago (in fact the course I took was CELTA, just with a different name). I guess to answer your questions about how it felt, I should add a bit more context: we were all NNST on the course, and 1 tutor on the course was a NNS herself (2 others were NS, but very open-minded and professional in all ways) Another detail: all of the course trainees (I actually prefer to say ‘participants’) had their MAs in either Applied Linguistics or TESOL from the local universities, and their/our English was about C1/C2 using the CEFR; many had had teaching experience, all considered teaching as their full-time career in the future. I am wondering if this all is similar to the example you described about that guy from Japan. I am also wondering if the questions asked (and also broadly discussed online) are about someone who is NNS and whose education background is not language or teaching, and who is planning to start teaching and hopes that CELTA, or any other intensive 4-5-week course can be helpful? In that case, can we really promise that a TT course can help? By ‘we’ I mean our teacher training industry overall. Thank you for stimulating me to think more about this!

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