Impressions in Bulletpoint


Quickly (free-association stylee) make a minimum 10-item list of things that have impressed you on your trainer-in-training CELTA course so far…

  • Effective language analysis is nigh impossible for most if not all of the trainees – scaffolded strategies for how to generate some really grounded, digestible ‘pedagogical knowledge’ of the lesson’s target language BEFORE spending hours and hours on lesson sequences seems an absolute necessity
  • ‘Effective’ above means inherently useful for (planning) teaching – they’re viewing it as a separate, almost unrelated task
  • A generous portion of humor is absolutely essential on this course (for both trainees and trainers)
  • These TP students are admirably resilient! as they endure those off-the-rails ‘below standard’ lessons 🙂
  • Trainees need training on a) photocopier use b) how to ‘read’ a textbook c) copyright d) some other little ‘random’ things that actually factor in to overall performance, perhaps, more than is obvious?
  • These trainers have developed an amazing ability to multi-task, esp. when it comes to producing consistent written feedback on trainee’s LPs to return after feedback
  • The NYC subway commute isn’t actually THAT bad – granted, I suspect, you know there’s a finite future date when you’ll stop doing it (hey! that’s not really about the CELTA itself!)
  • Something I’ll call ‘The Tyranny of Elicitation’ can take hold of trainees esp. when they don’t really *know* what it is they are attempting to teach – in this unfortunate state elicitation becomes the go-to move IN EVERY CASE
  • CCQs are for *checking* concepts, not teaching them & they aren’t always necessary. Are CCQs for teaching concepts? NO. ;P
  • ICQs are not always necessary <– Write that down. Are you doing to write that down? YES. ;P
  • The LP templates being used are leading the trainees towards ‘lesson aims’ that are not quite S.M.A.R.T. (yikes and ut oh!) or appropriately language-focused…and this, along with the lang. analysis weakness, is dragging down everything else in the planning process
  • The central task seems to be to skillfully scaffold the heaviest burdens they must pick up along the journey so that they don’t weigh down and slow down everything else – the question is, what really ARE the heaviest burdens (see #1 for my initial guess)

That’s about all I can muster. I’m exhausted! It may be is time to head off to my temporary ‘local’…

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