Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CELTA in Planet EDU, Gurgoan !!!

I really didn't have any idea about the CELTA.. I wanted to do a TEFL course and when googled, "The CELTA" was one course suggested by almost 70% people. So what's this? The CELTA(Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)  is an initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience and is one of the most widely taken qualifications of its kind. This attracted me, and also it is certified by CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY. Obviously it would attract, right? I started exploring even the minute details about the CELTA. Before that I should say something, I am basically an Engineer :) but not really a good one though. Completed my Engineering last year (2011) but after completion I always wanted to teach, so took a job, where I taught English and Computers. Most of my near and dear ones laughed or worried at my decision. I know myself, why study the bloody Engineering course so hard and then take up an English teacher job. But you know what, I just want to be happy at least in my career ;) So already I am a teacher ( in a local institute) so whats the need for the CELTA? Yes, if I become a CELTA qualified Trainer, everyone said that I would be preferred more likely by the paymasters :)

Alright, when I googled, I came to know that, British Council and Planet EDU are the two institutes in India offering this course. I wanted to do this course ASAP, Planet EDU offered the course in the month of August itself + the course fee with the accommodation costed 1,27000 INR only (ONLY man!!) British Council is a well known organisation, but the course fee itself costed 1,17000/- so my Indian brain told, certificate matters and not the institute and I opted Planet EDU. There are few other reasons too, I will copy and past their e-mail sent to me, to attract me :) Here it is,

 Dear Ms. Bhuvana,
Greetings from Planet EDU – Extralearn, authorised centre for the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations !
With reference to our telephone conversation this morning please find below the letter regarding CELTA.
Teaching English to speakers of other languages can be a highly rewarding career, offering you the chance to live and work abroad. You will need an internationally recognised teaching qualification, Cambridge Certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages (CELTA) is an internationally recognised qualification which enables successful candidates to work in institutions world-wide. It is awarded by the University of Cambridge and is a widely respected qualification.
Over 10,000 people successfully complete a CELTA course each year.
'TEFL' or 'TESOL' are terms often used to describe qualifications for English Language teachers. CELTA, the best known and most widely taken initial TESOL/TEFL qualification of its kind in the world, was previously known as CTEFLA and the 'RSA certificate'.
CELTA sharpens your teaching practice, confirms your ability, and may even lead to internal promotion or a better teaching job.
Some of the key benefits of CELTA are:
ü  Accredited by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation), UK government regulator at the Level 5 of Qualification & Credit Framework (QCF).
ü  Globally, one of the most widely taken qualifications of its kind, recognized by schools, the voluntary sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and educational institutions.
ü  Gives the opportunity for becoming examiners of Cambridge ESOL examinations, trainers, master trainers, assistant tutors and master tutors for the CELTA course itself.
ü  Open up a whole new world of exciting English language teaching opportunities
ü  Gain the skills to make it easy to get a teaching job anywhere in the world and greater earning opportunities.
ü  Little or no previous teaching experience required & accepted
ü  First class career development for English language teachers.
CELTA is a course for teachers with no or little experience in teaching - however, even more experienced ones can benefit from it, since it's the perfect combination of theory (through input sessions) and practice (through teaching practice sessions and assignments).
Course Attractions :-  
v  Course Dates: 30th July to 24th August 2012
v  Special Fee:
o   Regular course fee Rs. 85000 + Service Tax
o   Packaged fee Rs. 1,07,000 with accommodation (including service tax). Accommodation also includes breakfast and dinner
v  Fee payable in installments
v  A TABLET for the best participant of the batch
v  Venue in Gurgaon – The Millennium City, just 15 Km from Delhi.
v  1 Free ticket of Zangoora – Live bollywood musical show in Kingdom of Dreams (Copper/Silver Class for a Weekend) for every participant.
v   4 week full time residential programme
v  1 Complimentary subscription for Cambridge English Teacher for 1 year worth £28
v  International Faculties (ACT & MCT)

Well, now you know why I chose Planet EDU, Gurgoan. I am a south Indian, so I thought it is going to be a different experience there. So my journey started on July 28th from my native. The course dates were from July 30th to Aug 24th 2012. I opted train travel. So I took train. I got a friend in train, who has got a job in New Delhi and she's an English teacher with M.A. in English (I was envious after hearing that but that's ok, she is my friend now) So we had long conversations disturbing our other train mates which we actually enjoyed (Silly girls :) ) The food in train tasted like waste matter ;) but had no choice but to fill my tummy with something. I had all junk foods like Lays, chocolates, biscuits etc. (I have to survive na :) ) 36 hours travel... OMG.. I reached New Delhi, Nizamuddin station.

In the station everybody looked like kidnappers to me since I was alone(Movies effect). I know am terribly wrong because no stupid would do that to me. I went to the taxi zone and all the drivers demanded to take their taxi and there came my protector, a man with his wife and children asked me to accompany them in the taxi and share the money charged. I said ok and called my brother in Delhi to inform my situation. We started from the station and on the way we picked up our brother. I reached Gurgoan. My brother accompanied me till Gurgoan from Delhi. So I was safe now, in a hotel room in Gurgoan. I was so damn tired and wanted to sleep immediately, but I managed to put in 30 movies (English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil movies) into my laptop from my brother's hard disk. I thought I'll spend my time usefully in leisure hours.:)

I was waiting for my room mate. I was thrilled. New place, new course, and new room mate. The room was pretty good with TV,AC, wardrobe etc. I gotta call from my room mate. She called me from reception. Her name was Anitha, I asked her to come to the room and see it. She was from Kerala, I thought wow! South Indian!! I thought we would patch up easily and told her the same. There came Anitha with her cousins. She looked a bit elderly to me, (Maybe she is in her late 30's and I am in early 20's.. thats why she looked old to me but not literally)  Her cousins are put up in Gurgoan itself. They saw the room and with a big grim they told its a spacious room. Anitha told that she would come the next day morning and join me and left immediately. My brother also left. I was alone and exhausted, so slept nicely. Next day morning, got up by 8, course starts at 10 am.

So in a hurry-burry, I searched for my tooth brush and found that I never brought one :( So used my figers as tooth brush, thank God, I had soap._ Took bath quickly and I got a call from reception from another CELTA mate. She was Rashmi from Mumbai. She told she's ready and we can go together to the institute. So I went down to the reception and found Anitha too with Rashmi. Anitha told that she preferred to stay with Rashmi as they stayed in the ground floor room. Oh! I was bit disappointed to know that. So Anitha is not my room mate.  The receptionist told that some Gujarati lady will accommodate in my room soon. I thought everything is for good.

Then we 3 left to the institute with Anitha's cousin in their car. We reached the institute. OMG! That was a huge building named PARK CENTRA and our institute was in the third floor. We entered together into Planet EDU. We were asked to sit in the lobby by the security guard. The place was neat and well-planned. It looked exactly like a corporate office. (Expensive corporate office ;) ) I was bit nervous when I saw my fellow CELTA mates. All were elder than me. We were only 6 students. So here we go, my first impression on my CELTA mates.

Deepa -- Project Director. She set up schools. I think she is around 55 years old and oldest in my batch. She wore spectacles and had a book in her hand. My first impression was, oh! This lady is going to beat us all down with her experience.
Sonia -- Teacher and counselor in a local school. She had a tough look and exactly resembled my High school Hindi teacher. I thought she must be a strict teacher. She gave stern looks and I was bit scared.
Anitha -- We know her already, right. She has her own institute in Kerala. She teaches IELTS/TOEFL and it seems she has taken many training courses prior and has a sound English knowledge.
Rashmi -- She is basically from Mumbai, who works in Kuwait. She has almost 7 or 8 years of experience it seems.
Sudha -- She looked young, but came to know she is 36 years (I was shocked) and one good news is her roots are from Chennai. Her parents are Tamilians but Sudha was born and brought up in Gurgoan.

So we were all eagerly waiting for the beginning of the CELTA!

My tutors arrived, our Master course Tutor was Mr.Rob Wood and Assistant Course Tutor was Ms.Penny Jones. We also had a In-Course Tutor, Payal Mathur.
My first impression was,

Rob Wood -- He should be in his late 60's. He seemed to be nice.
Penny Jones -- She should be in her late 60's. She seemed a bit tough because she never smiled.
Payal Mathur -- She was pretty. She seemed to be very friendly.

Our CELTA began with introduction of each other's names by throwing a paper ball. Ah! That's a game to introduce each other and to become familiar with our batch mates names. Here I should mention about our Asst. Course Tutor, Penny. She never smiled. My first impression was, Oh! Dear God.. Please help me! Rob seemed to be a jovial person.


No comments: