Monday, 4 June 2007

ALKA CELTA - for stomach cramps

Though pain in the neck is nearer the mark. I'm just close to finishing week two, which starts on a Wednesday and ends on a Tuesday. Welcome to the strange, introverted world of CELTA.

I'm writing this at 8.30 in the morning, which alone could account for the lack of style and panache in this missive. The fact is, I haven't had any time to think about writing. Any writer will surely agree that this is the major part of the battle where writing is the order of the day.

I haven't even really had the chance to get out and look at the city beyond the main square and the side-street bars where cheap beer and cheaper meat is on the menu. Though my impressions are good, they are merely first ones. Not a pretty state of affairs after two weeks.

And in the zany world of TEFL? Well, I have focussed on the learner, analysed her needs and decided she needs to work on her pronunciation. I've planned a few lessons in huge detail. That means about eight sides of A4 each, typed. I've had a ton of input sessions (that means lecture to you and I, but they don't want to call them that because it implies passive learning) which have been very interesting. I have spent about four hours watching Experienced Teachers, which really has been a burden to me.

The main issue for me is the scheduling. Start at 10.45, two two hour input seshes, an hour and a half for lunch, an hour and a half of pointless sitting around while other people have their lessons analysed, ten minutes for my own, up to three hours of teaching / watching others' lessons. Of course, my main bone to pick is with the four dead hours in the middle of the day. I'd like that back please.

After teaching / watching teaching there are usually feedback sessions which drag on past 7pm usually. They have also, incidentally, dragged all your will to be out of you with their huge time wasting format and pernickerty marking. Then you get home and fed by, say, nine pm and one can finally start ones homework.

Two and a half weeks left and my trip from China to England is definitely taking on a kind of mythical feel.

6 comments:

benjibopper said...

sounds like pedagogy of the oppressors. here's hoping you find time to think!

Between daisies said...

worst case scenario is....


....


.... just two weeks to hang on for. Wanna know the real bitch? I've got two good stories spinning round in my head but I know that if I start one I'll not finish my assignments.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Yeah, this sounds like heavy hit after heavy hit, to quote Tim Westwood.

Stick it out!

Between daisies said...

No worries - crossed the two week boundary this morning. Quite an easy weekend coming up, too. Public holiday tomorrow and a half day the day after.

Kaufman said...

I cannopt believe the extent of the hours you're mentioning. Without fingering through my old folders in the shed where I have a life-sized inflatable doll strapped from the rafters, I'd say we had the standard 9-5 deal in Cairns.

Three hours of teaching?!!! I hope that includes all the people from your 'sector' of the course and not only you. In my day it was a progressive increase from 20 mins to 30 mins then 40 or so mins (perhaps 50) for the last few, by which time most of use were actually dead.

Two weeks down is a great place to be mentally. As that poster of the cat once declared: Hang in there!

PS How's your lovely other half? Is she there with you? Send Email @ your earliest convenience(22nd of June?).

Between daisies said...

I'm sure I can mail you before that - I've got a backlog the size of a moderate pine, though.

The teaching is up to hours each at the moment. It went well though. Above standard for plan and teaching. Now, if I can only maintain that...