Online CELTA Testimonial from Cassandra Lewis

Taking the CELTA course to get qualified in teaching English as a foreign language has never been so easy, with many of our International House schools offering the Cambridge-certified course 100% online

By joining the online CELTA movement, you will be able to connect with teachers-in-training from around the world and take part in online teaching practice, which is still crucial in the current global situation. 

There is no difference in the final qualification of an online CELTA vs face-to-face, so by taking the CELTA online, you will be able to travel and teach abroad, or teach online from your own home. TEFL is a flexible, fulfilling and rewarding career.

Cassandra Lewis took the course online with IH Mexico in May this year. She gave her honest thoughts about her experience in a video below, or you can scroll on to read more about what she had to say. 

What was your overall impression of the course? 

It's good, I loved it. It was supportive enough for me to be able to achieve my goals. I was a little apprehensive of doing it online. But I was very supported by the staff at IH Mexico, which was great. So that is why I really liked the course. 

What was the part of the course that you enjoyed the most and/or benefited from the most? 

I think I've benefitted from the feedback at the end of the lessons the most. I also benefitted from being able to connect with the two other people that I worked with. I think that I might have liked more interaction with some of the other students that were on the course. But I got really lucky that I was able to connect well with the two people that I was working with for my teaching practice (TP). So that was great. And I really enjoyed that we got along and had the ability to ask each other questions and help each other out. 

And the feedback from the TP, so actually doing the work, I think was extremely beneficial for me to be able to gain confidence and know that things aren't perfect. But I was still able to accomplish certain things, learn my strengths, and learn what my challenges are, I think that was important. So I think that was the biggest benefit. 

What part of the course did I benefit or enjoyed the least?

The units. I like the units, I think the information is helpful. For me personally, there was so much going into my studying and trying to make sense sometimes of my TPs or my assignments that I would get a little behind. And some of the things in the units that needed to be done were very time consuming, for me personally. I think other people, it would have been a little bit easier for them. 

I feel like [International House] has it staged in a way that makes sense for us. So the first four weeks were pretty mellow. You're getting into the units slowly and then all of a sudden, it starts to get a little bit faster and faster and faster. And I think that's done on purpose, potentially not overwhelm us. So I like it. I think that the units come at the right times, you know, sometimes before the lessons, I got a little behind at the end, so I wasn't necessarily having them correspond as perfectly as I think they were designed to. But I don't know how I would want that shifted. I would personally have loved actual classes online with teachers, so I could have asked questions and had connections in the moment, which I think is also why I gained so much from the feedback sessions where I was able to actually talk and interact. I also really liked watching my other teachers. I benefitted a lot from that too, and watching the professional teachers that we have in the units to watch - those were also really helpful. 

And so that would be my suggestion would be to have a class, maybe even just a couple of them sprinkled throughout the course, I think would have been really helpful. 

Did the content input units in the course meet your expectations? 

It all met my expectations because I didn't have any. I was worst case scenario, I would have felt stranded and too embarrassed or unable to ask questions or had tutors that were not there, not helpful. Everybody was super kind, from the students to the tutors to everybody and I always felt like I had a platform or a place to go if I was feeling overwhelmed or confused or needed to ask questions, which I did often. Sometimes, however, I did get overwhelmed and didn't ask questions because I couldn't necessarily figure out in my own mind how to create a cohesive question that made sense, like sometimes I was lost to a point where I didn't even know where to begin. And that happened to me a few times with the TPs. But I was able to eventually figure it out, like once something kind of clicked for me. So I think on my own end, I probably could have asked more questions, and I think that would have been more beneficial for me. But that's on me. You guys [IH Mexico] were always there and available for me to do it.

Did the teaching practice, guided lesson planning, and feedback on the course meet your expectations?

Yes, it did. All of that was fantastic, Scary, necessary, and great. You know, of course, it's not perfect. 45 minutes [of TP] was really, really hard. There was a fear that I had at the beginning, but the trainers were able to see the bigger picture and see the strengths that we had through what we perceived to be a terrible lesson or terrible pieces of the lesson. The trainers were able to see the gems inside of it, which was really confidence building for me and my other trainees. I think we all handled feedback very well and I had nothing but respect for the whole staff there and everybody was really helpful. 

The students were so great. It made it really easy and it was so nice to be able to connect with them after the first TP. I think TP one and TP five were the scariest, just because it was new and you weren't 100% sure what to expect.

Other than that, it worked. It worked great. In those 45 minutes sections and being able to try all of the different lessons, it's the basis. So here's a little bit of this, try to do what you can in these pieces. You know, I didn't do the best that I could do, I mean I did great with where I was at. I learned a little bit about that during this course as well, to go a little easier on myself and see some of my positive attributes in relation to what the task was at hand. You know, I've never taught before - my personal experience going into it where I was, like having English as my first language and not knowing much about grammar, so I know what I need to do, where I need to go from here because of the trainers. Thank you. 

What advice would you give a future CELTA 100% online candidate?

Honestly, I would totally recommend anyone whose first language is English to buy a grammar book beforehand and studying, for sure. That would have, I think, helped me a lot. There are some books to read once you are excited about teaching English. I think they're kind of fun to read and I really have enjoyed learning about English and learning about that experience. Be up for an adventure. I think it is designed to challenge you, but you will be supported. 

So I say go for it. Just go for it. You will feel amazing at the end of it.

Thank you guys very much. Appreciate it.

Find out more about the 100% Online CELTA, including course dates and prices, here