FAQs – THE ENGLISH TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE

How much does a CertTESOL or CELT-P cost at the English Teacher Training College?

When you fill out an application, you are applying for a scholarship which covers your costs to participate on the course.  Prices for externally moderated courses are set by the individual provider so there is no limit for what each provider can charge.  Usually a four-week intensive CertTESOL course costs over €1800.  A look at our 2016 budget, will show that the value of a place on our course is over 10,000.  However, the course at the College only costs the Student Teacher a membership fee of €100.  We are able to offer scholarships to qualified candidates due to our generous sponsors and the way our our course is structured to ensure that the teaching practice in Austrian schools helps fund course fees.  This all leads back to the College’s mission as a non-profit to provide scholarships for quality teacher training to young people based solely on their academic merit and potential as cultural ambassadors. 

Where will I be living?

The college provides dorm-style living within walking distance of our campuses.  These dorms are same-gender shared bedrooms with communal kitchens and bathrooms.  The College’s CertTESOL course is currently taking place on our campuses in Vorchdorf near the lake town of Gmunden in Upper Austria and Pressbaum in Lower Austria near the capital city of Vienna. The CELT-P is currently located in Styria and Carinthia.

With whom will I be living?

You will be sharing the dorms only with other Student Teachers on your course. This allows you to form a close bond with your fellow Student Teachers, bringing the teacher development into the informal environment of the dorms and encourages you to work together to master our intense courses.

Do I need to be able to speak German?

No – you are not required to speak any German as part of the course. If you speak German, that’s brilliant! Of course it helps if you can understand what the children are trying to say and can help them along to say it in English. For anything you need related to the College we will have a German-speaking member of staff available to help you.

What will my day look like?

Teaching practice takes place in Austrian state schools. Schools in Austria generally begin around 7.45am and end around 1.30pm. The school day is typically 6 lessons of 50 minutes each, usually with 5 minute breaks between each lesson and longer breaks between the 2nd and 3rd, and 4th and 5th periods. On days where you have 90 mins to travel to a school, you will be leaving the dorms before 6am and returning after 5pm. This is an extreme example and there are also many commutes that are just 30 minutes to and from the teaching practice locations.

Some days you will be allotted professional development days on campus.  These days Student Teachers are be expected to be on campus and might be scheduled for the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) or adult learner sessions in the evening.

Example Days:

TEACHING PRACTICE DAY:

6:30am-7:30am Travel from Campus to School

7:30am-1:30pm Teaching Practice in schools

1:30pm-2:30pm Travel from School to Campus

2:30pm-3:30pm One-on-one coaching / supervised lesson planning / group feedback

3:30pm-4:30pm Input Session


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY:

8:00am Arrive on campus  

8:00am-10:00am Teaching practice with the Morning VLE

10:00am-1:30pm Reading / Prep Time

1:30pm-3:30pm Teaching practice with the Afternoon VLE

3:30pm-4:30pm Input Session

4:30pm-6:00pm Teaching practice with the Adult Learner group.

Is food provided with my scholarship?

Non-perishable food is stocked in the communal kitchen at the dormitory in the advance of Student Teacher arrival, but Student Teachers should bring money for food with them. The basic essential food which is provided does not allow for specific dietary needs; Student Teachers purchase their own food to supplement what the College provides.  Past Student Teachers have recommended the amount of €25 a week for food costs beyond the essentials provided by the College. In the past, Student Teachers have generally bought food communally every week in their teaching teams and have cooked together.

Will I need to drive myself to the teaching practice locations?

No. Your Course Tutors will pick you up at the campus and will drive you to the teaching practice locations. All course related travel within Austria is subsidized by our sponsors and is part of your scholarship.

How do we get between the campuses?

Most of the time you will be driven in an ABCi car by staff between the campuses. Due to logistics, you may on occasion be asked to travel by train between the campuses. For this reason any luggage you bring with you should be small and light enough to carry on a train.  You will be notified of any moves you will be making like this in advance.

What do I do if a fellow Student Teacher is not behaving appropriately in shared accommodation?

The College Welfare Team is here to take care of all Student Teacher welfare needs and they take all concerns into consideration. We also have a strict Student Teacher warning system in order to maintain a comfortable standard of living for all.

What do I do if I feel sick? What do I do if I have an out-of-hours emergency?

Our Welfare and HR staff begin their day at 6:30am. If you are ill please contact them and they will help get you to a doctor. There is always a member of management on call over the weekend to help solve any emergencies and their contact information can be found on the course calendar.

How much free time will I have?

Three Saturdays per course will be taken up to conduct moderations, extra training and to change locations. Aside from these three days, weekends and evenings are always free. Austria has 13 public holidays each year and they are free as well. During your final month with the English Teacher Training College, some of your afternoons may also be free.

FAQs – THE COURSES

How well recognised are the courses at the College?

The CertTESOL

Worldwide there are only two immediately recognizable preparatory certificates for ESL teachers, the Trinity CertTESOL and the Cambridge CELTA. The CertTESOL is accredited by Ofqual, the statutory body authorised to regulate qualifications in this field in England, and the (former) British Association of TESOL Qualifying Institutions in establishing a national framework of specifications. The CertTESOL is accepted as an initial qualification by the British Council; English language teaching organisations accredited by the Council; and in their own teaching operations outside the UK.

The TKT and the CELT-P

The CELT-P and the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) are offered by Cambridge English (a part of the University of Cambridge), arguably the world’s most well-known and well-respected provider of qualifications in EFL and TEFL.

How are the English Teacher Training College's courses different from other CertTESOL or CELT-P courses?

Our courses provide at least 29 hours of observed teaching practice hours (peer observations, observing an experienced course tutor, being observed yourself and self-observations via microteaching videos) and  over 220  teaching practice hours total (official observations, unofficial observations and unobserved lessons), more than any other CertTESOL or CELT-P course. Most of your teaching practice will be with the fastest growing market in the EFL industry: Young Learners, but you will have opportunities to have teaching practice with adult learners as well as distance learners on the College’s online Virtual Learning Platform, a fast growing part of teaching ESL around the world.

What is the relationship between the College’s in-house TEFL Certification and the Trinity CertTESOL / Cambridge CELT-P?

The College’s TEFL courses consists of three modules, the second of which contains either the Trinity preparatory certificate for teaching ESL called the CertTESOL OR the Cambridge CELT-P with the TKT: YL examination, as well as preparation for successful completion of the other four Cambridge TKT examinations, should student teachers choose to sit the exams in the future.

What is the difference between the Practical Module and the Theoretical Module of the TEFL course?

CertTESOL Course

In the Practical Module, student teachers are introduced to the  fundamentals  of communicative language teaching methodology and the in-house active learning teaching program. Student Teachers learn how to manage a classroom, communicate clearly and effectively, engage and motivate students and manage behaviour issues. By starting with a theoretical module Student Teachers have a unique opportunity to become used to the classroom environment before beginning the CertTESOL. This allows Student Teachers to focus on learning the more theoretical elements of teaching in ESL before applying these methods during the second module.

During the practical module student teachers follow Trinity College of London’s CertTESOL syllabus and have their 8 observed CertTESOL lessons in Austrian schools with Austrian pupils.

CELT-P Course

In the Practical module of the CELT-P course, student teachers are introduced to  communicative language teaching  methodology and the in-house  active learning  teaching program. Student teachers learn how to manage a young learner classroom, communicate clearly and effectively, engage and motivate students and manage behaviour issues. Student teachers are also introduced to game-based learning and techniques for creating an immersive language environment in their classrooms. Working with young learners poses particular challenges that one would not encounter when working with adults, and it is essential that practical techniques in the classroom are mastered before moving on to more universal EFL themes that will apply to working with all age groups in the second course module.

In the theoretical module, student teachers on the CELT-P course complete a series of written assignments, classroom observation tasks and practical and theoretical workshops to prepare them for successful completion of the Cambridge English CELT-P. The CELT-P itself is a blended learning course that combines classroom teaching and in-person input sessions with online study materials and is externally moderated via their online platform. This module culminates in the Student Teachers sitting the externally invigilated Cambridge TKT:YL examination and a final summative observation conducted by the College’s Director of Studies.

How is the CertTESOL assessed?

For the CertTESOL you will have to produce six written assignments during the course and these include a test of grammar, lexis and phonology. You will also have to complete a minimum of six hours assessed teaching practice with genuine learners of English. All the above will have to be completed to the recognised standard but you will be given lots of professional guidance and support.

How can the English Teacher Training College’s CertTESOL or CELT-P course showcase my teaching skills?

You will have official observations for both the externally moderated courses (CertTESOL / CELT-P) and in-house official observations done by Course Tutors.  These, along with a portfolio of lesson plans you prepare yourself, will help you when applying for jobs as future employers can follow your improvement throughout the course and see how you have developed.

When do the courses start?

Our courses run three times a year, starting in January (Winter), April (Spring) and August (Fall). Please see the “Course Dates” section for the latest intake dates.

What formal qualifications do I need to apply for the course?

Trinity College London states that all Student Teachers must possess sufficient educational qualifications to gain entry to higher education (i.e. university or equivalent), and that is also the entry requirement at the English Teacher Training College.

What is the average age of student teachers on the College's TEFL courses?

Most applicants are between the ages of 20 and 25, however as long as you are over the age of 18 for the TEFL course and 21 for the TEFL-YL course there are no restrictions on age and the college often accepts applications from mature students as well.

Do I need to have prior teaching experience for entry into the course?

The CertTESOL course is designed for those with little or, more usually, no experience of teaching English.

The college recommends that applicants to the CELT-P course have some experience teaching and preferably have a CertTESOL or CELTA.

What if I have a complaint about the course?

We hope your time with us doesn’t give you the need to make an official complaint, but the college does have an independent external Ombudsman who hears any complaints about the course or your assessment results and rules objectively.  If you are not satisfied with the handling of your complaint in Austria, Trinity College of London has their own complaint channels that can be followed.

Will I be qualified to teach children as well as adults or will I need an additional qualification?

CertTESOL: This course will give you experience with a range of learners from primary school to adult. The teaching of young learners, especially those aged between 8 and 12 years old, requires special methods, materials and means of assessment. Young learners’ motivation and attention are different to those of adults. The advantage in doing the CertTESOL as part of the College's TEFL-YL course is that you will also teach learners in this age group.

CELT-P: This course is aimed at those wanting to specialize in teaching young learners, although you will also have opportunities to gain teaching experience with adult learners. Experience gained through this teaching practice will help you diversify your skill set and give you a chance to see how teaching young learners differs from teaching adults.  You will be notified of this in advance via the course calendar and these adult learner lessons can take place on your professional development days.

Do I need a student visa to take part in the course?

As a rule, EU nationals do not require any special visa to take part in a short-term academic course in another EU country. The college would provide successful non-EU applicants with the documents required to acquire a student visa from an Austrian embassy or consulate in their country.

For further questions about Trinity College of London’s CertTESOL please see http://www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=201

For further questions about the CELTP, please see http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celt-p/