Even though I promised to give an update on Boston this past Sunday, I wasn’t feeling very inspired and didn’t have that much to write about either. Today on the other hand…
Today was the first day of my CELTA course and it is going to be a busy four weeks. For those of you wondering what CELTA is actually, it is short for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults and with this certificate I can give English lessons to people whose first language is not English, such as students that want to take an international English language course but also immigrants and refugees that have no (or little) knowledge of English. It is a very practical course and deemed very good by pretty much anyone in the world of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Maybe it’s because the course is organized by the University of Cambridge!
The impression that I have of the course after the first day is that it’s going to be a lot of work. Today we met the class we (me and three fellow students) will be teaching starting tomorrow. The level of the class is pre-intermediate, so they have some knowledge of English but not a lot. All of them are adults living in the US and there are probably two or three (out of 18) students younger than me! The good thing is that they are all motivated to learn English, which is a nice change compared to some of the teenagers I had to teach in summer camps in Belgium. After two weeks we switch with the other four students who are teaching the upper-intermediate level.
My day schedule is the following: in the morning we get two input sessions (where we are taught how to teach) and guided lesson planning, in which the teacher helps us how to make a lesson plan. Then in the afternoon we teach our students (mostly 40 minute lessons), have feedback about that lesson from our teacher and peers and we also get an hour of individual lesson preparation for our next lesson. As the course progresses we get less and less help preparing the lessons and by the end of the course we will be able to prepare our lessons independently.
Apart from teaching we also have to write four essays on a certain subject between 750 and 1000 words. That is overall pretty manageable but in combination with all of the preparation for class it’s going to be really busy these next four weeks.
For those who want to know about this subject, take a look on the following website: http://www.teachinghouse.com/tesol/the-celta-course and also take a look on the subjects in the left sidebar.
But now a bit more about Boston as a city. It is a very nice city with a good atmosphere, not as touristic as NY and that is what I like about it.
Even though there are a lot of Starbucks, there are even more !
You can’t walk a 100 feet without spotting one. One the street, in subway stations, sometimes even crammed in a corner in the supermarket. Thank god I’m not a big fan of donuts, or it would cost me! (Moneywise AND healthwise).
The course is at Faneuil Hall, a very nice square in the middle of the city, close to a lot of shops and restaurants. A couple of pictures:
I know it’s not much, but I promise to add some more these next couple of days!
I don’t live in the city of Boston but in a suburb thirty minutes away, Roslindale. I am renting a room in a house where a couple lives with her mother and five other people who are renting a room. Most of them are from Asia so they are not very talkative but since last weekend there is a German (Stefan) living in the room next to me and with him I talk when we see each other. Everyone is pretty private and stays in their room at night, but luckily I have plenty human interaction with my fellow students on the course to not go completely crazy.
Roslindale is a very nice town, every Saturday morning there is a farmer’s market where you can buy vegetables, tea, herbs, cookies and that sort of things. It’s a pretty nice market. Everyone here has a device on their smartphone which allows you to pay with credit card which is nice seeing as I have to pay $5 everytime I want to take out money.
To finish this update: the weather. The past week temperatures were pretty high (around 90ºF) but I think this week it will start getting colder. This morning it was around 70ºF and windy and for tomorrow they only predict 65ºF. Seeing as I have to walk everyday for twenty minutes to the train station I will be able to put my winter jacket to good use! As long as it’s not as bad as last winter (when Boston had over a 100 feet in snow) I think I will be able to survive the cold. I am well prepared anyways!
This is it for now, I will upload some more pictures when my room is less messy 🙂
Greetings from Boston!