Cambridge CELT-P Course

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Are you an English speaker with an interest in working with children and looking to start a career in English teaching? Teach, study and travel in beautiful Austria with a non-profit organisation while earning an internationally recognised TEFL qualification! As a Student Teacher on either our Cambridge CELT-P course, you will travel together with your teaching practice group while learning to teach English as a foreign language to young learners. Student Teachers gain over 220 hours of teaching experience in more than twenty different schools across Austria, while experiencing the rich culture of a country with one of the highest standards of living!

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7.67 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 50%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 16.67%
  • Benefits 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 8.2
  • Facilities 9.8
  • Safety 9.6
  • Instruction 1
  • Support 1
  • Value 4
  • Academic Rigor 3
  • Job Assistance 1
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

A Terrible, Terrible Experience

I really, really regret taking this course and I would definitely recommend anyone thinking about taking this to steer clear. When I came, I was expecting hard work, very early starts, long drives, and teaching experience with lots of different schools: this was all true, but not the problem. What was the problem?

First, if I had known *where* the "course" would be taking place, I would never have come. It's not in Graz, or even in Wolfsberg; it's in a tiny, tiny town, with a paper factory that imbues the environment with the very, very strong smell of pee. It's an hour's walk from the nearest town, and there's no public transport at all on weekends. There's one very expensive shop, and nothing to do at all - and they definitely don't provide "social" or "cultural" events like they say they do!

Secondly, the "course" was a joke. We did not have a course tutor for the entire four months - the academic director came down as often as he could (he's now left due to the complete incompetence of the organisation) but of course he was spread between the other sites. For the first few weeks we had input sessions and some guidance but after that we were entirely left to your own devices - and if you have questions about the online course, or the lesson plans you were supposed to write, or the lessons you're teaching - nobody will reply to your questions, and if you have problems - for example, I had one young student throw himself against a wall and threaten to kill me - good luck getting any help or support!!

There are almost no resources (there is a printer and one computer!). The internet is down half the time. There's almost nowhere quiet to work. The kitchen is tiny. The house is filthy and falling apart.

Thirdly, nobody cares about you or will lift a finger to help you. You need to go to the hospital over an hour away and get your ear drum punctured? Happened to one of the people on our course - she had to walk there and back on her own, dizzy and ill. I was really allergic to the room they put me in - struggling to breathe kind of allergic - and despite there being perfectly good rooms that nobody was using it took more than a week for them to move me. After they did allow me to move, there was no light in the room they moved me to, so they promised me they'd bring a lamp. And promised me, and promised me - I brought it up quite a few times, getting up at 5am in pitch black winter is hard, and much much harder when you have no light in your room! They never brought me one.

Those are just a few examples of the times they tell you one thing and then do something else, don't tell you, or just 'forget about it' - they act like you're just there to annoy them, not volunteers putting a good deal of time and effort into their program! They promised me I could do the TKTs and forgot all about it, despite me telling them multiple times, at the interview and while I was there - and they didn't bother. One of my fellow students was dyslexic, and despite her telling them and showing them proof, they didn't bother to confirm with the exam center so she could have extra time. They would regularly not tell you what was happening sometimes until late the night before - not ideal when you're getting up at five and they send you an email at 11pm or sometimes later telling you what time you have to be at the car.

With some exceptions, the staff are deeply, deeply unorganised - sending me passive aggressive notes about why I wasn't on the "Virtual Classroom" when they'd scheduled me to be at a school (you can't do both at the same time) - condescending and rude. Everybody in my course expressed their unhappiness with aspects of it - the academic director going to far as to collect as a survey to give to the boss as to what problems we had - and nothing ever changed. The "good" staff were dropping like flies - pretty much everyone was quitting while we were there - and trying to do multiple people's jobs. Nothing was ever done on time - our "food delivery" was usually weeks late and we never got the last one. However, every time they would promise us we'd get it on this date - no, just a couple of days later - okay, next week for sure - just a few more days! Whoever you bring a problem up with, it's not their responsibility and they can't help you - and whoever is is on holiday or ill or just not responding to their emails. Scheduling is a mess - some students got lots of days off and some got none. Me and and one other student teacher had to our final assessments - which decides whether you pass the course or not - with a class we'd never met before.

The way ABCi is run is completely at odds with both the CELT-P and the TESOL qualifications as well - both qualifications are supposed to be with classes you have over a period of time, and the ABCi programming has no resemblance to the lesson plans Cambridge or Trinity expect.

Not to mention, in four months, you are not allowed one single day off! If you were getting paid it would be illegal in Austria (and the UK).

I could go on and on - but suffice to say, pretty much everything they could do badly they do. Do NOT go there. It's not worth it, even for a "free" qualification.

1 person found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

This is a great way to get practical training

I joined the English Teacher Training College of Austria in December 2015. I worked for the now obsolete ABCi Volunteering Program in 2013 as a paid teacher. I was amazed at how much the organization had grown and how professional it had become. It's a non-profit started by Mr. Carle and Mr. Stone with the intentions of bringing native speakers into Austrian classrooms at very low costs to Austrians, while not taking advantage of the native speakers. I've worked in Austrian schools and businesses all over Austria and know how hard it is to find a teaching job that.

a) employs you as a salaried member of staff (including benefits)
b) believes in professional development and
c) isn't just out to get the most money from the students as possible.

Back in 2013 they had volunteers come over for 3 months and they got to see Austria while teaching. They then soon realized that the quality of teaching could be better and that it would be good to have a TEFL certificate to give the teachers.

Since 2013 they have implemented feedback from volunteers, staff and student teachers and they take feedback seriously.

There are no longer volunteer positions. Each native speaker is here on a course and the time they are in Austrian schools counts towards their certificate. I did a Deutsch als Fremdsprache certificate at the University of Graz where the hours were long, but only had 3 hours of observed teaching practice with students (not simulating with fellow student teachers).

This last course (Spring 2016) we were able to partner with Cambridge and are offering their CELT-P certificate. This is for people interested in teaching young learners. It is currently based out of Graz (my personal favorite city in Austria).

We have taken in a lot of feedback from previous courses and as the CELTP integrates online learning using the Cambridge VLE as well as face to face sessions, most of the time Student Teachers are finished by 2:30 with time in the afternoon to do the online course work.

I must admit that all members of staff are on a secret mission to "convert" teachers into active learning activists and we all believe in the mission of bringing education to all students / student teachers regardless of their economic background (English to Austrian school children in all schools and qualified training to those wishing to make EFL teaching their career).

The English Teacher Training College is NOT for those who just want to have fun and drink beer in the alps it is for those who are seriously considering making the move into the EFL career.

There are early starts (as teaching practice takes place within Austrian schools), coursework that is held to a high standard (please use references and answer all prompts), and great life experiences. Our graduates have gone on to work for private schools across the world, publishing houses in Italy and many other EFL jobs. We have a job placement program with centers emailing us to let them know when we have a fresh batch of graduates as ours are very well equipped to the real life of an EFL teacher.

1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Hard work but well worth it

If your learning style is more laid back or slow, this is probably not for you. The College packs a tonne of content and practical training into the course. By the end of it all, you'll probably be surprised by how much you've managed to pick up in just 3 months. You're launched straight into the course on the first day with First Aid training and the Unknown Foreign Language Unit. The tutor for the UFL walks into the classroom and instantly starts running off a spiel in a foreign language (they don't even tell you beforehand what the language will be!). It starts off quite confusing but this is great actually because it gives you a lot of insight into how the students in the schools will feel when we walk into their classroom and start speaking English at them. It reminds you how important other forms of communication are like body language. The teacher plays games with the students that will be used in the classroom during practical hours (this part is really fun!). It definitely starts things off on an exciting note and sets the tone for the rest of the course: it's gonna require lots of energy, enthusiasm and concentration, but you've feel like you've really learned something by the end of it all.

What would you improve about this program?
Some of the classrooms are a little cramped, particularly at the beginning of the course before the smaller groups are divided up. This doesn't pose too much of a problem. It's just a little uncomfortable when the students need to get up and be active. Make sure during these sessions to open a window!
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

High quality course - for zero cost!

I'm a Senior Teacher on this course and I have been blown away by the quality of trainee teachers as they come to the end of their 4 month placement here in Austria.
I was already impressed by this group initially but seeing how much they have improved with their teaching skills in a matter of months, is quite a proud moment for my colleagues and I because we see the results in the quality of the course and our implementation of it.
Yes there was a heavy workload at the beginning of the last course, but this has been adapted for the winter course, so that trainees can become familiar with the basics before getting theory heavy assignments given to them.
Yes the mornings are early and trainees need to be flexible, but we are a small NPO that works with tens of thousands of Austrian school children every year, so obviously the logistics of this can be hugely difficult to manage. But this aspect is forever being improved so that trainees and staff alike are informed many weeks in advance of schedules and special projects etc.
And yes, the active learning approach that we introduce to our students can be tiring when you are doing activities and playing sports and singing songs. But the personal and professional rewards from spending such a huge amount of hours IN THE CLASSROOM are invaluable. No other course I know of can provide trainee teachers with so many practical hours in a classroom - over 300 hours in the 3 month placement and approximately 400 hours in the 4 month placement. With approximately 40 of these hours observed, this leads to a huge amount of practical experience accompanied by detailed feedback from Senior Teachers and peers.
And as for spending all of that time in the company of (mostly) angelic Austrian school kids, that's just plainly good for the head and heart.

1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Course value towards employability

As a Senior Teacher for this course I believe that it offers a real advantage to those wishing to gain ESL teaching employment upon completion. The idea behind the course design is to offer real practical experience for trainee teachers and embed essential teacher skills that are transferable to a variety of teaching environments. Units have been carefully selected and designed to create a well rounded 360 degree teacher with sufficient 'in class' experience. The practical component of the course not only ensures that the trainee has constructive feedback from experienced teachers and peers; but also has the opportunity to trial activities and lesson plans without the pressure of formal observations. This is something I feel is essential for teachers to find their own style and delivery. As well as the important 'trial and error' with self reflection.

1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Unique Program and Unique Teaching Opportunities

As a tutor on this intermediate TEFL-YL course I can say that it has been a rewarding experience working with so many talented trainee teachers. The course is designed for those with a background in working with children or an initial qualification in language teaching. The focus of the course is the practice of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and Task-Based Learning (TBL) with young learners. Trainee teachers who take part in this course are provided with initial training to learn how to manage a classroom, motivate young learners, deal with behaviour issues and create immersion environments for their students. Following this practical component of the course that is heavily focused on teaching skills, trainees learn how to design activities and plan lessons within the CLT and TBL frameworks. This experience helps trainees prepare for successful completion of the Cambridge Teacher Knowledge Test (TKT), which is a comprehensive diagnostics test that provides candidates with an internationally recognised certification of their content knowledge of English language teaching.

The course can be demanding, but the teaching experience is second to none. The demands of the teaching practice aspect of the course ensure that, unlike other courses, a graduate can teach and teach well. As a course tutor, it has been extremely rewarding to be involved in the professional development of past trainees and see them go on to future teaching positions as confident and capable language teachers.

1 person found this review helpful.