Monthly Archives

August 2018

CELTA at ILSC: Meet the Trainers (Part 1)

Quality training begins with quality trainers, and the CELTA program at ILSC offers a crack team to guide trainees through the rigours — and surprising delights — of CELTA.

Christopher Cooke is the lead coordinator for CELTA at ILSC, manages the intensive 4-week course and oversees the online and part-time CELTA programs.

Get to know… Christopher Cooke

The fearless leader of ILSC’s CELTA program

Q: How/Why did you get into ESL teaching?

For very practical reasons; I thought it would enable me to work and live in Italy – which is exactly what happened.

I had never taught before taking the CELTA. After completing the program, I taught general English to adults and younger learners in Italy. I also taught one-to-one and worked part-time teaching legal English at a university in Rome.

That CELTA Life

Q: How did you break into the rockstar world of CELTA?

A few years post-CELTA I decided that I wanted to further develop as a teacher, so I took the DELTA program. I worked in a school that offered the CELTA and I aspired to become a CELTA trainer and to add variety to my working schedule. Initially, I taught both general English and the CELTA which was a great balance. As a trainer, it’s good to be reminded of the reality and the challenges of the classroom.

Q: What does an average day in the CELTA department look like for you?

I am the Director of CELTA training for North America, so my role involves marketing our four-week and part-time CELTA programs in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as our online program.

Q: What’s the skill most CELTA trainees need to work on?

Every trainee is unique, but I think most CELTA grads find that language awareness, i.e. researching grammar and vocabulary, is a skill that continues to evolve as they start teaching their own students. Having a good grammar reference book and putting in the time certainly pays off.

Personal Colour

Q: What is the one grammar mistake that makes your blood boil?

“If I would of known, I wouldn’t of said anything,” closely followed by, “There are less people than last time.”

Q: What is your favourite English word? (Bonus points if it’s rutabaga)

‘Munted’ as in, “My car’s totally munted. I had to take the bus.” New Zealand-speak for ‘broken.’

Q: What is one grammar mistake you can’t stop making?

I don’t make none.

Q: What is your favourite thing about teaching CELTA?

Introducing others to a profession that I have found so rewarding and that has allowed me to travel and meet people of such varied backgrounds.

Next Up

Get to know the rest of the CELTA team at ILSC-Montreal in interviews with James Meanwell and Breana Sproul.


Does teaching English to adult learners sound like an adventure you can see yourself taking? ILSC offers the Cambridge CELTA as an intensive 4-week program, a part-time 11-week program, and a flexible online format.

August 8, 2018

CELTA for Recent Graduates

Life after university doesn’t have a syllabus. It also doesn’t have a grading rubric to let you know when you’re nailing this thing called life, and while life post-graduation can be scary, it’s full of a wonderful resource: possibility.

A world of possibilities

Traveling the world after university is a popular trope but is often more complicated than it appears. Do you have the savings to galavant around the globe (even on the cheap) or the language skills to put your major to work for you in South Korea or Germany? The good news is you don’t need to, not with CELTA.

CELTA is the University of Cambridge’s highly respected Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults and is the most recognized teaching certificate internationally. With CELTA, the whole world opens up with opportunities from Sao Paulo to Shanghai and everywhere in between.

The CELTA Course

Whether or not you’ve already picked out a destination for your English-teaching adventure, it won’t take long before you’re ready to leave for foreign shores.

CELTA is offered in a variety of formats and covers five essential language teaching and learning topics. Theory-based input sessions with experienced teacher trainers are combined with practical teaching practice—with real students—to ensure you know what you’re doing and how to do it. There’s no preparation for teaching quite like teaching under the watchful eye of practiced instructors.

The intensive nature of the course ensures that your knowledge of how to teach English will soon catch up to your knowledge of where you want to teach.

More than a way to travel

The time you spend teaching overseas with your CELTA isn’t just a means to exploring the world; it can also be an investment in your future.

Working overseas confers a variety of ‘soft skills’ that are increasingly sought after in workplaces back home and abroad. Experience in cross-cultural communication, resourcefulness, and creativity are just some of the skills you’re likely to walk away with. The ability to navigate a variety of administrative and professional bureaucracies overseas is experience not easily ignored by future employers.

Whether your goals are long-term or short-term, putting a CELTA certificate to work teaching abroad can pay off—and pay down student loans, too.

What are you waiting for?

English language teaching remains an evergreen employment opportunity throughout the world, and not always where it’s most expected. China and South Korea draw many teachers, but the best jobs go to the most qualified candidates and a CELTA certificate can help get your name to the top of the pile. Of course there’s also Taiwan, Japan and the growing southeast asian markets of Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines for those looking for a different experience.

Don’t forget about teaching in the Middle-East, South America, and Europe. There’s potential the world over and plenty of options in English-speaking countries as well. More people from more places are seeking language training in the countries they want to live and work in.

Whether it takes you abroad on an international adventure or helps you provide new arrivals with their language skills, teaching English with a CELTA certificate offers global perspective, valuable skills, and experiences you’ll never forget.

Does teaching English to adult learners sound like an adventure you can see yourself taking? ILSC offers the Cambridge CELTA as an intensive 4-week program, a part-time 11-week program, and a flexible online format.

August 1, 2018