English Language Essay
Why choose Westminster Kingsway College?
Our central London location: courses take place at our Victoria Centre which is a five-minute walk from Victoria mainline and underground stations
Our facilities and resources: the centre has a very well-equipped Learning Centre with IT facilities and an extensive range of teaching and learning materials
Our online Virtual Learning Environment ‘Moodle’: this allows access to a range of support materials on your home PC
Our experience: we have been running teacher training courses for over 25 years and have a well-deserved reputation for extremely high quality, effective teaching
Our training team: we have a large team of highly-qualified and experienced teacher trainers. They have all worked in the public and private sectors in
the UK and overseas and some are CELTA assessors. You can find out more about them in the “Trainer Profile” section
Our quality assurance systems: in addition to external monitoring by Cambridge, we are part of the public sector and are inspected by OFSTED
Our success rates: we have a proven track-record of extremely good pass rates on all our courses
The level of individual attention we offer: our trainers are involved at every stage of your course, from initial enquiry to post-course advice and guidance
The profile of our teaching practice groups: our students are highly motivated and come from a very wide variety of linguistic, geographic and social backgrounds. Some are asylum seekers and refugees whilst others are living and working in London for a relatively short time. This mix of students means that your teaching practice gives you experience to equip you to teach in a range of contexts in both the private and public sector in the UK or overseas. It also helps you decide which sector you would prefer to work in
Extremely high level of trainee satisfaction: see “What CELTA did for me” for comments from past trainees
Advice and guidance on employment opportunities: all our courses include sessions on finding teaching work, and some of our candidates go on to work in Westminster Kingsway and other colleges
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your application, please contact one of our trainers on 020 7802 8940 / 8343 / 8378. The College is closed over Christmas, Easter and during the summer holidays. During these times, you will hear a voice-message giving you further information.3
About Westminster Kingsway College: Teacher Training
Westminster Kingsway College’s Teacher Training courses are based at the Victoria Centre, right in the heart of London, about 5 minutes walk from Victoria underground and main line station. In addition to Teacher Training courses, the College offers part-time day and evening courses in English/ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). We are part of the public sector and receive government funding for our courses. This means that our fees compare favourably with other teacher training providers. Our facilities include a large cafeteria, a very well-equipped Learning Centre and computer access for all learners.
Our Teacher Trainers
All our team are qualified teacher trainers, with extensive experience of teaching EFL and ESOL in a range of contexts, both in the UK and overseas. The majority are also Cambridge-accredited external assessors. They are all directly employed by the College and regularly update their teacher training skills and expertise.
Katerina Ashiotis: Katerina started her teaching career as an EFL teacher in the private sector in London soon after leaving college. She travelled, then taught in Greece for two years in a private school. She then returned to London and worked as an English teacher teaching adults full-time. She worked in three different private schools as an EFL teacher, Senior Teacher and Director of Studies and started teacher training in 1994. Katerina has a Diploma and an MA in Linguistics and in 2002 completed a PGCE in FE (PCET with ESOL Specialism).
Parallel to working and training in the private sector she worked as a visiting EFL lecturer at Westminster Kingsway College for over 12 years. She started working at Westminster Kingsway College full-time as an ELT lecturer and teacher trainer in 2002. In addition to the CELTA course, Katerina is also a teacher trainer for PTLLS and DTLLS courses. Most recently, she has been involved in the design and delivery of a number of training programmes for teachers from South Korea and Albania.
Chris Brain: Following a degree in history and a PGCE at the University of London, Chris started teaching EFL in London in 1979. He then worked in Italy from 1980 to 1988 and took the RSA Diploma at International House in Rome in 1986. He returned to London in 1989 and subsequently trained as a CELTA trainer. He continued to work in the private sector, became a CELTA Assessor in 1992 and a DELTA trainer in 1998. Chris joined Westminster Kingsway College in January 2000 as a full-time member of staff and has worked on a variety of courses including EFL, ESOL, CELTA and DELTA.
Michael Harmsworth: Michael began teaching in 1982 and became a teacher trainer in 1986. He has been at Westminster Kingsway College since October 1997. Before that he was Director of Teacher Training at two private language schools in London after spending a total of eight years working abroad, in Greece, Italy and Spain. In 1992 he became an Assessor for the CELTA course. Michael has an MA with Distinction in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and the Cambridge/RSA Diploma with Distinction. He has delivered an extensive range of training courses at all levels. His current studies are focused on his obtaining Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA).
Gabriel Mulcauley: Gabriel completed a degree in English Literature at the University of Sheffield followed by a PGCE in English and Drama at the University of Leeds. Her first experience of teaching English was in a Summer School in Greece. Having spent several years travelling and teaching in private language schools, Gabriel came to London in 1991 and took the Diploma in TEFL at Waltham Forest College in 1992. She began working in Further Education in 1994 at Hackney Community College before joining Westminster Kingsway College in 1998. Gabriel started training to be a teacher trainer in November 2004 and is enjoying this interesting new challenge. 4
Our English/ESOL courses and students
Our English/ESOL courses are suitable for adult learners (19+) who are living in the UK either permanently or as refugees or asylum seekers and for European migrant workers.
We offer a variety of courses to meet a wide range of needs. Some courses are more suitable for EU migrant workers and enable students to gain a qualification quickly. Others are more appropriate for students who need to catch up on other skills, such as basic literacy.
All courses are part-time, either day-time or evening, and last either for one term or one semester (18 weeks).
Students study either every day (Monday – Friday) or two evenings per week (Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday). There are two study options on the daytime courses: ESOL Extra and ESOL Express. On ESOL Extra learners study for 2.5 hours per day and on ESOL Express they study for 2 hours per day. On the evening courses, hours are the same: learners study for 2.5 hours on two evenings per week.
All the courses lead to an examination: this is usually a Trinity Skills for Life Certificate.
We offer these qualifications at 5 levels from Entry 1 (beginner) to Level 2. Students take an examination in Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.
The Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: CELTA (incorporating the award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector: PTLLS)
What is CELTA?
CELTA is an initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience. It is the best known and most widely taken initial ‘TESOL/TEFL’ qualification of its kind in the world.
Who recognises CELTA?
It is accepted throughout the world by organisations which employ English Language teachers. It has also been accredited by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) at Level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Who is CELTA for?
People starting a career in English Language teaching: The course will give you a firm grounding in the fundamentals of language teaching practice, and the confidence to use these effectively in the classroom.
People looking for a career change or career break: An increasing number of candidates are professionals who would like a new career path or want to take a short break in their existing career, which may involve the opportunity to live and work abroad.
People already teaching English but with no formal qualifications: You may already be teaching English but have no formal teaching qualifications. CELTA will help you improve your teaching, confirm your ability and may lead to internal promotion or a better teaching job.
Who is eligible to apply?
We recommend that candidates have a standard of education equivalent to that required for entry into higher education (normally 2 “A” levels and above). You will also need good numeracy skills. However, we are happy to consider applications from candidates who do not have formal qualifications at this
level but who can demonstrate that they have appropriate language competence, skills, and experience. The course is open to both native and non-native speakers of English. If English is not your first language, you must have a command of written and spoken English that enables you to teach across a range of levels and complete the written assignments. In our experience, most successful candidates have English as their first language and are graduates.
What does CELTA involve?
The course is extremely demanding and requires a high level of commitment. You are required to attend the whole course, and complete homework assignments. You will have to devote a considerable amount of time to course work outside class hours, and we strongly recommend that you do not do any part-time work or other studies during the course. You should also be prepared to accept constructive criticism from your trainers and other trainees and be willing to reconsider your assumptions about teaching and learning.
What does the course cover?
The course aims to teach the principles of effective teaching and a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners. You will have hands-on teaching practice, observe experienced teachers and complete four practically-focussed written assignments.
There are five main units of learning:
Unit 1: Learners and teachers and the teaching and learning context
Unit 2: Language Analysis and awareness
Unit 3: Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
Unit 4: Planning and resources for different teaching contacts
Unit 5: Developing teaching skills and professionalism.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed throughout the course: there is no final examination. An external assessor, appointed by Cambridge ESOL, moderates each course.
There are two components of assessment:
Teaching Practice: You will teach for a total of six hours, working with classes at two ability levels. Assessment is based on your overall performance at the end of the six hours.
Written Assignments: You will complete four written assignments: one on adult learning and learning contexts, one on an aspect of the language system of English, one on an aspect of language skills and one on classroom teaching and the identification of action points.
Assessment and Grading
Grading of candidates is by continuous assessment. There is no final examination.
Successful candidates are awarded the “Cambridge CELTA” at one of the following grades:
“Pass”, Pass “B”, and Pass “A”.
On average, about 60% of our trainees achieve a Pass, 30% achieve a Pass “B” and 5% are awarded a Pass “A”. About 5% do not succeed. While everything on the course is taken into account, and you must complete the written assignments satisfactorily, the most heavily weighted factor is your teaching performance. You will receive written feedback, including an
assessment of your teaching, on all the lessons you teach.
You will have at least two individual tutorials to check that your perception of your progress agrees with that of your trainers. If there is a danger that you will fail, your trainers will make this clear and discuss where and how you can improve.
We aim to be as clear and open as possible about your development.
As part of the Cambridge scheme, every course is moderated by an external assessor, who visits the college for one or two days. In addition to checking that we are complying with course regulations, the assessor is available to listen to any points you or your group would like to make. If you feel that we are giving you unfair assessments, you can discuss this with the assessor.
Applying for the course
Selection to the course is based on an interview, lasting approximately two hours and a written task. Please complete the application form at the back of this booklet and submit it with your personal statement to the Course Organiser. You will be given the written task at the interview.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it a problem that I’ve never taught before?
No. The course is an introduction to English language teaching. People who already have experience sometimes find it a drawback as it can be difficult to unlearn old habits and learn new techniques.
I have got lots of presence, I know a lot about English and I am used to standing up in front of people and telling them things, so I am bound to be a good teacher, right?
Wrong. The abilities to relate well and listen to learners are more important than an over-emphasis on
Does it matter if I miss any part of the course?
Yes. 100% attendance is expected other than in exceptional circumstances.
What happens if I am ill during the course?
The Cambridge rules stipulate that if you miss more than 20% of the whole course or any of the 6 hours of assessed teaching practice, you are not eligible for the certificate other than in exceptional circumstances.
Will there be much paperwork?
You will be responsible for maintaining a portfolio of your work during the course and this constitutes your official assessed record. You will also need to be able to keep records and retrieve papers easily.
I have never been able to spell properly: does it matter?
Yes. Learners of English expect their teachers to be able to spell reasonably accurately. Also,
Cambridge rules require candidates to be able to write in English that is “essentially free of errors”. Part of our interview process is designed to check this.
Will I have to follow any particular methodology?
Our aim is to provide you with a range of techniques and approaches which you will be able to select from.
I have never learned grammar before: is this a problem?
Many native speakers of English know little about the mechanics of their own language and are unconfident about teaching grammar. Part of our selection process is to check that you have the potential to follow the grammar component of the course.
When I have completed my CELTA, what further teaching qualifications should I take?
It depends on your career plans. If you intend to work in Further Education, the Cambridge ESOL Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector will give you the qualification you need. If you want a qualification which has a more international bias, and if you are interested in developing your EFL career more broadly, the DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) may be more appropriate. We do not currently offer the DELTA course at WKC.
If I am successful in CELTA, can I take the Cambridge ESOL Diploma course immediately afterwards?
We recommend that you gain at least 50 hours practical teaching experience before starting the Diploma. You will have to go through a selection process which involves an interview and completion of a task. Also, we can only accept you onto the Diploma course if you already teach, or are planning to teach, in the Further Education sector.
There is no official reading list, but here are some useful titles:
Learning Teaching, Jim Scrivener (Macmillan Heinemann).
The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th edition), Jeremy Harmer (Longman).
Practical English Usage, Michael Swan (OUP).
Grammar for English Language Teaching, Martin Parrot (CUP).
What CELTA has done for me?
For many of our trainees, success on their course has led to some very positive changes in their lives. This is what two of them told us:
“I was 51 when I did my CELTA course… a bit old, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it 20 years earlier. My day job had become excruciatingly unbearable and it was when I was doing Spanish evening classes that I got the idea of doing a CELTA when I realised what a pleasant life my Spanish teacher was having. The 4-week course was intensive but that was part of the enjoyment. The three tutors were very supportive throughout and always gave us frank and honest advice. The students were a friendly mix of people and were always patient and good-humoured with their rather clumsy and inexperienced teachers. It was a very rewarding experience and at the end of the course I felt that I had got my brain back. I would advise it to anyone, but especially those who are free to go abroad and teach, as schools in this country tend to want teachers with experience unless you do a Summer School. Nevertheless, a
CELTA is a very versatile extra string to anyone’s bow, and with it you should find it way to find a job anywhere in the world.”
“I did a CELTA course when I was 24 years old. I had just finished a contract as an Events
Assistant in the city and was looking for something different to do. I had heard a lot about CELTA and TEFL courses and how useful they were if you wanted to go travelling and even to teach English in your home country. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and it was a very satisfying as well as challenging experience. However, be warned that for one month it is hard work, but it’s well worth it!
“When I completed my CELTA I taught English to Italian students for a while but went back to work in the city. However, I always knew I would use the CELTA at some point and I am now about to spend the summer in Ecuador teaching English!”
What motivates students? What can you do to keep motivation high?
Teacher Training with Westminster Kingsway College
Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions and it provides you with the opportunity to interact with people of all ages and from all walks of life. Westminster Kingsway College offers a number of teaching courses that will help you to progress into teaching as a career and develop your skills for the classroom.
Careers at a glance:
Teaching Courses at Westminster Kingsway College:
This is a selection of the teaching courses at the College – contact us for further details.
CELTA: Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Access to Higher Education Diploma: Education Studies and Teacher Training
Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS)
Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS)
Visit www.westking.ac.uk for further details about Westminster Kingsway College