An Interview with Florence face-to-face CELTA Tutor Jean Sciberras

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In 2021 we have had a 100% pass rate for all our CELTA students here at CELTA Florence, an excellent achievement of which we are very proud. One of the key factors behind this achievement is the quality of our fantastic CELTA course tutors for both our face-to-face and online CELTA courses. Jean Sciberras is one of these high quality tutors, and along with fellow face-to-face CELTA course tutor Louis Grech, she has enormous knowledge and experience of the world of English Language Teaching. Her knowledge, passion for the English language and friendly nature make Jean an ideal person to help you make the most of your wonderful Florence CELTA opportunity.

We chatted with Jean, who has given us a real flavour of what a face-to-face CELTA course in Florence is like. Here’s what Jean has to say…

You have a wealth of experience in the EFL world. How would you sum up your experience so far?

I did my CELTA at IH London in 1985. This is where it all started. I followed it up with Delta, LCCIEB, and Cert in ELT Management at Aston University. Altogether I’ve been in EFL for 37 years and I don’t want to stop. I have taught all levels, taught groups, taught individuals, taught Business English, taught exam classes…the list is never ending.  I have met so many interesting people, learnt so much about different cultures and unusual jobs. Although I am now a Teacher Trainer my love for students has not waned. I try to leave my imprint in the world by helping trainees be the best teacher they can possibly be and instil in them the same passion, enthusiasm and motivation that I carry with me to this day.

How do you think the trainees have found the Florence face-to-face CELTA courses so far?

Jean and fellow Florence CELTA face-to-face course tutor Louis Grech

Trainees seemed to like least the observation lessons they had to watch alone.  It was obvious that they wanted their hand held, they needed support from each other and from us. The face-to-face option provides an excellent supply of these. Trainees knocked on our door and we were always available. I think sub consciously this made them feel safer and more cared for. Although our aim was to make them as autonomous as possible, in this intense course they wanted to feel safe and protected. And we were always there for them.

N.B. You can read the reviews written by Florence CELTA trainees here

What is the centre of Florence like for trainees?

The school couldn’t be located in a better place.  It is only 10 minutes away from the Duomo. I found it amazing to pass from in front of the cathedral every morning and evening on my way to and from school. I always stopped for a few seconds to take in the wonder of the architecture. In the morning, with hardly any people around the Duomo could be enjoyed totally and selfishly.

We had a 90 minute lunch break and just round the corner from the school the street was alive with restaurants and takeaways. Sharing a pizza or eating a plate of pasta energised us for the rest of the day. The choice was endless.

Jean outside the Duomo

What is Florence like as a city?

Florence is an awesome place. Although the CELTA is demanding both on the trainees and the trainers you couldn’t not stop for an ice cream or Aperol Spritz on the way home.  Ideally one gets to Florence 2 or 3 days before and stay another 2 days after the course to get the feeling of Florence and become familiar with this wonderful city. There are 4 weekends and I advise trainees to take one day off a week to visit Florence or nearby places like Fiesole, Lucca or Arezzo.

What is the best part about teaching the CELTA course in Florence?

I’ve been CELTA training for several years but never in such a beautiful place. Not only is the school itself a piece of history and the staff super helpful and efficient, but experiencing the beauty, the arts, the squares, the food, the fashion is an unforgettable experience.

Sunset in Florence

What advice would you give to any candidate before they take the CELTA course in Florence?

I would advise trainees to become familiar with the English grammar, read up the recommended list of books before they start the course. This reduces some of the pressure of the course itself and gives them more time to discover this gem of a city.

N.B. with the CELTA course via Florence, you also get this pre-CELTA bundle course (normally £95) completely free! This includes an excellent grammar section for you too.

A word from CELTA Florence: Post-CELTA opportunities!

Don’t forget, your CELTA course via Florence comes with a complimentary careers workshop and consultation with an English language teaching career expert. You can also check out job opportunities for CELTA graduates via TEFLWork

For those interested in teaching in Italy following their successful completion of the CELTA, we also have a great link to a centre in the beautiful southern Italian city of Lecce, meaning successful CELTA graduates can look forward to guaranteed interviews at the centre if you wish to pursue your teaching career there!

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