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An Interview with Florence Online Part-time CELTA graduate Arash Shafiee

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Arash Shafiee

Arash was born in Iran and has lived in various countries. He has been involved in the English language teaching field since 2013. In 2016 Arash moved to Italy to complete a Master’s degree in Verona and he is currently working as an English language teacher while enjoying life in Italy. Arash completed the part-time CELTA fully-online with Europass in late 2021. We talked with him about his experience…

Why did you choose to take the CELTA?

Despite having two university degrees in similar areas, I wanted to go through something practical that would help me with my job, as an English language teacher, and therefore I decided to take the CELTA course after 8 years of teaching.

Why did you choose to take the CELTA via Florence?

Honestly speaking, the timetable of the course was of utmost importance and it had to fit mine as well, hence my decision to take it with CELTA Florence and during that particular period.

Did you feel prepared for the course?

I was perhaps more prepared methodologically, that is, I was more than familiar with the content of the lessons and materials due to my previous academic background, yet putting them into practice was a whole different story.

N.B. with the CELTA course via Florence,

you also get the ELTcampus online Grammar refresher and Language Awareness course and an online “Teach ready for training” mini video course

completely free!

What was the experience of an online CELTA like?

Like everything else, it had its cons and pros. One of the advantages was that I did not have to travel in-between places and could just take it from the comfort of my home. A drawback, on the other hand, was that technological glitches such as issues with Zoom and our computers at times affected the teaching practice and somehow the way that some of the lessons turned out to be as well.

What were the tutors like?

They were both helpful, particularly the main course tutor, Cansu, and I felt that she was perhaps more experienced as well.

How was the teaching practice?

I had some online experience prior to taking the course, yet it opened new doors for me and helped me learn how effective EFL/ESL lessons can be implemented online as well.

What was the relationship between the different trainees like?

The atmosphere was quite nice and friendly.

What will you do now that you are CELTA qualified?

I was a full-time English language teacher before taking the course and will continue to be one. However, I can already feel the difference that the course has made in my actual teaching practice: the stages of the lessons as well as the course books make much more sense now.

Would you recommend the course to others?

Of course. Especially if their schedules are as tight as mine and need a flexible course that would allow them to work and study at the same time.

Click here to apply to the CELTA in Florence