School Details - Lisbon
This school, which opened in 1963, is situated in an independent three-storey building in the district of São Sebastião. It is minutes away from the Gulbenkian Foundation with its art galleries, museum and gardens, the Edward VII Park, which offers spectacular views over the city and the Tagus Estuary, and the more recent addition to the city's topography, the Corte Inglés. The São Sebastião Metro Station affords easy access to historic downtown Lisbon and the commercial districts of the modern city. The school has 16 classrooms, computer room, bar and terrace and, in addition to English, offers courses in French, German Italian, Spanish and Portuguese for Foreigners. The school's Teacher Training Department runs Cambridge University accredited courses throughout the year.
It was the Portuguese who set out to discover the world, but it's funny how the tables always turn. Modern-day Lisbon is buzzing with activity yet remains stubbornly old-fashioned - a compelling combination for its growing number of visitors, and putting it firmly back on the map as a place to be seen. Even more so when you see this is beauty on a budget, a world away from the inflated prices of other European capitals. But it's more the cobblestone streets, elegant Manueline architecture and heart-rending fado melodies that will tug at those strings and leave you touched by this historic yet contemporary city.
Please note: There is a TEFL Glossary at the end of this course profile, explaining the abundant acronyms!
THE CAMBRIDGE CELTA
The course on offer in Lisbon is the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). The reference to Cambridge is due to the fact that it is assessed by University of Cambridge ESOL (essentially the ‘exam board’). It is one of the leading qualifications in the TEFL industry, and the vast majority of those seeking a “TEFL course” finish by taking a Cambridge CELTA course.
The CELTA course is designed for native and non-native speakers of English who have little or no experience of teaching. It is the most widely-recognised initial qualification in teaching English as a foreign / second language and is the minimum qualification required to work at a British Council accredited school in the U.K. and in many established schools overseas.
Cambridge CELTA – Summary Description
The syllabus and assessment criteria are laid down by Cambridge. You are required to observe classes given by qualified and experienced teachers (usually daytime classes). Trainees will also spend time doing guided lesson planning, supervised teaching practice and feedback. You will also need to spend a significant amount of additional time on lesson preparation, written assignments, and course consolidation (outside class hours, and up to 3-4 hours per day). There may also be extra written assignments to be completed during the course.
Assessment is continuous and based on the trainee’s teaching practice, written assignments, and overall professional development.
Cambridge CELTA - Course Entry Requirements
- All applicants must have a very high level of both oral and written competence in English, being able to use the language in a way which is clear, coherent, and essentially free of mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, or at least qualifications which would enable him/her to enter University. For example, A-Levels.
- All applicants need to demonstrate an awareness of language
- All applicants must be at least 20 years old at the start of the course
If you are not sure of your eligibility, please contact us to discuss your circumstances.
Cambridge CELTA Course Contents (taken from University of Cambridge ESOL syllabus.
Certificate course programmes are designed by individual centres using the syllabus and course objectives. To meet the course requirements candidates are required to attend the whole course and to:
* Practise teach in a class of the relevant age group, for a total of six hours;
* Observe experienced teachers teaching classes for a total of eight hours
* Maintain and submit a portfolio of all course work including all written assignments and materials related to teaching practice
Specifically, the Certificate course programme is designed to enable candidates to:
1. Develop an awareness of language and a knowledge of the description of English and apply these in their professional practice;
2. Develop an initial understanding of the contexts within which adults learn
English, their motivations and the roles of the teacher and the learner;
3. Develop familiarity with the principles and practice of effective teaching to Adult learners of English;
4. Develop basic skills for teaching adults in the language classroom;
5. Develop familiarity with appropriate resources and materials for use with adult learners of English for teaching, testing and for reference.
Course programmes focus on:
* basic concepts and terminology used in ELT for describing form and meaning in language and language use
* basic concepts and terminology used for describing language skills and sub-skills
* language description and syllabus design for the teaching of general English to adults
* the practical significance of similarities and differences between languages
* reference materials for language awareness
The Learner, the teacher and the teaching/learning context
* the adult learner’s educational background and traditions
* the context for learning and teaching English at adult level
* different motivations for learning English as an adult
* different learning and teaching styles at adult level
Planning for effective teaching of adult learners of English
* The principles of planning for effective teaching of adult learners of English
* The practical realities of planning for effective teaching of adult learners of English
* The selection and evaluation of appropriate materials and resources for specific lessons
* The selection and evaluation of appropriate exercise types and tasks for specific lessons
* The evaluation of lesson preparation
Classroom management and teaching skills for teaching English to adults
* the effective organisation of the classroom
* classroom presence and control
* teacher and learner language
* the use of teaching material and resources
* practical skills for teaching at a range of levels
* the monitoring and evaluation of adult learners
* the evaluation of classroom management and teaching skills
Resources and materials for teaching English to adults
* commercially produced resources and materials for teaching English to adults
* non published resources and materials for teaching English to adults
* the selection and evaluation of resources and materials for use in teaching and testing adult learners of English, and for reference
* the adaptation of resources and materials for specific groups of adult learners of English
Professional development for teachers of English to adults
* self assessment: understanding weaknesses and developing strengths
* working in context: preparing to become a teacher, colleague and employee
professional development: support systems, publication, and courses for teaching English to adults
On completion of the course
After the course, you will be equipped with the basics you require to enter the world of TEFL. You will be able to apply for work in a range of schools, colleges, private training organisations and on a host of volunteer programmes worldwide. TEFL – the job - is widely viewed a gap year option. It is important to point out that this qualification is also the basic pre-requisite for you to become a professional in the field of TEFL. It’s somewhat like a driving licence though, it’s hard to obtain, and yet you still need more practice when you’ve completed it.
At some point during the course, you will be briefed on some of the employment options available to you. It is helpful if you already have a country in mind when you are thinking about finding your first TEFL job. A book we highly recommend is Susan Griffith’s Teaching English Abroad, which provides excellent information on all the key TEFL locations around the world, with details of levels of qualifications and experience required. If you have the time and the money, and you’ve researched your chosen country and precise location well, the easiest way of securing work will be to go there, and start meeting some people. Traditionally the best times are September/October and possibly January for “overseas markets” i.e. non-native speaker countries, and April/May/June in England, US, Canada, Australia etc. when there is a huge influx of international students.
What happens when I get back?
When you finish your period of work abroad, you may actually find that after a few weeks at home, you may just want to jet off somewhere else! Failing that, you may like to go back to a previous line of work. TEFL qualifications like the Cambridge CELTA are viewed by employers as a solid, useful qualification which has taught you a number of key transferable skills – such as presentation of verbal and visual information, heightened language awareness, creativity, flexibility, the ability to organise and motivate others, create working relationships and communicate efficiently with people of other nationalities and cultures, and through your own experience, hopefully new or improved language skills.
TEFL is the name that everyone recognises, and TEFL is very much in the public conscience now. Friends and family will frequently speak of someone doing a TEFL course, or doing TEFL abroad, or being interested in TEFL, and this term meets with widespread understanding.
But TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, is really just the name of the industry. Once you enter that industry, you’ll start to hear other terms such as TESOL, ELT, CELTA, ESOL, TESL, ESP, and these also need some explanation.
TESOL and ESOL can also be a reference to the industry – (Teaching) English to Speakers of Other Languages as can ELT, which is the more updated name for TEFL, Meaning simply, English Language Teaching. This is a preferred term, as it is more general, and removes the reference to the industry as being about teaching English as a Foreign language. TEFL is in such general usage, that we continue to refer to it.
The school cannot arrange accommodation on the student's behalf but will assist in finding you accommodation for the duration of your course. Once you have been offered a place on the course you will be provided with a list of accommodation options in Lisbon, which you will then have to book yourself. Accommodation in single rooms in shared furnished flats generally costs in the region of 360 Euros per month. Bed linen and towels are provided and you will have shared use of the kitchen and bathroom
About the school and the quality of trainers: Extraordinarily professional in every way. An amazing experience.
-Gregory St Vincent-
The facilities at the school were good. Both of the trainers were really excellent. I thought the course was very well structured, especially as there was a lot to pack into it! I think there was a good balance of actual teaching vs theory.
The CELTA course was an amazing experience. The other trainees were a fantastic group of people and we all bonded very quickly. The workload is very demanding but achieveable.
This school is a brilliant place to study the CELTA. The facilities are good, it's in a great area of Lisbon that is easy to get to via Metro and the trainers are organised, personable and informed.
I enjoyed the CELTA course immensely. It was hard work but I got loads of experience and met some great people. The course was well organised and had the right balance of theory and practical input.
The practical experience of teaching was also a real eye opener, it felt like something everyone should do regardless of whether they want to be teachers. It provides so much opportunity for learning about yourself, one's strengths and weaknesses.
Help for Jobs
The school in Lisbon provides CELTA candidates with the following in terms of assistance with jobs:
There is a jobs board where all incoming ads are posted. These include posters and vacancies from schools in the local area (a list of local schools is also available at the centre), and all vacancies within the school's international network as well.
There is also a session devoted to finding work, what to look for in a school, interviews, local conditions, etc on the course that trainees can benefit from.
How to Apply
1. Choose the start date which interests you. If you’re still unsure, please choose an approximate date for now – you will be able to specify later.
2. Register your details with Cactus TEFL (1 minute) to help us track your application.
3. Download the application form and save it on your computer.
4. Complete it offline in your own time
5. Go back to www.cactustefl.com, sign in and submit your completed form.
You can also submit an application by email. We will explain how to do this on the application form. Please contact us if you have any problems with the application procedure.