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British Council CELTA in Krakow, how would you rate it?

7 Jun 2017  #31

Maybe, he was....I misplaced the comma. But yes, I was somehow upset somebody decided to draw conclusions without knowing the situation. Why do I care? I helped readers to be aware of major bullying issues at the British Council in Cracow. But if they want secretaries to say stuff like ...what is your problem's just putting in paper, it's easy... at the top of their voices.... when things get complicated because of codes (and you need to get ready in a few minutes and in other places you always did, because everything worked there!) and all that when you try to copy (or print - sometimes that gets difficult and not even because you run out of paper, but because a computer program says it will not print for technical reasons of some sort) and if they like it that the internet works on one computer (but saving does not), saving on the other (but the internet does not) and neither nor on yet another, and if they want to learn together with people who behave in such ways that most people in pubs are more punctual and polite (and shockingly teachers make a big deal out of students working "too much" instead of to make at least one remark on something so far from nice), it's their choice and not mine. And yes, at least one teacher did bully me for sure. To assess people, who did half of the work (they said so themselves) in such a nice way and ignore the fact I corrected everything is bullying. Don't believe me? Waste your money too, as I have wasted mine. I used to care, but things have changed - as Bob Dylan would say. Now I care about things that matter instead. Apparently the one who commented on my comment wants me to get fever again. Could be the American guy?! Haha. I must get back to living my life. I did my best to save other people from making the experiences I made. (NO more comments will come from me, sorry, busy).

Atch 14 | 2,241    
7 Jun 2017  #32

Here's a few tips for you:

No matter how upset you are, never, never forget to use paragraphs :)

Secondly you didn't necessarily waste your money. As long as you get your qualification at the end of it, the money wasn't wasted.

Thirdly, to be honest you sound as if you've had a few drinks. Maybe that's why there are no paragraphs!

Finally, sorry to say it, but you don't sound like a native English speaker. What's the story with the 'this is the second time I am having fever' business. Nobody says they are having fever. That use of the present tense is very much a usage associated with the speaker of English as a second language. Also we would normally say that we have a temperature/high temperature, not a fever.
8 Jun 2017  #33

I am taking back everything I wrote yesterday and I do apologise if I have hurt any feelings of any person. My comments were not made out of spite or jealousy After all, I was the only one in the group who was informed about a vacant teaching post

I am also not going to complain about poor organization issues such as that you literally only have one night to prepare a lesson (and I insist on producing beautiful hand-outs) but then there's a whole day off (and it wasn't a public holiday) and so there would have been the option of organizing the course a lot better.

Here I go again - I am having a point of view. I am very used to that, because I always lived in places where you can have one - places like Australia, Austria, England.

Am not sure you can have one here too.
I reckon bullying is impossible to prove and so I am taking everything back that I said.
Also, I really do apologise if I have hurt any feelings of any person, esp. since the American guy isn't the problem.
mafketis 16 | 5,587    
8 Jun 2017  #34

I am having a point of view. I am very used to that,.....Am not sure you can have one here too

How long have you been in Poland? You sound like you're suffering from culture shock.

Trust me, you can have your own point of view and opinion in Poland. Once you know a little better how things work you are perfectly free to be very up front and in your face about your opinions (throwing an occasional diva fit will actually improve your image).
Atch 14 | 2,241    
8 Jun 2017  #35

you literally only have one night to prepare a lesson

That's plenty of time. It's not a thesis, only a lesson. If you're going to work as a teacher you'll have to learn to manage your prep time very efficiently. As time goes by though you will build up a collection of resources and will need to spend less time prepping.

(I insist on producing beautiful hand-outs)

Understandable on a course where you're trying to impress your tutors but in real life there's a good chance that many of your beautiful handouts will end up in the bin. I'm afraid students won't be that appreciative of your efforts. So don't spend hours and hours of effort and your free time on them unless you really love doing it.

I am having a point of view

You're at it again, with that weird use of the present continuous. It should be 'I have a point of view'. Watch that, because it's not good in a teacher of English. The simple present and present continuous is a stumbling block for learners but even if English is not your first language, a CELTA qualified teacher should know the difference.
8 Jun 2017  #36

So here is what I realised...bullying can mess up your perspective. The only person who bullied me was one teacher. Other people were not nice (well some people just figured that's easier than helping others), but hey, that can happen always. Bullying is something that is ongoing and systematic and you know already on day 1 it is happening and then you blame yourself for not having done anything about it. We should all do something about it on day 1 or at least within the first few days. It never just goes away. That never worked for me and is not working for me now either. To suffer for weeks and say nothing is what I usually do and have done now too. I feel ashamed. I should have done something way earlier. I hope you will do better, dear reader and I hope it is not too late for me to do something about it.
Atch 14 | 2,241    
9 Jun 2017  #37

Student1, do you have Aspergers or some other form of high functioning Autism? I'm not being sarcastic but I notice that you haven't responded directly or interacted with either of the posters who replied to your thread. You just carry on talking as if to yourself. You mention the importance of 'beautiful handouts' which suggests perfectionism. That often goes with Aspergers.

If you are somewhere on the Autistic spectrum perhaps people find you difficult to communicate with and this could be one of the reasons why you perceive yourself as being 'bullied'.
DominicB - | 2,602    
9 Jun 2017  #38

do you have Aspergers or some other form of high functioning Autism?

My thoughts exactly. The OP should return to their own country and receive appropriate treatment. In any case, they are definitely not going to be able to handle teaching English in Poland.
rozumiemnic 9 | 3,516    
9 Jun 2017  #39

I am taking back everything I wrote yesterday

I am having a point of view

you are not from Australia are you?
Even when you start lesson planning, an hours lesson should not take more than an hour to prepare.
I also like to give nice handouts - eg no chunks of black, referenced properly, hole punched. However this only takes a minute or two longer than doing horrible ones.

I don't think 'TEFL' is for you tbh.
Atch 14 | 2,241    
9 Jun 2017  #40

you are not from Australia are you?

Possibly an Australian citizen with origins elsewhere such as Indonesia hence the generally high standard of English but some typical errors. Although I accept that it's not possible to have qualified native speakers everywhere in the world, I would expect a TEFL teacher to know the difference between the present continous and the simple present. How on earth is he/she going to be able to teach it to students if he/she can't use it properly him/herself. I wouldn't be making an issue of it only for the fact that the OP is complaining about the quality of other students' work and the unfair treatement he/she has received. He should be grateful to have been allowed on to the course in the first place.
Sparks11 - | 327    
9 Jun 2017  #41

i'd say that if angry secretaries and guys with tattoos who slide by in life get under your skin that much, perhaps tefl isnt for you. teaching in different places around the world can be fun and exciting and teach you a lot but it requires a tolerance for different ways of doing things and the ability to go with the flow.
17 Jun 2017  #42

Here's what I THINK and this is how feel about it:
These people hate the Western world. They were laughing at and shouting out loudly about a British lady who said something like "I don't think so" in one of the Cambridge teaching videos and the CELTA tutor was encouraging everyone to do that. They were saying she was too weak and too indecisive and all that kind of stuff to show the point of view she has, how dare she, the students will NOT understand, which is NOT true, they were all writing AND their facial expressions showed they HAD understood! I was amazed that people in this place have such a questionable view of Western people – not just of people coming DIRECTLY from the West and NOT having their mentality – which is why I WAS treated extremely badly – but also in regard to teacher ladies in Cambridge videos! Also, they were were laughing at and shouting out loudly in regard to another female British teacher in a Cambridge teaching video and they were comparing her to a chicken in the animation movie "chicken run" and they were SO loud at doing that, that it was impossible to hear most of the video! The CELTA tutor seemed to be thrilled by what they did and also said something to support all of that. In group work there was a lot of talking coming from the people in Cracow about how bad England, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and other Western countries are – they are SO terrible, they have such terrible laws. You can't have any fun, everything is considered noise.... Oh the "terrible West". Once you have been here for a week, you want to walk back to the Western world. After 2 weeks you consider hitch-hiking back and after 3 weeks you consider it a shame you can't grow your own wings to get the hell out of there. Do NOT come here if you know what's good for you. I need to add, that the normal way to say something is incorrect in Poland is not "I don't think so" or "the way I see it" (which explains laughter and shouting and other signs of hate-envy-attacks against the nice and civilised British lady in the Cambridge video because she made her point that way!!!!), because politeness is frowned upon here and considered a WEAKNESS as well as a reason to turn your life in HELL! Here people shout out something like "how can you say that, you are stupid, that is so wrong, you can't read/write/think!" Also the people who originally came from Western countries and have turned into Easterners within months or years are just like that!!! The aggression in this place is also clearly perceivable in the streets. A woman in one of the shops was happy to rip ten bucks off me and she looked into my eyes and lied about it and said no, no you did NOT give me twenty bucks, you gave me ten! Surprisingly, she didn't tell me I am stupid and can't read and write and think and all that, which is what they normally do in Poland. I must say that I have been to many places in the "terrible West" and I had NOT made such experiences there!!! I am NOT used to such brutality in words and actions. Talk about actions – it is normal for men, women and children in Poland to attempt to run all over you – and not just with their cars and bikes, they do it on foot too - in their Galeria shopping centre e.g.

It was also horrible that the Polish CELTA students made the MOST OBVIOUS mistakes - even in 3 word sentences (even there they messed up the order), not to mention grammar mistakes on the lowest level, same as using the wrong words (horrible mistakes in vocabulary) and I did NOT dare to say anything for two weeks because I was scared of psychoterror and I was RIGHT about that fear because the second I dared to pay attention to those mistakes, the Polish female CELTA tutor was suddenly red-headed and shouting and afterwards she made me give a lesson that was way, way to advanced for the intermediates I was teaching!!! Also, she did what the other CELTA tutors did as well - she showed me answers in the tutor book for 3 seconds and then ran away. The others did that to me too and when I looked for them in their teacher room after the lesson, they were not even there!!!

If you would like to live in a psychothriller and suffer from psychoterror coming from the East, then I guess you should really come here, but you should at least make them aware of all of their obvious mistakes (in other countries even 13-year-olds don't make such mistakes!!!!!!!!!) from day 1 on as I REGRET that I haven't, I would have wasted FAR LESS time then!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, they are incapable of giving precise instructions AND of following the instructions of the British Council (BC). There is a yellow sheet with lesson stages coming directly from the BC. They had gotten lesson stages mixed up on handouts. Those are in no way compatible with the official version of the BC. It is normal to preteach vocabulary before the detailed comprehension task and after the gist task and not before the gist task as they wrote on several handouts!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, they get ever so upset about people calling them guys when women are among them. Oh please. And they say things like: we are dressed so nicely and they generally think they are better dressed than Westerners and show you that a hundred times a day.

Their instructions are just as bad as their handouts. They give you the wrong instructions and they are angry and offended and shout and all that when they realise the outcome is not what they were hoping for – they expect of you, the student to repair their wrong instructions, which you can't do, since you have no idea what they were trying to say, because of their wrong instructions!!!!!!!!!

And.. They're so offended when a group of them including weirdly Eastern European dressed female individuals (they think it's elegant and better than things we Westerners wear!!!) is called guys!!!!!

You will also dislike the way their computers and printers work as if they were in a 3rd world country. It takes them half an hour to send the signal from the computer to the printer. It also takes them half an hour to get their old DELL pc started with windows 2007 installed on it – I don't remember the last time I've seen that program installed anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!

If you think you need a break from the West (I thought so and I realised I was terribly wrong about that!!!), forget about it! You can't take a break from being the person you are!!!!!!!! Stay in the West! Forget about Eastern Europe, Russia, the whole lot! While I am at it, I wish the EU had thrown Poland out for having been like that to Mr. Cameron! The UK would have never left if the Polish had not insisted that more than half of their nation will get social security from the UK for the rest of their lives!

I need to add that I suddenly remember GROUPS of people who are university-educated who ALSO THINK so - and also feel this way about Poland.

P.S.: See also - on youtube - How Is Poland Disrupting The European Union?
So this was my first time in the East after having lived my whole life in the West - and my last time too.
I hesitated a lot before signing the contract with these guys. I wish I had talked to somebody about it. I would have never come here and all of that would've never happened. Unfortunately, I was unable to anticipate HOW BAD things are here.
NoToForeigners 8 | 944    
18 Jun 2017  #43

So this was my first time in the East after having lived my whole life in the West - and my last time too.

Great news! See ya never wanna be ya!
rozumiemnic 9 | 3,516    
18 Jun 2017  #44

So, student,. how much of the course do u have left?
Ziemowit 10 | 2,834    
18 Jun 2017  #45

to live in a psychothriller and suffer from psychoterror coming from the East, then I guess you should really come here

That one is really good - psychoterror coming from the East!
rozumiemnic 9 | 3,516    
18 Jun 2017  #46

Eastern European

Poland is Central Europe...
Marsupial - | 921    
18 Jun 2017  #47

Student 1...i hope you are not coming back here. May i suggest Antarctica?
johnny reb 15 | 2,951    
18 Jun 2017  #48

The name of the thread is:
British Council CELTA in Krakow, how would you rate it?
And that is EXACTLY what Student 1 did.
Thank you for your honest opinion Student 1.

you are not from Australia are you?

Yes, Marsupial is from Australia.....that little island down by New Zeeland not far from Antarctica. :-)
Marsupial - | 921    
18 Jun 2017  #49

Little island lol? Fake trump maps mate? It was suggested above that student one was from Australia i am simply suggesting an alternate destination. As for honest opinion...sounds like paid troll anti polish to me.
delphiandomine 86 | 16,448    
18 Jun 2017  #50

That one is really good - psychoterror coming from the East!

Psychoterror in Poland!

The whole thing is just so hilariously made up. Jon will know better, but as far as I know, the CELTA centre in Kraków has had a great reputation for years. It's quite possible "student1" spent his whole time drinking and not studying, which as anyone familiar with the CELTA knows - it's a no-no, and instructors will punish you if you turn up with a hangover and incomplete homework.
johnny reb 15 | 2,951    
18 Jun 2017  #51

It's quite possible

And it's quite possible "student1" was simply responding to this thread without insulting anyone such as you just did with such rude insinuations.

I found student1's post interesting as I have heard the same from other students in Poland so possibly it is not made up but jon will know and be the authority on this. lol
Sparks11 - | 327    
19 Jun 2017  #52

id say that the likelihood that someone just cracked up a bit under the pressure of the course is gar greater than the course actually being sucky. there's often one in the group that has problems like this which is fine and should indicate to that person that perhaps tefl isnt for them thus saving more and bigger problems in the future. so good on the course.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
19 Jun 2017  #53

as far as I know, the CELTA centre in Kraków has had a great reputation for years

It's considered to be good - and the training is both moderated and fairly standard throughout the council. The trainers are tried and tested (and well-qualified). The behaviour of the participants is something I can't comment on. Possibly the OP was very unlucky.

id say that the likelihood that someone just cracked up a bit under the pressure of the course is gar greater than the course actually being sucky.

This could very well be true. There's a lot of pressure on those 120 hour courses and people respond to the pressure in different ways.
delphiandomine 86 | 16,448    
19 Jun 2017  #54

This could very well be true.

Yes, anyone familiar with these courses know that it's very hard going. 30 contact hours a week, a lot of homework and reading and a lot of unfamiliar terminology thrown at learners as an "introduction" is not easy, even for the experienced.

Those not familiar with the courses are far more likely to believe the nonsense they read online.
Student 2    
22 Jun 2017  #55

Hi everyone, I was in the course that was mentioned by Student1. I want to inform anyone who is looking to come to Krakow, especially at the British Council, to know they will be very welcome. I took part in the course, from beginning to end. The course recently ended, and all of us who attended the course to completion were very happy with the way we were treated by the tutors, and if you follow their instructions you will never have a single problem. If you fail to follow their instructions, and refute their methods, you will be respectfully corrected.

Don't be discouraged, I enjoyed the course and look forward to my career in TEFL.
CracowCowboy - | 1    
11 Jan 2018  #56

I took the CELTA course in Cracow in September of 2017. Declan, Barbra and Magda were encouraging and fun instructors who helped me and my cohort develop as teachers. CELTA is regarded as the most respected teaching certification in the world party because it is a demanding and rigorous course, which is why it was very nice that the Cracow faculty were so helpful, encouraging, and understanding. They pointed out my teaching strengths, some that I wasn't even aware of, and when they suggested areas for improvement they always offered strategies that I could implement in my next teaching session.

Don't feel attacked by criticism, see it as a form of encouragement, and when it comes working with your peers, be honest and don't just praise them (but you should praise their strengths!). I was lucky that my cohort was able to develop a little community of support and that they offered me great suggestions to improve. Learning how to critique my own peers respectfully and critically developed a habit that I now use to improve my own teaching on a daily basis.

Lastly, I learned a lot from the feedback I got on the papers that I wrote. Before you turn in your final portfolio, I recommend that you read over their corrections and notes, and then correct your errors and add your own responses to their notes so that you learn from your mistakes and so that the final reviewer can see that you are willing to learn from your mistakes.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, (I asked a ton), they are a competent and helpful faculty.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
11 Jan 2018  #57

CELTA is regarded as the most respected teaching certification in the world party because it is a demanding and rigorous course,

A Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics or in TEFL is generally rather better respected than a 4 week course. After that comes UK Qualified Teeacher Status (PGCE or BEd/equivalent) and after that a DELTA/equivalent.

Nevertheless, a CELTA (or the Trinity equivalent) is the minimum anyone teaching EFL should have before being allowed near a classroom (never mind a one-to-one), and for a 4 week course it is good.

I'd strongly suggest doing it in an English-speaking country though. Training with monolingual guinea pigs is a disadvantage. A plus however is that it's at the Council - doing a CELTA at a state sector organisation is almost always better than doing at a private provider.
rozumiemnic 9 | 3,516    
11 Jan 2018  #58

CELTA is regarded as the most respected teaching certification in the world

it really isn't you know.
As Jon said, there is MA in ELT, there is QTS, DELTA, PGCE and so on. These will get you a job quicker than some backpacker with a CELTA
Dougpol1 25 | 1,725    
11 Jan 2018  #59

the Council - doing a CELTA at a state sector organisation is almost always better than doing at a private provider.

Mmm - I happened to find certain bodies in "The Council" unbearingly smug jon. Glad to hear your experience is more positive than mine was:)

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