There is no need! Find out why
If you are asking yourself whether you can pass the CELTA as a non-native speaker, our answer here at Clic IH Seville and Malaga would be a resounding yes. You have every chance of passing the course, perhaps even more chance, in fact, than a native speaker!
We have non-native candidates successfully completing our courses every single month with some obtaining the highest possible grades. Below are just some of the reasons why.
You know your prepositions from your pronouns
To take the CELTA, you need a minimum English level of C1. Having studied a language to this level yourself, you will be much, much more familiar with grammatical rules and terminology than some of your native-speaking course mates who may still be wrestling with the difference between an adjective and an adverb! It will also be easier for you to identify why some specific language is causing confusion as you can contrast it to your own language. This will be a huge advantage when planning and executing your observed lessons and when completing the written assignments which all form part of your evaluation.
Remember, English is a lingua-franca mostly spoken by non-natives
Statistically, the students we work with will spend more time speaking to other non-native speakers than native speakers so the idea of teaching standard pronunciation is completely outdated. Intelligibility is now our aim and the more different accents learners are exposed to, the better! This is now reflected in course books, official exams and to our mind, it should definitely also be the case in our classrooms too.
If anybody knows what it feels like to struggle, it’s you!
Having gone through the process of learning a language to a very high level, another strength our non-native trainees consistently demonstrate is empathy. You can remember what it is like to struggle with difficult individual sounds or feel overwhelmed when too many new words are swimming around your head. Recognising how much is too much is key to avoiding overload and you will recognise the signs more quickly than anybody. You will also remember to praise and encourage your learners as who better than you to recognise the extraordinary amount of effort and courage involved in mastering another language.
You have been both actor and audience
Another key advantage of having learned English is that you will have spent a huge number of hours in the classroom which means you will have seen different teachers experimenting with different methodologies and you will have used a wide range of materials such as course books and websites. You may even be familiar with some official exams which can be a huge bonus when you hit the job market.
Native or non-native English teachers: we are all human beings after all
As a native speaker who has spent more than twenty years in the classroom, I am still asked by students about new words I have never heard before and intriguing grammatical quirks which seem to break all the rules. I often have my doubts when spelling tricky words on the board too. This happens to everybody! The key is how we deal with it. Modelling the use of brilliant online tools like dictionaries and corpora and showing students how grammar checks on apps like google docs can instantly upgrade their writing is now an important part of our jobs as we seek to improve our students’ digital skills as well as their language prowess. Through integrating these tools into our lessons, we can help our students become truly independent learners. And, after all, what better model is there for a learner than a non-native teacher who shows the language can not only be mastered but also taught to others? Hum, sorry, you have run out of excuses… any other type of doubts now? Just talk to us It’s important to remember that before the start of the CELTA course, you will have an interview with one of our tutors in which you can ask any questions or share any concerns which may still be playing on your mind. On the course itself, your tutors will be supporting you every step of the way. They will help you plan your lessons and deal with any of your doubts about the language you are teaching and the best way to introduce it to the students. You will also have access to our huge bank of resources to inspire you. So perhaps the real questions should be…