Kind words and Cuenca forums

It’s always lovely to get good feedback. One of the trainees on our first CELTA course recently posted a recommendation for the programme on the Cuenca ex-pat forums, Gringopost and Gringotree. If you are joining us in Cuenca for either our August or September courses (17 Aug-18 Sept and 28 Sept-30 October respectively), these sites are potential goldmines of information that could be useful to you … travel tips/accommodation/banks/restaurants/shops/doctors/dentists etc etc. OK, so now for that recommendation. We are very proud and pleased to have received it and even prouder of our very first cohort of newly qualified CELTA teachers.

Recommendation for the new CELTA school in Cuenca!!  Are you looking for a new career since moving to Cuenca/Ecuador?  Would you like to teach English as a second language?  Well, these were my motivators for taking the new CELTA course, which has just established a new location here in Cuenca.  I had been looking for a certification course to teach English and the only affordable ones were on-line and they could not offer any “hands-on” practicum, which many employers require.  The CELTA course is provided by Cambridge University out of the UK and is the most internationally recognized English Teacher certification available.  I have just completed the five week “intensive” course and must say that although it was tough, it was worth every minute and every dime.  I already have job prospects and am looking forward to my new career because of the wonderful teachers at CELTA.  I would recommend this course to anyone who feels teaching English might be something they desire and would like to have their certification recognized anywhere in the world.

To find out more about the CELTA course in Ecuador, contact Mr. John Warren:

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The last hurrah!

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So, Friday’s party (the last of the three) was a hoot. Thanks to everyone for bringing and making food, including Megan’s legendary brownies, Caleb’s awesome Cajun fish, and wonderful salad, bruschetta, and roasted veg from Tara, Nora and Heather. There were … Continue reading

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Farewell again …

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Last class for students and trainees last night … and a fine time was had by all. Thank you to all the students who have attended English classes so regularly and worked so hard. We hope you will join us again – with our new intake of trainee teachers – starting 18th August, 6-8pm. Sign up from 3 August at reception.

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Goodbyes start here …

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 Well, it was the penultimate class for our CELTA trainees with their students last night, so what better excuse for a bit if a party? Um, well, I guess the  very last class this evening. Watch this space for more photos to … Continue reading

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Meet the Trainers, Part 2


Tom, seen here in the middle, has been a CELTA tutor for 15 years. He was born in Ireland but has lived in Australia for many years now. He has delivered CELTA training mostly in Australia but has also worked on CELTAs in Japan and Thailand. He also visits CELTA Centres in different parts of the world as an Assessor, most recently Sydney and Singapore.

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Is it me or is it whizzing by?


I just had to check the calendar. Can it really be Week 4? Even bearing in mind the fact that – rather uniquely – our CELTA courses are spread over five weeks, it still feels as though the finish line is in sight. Welcome back everyone and here’s wishing you all a great week. Welcome too to our external assessor, Richard Grant, who arrives in Cuenca on Wednesday. Hoping it stays sunny for you all. Wasn’t that a beautiful weekend?

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Meet the Trainers, Part I


Andy has been the lead CELTA trainer for IH Montanita/BSL Cuenca since February 2013. He recently qualified as an assessor for CELTA courses world-wide, has trained 3 new CELTA trainers in the last two years, and has worked as an IELTS examiner in London and Iran. Andy collabrated on in-service teacher training programmes for the Instituto Britanico in Peru, and taught English in Sicily and the UK before taking his DELTA qualification at IH London and devoting himself to what he loves best, CELTA teacher training. After a decade at IH London, and keen for their 5-year old daughter to learn to speak Spanish, Andy and his wife decided to look for opportunities in Latin America. One course at IH Montanita in late 2012 was enough to persuade the whole family to swap North London for the beach in Olon, a fishing village just 5km from Montanita. After two glorious years sitting under a palm tree, Andy cast off his flip-flops and relocated again. Now based in Cuenca, director of BSL here, as well as trainer and in charge of CELTA admissions, he is gently settling into life in the historic city centre along with his family. Andy is proud as punch to be running Cuenca´s first ever CELTA course and is keen to put Ecuador right at the top of the list of the world´s best teacher training destinations. In his free time, Andy is a bit of a keep fit loon, regularly breaking the running machine at his local gym and often to be seen cycling a little too fast uphill.

Oh, PS, he says to say he likes woodwork too.

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Further words … the answers to Questions 2 & 3 (at last!)

photo trainee words right way

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More words …

It´s Friday of Week Two, and raining in Cuenca. Things are looking bright for our CELTA trainees, though. By the end of today, they will all have taught three assessed lessons, something to be very proud of indeed. Hats off (but umbrellas up) to you all.

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Heather and Rachel look perfectly at ease in the classroom!

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The word is … Question 1

So, on Monday,  I asked our CELTA trainees three questions. The first had to do with what they’d been working on over the weekend (all weekend?); the Skills Assignment. Just quietly, Andy also took a couple of photos while they were finalising their submissions in the resource room…


I don´t yet have answers to question 1 back from everyone (they’re busy? On a CELTA?), but five  of the reading suggestions for future trainees facing Assignment One are in. Here they are, in no particular order:

1) The Practice of English Language Teaching, by Jeremy Harmer

2) Learning Teaching, by Jim Scrivener

3) Teaching English as a Foreign Language, by David Riddell

4) English Grammar for Dummies, by Geraldine Woods

5) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, from ACTFL

And here are some relaxed-looking trainees taking a well-deserved break … I think they must have just submitted.


Oh, I nearly forgot; the other two questions I asked the trainees?

I´ll tell you soon …

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