Review by: Daniel Montecillo 11th October 2015
The training I had with TESOL Centre Cebu took years in the making (you know the backstory Ma'am Mel! Hahaha), but it was definitely worth the wait. Here is my unsolicited, honest-to-goodness review of my stay at the centre.
THE TRAINING PROGRAM. Being a business graduate, I’ve never had any formal training in teaching, and what I’ve been doing in the nearly 10 years of teaching English was mostly self-determined. Therefore, this training was definitely a game-changer. On the one hand, the training validated many of my ideas of what I believe teaching should be. On the other hand, the training opened my eyes to very practical, useful and fun methods in teaching English. In particular, it introduced me to the wonderful concept of the communicative approach in teaching English, which is the core of TESOL. With about 120 hours of input, some baseline, grammar and phonology tests, journalising, 8 hours model teaching observation, six 45-minute classes with real students, and many, many more hours planning for each of these six lessons that included material preparation, the training was definitely a good exercise for the brain. Without a doubt, the centre’s TESOL course wasn’t a run-of-the-mill training in which ideas were simply spoon-fed, no. The application of these concepts was a part of the program. It required much planning and creativity, and we needed to be mentally—even emotionally—prepared. I think would-be trainees should consider this very greatly.
THE TRAINERS. All in all, I felt such great privilege to be under the tutelage of the centre’s seasoned trainers. You can tell from the manner of teaching and the amount of information that is shared in all the sessions that the trainers are an authority in their field, and in my honest opinion, they’re one of the best—if not the best—in the country. Teacher Ace has such great passion in teaching and this is shown in the depth of the lectures and many anecdotes he shared in class. Because of his extensive teaching experience both here and abroad, he definitely had a lot to say about how we should teach and did so with unquestionable authority. I definitely loved teacher Nancy’s light and lively teaching style. A power napper, I require naps to keep me alert in the afternoon, but somehow I never felt I had to have one because she kept us awake in our afternoon sessions. I really wish I could be like her in my own classes.
THE TEACHING PRACTICES. Needless to say, the teaching demos we did as part of the training were empowering as they were motivating. We were prepared very well prior to each of the six 45-minute teaching practices; from the (very tedious) lesson planning to the materials preparation, teacher Ace was behind us the whole time. The after-demo evaluation and peer observation were very encouraging, never condescending, and made us easily focus on our strength and work on improving our class demos. For this reason, my co-trainees and I found ourselves improving after each teaching practice and receiving better evaluation scores each time.
THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. It took no time for me to assimilate to the centre’s relaxed, no-frills overall environment, and I instantly felt at home the moment I arrived there. Ms. Anne was very accommodating and nice, and Ms. Jerly attended to our many needs. Thankfully, I didn’t have to bring my own portable computer because computers are available in the centre. They have wi-fi internet and printer, so besides helping me prepare for my lessons, I was able to check my emails and attend to my work obligations during break time and after training hours. I also hardly found myself buying stuff for my teaching practice materials since everything I needed was provided. The rooms were clean, well-lighted and cool. We had a clean and well-stocked restroom all the time. We could use the dining area for lunch and enjoyed purified water all the time. Located right in front of the provincial capitol, the centre is in the heart of Cebu and is greatly accessible via jeepney. It is near Ayala and SM malls, Colon St. and the popular Sto. Niño church and many restaurants. Deciding where to eat or where to go after class and how to get there was never a problem for me. I think the centre is meant to be where it is right now. There is absolutely nothing I could complain about the physical centre itself and the people working in it.
On the whole, I very strongly recommend TESOL Centre Cebu for offering such a great TESOL certificate course and having such seasoned and inspiring mentors, teaching practice sessions that were both encouraging and empowering, and a physical centre that delivered what is for me an excellent learning experience. Kudos!
You can see the original review on Daniel's Facebook page here