My name's Jo
Gakonga, and I'm from Birmingham, in the UK. I've been teaching since 1989, and
training teachers since 2000. Like many English teachers, though, my life
didn't start off along that path....
I originally studied
Agriculture but I ended up in South East Asia and absolutely fell in love with
it so when I ran out of money, I got a plane to Taiwan, where I had been
advised I could get a job teaching English, just because I could 'speak it' and
that's where my English teaching journey began.
I quickly found
work, and luckily in a very supportive school, and it was such fun, I couldn't
quite believe I was getting paid for it! I was very green, and I'm sure I made
lots of mistakes, but over the next few years, I used teaching to take me
to all manner of places including Spain (very briefly - horrid school!),
Australia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Kenya, picked up a Cert TESOL, a
DTEFLA (pre-DELTA - shows how old I am!) and a PGCE along the way, dabbled with
primary school teaching for a couple of years and ran screaming back to Adult
Ed, and finally met my husband in Kenya in 1998 and came back to the UK when
our first child was born.
When I came back to
the UK, I worked in Further Education in ESOL for a long time and I really
enjoyed the work there and my colleagues' company. The job changed every year;
I taught all levels and prepared learners for all sorts of exams and I had
the opportunity to become a teacher trainer and have been involved over the
past 14 years in CELTA, Module 2, PTLLS and DTLLS training. I am also an
assessor for CELTA and a Joint Chief Assessor for Cambridge so get to visit a
lot of other centres.
from a problem. This was that on the CELTA course we frequently interview
trainees who have great potential as teachers, but whose knowledge of
grammar isn't strong enough to allow us to give them a place on the
course. We also find that for trainees (not) knowing the nomenclature and the
systems of their native language is a major stumbling block on CELTA.
If you have learnt a foreign language to an advanced level, you probably have a
good grasp of how languages hang together. However, if you haven't (and
maybe even if you have) you probably don't know much about English grammar,
despite the fact that you can speak the language eloquently and write it
There are lots of
great grammar books out there, and you can learn it this way, but
sometimes it's hard to know where to start. I wanted to develop
a pre-course that would give trainees a basic grounding and the tools to
go away, reflect on it and study further themselves. This is ELT_Training! Hundreds of trainees have done the grammar course and the CCQ course and I get very positive feedback. Perhaps more importantly, most people find me because the trainers at their centre have recommended my site.
I really hope that you find it helpful and if you have any questions, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org