Syllabus & Assessment

Key components and an overview of CertTESOL syllabus and assessments

The main TESOL course syllabus is delivered and assessed through five units. The work for Units 1, 2, 3 and 5 is marked by your internal course tutors and moderated or sampled and checked by a member of the Trinity moderators panel at the end of every course. The moderator externally assesses the work for Unit 4.

CertTESOL Course Units

The course units covers essential modules, including teaching skills, language awareness, learner profiling, materials creation, and classroom management, integral to the CertTESOL syllabus. Let's look at it in detail.

Unit 1 : Teaching skills, assessed through:

  • Tutors’ evaluation of six hours of teaching with real learners
  • A journal including trainees’ own lesson plans, with self- and tutor-evaluation
  • A journal covering trainees’ reflective comments following observation of four hours of ESOL teaching by experienced teachers

Unit 2 : Language awareness including grammar and phonology, assessed through:

  • A test or practical project
  • Ongoing use of spoken and written English

Unit 3 : Learner profile, assessed through:

  • The preparation of a simple linguistic profile and needs analysis, including some basic phonemic transcription, of a single learner
  • The planning of, and reflection on, a one-to-one lesson
  • The preparation of recommendations for the learner’s future language development

Unit 4 : Materials assignment, assessed through:

  • Written rationale for the development of one piece of teaching material
  • Written evaluation of use of this in classroom teaching
  • Interview with a Trinity moderator to discuss the above and the ways in which materials development is beneficial to the development of teaching skills

Unit 5 : Unknown language, assessed through:

  • A journal covering trainees’ reflective comments on four hours’ tuition in an unknown language from the point of view of the beginner, including an analysis of the key aspects of methods and classroom management that affect the learner positively and negatively

Professional awareness and development, are an ongoing theme. Successful trainees must demonstrate an awareness of the needs of other colleagues in the team, teaching and non-teaching, and the value of mutual support in the teaching, learning and training environment. They must also demonstrate an awareness of the need for professional development during and after the course, based on a constructive response to training input and feedback from tutors and peers.

Area of Assessment:

All trainees complete at least six hours of observed and assessed teaching practice with genuine learners, and produce a number of reflective written assignments. All courses are visited at the end by a Trinity moderator. The moderator talks to all trainees in groups and then individually in an interview, and samples trainees’ written work.

Our course is assessed in several key areas to ensure comprehensive training for our participants. Here are the primary areas of assessment in the Trinity CertTESOL course:

1. Teaching Practice and Teaching Experience Log:

The most important feature of the course is the emphasis on the development of specialist teaching skills through practice with classes of foreign language students. This will be as varied as possible, thus on leaving the course you will be able to inform potential employers that you have taught full classes, adults of different levels, and have experienced one-to-one remedial teaching.

2. Professional Development:

You will be expected to show a professional awareness of other colleagues in the team, as well as demonstrate pertinent self-evaluation and improvement as you progress through the course. Good personal organisation is essential.

3. Learner Profile:

This is a piece of writing based on one-to-one meetings with a student. It will consist of a biographical sketch of your assigned student with a description of his/her problems in the spoken and written language, and information about a follow-up lesson in which you try to help your student overcome selected problems.

4. Unknown Language Journal:

At the beginning of the course, you will have a short course in learning an unknown language. You will be put in the position of a beginner learning a new language. Your language tutor will use the methodology that you will be expected to utilise in your English classes. You will record your reactions to the teaching and learning on a daily basis and then consider the implications derived from the experience for teaching complete beginners. Each of these lessons contains methodology and practical ideas for you to use in your own teaching, and must be written up in a written assignment. This is invaluable experience for any teacher who puts their students first in their classroom.

5. Teaching Materials Assignment:

You will be required to present, discuss and evaluate materials you have used during your teaching practice on the course. Assignments are structured and presented in such a way as to support the developments that you make on your way to becoming a rounded teacher of English.

6. Language Awareness Tests:

You will be tested on the grammar and phonology taught on the course. The knowledge you will need is based on your ability to analyse the English you already use in every day communication.

It is important to note that attendance alone is not a guarantee of success. In order to pass you will be required to successfully complete all the written assignments, and in your teaching practice, demonstrate the techniques of communicative language teaching that are taught on the course.

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