Week by week on a Trinity CertPT course - what to expect
Whether you teach General English, business English, EAP or any other English-medium subject the Level 6 Trinity Certificate for Practising Teachers (CertPT) takes your teaching to the next level. It helps experienced teachers to engage with theories of teaching and learning, helping them to think about why they do what they do in the classroom, and how to make it more effective.
The CertPT course is focused around the design and delivery of ESOL materials which focus on the specific needs of the learners that you teach. Everything that you do on the course will revolve around your learners, their motivations, learning preferences and the wider setting where they are studying. This means that you will focus on the skills that they need to work on, to become more effective language users and to pass any upcoming assessments that they may have.
So what does an average CertPT course look like? Each week (every 2 weeks on a 10-week course) you will focus on research into principles of teaching, learning and materials design in order to write an assessed task of between 750 and 1000 words.
Week 1: Course Introduction
In the first week of the course, you will meet your tutor and fellow trainees in a live online tutorial lasting around 1 hour. We will set some expectations about how to succeed on the course, and introduce the structure and content of the first assessed task for the course, which is an evaluation of a published teaching resource
Week 2 (weeks 2-3 of a 10-week course): Assessed Task 1
Often, the materials we are given do not work for the specific students that we teach, and it is not always easy to see why this is the case. For the first course unit, you will think about the specific language needs and motivations of the students that you teach, as well as the requirements of the setting where they study. You will do some research into ways of meeting those needs through approaches, methods and resource types which will benefit your learners, and analyse what kinds of material would be more effective for them.
For assessed task 1, you will select a published teaching resource that you could use with your learner group, and you will evaluate its effectiveness for the learners. This means analysing the worksheet, lesson plan or textbook pages for different strengths and weaknesses in design and suggested delivery.
You will draft your first assessed task response, and attend a 30-minute feedback tutorial to receive comments from your tutor before making revisions and submitting your final task response. You will also attend a 1-hour tutorial introducing the structure and content of assessed task 2.
Week 3 (weeks 4-5 of a 10-week course)
One of the most common things that we do as teachers is to take the materials we are given, and change them to benefit the learners we teach. In Unit 2 of the CertPT, you will do jut that: focus on another published teaching resource, and make adaptations to that resource so that it more closely meets the needs of the learners that you teach.
This means that you will study some theories of materials design, the features of effective ESOL materials, and some principles of task design, to add to the published resource that you select and to make it more effective for your class.
Again, you will write a draft of your second assessed task, using your research to support your suggested improvements, and you will attend a live online tutorial to get feedback from your tutor before submitting the final version. You will also attend a 1-hour tutorial introducing the structure and content of assessed task 2.
Week 4 (weeks 6-7 of a 10-week course)
Sometimes, the learners we teach have specific needs which are not covered by the materials that we can find online or in textbooks. You may have been asked to create teaching materials for your school, and need support to make sure that they are appropriate. In the third unit of the CertPT, you will apply the principles of materials and task design from the course to create a teaching resource from scratch, following some guiding principles that will enable you to make good design choices for your learners. Assessed task 3 is a rationale for the design of a self-designed teaching resource, again based on the research that you have done into theories of teaching and learning elsewhere on the course.
You will present your self-designed resource along with your third assessed task draft, to receive feedback in a live tutorial, and make amendments before submitting the final version and attending the introduction tutorial for the fourth and final assessed task
Week 5 (weeks 8-9 of a 10-week course)
In the fourth course unit, you will put the materials that you have worked with into practice by teaching a lesson using either the resource you adapted in assessed task 2, or the self-designed resource that you created for assessed task 3.
To assess the quality of the material, and the effectiveness of your delivery in the lesson, you will also design an observation instrument to get feedback from your learners and/or an observer who you can invite to watch the class. The evidence of effectiveness will form part of your reflection on delivery, which is the content of assessed task 4.
Reflecting on how and why you use teaching resources as you do is an essential part of being a teacher, so assessed task 4 brings the content of the previous weeks of the course together in the application of the design and delivery skills that you have developed on the course.
In the final days of the course, you will submit your final versions of all assessed tasks and the resources you have worked with for moderation by Trinity College London, to receive your final course grade.
Overall, the Trinity CertPT combines theory and practice, consistently focusing on how you can work with teaching materials more effectively for your learners and in the setting where you teach. This makes it a useful bridge between initial training qualifications such as the Trinity CertTESOL, and higher, post-graduate qualifications such as the level 7 Diploma in TESOL and masters level study.
Tom Garside is Director of Language Point Teacher Education. Language Point delivers the internationally recognised RQF level 5 Trinity CertTESOL in a totally online mode of study, and the RQF level 6 Trinity College Certificate for Practising Teachers, a contextually-informed teacher development qualification with specific courses which focus on online language education or online methodology.
If you are interested to know more about these qualifications, or you want take your teaching to a new level with our teacher education courses, contact us or visit our CertTESOL FAQ and CertPT FAQ pages for details.