What can a level 6 Trinity Certificate for Practising Teachers (Cert PT) qualification do for you?
If you have an initial qualification in TESOL, like a Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge CELTA and a couple of years of experience in the classroom, you may be wondering where to go next with your teaching. There are a lot of Continuous Professional Development options out there, some more formal than others, but if you are looking for a qualification which will help you to hone what you are doing in your classroom, and to address the specific needs that your learners have for their study, the Trinity CertPT is the development course for you.
What is a ‘level 6’ qualification?
Not all courses and qualifications labelled ‘certificate’ are accredited at the same level. Many online providers and other training centres call their TEFL courses certificates, and they are in that they result in a piece of paper which shows that you have completed the course. In addition, any course provider can create different levels for their certificates without any external accreditation.
However, the ‘level 6’ attached to the Trinity CertPT refers to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) laid out by the UK’s governing body for academic and professional qualifications, Ofqual. This level 6 regulation means that the CertPT qualification is equal in level to the final year of a bachelors degree at a UK university. Many universities and other academic institutions accept these qualifications as course credit, significantly reducing the amount of time (and money) you need to spend on your future career development.
The benefits of taking a course leading to this level of qualification in TESOL are many, so what can this type of development do to improve your teaching and develop your career in the long term?
Like most qualifications in TESOL, there is a balance of theory and practice involved with CertPT courses, and different courses give weight to different areas within theories of teaching and learning, language awareness and development of classroom skills.
The course requires you to define the learners that you teach and the setting where they study, in order to evaluate, adapt, design and deliver teaching materials which target their specific needs. The materials you work with can focus on classroom interaction, language, online delivery, ESOL assessments or other outcomes that the learners are working towards, meaning that whatever field within second language education you are working in, you can develop your skills in the specific context where you teach.
Language Point CertPT courses come in two specialisms: one for second-language educators, which is suitable for teachers working in international schools, private-sector language centres, university EAP departments or in EAL settings in government or state schools. This specialism is designed for any teacher of languages or other subjects which are delivered to students whose first language is not English.
The second course specialism we offer develops online learning methodology and e-pedagogy. This course is designed for teachers who are teaching in a blended or online mode, perhaps as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and who would like development in the adaptation and creation of online learning materials.
Whichever course you are looking at, you will receive expert guidance from approved tutors, including successful authors, trainers and education developers from around the world. You will be required to take an academically sound approach to the work you do, including research into theories of language and learning, specific aspects of language usage and development, theories of how language is acquired by individuals, and research into the individual learners or groups that you teach in order to address their needs in the most effective ways possible.
A teacher-centred approach to development
Far from being a prescriptive ‘do what we say’ approach to your development, we take the view that you are the expert in what goes on in your classroom. You know your students better than anyone, so the most effective development activity that can be designed should come from you and the learners in your classes. All development activity which happens on the CertPT is performed through the less of the students, their language needs and goals, and the features of the setting where they work.
CertPT courses aim for you to develop your individual style of teaching and communicating with learners, so that they can engage with you and each other more openly. In this way, CertPT research and teaching simultaneously tightens up your technical ability and loosens your grip on the power over the students and their learning, enabling them to progress in the specific areas where they need work.
Specialising within the TESOL industry
Common pathways for CertPT-qualified teachers include: moving into academic or school management, curriculum design, acceptance into specialist teacher roles, and becoming competent as a specialist in disciplines such as English for Academic Purposes, Professional English, English for Specific Purposes or with Young Learners.
As a stepping stone in your academic and professional development, a CertPT qualification can open up doors into many different areas of the industry, making for increased responsibility, better financial packages and credit towards further study such as diploma-level qualifications. 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 course pages for details.
Tom Garside is Director of Teacher Training for 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 a specific focus on online language education.