Cambridge ESOL is developing a new test for teachers of English as a second or additional language, the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT). This test focuses on the subject and language knowledge teachers need in their professional lives.
Candidates will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with basic concepts related to language, language use and the background to and practice of language teaching and learning.
Candidates will work towards an international initial teaching qualification. This can be used to access further training and enhance career opportunities. TKT’s low cost reduces financial barriers to entry and teachers can choose not to follow a particular course of study before taking the test; they can prepare themselves through their own study, if they prefer.
The test is designed for candidates who meet the following profile:
Development has been underway for some time and pre-testing and validation is taking place in Thailand and Indonesia in November 2004. Candidates involved in earlier trials were highly successful and reacted positively to the test in feedback questionnaires and focus groups.
The syllabus is split into three core modules. Each module will be supported by a short test, which features simple question formats such as multiple choice, matching and gap filling, rather than lengthy writing tasks.
Module 1 – Part 1
Tests candidates’ knowledge of terms common in English language teaching that are used to describe language and its uses, and language skills.
Module 1 – Part 2
Tests candidates’ knowledge of factors underpinning the learning of English as a second or additional language which affect both what and how a teacher chooses to teach a class or an individual learner.
Module 1 – Part 3
Tests candidates’ knowledge of the range, function and appropriacy of the pedagogic choices the
teachers have at their disposal to cater for learner differences and the differences between L1 and L2 learning. These choices cover both what and how to teach.
Focuses on what the teacher considers and does while planning lessons and on how to make use of resources, materials and aids in lesson planning.
Tests candidates’ understanding of the functions of classroom language, of adapting teacher language according to its audience and purpose, recognition of learner error and classroom management.
For questions 1-6, read the following information about different teaching purposes. Decide which is the most appropriate form of classroom interaction: group, pair or individual work.
Mark your answers on the separate answer sheet.
1. ‘Running dictation’ – a team game.
2. Listening and answering different sets of comprehension questions and then comparing answers.
3. Giving an oral presentation.
4. Writing a formal essay.
5. Practising a dialogue.
6. Keeping a vocabulary notebook.
The test provides teachers with a strong foundation in the core areas of teaching knowledge needed in
the English language teaching classroom. Teachers who then want to explore these areas in more depth can progress onto Cambridge ESOL’s already well-established teaching awards such as ICELT (In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching) and CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults).
Enabling teachers to progress in their English language teaching careers underpins the ‘portfolio’ concept also being developed by Cambridge ESOL to support the Teaching Knowledge Test.
Encouraging teachers to maintain a learning portfolio helps them to reflect on their teaching practice, track their progress and structure their career development.
Many existing Cambridge ESOL centres are likely to offer courses to prepare teachers for the test. Books will be available from publishers, for example, Target TKT from Cambridge University Press.
Tutors may also use the Teaching Knowledge Test as part of their teacher training courses, either to act as a refresher, or to ensure basic teaching skills are covered quickly.
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