Detailed Syllabus

The syllabus has been updated over the years both as a result of feedback and to reflect the way that English teaching is changing. This is the 2016 version.

Learning Objectives

Successful trainees will be able to demonstrate the following on completion of the course :

  • knowledge of the main phonological, lexical and syntactic features of contemporary English
  • awareness of the learning needs of individuals or groups of learners, and of the motivation of learners in a variety of cultures and environments
  • ability to establish rapport, create and maintain learners’ interest
  • ability to draw up a range of lesson plans with clear and achievable aims, using appropriate methods for learners with various needs
  • ability to manage and stimulate active participation among a class of learners and provide a relevant learning context and learning opportunities in relation to their learning objectives
  • ability to evaluate, use and adapt published material and create simple teaching material, which may include visual aids, audio, video and information/ communications technology
  • broad understanding of the main advantages and disadvantages of various language teaching approaches
  • ability to evaluate their own effectiveness as teachers and to work cooperatively as members of a teaching team or group
  • awareness of the need to continue their professional development as ESOL teachers after training in a teaching post and through private study, further training or participation in professional networking events
  • awareness of the means of identifying a TESOL post after training, including using the media and professional associations, and of the main issues relating to employment in this area that may affect their future security and further professional development.

Course Content

Each programme will include the following components to be formally and individually assessed:

Unit 1: Teaching skills

Trainees develop:

  • an understanding of basic TESOL methodologies and approaches in a manner appropriate to course and lesson aims, and the learners’ background and learning objectives
  • the ability to use a variety of teaching materials and an awareness of the key features required of coursebooks and printed materials
  • the ability to balance the requirements of accuracy and fluency in teaching English
  • the potential for self-evaluation and professional development through further training.

All trainees will complete a minimum of :

  • six hours’ teaching practice with genuine classes of no fewer than six learners, observed and assessed by experienced tutors
  • eight hours’ observation of experienced teachers teaching genuine learners (four hours of English classes and four hours of other language classes)
  • the preparation of a teaching journal to include lesson plans, self-evaluation and comment by tutors that records trainees’ progress and consolidates their perceptions of effective teaching strategies.

Unit 2: Language awareness

Trainees develop:

  • an understanding of the basic relationship between linguistic form (phonological, lexical and syntactic), function and meaning in standard English and the principal concepts and terminology used to describe the structure and use of English
  • the ability to describe and teach the above in terms of language skills and sub-skills and to develop them in a language learning syllabus
  • the ability to teach the above in a communicative context and assess their learners’ competence in these areas
  • an understanding of the practical application of phonetics and phonology. Reference will be made to spoken and written English, and to the relative roles of British Standard English and other varieties of English, UK and worldwide.

Unit 3: The learner profile

Trainees address the needs of an individual learner through the preparation of a linguistic profile and needs analysis for one learner of English and the preparation of a one-to-one lesson. The analysis will focus on the learner’s cultural background, previous language learning experience and aims, linguistic strengths and weaknesses and the main features of her or his mother tongue.

Unit 4: The materials assignment

Trainees plan, produce, use and evaluate a selection of classroom teaching materials of principally their own design and prepare a written rationale and evaluation describing the following : the materials and the learners for which they are intended; the ways in which they are to be used; ways in which they might be adapted for other learners; the ways in which they were and were not successful when used in teaching practice. (See also under Assessment.)

Unit 5: The unknown language

Trainees receive four hours’ tuition with an oral/aural bias in an unknown foreign language through the medium of that language only, to gain first-hand experience of a learner’s difficulties and to see in practice some of the methods and approaches introduced to them elsewhere. They record their perceptions of their experiences as learners through a written Journal which will form part of the final assessment.

Professional awareness and development

Successful trainees demonstrate their professional awareness of the needs of other colleagues in the team, teaching and non-teaching, and the value of mutual support within the teaching-learning-training environment. They must demonstrate a commitment to further professional development through a combination of reflective practice, and informal and formal discussions and training. They must also have an awareness of the principal employment sectors in their field and sources of information on employment and employers.