What is level 6 qualification in TESOL? Why choose it?


Four reasons to go for Level 6 if you are already working as a teacher!

Suppose you are already teaching English in any setting, from primary to high school, university, or online. In that case, you have valuable experience, which counts towards the quality of your work.

However, the vast majority of teacher training courses and qualifications are focused on ITE, or Initial Teacher Education. I’ve trained hundreds of language educators on ITE courses, many of whom have experience and even qualifications in education. So the training they took was actually in no way ‘initial’.

This post gives you reasons why experienced teachers might want to bypass ITE and go for a progression qualification in TESOL, such as the Trinity College Certificate for Practising Teachers (CertPT).

1) If you have the experience, you don’t need to start from square one

Traditional ITE courses in the TESOL industry are either unaccredited, internally accredited, or regulated at level 5 on the UK’s Ofqual list of regulated qualifications (the RQF) – like the Trinity CertTESOL and Cambridge CELTA.

A level 5 qualification is defined as equivalent to the second year of a Bachelor’s degree, which is a very formative point in your initial steps into education. If you are already working as a teacher, you likely have a qualification in education, but you might be looking for a TESOL-specific course specializing in language education.

An RQF level 6 qualification is equivalent in level to the final year of a bachelor’s degree, a point where you demonstrate the development you have made through the first years of your study to a point where you are doing rather than learning. This is the essence of a level 6 qualification – it develops your ability to professionally demonstrate progression in a field that you have already gained experience in.

2) Your classroom is the perfect place for you to develop

Ironically, most teacher development happens outside of the setting where educators work: the classroom. As a practicing teacher, your classroom is home, and you work best from the place you have built with your students as a personal learning environment for them. When teachers are gathered in a new place, in a group away from their students, training is isolated from the realities of the daily job of education.

As a professional progression qualification, the Trinity CertPT uses its level 6 status to enable teachers to take from their current practice, develop new ideas from their online training, and integrate them into their teaching as they study.

This allows for reflection and feedback sessions with course trainers as you try out new methods and think about their effectiveness. The classroom is the ultimate development environment for teachers, so applying new methods alongside course study makes for longer-lasting, more sustainable development for educators.

3) Level 6 means development, not training

Going back to the experienced teachers I have ‘trained’ on level 5 courses over the years, I have often heard that the courses they took presented different models of education than those they had been practicing for years. This was interesting and useful for them and gave them a new perspective on what they did, but the content of the courses ended up being used in a way that was not intended; as a development activity, not training. This meant that although they got a lot from the courses they took, they had to bring something extra to put the course into the context of where they were already teaching.

An RQF level 6 qualification, on the other hand, is designed to fit around the teaching you are already doing. It is flexible in how it presents principles of pedagogy and expects teachers to interpret and apply them in their classrooms, with the learners they work with every day. This is a much more valuable and efficient way to improve what you are doing in the classroom and works alongside your everyday teaching to feel the results of the hard work that you put in.

4) Recognition of prior study gives access to a broader range of teachers

Most postgraduate qualifications in TESOL require applicants to have completed an internationally accredited level 5 qualification, such as the Trinity CertTESOL or Cambridge CELTA. However, as a level 6 professional progression qualification, the Trinity CertPT recognizes a wide range of initial qualifications in education.

Along with demonstrated experience in relevant fields, national and region-specific qualifications in education, applied linguistics and TESOL are recognized for entry onto the course, giving a more extensive range of teachers access to this valuable development activity.

Also, this recognition of prior qualifications and experience means that the minimum language requirement is even more accessible than level 5 ITE courses and postgraduate qualifications in TESOL.

On the CertPT, the language requirement is CEFR B2 (IELTS 6), rather than the more common entry standard of CEFR C1 (IELTS 7) or even CEFR C2 (IELTS 8) for postgraduate courses. This makes the CertPT qualification more accessible to teachers working in different contexts worldwide.

It is also open to teachers who work entirely online to help them develop the specific set of skills that goes with this teaching English online field within TESOL.

Share this post:

Posted On: August 16, 2020.

Author: Tom Garside

Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.