Through its validation and annual inspection process, Trinity College London ensures that all DipTESOL courses follow the same mandatory components:
- Language: candidates must show understanding of the language systems and language-related issues as commonly taught in beginner to advanced syllabuses.
- Learning and Teaching: candidates must show an understanding of the current principles and practices of language learning and teaching and show an ability to demonstrate these in the classroom.
- Professional Development: candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the principles and procedures facilitating personal and professional development.
Candidates are examined according to the following four units. Some components are externally assessed by Trinity's panel of examiners, others are internally assessed by the course provider and externally moderated by Trinity.
Unit 1: Three-hour Written Paper. This has three sections – a short answer section on language topics and two essay sections on 'learning and teaching' and 'professional development'. It is externally assessed and there are three set examination dates per year. Please download the DipTESOL Unit 1 sample examination paper to get an idea of what to expect.
Unit 2: Coursework Portfolio. This is a compilation of three assignments, firmly rooted in classroom practice. Section one is based around a self-designed classroom observation instrument, section two is a developmental record of the candidate's own teaching and section three is an independent research project. The portfolio is internally assessed and externally moderated.
Unit 3: the Interview. This is an externally assessed 30-minute interview designed to give the candidate the opportunity to describe, illustrate and evaluate their understanding and application of phonological theory in the classroom and includes a prepared talk and a phonemic transcription exercise.
Unit 4: Classroom Teaching. Candidates complete four hours of internally assessed teaching practice and one hour that is externally assessed. In addition, candidates complete a self-reflection teaching practice journal.
Units 2, 3 and 4 are usually taken together in the first instance and candidates have up to three years to complete any failed units or parts of units. The syllabus places a strong emphasis on the application of theory in the classroom and also on teachers reflecting on and evaluating their own practice.