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How are teachers performing in the new TKT?
by Nadezda Novakovic, Research & Validation Group,
University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations

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This is a follow up article to the following:
The development of the Teacher Knowledge Test

A study of teachers taking the new TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test), a badge of professional knowledge, has revealed its growing importance as a refresher among experienced teachers.

Cambridge ESOL first launched the TKT a year ago as a new addition to its range of teaching awards. The test has been developed for both pre-service and practising teachers, and consists of three free-standing modules, each relating to a different aspect of knowledge about the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. The challenge for the test producers has been to ensure TKT could be relevant to the wide range of teachers, in terms of both age, experience and location.

TKT is a flexible test, created to fit in with busy working lives. The three modules (Language and background to language learning and teaching; Lesson planning and use of resources for language teaching; Managing the teaching and learning process) can be taken together in one session or separately, as well as in any order. There is no compulsory course component or teaching practice in TKT: candidates can choose to prepare for the test through self-study or by following a guided course of study. Results are given in bands (from Band 1 up to Band 4), with the opportunity for both inexperienced and experienced teachers to demonstrate their particular level of knowledge.

So far TKT has been offered in more than 25 countries around the world. Each module has been taken by many thousands of candidates, with the large majority of the candidates taking more than one module. At every examination session, candidates were asked to fill in a Candidate Information Sheet (CIS), which provides, among other things, information on their age, gender, country of origin, teaching qualification and experience, their level of English language competence and reasons for taking the test. This information gives us a chance to look at who’s taking the test and how they’re performing.

In TKT’s first year, most of the test takers were female (82%). Eighty-seven percent of the candidates were between 26 and 50 years of age, with the majority belonging to the 31–40 age group.

TKT Chart 1

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