Last year I became a tutor on the Trinity Teaching Young Learners Extension Certificate (TYLEC). Here’s an overview of the course, and my personal views on it.
What is the TYLEC?
The TYLEC is a course that will give you a certificate in teaching children from ages seven to sixteen. The course includes:
- input sessions from experienced tutors (covering topics such as lesson planning)
- teaching practice (four hours of observations) with a teaching practice journal
- completion of a developmental log
- completion of a guided observation journal
- completion of a materials assignment
You have at least two tutors who will not only observe your lessons, but who will talk to you about your development, make comments on your developmental log and observation journal, and will do tutorials with you.
For more information, see the Trinity website.
What will I learn on the course?
Trinity lists the course objectives on their website , which include:
- developing an awareness of the learning needs/motivation of young learners, with an understanding of current theories of child development
- an ability to create lesson plans with clear and achievable aims, using appropriate methods for children
- an ability to evaluate and adapt published materials
- developing a broad understanding of various language teaching approaches, with reference to young learners
- evaluating your own effectiveness as a teacher
- an ability to identify and set developmental action points for your own development
How demanding is the course?
Very demanding. It would be easy for teachers to underestimate the demands of this course, especially if their only other teaching qualification is CELTA. This course takes a lot more work than CELTA, often over a longer period.
There can be some tight deadlines, depending on the institution offering the course.
This course is really reflection-heavy, which comes easier if you’ve done the Delta, for example, but is challenging for teachers who have just done their CELTA. You may struggle with the reflection element of the course. I know this sounds silly (how hard can it be to ‘reflect’?!) but it actually is very difficult to get in the habit of constructively evaluating yourself, if you’ve never really done it before.
There is a lot of paperwork, and participants need to be able to organise their time. Those who struggle to do this will find the course stressful, as the deadlines will quickly add up. If you are working full-time when doing this course, those missed deadlines can be really draining- especially as the course may last six months, so you need to maintain commitment to the course over a long period.
Do you recommend it?
This course is most useful to those who are ready to really evaluate their own teaching of young learners, and to put a lot of effort into writing reflections of their lessons and learning during the course. It is not a spoon-fed course, by any means.
If you struggle to meet deadlines, or have a heavy workload, this is not the course for you.
The TYLEC is a fantastic course, which will absolutely improve your teaching of young learners. You will learn so much about lesson planning, classroom management, and child development. But only if you are willing to put in the work!