The Oxford TEFL Blog

So you are ready to dive into a diploma course. What now?

If you are considering giving your TEFL career a boost by taking the Trinity Dip. TESOL or the Cambridge Delta there are a number of factors to take into account before making your decision. There is a minefield of information out there which can seem like an obstacle course when trying to choose the best course, training model and course provider. But first things first – what is it to be: Dip or Delta?

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You can do a Trinity Dip TESOL without having done the Trinity Cert. TESOL course, in the same way that you can take the Cambridge Delta without having done the Cambridge CELTA course. If you have an initial ELT qualification, you can demonstrate you are ready for a diploma course and you have at least two years experience teaching English as a foreign language, both courses are options for you.

The Trinity Dip TESOL and the Cambridge Delta are regarded equally by the major institutions such as the British Council. They have equal standing in the UK accreditation system and in many ways cover similar ground. The Trinity Dip. TESOL and the Cambridge Delta are both level 7 qualifications, on a par with an MA, also allowing you to opt out of a module on some MA TESOL courses.

The British Council currently values a Diploma (Trinity Dip. TESOL or Cambridge Delta) over an MA, for most recruitment purposes. This is because the diploma course is a practical teaching qualification, whereas most MA’s are entirely theoretical – there are no observations, for instance. The Diploma includes teaching practice; you are assessed on how well you can apply your learning. The employer has clear evidence that you are effective in the classroom. Not just that you can write effectively about how to teach.

The main difference between the Trinity Dip. TESOL and the Cambridge Delta is that there is more emphasis on phonology on the Trinity Dip. TESOL course. This includes using the phonetic chart, features of connected speech, vowels, consonants and stress. Many trainees find this very challenging as well as incredibly useful, and it provides a skill that a lot of teachers don’t have! It tends to have a huge impact on the way graduates teach and really adds to their skill set.

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Another difference is that the Trinity Dip. TESOL course offers further training on teaching young learners, which the Cambridge Delta does not include. This module aims to build knowledge, understanding and confidence in areas such as using resources and technology, classroom management and lesson planning. It also raises awareness of the context and theory of language teaching and learning to children and adolescents.

For many potential Dip. TESOL or Delta trainees, attending classes for their teacher training is one of the biggest challenges. For those who are working full-time, it can be tricky to combine teacher training with busy work schedules. Course providers can operate any model they wish for delivery as long as it fits the criteria of the Awarding Body. This might be a blended self-study and face to face model, a part-time face to face, an intensive program, or all of these. Time frames also will depend upon the provider and will affect course prices.

On intensive diploma courses, trainees are expected to be working on assignments and teaching practice at the same time. There is also a lot of information to take in as well as reading to complete, in such a short space of time. It’s certainly not easy, though some people do prefer this approach. Drop-out rates tend to be higher on intensive courses.

Oxford TEFL offers a blended Trinity Dip TESOL course which combines 7 months distance learning online with a four week face to face phase in Barcelona, Prague, Kerala, Hong Kong or in your own centre in the summer. There are two start dates during the year, in October and January. For many of our trainees, the flexibility of the course helped them to choose to take the course with us.

On successful completion of a diploma course, graduates can expect to have more professional doors opened for them. Many of our graduates have gone on to become teacher trainers, Directors of Studies, managers at ELT publishers and course book writers.

If you would like to become a diploma qualified teacher, take your teaching to the next level and compete for some of the best jobs in ELT, you can complete the application form here or contact us to find out more.

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