As part of the Trinity CertTESOL application process, you will be asked to complete a couple of written pre-interview tasks. In the past, some applicants have told us that this was a bit off-putting because they thought their knowledge of English grammar was quite minimal. But don’t worry. The first thing to remember is that you are an expert speaker and, if you were brought up speaking English, there is no reason why you should know the grammar rules for your own first language. You’ve had no need to know these rules up to now. However, we tend to learn a second language at a later stage in life and in a different way from our first language. Because of this, our learners will need at least some understanding of the rules in order to piece together the right words in the right order.
So, yes, while it’s absolutely not necessary or expected that you will have extensive knowledge of the grammar before you start the CertTESOL course, one aim of the course is to develop knowledge of the language systems quickly. A starting point is to get to grips with some grammar terminology, that is, the words you will need in order to teach language and grammar. For example, if a learner whose native language is Spanish asks you why saying “I have a car big” is wrong, what can you say? As a teacher you can explain that in English an adjective (big) must come before the noun (car) it describes.
On the course, trainees get to study and understand the grammar of the piece of language you are planning to teach. This is part of the lesson planning process. Over time, the more lessons you plan and teach, the more knowledge of grammar you acquire as a teacher. To help make sure everyone starts with at least a minimum level of understanding of grammar we send trainees a pre-course task upon acceptance onto our course. You’ll soon be up to speed and feel more confident about grammar before you start.
But let’s concentrate on the interview task now…
The following questions are similar to the types of language questions we ask in the interview tasks. See how much you already know and perhaps get some tips for the tasks. Just select the answers you think are right and click on the ‘Check’ button at the end of each question.