University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations
Teaching Knowledge Test
Cambridge ESOL Examinations Centre Zaragoza

The University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations Centre at Zaragoza is planning to offer examinations for two additional Cambridge ESOL certificates in November 2009: the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) and the International Legal English Certificate (ILEC).

Click here for information about examination dates, fees, and registration for TKT at Zaragoza.

Introduction to Cambridge ESOL

The Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) is designed and produced by University of Cambrige ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), a department of the University of Cambridge and part of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, which has provided examinations in English for speakers of other languages since 1913. Cambridge ESOL offers an extensive range of examinations, certificates and diplomas for learners and teachers of English, taken by over 1.5 million people a year, in more than 130 countries.

Introduction to TKT - a test of professional knowledge for English Language Teachers

TKT tests knowledge about the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. This knowledge includes concepts related to language, language use and the background to and practice of language teaching and learning and is assessed by means of objective format tests, which are simple to administer and to take.

TKT is designed to offer maximum flexibility and accessibility for candidates and therefore does not include a compulsory course component or compulsory teaching practice. However, it is likely that centres and other institutions will wish to offer courses for TKT preparation and these may also include some teaching practice, if desired. It should be noted that TKT tests teaching knowledge rather than teaching ability.

TKT offers candidates a step in their professional develoopment as teachers and enables them to move onto higher-level teaching qualifications and access professional support materials, such as journals about English language teaching (ELT).

TKT candidates are encouraged to keep a portfolio, a record of their professional development and reflections on their teaching. Through their portfolio candidates should become reflective practitioners, analysing their teaching and how this impacts on their students' learning. However, the portfolio does not form part of the assessment for TKT.

TKT can be taken at any stage in a teacher's career. It is suitable for pre-service or practising teachers and forms part of a framework of teaching awards offere by Cambridge ESOL. This includes CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults); CELTYL (Certificate in English Language Teaching for Young Learners), iCELT (In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching); and DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults). These are based on the following content areas: subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge of context. TKT covers the first three of these areas of knowledge, but unlike the other teaching awards, TKT does not assess knowledge of teaching context. This area is most appropriately assessed through teaching practice, which does not form part of the assessment of TKT.

Other teaching qualifications offered by Cambridge ESOL include two specifically designed for the further education and skills sector within the UK.

A summary of the entry requirements and content of Cambridge ESOL's Teaching Awards can be found on the following table:

Selection procedure None Interview and task Interview and task Interview and task
where appropriate
Interview and task
Teaching experience
None None None Must be teaching 2 years' (1200 hours)
relevant teaching
training required
None Normally qualifications
which allow access to
higher education
Normally qualifications
which allow access to
higher education
Local requirements for
teacher training apply
Normally a university
degree and an initial
ELT qualification, such as CELTA
Language level Minimum PET / Council of Europe B1 Near first-language speaker Near first-language speaker Minimum FCE / Council of Europe B2 Near first language speaker
Teaching age group Primary, secondary or adults Adults (16+) Primary or secondary Primary, secondary or adults Adults (16+)

Can be taken
              √                           √                          √                           X                           X              
Must be taken
              X                 X              X                 √                 √
              X               √              √                 √                 √
              X               √              √                 √                 √
              X               √              √                √                 √

Coursework                  X                           √                             √                          √                             √               
Portfolio                 √                 √                √                √                 √
Written test/
                √                 X                X                X                 X

Note: Cambridge ESOL also offers IDLTM and the Young Learner Extension to CELTA. IDLTM is an educational management qualification and, as such, does not focus on knowledge about or practice of teaching. the Young Learner Extension to CELTA shares similarities with CELTYL, except that entry is conditional on candidates having completed CELTA.

An overview of TKT

The aims of TKT

• to test candidates' knowledge of concepts related to language, language use and the background to and practice of language teaching and learning.

• to provide an easily accessible test about teaching English to speakers of other languages, which is prepared and delivered to international standards, and could be used by candidates to access further training, and enhance career opportunities.

• to encourage teachers in their professional developoment by providing a step in a developmental framework of awards for teachers of English.

TKT candidature

TKT is suitable for teachers of English in primary, secondary or adult teaching contexts and is intended for an international audience of non first-language or first language teachers of English.

Candidates taking TKT will normally have some experience of teaching English to speakers of other languages. TKT may also be taken by:

• pre-service teachers
• teachers who wish to refresh their teaching knowledge
• teachers who are moving to teaching English after teaching another subject

To access TKT, teachers need a level of English of at least Level B1 of the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This level is specified in the Council of Europe's Threshold Document (Threshold 1990, J A van Ek & J L M Trim; CUP August 1998). However, candidates are not required to have taken any English language examinations.

TKT candidates are expected to be familiar with language relating to the practice of ELT. A non-exhaustive list of teaching terminology is provided in the TKT Glossary, which can be found on our website:

Candidates are not required to fulfil any specific entry requirements for TKT.