School students in class © British Council

Get your students communicating more effectively and naturally in English, and reach your maximum potential in the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) exam.

TKT Essentials is a preparation course for the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT). The course is delivered as a 60-hour face-to-face training course and as a moderated online course over 15 weeks.

Our expert teacher trainers have many years of classroom experience and will guide you through every step of the course so you get the input and feedback you need to develop.

TKT is a test of the skills you need to be successful in teaching English to speakers of other languages.


  • teachers who are preparing to take the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test as an internationally recognised professional qualification in teaching English
  • experienced teachers who want to refresh/update their knowledge of teaching theory in the communicative method
  • experienced teachers who are not familiar with the communicative methodology and would like to understand its principles and practice
  • inexperienced teachers who wish to receive a basic grounding in teaching theory in preparation for a job in teaching English

Course content

Module 1

  • Unit 1 – Grammar: Key concepts for describing parts of speech and grammatical structures. Issues in teaching grammar. 
  • Unit 2 – Lexis: Key concepts for describing lexis. Factors which lead to vocabulary errors by learners. 
  • Unit 3 – Phonology: Key concepts for describing different elements of pronunciation. Transcribing text into phonemic script with the help of a pronunciation chart. 
  • Unit 4 – Functions: Exponents for expressing functions. Relating the formality and appropriacy of functional language to the context in which it is used.  
  • Unit 5 – Reading: The key concepts related to reading and its sub skills. 
  • Unit 6 – Writing: The key concepts related to writing and its sub skills. 
  • Unit 7 – Listening: The differences between written and spoken language. The key concepts of listening. 
  • Unit 8 – Speaking: The key concepts in oral communication. Issues concerning accuracy and fluency in speaking practice. 
  • Unit 9 – Motivation: The characteristics of motivated learners. Why motivation is important to learning. Classroom activities and motivation. 
  • Unit 10 – Exposure and focus on form: The importance of a focus on the form in language learning. Potential learner difficulties. Concept questions as a means of checking learners’ understanding. 
  • Unit 11 – Role of error: The distinctions between different types of errors. Issues involved in error correction.

Module 2

  • Unit 1 – Identifying and selecting aims: Evaluating the effectiveness of learning aims. Distinguishing between main aims, subsidiary aims and personal aims. 
  • Unit 2 – Different components of a lesson plan: The advantages of lesson planning. Understanding what is involved in the different components in lesson plans. 
  • Unit 3 – Planning individual lessons: The different stages of lesson plans. Two approaches: PPP and TBL. Target audience and purpose. 
  • Unit 4 – Schemes of work: Drawing up schemes of work. Lexis connected with planning. 
  • Unit 5 – Choosing assessment activities: Lexis related to assessment. Assessment task types. Formal and informal assessment. 
  • Unit 6 – Consulting reference resources: Reference resources for different types of situations. Tried and useful reference resources. 
  • Unit 7 – Selection and use of coursebook materials: The advantages and disadvantages of using coursebooks. Adapting coursebook materials to learner needs and interests. Alternative approaches to coursebooks. 
  • Unit 8 – Selection and use of supplementary materials: Different types of supplementary materials and their uses. 
  • Unit 9 – Selection and use of teaching aids: Different types of teaching aids. The purpose of teaching aids. 

Module 3

  • Unit 1 – Classroom functions: Different functions of teacher classroom language. Grading the language of classroom instructions for learners. Elicitation and concept questions. 
  • Unit 2 – Identifying the functions of learner language: Classroom language for everyday functions and situations. The use of gestures to convey meaning. Helping learners to develop their classroom language. 
  • Unit 3 – Categorising learner mistakes: The differences between errors and slips. Different types of mistakes. The reasons underlying mistakes. 
  • Unit 4 – Teacher roles: The different roles involved in a teaching a lesson. 
  • Unit 5 – Grouping students: Key terms related to class interaction patterns. Seating arrangements for pair and group work with fixed classroom seating. Advantages and difficulties of different student groupings. 
  • Unit 6 – Correcting learners: The place of error in language learning. Correction techniques for different situations. 
  • Unit 7 – Giving feedback: The different ways of giving feedback. Constructive and unconstructive feedback. Results of feedback.