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The TKT Course

Mary Spratt, Alan Pulverness and Melanie Williams
Cambridge University Press, 2005, 188 pages
ISBN: 0-521-60992-5

The TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) Course book is CUP’s immediate response to the launch of the TKT examination by Cambridge Assessment (formerly Cambridge ESOL) which is designed to underpin their main suite of teaching awards: CELTA, ICELT and DELTA. The examination itself was piloted in more than a dozen countries in 2004, and went ‘live’ in Toronto in April 2005. Since then, candidates from over twenty countries have sat more than four thousand modules in a rapidly growing number of centres. Written by a team of experienced ELT writers in Mary Spratt, Alan Pulverness and Melanie Williams, all of whom have been involved in the development of the TKT, The TKT Course targets the examination specifically.

Like the examination, the book is divided into three modules. Module One deals with language and the background to language learning and teaching. Language is dealt with systematically, covering a sensible range of topics incluing grammar, phonology and the four skills. Language learning includes considerations of leaner needs, characteristics and motivation, but also the role of error and differences between L1 and L2 learning. Language teaching deals with presentation, practice and assessment. Module Two is devoted to lesson planning and the use of resources, and Module Three to managing the teaching and learning process, which deals only with teacher and learner classroom language and aspects of classroom management.

Throughout, the topics are dealt with briefly, and one is left with the impression that the authors were faced with problems of both space and logical ordering of topics given that there is considerable overlap between many aspects of teaching and learning. Clearly, content has been dictated by the examination, as has style, since the book is written in language which is appropriate to the level of most non-native teachers.

Complete with practice tests and a full answer key, and giving clear explanations of ELT terms and concepts, The TKT Course targets the exam preparation audience well, since terminology and basic concepts are what is tested by multiple choice in the TKT itself. The book, however, is not a foundation course in ELT, though trainees on short introductory courses might find it useful.

191 July/August 2006