Trinity Diploma: How much work is it?

Screenshot_2016-01-29-17-31-26If you’re considering doing the Trinity Dip TESOL and are asking “How much work is it?” here’s my version of an answer…

Every week our course has:

4 hours of input led by tutors – split into three sessions, ranging from phonology topics through practical ones to exam writing practice.  As I’m doing the face to face version of the course, this is time I don’t need to spend at home studying; I’m fortunate that I can take time off from work to do this.

Homework – explicit homework from the tutor, this normally takes less than an hour for all three sessions.  But I also schedule in a further hour of reading time as there’s always something where you think “ooh I must read about that interesting thing….”

Pre-reading – this is where it gets murky.  We have a list of about 4 -8 books/chapters/articles you could choose to read for each session.  So that’s potentially 24 different bits a week.  I’ve scheduled in three hours a week to read ahead.

Paperwork – you’d be surprised how much paper there is.  I schedule about half an hour a week just to sort the bits and pieces out!

Phonology action plan – in preparation for the phonology interview and the teaching practice, our tutor wisely suggested early on that each of us develop an action plan of personal objectives to help us raise our game.  So mine says things like “get super-comfortable with the phonemic chart” and “develop a series of remedial activities for each phoneme”.  I spend an hour a week (probably not enough!) furthering these objectives.

Coursework – I have to admit, some weeks I don’t do much on my coursework.  On a busy week though I’d leave aside three hours.  I reckon if you were keeping on top of them all they average out at around an hour or two a week.

Observations – don’t forget to schedule in 10 hours of observations (roughly an hour a week), likely in terms 1 and 2 of your course.

Have you done the maths yet?  This adds up to around 7-9 hours working at home a week, plus the time for the input sessions).  And that doesn’t include preparing for the actual Teaching Practice observations, which obviously is going to add a chunk to those weeks, too.

When I looked at this timeplan alongside the distance Diploma, it looked about right, so I’m guessing that I’m at least not massively under-doing it.  But who knows if I’m typical?


How much time do you leave yourself for your Trinity Dip TESOL studying?


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