Valid For Life: Should All English Language Teachers ReCertify Every Year? 2 Years?? Never???

Firstly, yes, let me be clear: Native and Non-Native Teachers of English are included. That’s what I mean by “all” – everybody, everyone who is a Teacher of English in a Second or Foreign Language context.

So, here’s the Million Dollar Question: Recertify? Yes or No.

Yes. OK, how often? Never, every 5 years, 2 years, once in an English teacher’s lifetime???

Can we really trust teachers to maintain their language proficiency…forever? So you see, this is a really interesting question.

So, yes, again, I am talking about all teachers of English. What?

You: Isn’t the First Certificate of English (FCE) valid for life? Once you pass it, you have it forever?

Me: Yes, that’s correct. When you “google” the search phrase, “FCE valid for life“, you get two hundred and fifteen thousand (215.000) results lightning fast. Here’s one from a reliable source, the Pearson Longman website:

Quote: What are the benefits of taking the FCE exam?

FCE is ideal for people who want to use English for study or work.

Thousands of employers and academic institutions all over the world recognise FCE as a qualification in English at an upper-intermediate level.

FCE exams are a good way to improve your practical English skills.

FCE focuses on communication in real-life through reading, writing, listening and speaking, helping you to use English in everyday situations more confidently.

FCE is also a good start to gaining qualifications in more advanced exams like CAE and CPE.

Once you have earned your certificate it is valid for lifeso there’s no need to take the FCE again. (End of quote)

Comparison with other exams

This is quite simple and straightforward. The IELTS exam and the TOEFL exam are only valid for 2 years. After 2 years is up, you have to take the test again.

Quote: For how long is an IELTS test score valid?
IELTS scores have a recommended two year validity period. (Source: IELTS)

Quote: “TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date and there is no limit to the number of times you can take the test…” (Source: ETS TOEFL iBT® Test Scores )

Anything Else? Yes.

United States Military: Linguist Career Field
Quote: Defense Language Proficiency Test5 (DLPT)
Question: If an older DLPT is replaced by a DLPT5, are old DLT scores still valid?
Answer: Scores are valid as long as they were in the past, typically one year.

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) is the premier training institution within the Department of Defense (DoD) for culturally based foreign language education. DLIFLC is a world renowned school for foreign language and can provide training in 24 languages. At any given time there are 3,500 students attending the Institute, taught by more than 1,700 professional instructors from over 50 countries around the world. Knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is an essential key for mission success overseas. Many Soldiers are asked to take part in this accelerated program to read, write, listen, and speak foreign languages and receive an education in a foreign culture.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Education Technology, EFL, Higher Education Teaching & Learning, Reading, Reflections, Research, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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