The Trinity TESOL Qualification

The Trinity TESOL QualificationThe Trinity TESOL qualification is one of the most popular routes into ESL teaching.

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Awarded by Trinity College London, and accredited by the National Qualifications Framework (the body that regulates all major qualifications in the UK), it is now a level 5 qualification. This means that it is considered to be the equivalent of the first year of university study.

Before talking about the qualification, let's look at the main qualification routes to teaching English as a foreign language in the UK as this is relevant to other parts of the article.


There are two kinds of teaching English as a foreign language in the UK:
  • EFL (English as a Foreign Language), which means teaching people who do not live in the UK permanently.

  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), which is for people who are living in the UK.
These two kinds of English teaching have different qualification routes.


To teach in EFL, you need:

  • The CertTESOL (The Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)


  • Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)

After you have been teaching for 1-2 years, these can be followed by:
  • Trinity TESOL Diploma


  • Cambridge DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults)

To teach in ESOL you will need:

  • The Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS), usually with a subject specialism in ESOL.

Why is the Trinity CertTESOL a good qualification to choose?

Apart from the fact that this qualification includes all the elements which are essential for new teachers to cover in a course, it is recognized all over the world.

The CertTESOL is one of only two qualifications at this level that are recognized by the British Council.

It also exempts students from part of the Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS), which is the recognized qualification to teach ESOL in the public sector in the UK.

What does the course cover?

The Trinity TESOL qualification, unlike shorter courses, covers a combination of all essential elements.
  • It is designed for people with little or no experience of teaching, and includes teaching practice with real learners.

  • This is followed by peer and supervisor feedback. There are also some formal lesson observations.

  • You will also cover some grammar study and be taught some teaching methods and how to use grammar teaching in your lesson.

  • Moreover, you will be provided with lesson planning guidelines and practice.

    The course will provide many opportunities for you to reflect on and evaluate your own work and that of your classmates.

  • You will also learn how to analyze students' needs, and you will prepare a profile of a learner as part of your assessment.

    This is a great opportunity to do something many shorter courses do not do.

  • Finally, the Trinity TESOL will include experience of learning an unknown language.

    This is so you can appreciate the issues that beginners face when learning English.

What further qualifications are available?

If you have completed the CertTESOL and have a minimum of one year's full time teaching experience, then you can take the Trinity TESOL Diploma, or you can transfer to a DTLLS course and qualify to teach ESOL rather than EFL.

Where can this course be taken?

The Trinity TESOL qualification can be taken in locations around the world.

Many institutions who offer the course may also offer employment when you have completed the course, and this is definitely a big advantage.

If you are trying to find somewhere to study for this qualification then bear in mind that if you are studying abroad you may have to fund living costs as well as tuition fees.

Some places include these in their pricing structure but not all of them, so be careful.

With the Trinity TESOL qualification the world is your oyster.

You can travel almost anywhere in the world to work (depending on visa requirements of course), experience many cultures, and meet some fascinating people.

You can also work in your home country if that's what you would prefer to do.

Whether you decide to teach adults, young people, or children, and wherever you decide to teach them, the Trinity TESOL qualification will give you a great foundation to build on.

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