What is the Trinity CertTESOL?

If you have done your research, you already know that the Trinity CertTESOL is one of the best two accredited TESOL certificates in the world. If you haven’t, keep reading to find out more.


Trinity College London is one of the world’s largest educational organisations. It examines almost one million people a year in over sixty countries.

Trinity TESOL qualifications are recognised globally by prominent employers as solid, quality controlled and professionally sound qualifications.

Trinity College London is the only examination board in the UK that provides examinations and higher vocational qualifications across many communicative arts.

The aims of a Trinity CertTESOL course

The technical definition of the Trinity CertTESOL course is that it is

“a pre-service teacher training course at Level 5 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)”.

In plain English, it is a course to train people to teach English, and the course’s academic level is the same as years 1 and 2 at university.

The Trinity CertTESOL trains you in the initial skills and knowledge you need to be an ESOL teacher. It also gives you confidence and a solid self-evaluation and professional development base.

The Trinity CertTESOL is for people with little or no experience teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

Special note for non-native English speakers

Trinity CertTESOL trainees must have a high level of English, both spoken and written. English does not have to be the trainee’s first language. However, English as a second language speakers must have an English level to enter an English-speaking university. Acceptable scores are at least an IELTS 6.5, TOEFL iBT 80 or anything equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages C1 level.

The objectives of a Trinity CertTESOL course

You must show that you have done the following by the time you finish the course:

  • Have a working knowledge of the main grammatical, lexical and phonological features of standard English
  • Are aware of the learning needs of individual learners and groups of learners
  • Understand learner motivation in different cultures and contexts
  • Know how to establish rapport and create and maintain learners’ interest
  • Know how to write lesson plans with clear and achievable aims, using appropriate methods for different learner levels
  • Know how to manage and stimulate active participation among a class of learners
  • Create a learning environment and learning opportunities in line with learning objectives
  • Know how to evaluate, use and adapt published material and create simple teaching material
  • Understand the pros and cons of mainstream language teaching approaches
  • Be able to assess your effectiveness as a teacher and work as a member of a teaching team
  • Understand how to continue your development as an ESOL teacher
  • Understand how to get a TESOL job after passing the course
  • Understand the main issues relevant to employment as an ESOL teacher

So how do you learn all this stuff?

The Trinity CertTESOL course structure and its units

The Trinity CertTESOL course has five units broken down as follows:

Unit Hours Details

Unit 1:

Teaching Skills


This unit covers:

  • methodology,
  • teaching skills,
  • teaching practice,
  • guided observation,
  • coursebook and materials evaluation,
  • methods of assessment and testing in the classroom.

This unit is more extensive than other units because it involves assessing teaching skills, knowledge and understanding. You must demonstrate these three assessed areas in an integrated manner that matches a dynamic learning environment.

The Trinity CertTESOL prepares you specifically for the initial stages of teaching English, so there are more guided learning hours in Unit 1. Therefore, unit 1 makes sure that the vocational validity, relevance and professional integrity of the Trinity CertTESOL stick to Ofqual and international standards.

Unit 2:

Language Awareness & Skills

20 This unit covers your theoretical knowledge of linguistic form (phonological, lexical and syntactic), function and meaning in standard English, and teaching these to learners. You must pass tests to pass unit 2

Unit 3:

Learner Profile

18 This unit covers one-to-one teaching methodology, needs analysis, linguistic analysis, lesson planning and syllabus design. In the form of a practical assignment, it brings together all items studied in Units 1 and 2.

Unit 4:

The Materials Assignment


This unit covers the production, adaptation, use and evaluation of simple classroom teaching materials and tasks.

You will use the materials you adapt and create in your teaching practice lessons.

A Trinity moderator externally assesses your unit 4 work and decides whether you passed or failed the unit.

Unit 5:

Unknown Language


This unit covers teaching methodologies and activities appropriate for beginner-level language learners with little or no use of their first language (L1).

You and your classmates are language learners, so you get to experience what it is like to be a beginner level language learner.

It also introduces you to lesson planning and contrastive analysis.

The foreign languages we use for your unknown language classes could be Polish, Norwegian, Hebrew and Tagalog.

The Trinity CertTESOL timetable

The minimum course length is 130 timetabled hours plus 70 non-timetabled hours, a total qualification time of 200 hours.

Timetabled hours include:

  • 90 hours of supervised input which can be in the form of online study and trainer input
    • group work and tutorials
    • input sessions for course components
    • teaching practice feedback
    • supervised workshops
    • supervised lesson planning
    • initial planning session to prepare interviews for the Learner Profile
    • initial planning session for the Materials Assignment
    • tests/exams
    • group and individual interviews with the external moderator (mandatory)
  • 10 hours of teaching and observation
    • a minimum of six hours of observed and assessed teaching practice (mandatory)
    • a minimum of four hours of guided observation of classes given by experienced teachers with English language learners (mandatory). It is possible to use video to show different teaching situations
  • 30 hours for assignment preparation and completion
    • preparation for teaching and completion of the Teaching Practice Portfolio
    • preparation and completion of the Learner Profile
    • preparation and completion of the Unknown Language Journal – preparation for the Materials Assignment.
  • 70 hours non-timetabled hours for
    • reading, research, assignment writing, lesson planning and preparation.

The Trinity CertTESOL course is solid, structured and unique

One of the world’s largest educational organisations backs the Trinity CertTESOL, so you know it is trustworthy and reliable.

This short article shows you the structure that is the backbone of the Trinity CertTESOL course. It is a tried and tested structure that is world-famous because it thoroughly prepares you to start teaching English as a foreign language.

The course is unique. The Trinity CertTESOL has one competitor called CELTA. Our competitor’s study programme has some similarities, but the primary focus is different. Here is an article if you would like to know the difference between the Trinity CertTESOL and CELTA.

The Trinity CertTESOL helps you find your “inner teacher”, which may sound a bit hippy, but I don’t know how else to describe it. The Trinity CertTESOL gives you a structured set of tools that you use and adapt to who you are, how you think and how you teach. So you constantly think, assess and re-assess what you are doing and where you are going as a teacher. This self-reflection is invaluable because it is the key to your growth and improvement as an English teacher. In comparison, the CELTA tells you how to teach, and you have to follow their playbook.

We also know that many other companies are trying to take your money for their own TEFL certificates. They will do anything to convince you (including outright lying) that their certificate is internationally accepted and will help you get a teaching job. Do not be fooled by these companies! There are no TEFL qualifications directly equivalent to the Trinity CertTESOL and the CELTA.


Thanks for reading. I hope that you understand a bit more about the Trinity CertTESOL.