Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) – Level 5

Welcome to TESOL

The TESOL department at University Centre, Colchester has been delivering teacher training courses successfully for more than 40 years and has established a very good reputation with high pass rates. This particular course was established in 1988 so has a 30-year track record. We have been commended for our flexibility and high levels of individual support, which makes it easier for trainees to complete the course successfully.

We have an open-door policy, welcoming trainees into our classrooms to observe lessons whenever they want, not merely in order to satisfy the minimum requirements of the course. The tutors have wide and varied experience as teachers of EFL and ESOL and as teacher trainers, both in the UK and abroad.

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Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

The Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) course is an internationally recognised initial qualification for teachers of English as a Foreign Language, validated by Trinity College, London.

This course is the best thing I have ever done! JL, 2018

The Trinity Certificate in TESOL Level 5 course is intended for those with little or no teaching experience and provides a comprehensive practical introduction to Teaching English to others.

It is delivered through taught sessions, discussions, workshops, tutorials, observations and teaching practice placements within the College.

A number of practical assignments will be set. Assessment is through portfolio and examinations. It is assessed internally and moderated externally.

Trainees are required to observe at least four hours of lessons taught by experienced teachers and to teach a minimum of six hours at two different levels, as well as a one-to-one lesson with an individual learner.

Undergraduate courses operate on a modular basis that provide flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30/40 or 15/20 academic credits (depending on the programme), with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Compulsory modules enable you to cover key subject knowledge whilst and optional allow you to develop your own interests. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of core modules at a given level. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Course Content

Minimum entry requirements for this course are Higher Education level. Preferred applicants are those with a degree or equivalent qualification and/or work experience in a field where good communication skills are required. All applicants should have a high level of literacy and good educational background. Those whose first language is not English must demonstrate that they have sufficient competency in the language eg. hold the Cambridge Proficiency in English or IELTS Grade 8. Applicants who are invited for interview will be given a short language test and writing task to complete. There are usually between 8 and 12 participants on each course. If you are successful in your application you will be required to pay a £200 deposit to accept your place on the course.

*UCAS Tariff points where shown, are for entry on to higher education programmes starting from September 2019.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

Career Opportunities

After successful completion of the course, many trainees have found teaching posts throughout the world. There are numerous opportunities to teach full-time, abroad, and some openings in the UK, although these are mostly part-time or temporary. Voluntary work abroad is also a possibility. Others have found work in the UK, in particular taking up temporary posts in summer schools, offering ‘homestay’ or working with migrant workers and asylum seekers in the local community.

Course Progression
Students may progress to study the Trinity Diploma or Cambridge DELTA after several years’ teaching experience.

Programme Specifications

  • International standards of TESOL qualifications require that a valid course must contain at least 100 hours of study time; Trinity courses comprise 130.
  • Participants should have the opportunity to undertake observed and assessed teaching practice of at least six hours as part of the course.
  • The course is externally validated by a recognised validation body.
Observations & Teaching Practice

Trainees have the opportunity to observe experienced teachers working with classes of English language learners.  Every attempt will be made to ensure that trainees are exposed to a variety of level of learners and to a variety of classroom approaches and techniques.  For the purposes of teaching practice, trainees will be required to teach a minimum of six hours and will be allocated at least two different levels.

Teaching and Learning

A variety of teaching and learning methods is involved: taught sessions, discussions, practical demonstrations, workshops, peer teaching, tutorials, observation of experienced teachers, and teaching practice placements within Colchester Institute.  There are also four foreign language classes in which trainees learn a language that is unfamiliar, in order to appreciate fully the situation of the foreign language learner and how the teacher can best meet their needs.

Apply Part-time
Trinity Certificate in TESOL Level 5 - Part-time
LevelLevel 5
Duration19 Weeks
Academic Year2019-2020
Study ModePart-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateFebruary 2019
AttendanceMonday and Wednesday: 6pm – 9pm
Fee(s)TESOL: £1,500*
Course Content

Aims of a Trinity CertTESOL course

The Trinity CertTESOL is a pre-service teacher training course at Level 5 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) designed for those who have little or no experience of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Course participants must have a high level of competence in spoken and written English, whether English is their first, second or additional language. The training equips them with the initial skills and knowledge needed to take up posts as ESOL or EFL teachers and gives them a firm foundation for self-evaluation and further professional development.

Objectives of a Trinity CertTESOL course

Trainees will be expected to demonstrate the following learning outcomes on completion of the course:

  1. Knowledge of the main grammatical, lexical and phonological features of standard English
  2. Awareness of the learning needs of individuals or groups of learners, and of the motivation of learners in a variety of cultures and contexts
  3. Ability to establish rapport and create and maintain learners’ interest
  4. Ability to draw up a range of lesson plans with clear and achievable aims, using appropriate methods for learners with various needs
  5. Ability to manage and stimulate active participation among a class of learners and provide a relevant learning environment and learning opportunities in relation to their learning objectives
  6. Ability to evaluate, use and adapt published material and create simple teaching material, which may include using the internet, visual aids, audio, video and ICT
  7. Broad understanding of the main advantages and disadvantages of various language teaching approaches
  8. Ability to evaluate their own effectiveness as teachers and to work co-operatively as members of a teaching team
  9. Awareness of the need to continue their development as ESOL teachers
  10. Awareness of the means of finding a TESOL post after training and of the main issues relevant to employment in this area

Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) – Level 5 Component Units

Unit 1: Teaching Skills

This unit covers methodology, teaching skills, teaching practice and related portfolio, guided observation and related journal, course book and materials evaluation, methods of assessment and testing in the classroom.  This unit is considerably larger than other units as it involves the assessment of skills, knowledge and understanding developed in all areas, but demonstrated in an integrated fashion as appropriate to a dynamic learning environment. As this qualification prepares the candidate specifically for the initial stages of the teaching profession, greater guided learning hours are attached to Unit 1 to ensure the vocational validity, relevance and professional integrity of the qualification in relation to the standards set by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and by other professional bodies internationally.

To see the module description, please click here.

Assignment: teaching practice journal compiled throughout the course containing all component elements listed above.

Unit 2: Language Awareness & Skills

This unit covers trainees’ theoretical knowledge of linguistic form (phonological, lexical and syntactic), function and meaning in standard English and how to teach these to learners.  Language Awareness (LA) is used as a generic term covering the areas of lexis, grammar and phonology.  Language Skills (LS) is used as a generic term covering the receptive skills of listening and reading  and the productive skills of speaking and writing.

Assignment: three one-hour written exams in grammar, lexis and phonology.

To see the module description, please click here.

Unit 3: Learner Profile

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

Assignment: written portfolio including all elements listed above.

To see the module description, please click here.

Unit 4: The Materials Assignment

This unit covers the production, adaptation, use and evaluation of simple classroom teaching materials and tasks. The materials adapted/devised by trainees are used in teaching practice lessons. The assignment is externally assessed by a Trinity moderator.

Assignment: ten-minute oral examination conducted by Trinity moderator.

To see the module description, please click here.

Unit 5: Unknown Language

This unit covers teaching methodologies and activities appropriate for beginner learners of a language, through little or no use of their first language (L1). It also introduces lesson planning and contrastive analysis.  The unknown language will be a natural language, ie not an invented or computer language, and this language should be one previously unfamiliar to all of the trainees on the course. Assignment: written portfolio evaluating own experience of learning the unknown language and summarising the implications for teaching beginners.

To see the module description, please click here.


Trainees’ practical and written work is mainly assessed by course tutors and moderated by a Trinity College Moderator. The following elements are assessed:
• Teaching skills (including teaching practice journal, observation reports,coursebook evaluation) – this equates to 50% of the final assessment
• Language awareness (Grammar, Phonology and Lexis)
• Profile of an individual learner of English
• Teaching materials assignment (assessed solely by Trinity moderator)
• Unknown language journal


It is a requirement of Trinity College that trainees attend 100% of the course.

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All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 or 2019-20 academic year and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.