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

Welcome to TESOL

The TESOL department at Colchester Institute 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 plus years 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.

Course Info
Do I have to pay a fee?
How to Apply
Course Overview

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. (equivalent to Cambridge CELTA).

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, however, it is equally accessible to experienced teachers.

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.

Course Introduction

Your profile

You are patient, well organised and a good communicator. You have a real interest in the English language and are keen to unite different cultures and nationalities through a shared voice.

Your subject

If you are native to an English-speaking country, or even a fluent English speaker from overseas, you have at your disposal one of the world’s most reliable and desirable skills. The English language is used all over the globe, in significant universal fields such as science, medicine, business and communication. The need for people from all backgrounds to learn English has increased over recent years, and will continue to do so, leading to an urgent need for qualified individuals to teach English to speakers of other languages.

Your course

The Trinity College certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is an internationally recognised qualification. The programme is designed for those with little or no teaching experience. It aims to develop your in-depth understanding of contemporary English language teaching methodology, and how to apply it in the classroom. As a student, you will spend time observing lessons taught by experienced teachers and teach classes yourself, taking the opportunity to apply theory to practice. The course will equip you to plan, prepare, deliver and evaluate English language classes based on current methodology. You will also develop your own language awareness in the areas of grammar, phonology and lexis, and experience learning an unknown language yourself, in order to identify with the needs of beginner students and how to teach them. You will be taught by tutors who are experienced teacher trainers with wide and varied experiences in teaching English as a foreign language.

Your future

As a graduate, you will have the confidence, experience and qualification to pursue a teaching post anywhere in the world. You will be open to careers in teacher training, management, or materials design and development. Past graduates have established careers in the UK in both the private and public sectors, including summer schools, working with local authorities, and working with migrants and asylum seekers, while others have taken advantage of paid or voluntary opportunities overseas

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.


  • EFL stands for English as a Foreign Language and broadly refers to the teaching of students who are studying English in their own country or in the UK or another English-speaking nation on a short term basis.
  • ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages and covers the teaching of those living indefinitely in an English-speaking nation (eg. immigrants, asylum seekers).
  • TEFL and TESOL refer to the teaching of these two groups, however, for the purposes of training, they are interchangeable.

The students we have at Colchester Institute are both EFL and ESOL students, and trainees are involved in teaching both groups, often mixed together.

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.

Entry Requirements

The minimum academic entry requirements for this course are having previously achieved an undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above.

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.

We recognise the value of professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

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, with a maximum of 15.

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.

Additional Information

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.

Do I have to pay a fee?

This course has recently become eligible for government funding and we are therefore able to charge a lower fee for the CertTESOL programme than the previously published £1,590.

Applicants are also now able to take out an advanced learner loan to pay for the course, which previously had to be self or employer funded.

The information in this section applies solely to this course and the criteria is not transferable to any other course offered by the College.

Learners can either self-fund and pay for the course themselves or apply for an advanced learner loan to cover all or part of the tuition fees for this course. The minimum loan you can get is £300, but the maximum will depend on how much the fees are and the type of course you take.

What if I am on a low income or unemployed?

Discounted fees or fee waivers for those on low income or who are unemployed are not available for this course.

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available through the College’s discretionary bursary fund. Although the funds cannot be used to pay for course fees they can be used to contribute towards other course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment.

Advanced Learner Loans

Am I eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan?

To qualify for an advanced learner loan to cover the fees for this course you must be:

  • 19 years old or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age limit)
  • A UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there are no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this

Most learners that fall into this bracket will be eligible, it doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check!

If your nationality or residency status is different to the above, then please contact the national Advanced Learner Loan helpline on 0300 100 0619 or check the Advanced Learner Loan website where you will be able to find further information on eligibility.

How do I apply for an Advanced Learner Loan?

Once you have applied and been offered a place on the course, the college will provide you with a ‘learning and funding information letter’. These are normally sent out in early July.

You need this to complete the loan application and you cannot apply for a loan until you have received this.

Once you have applied for a loan and it has been approved you will receive an official letter from Student Finance England.

Am I eligible for a bursary?

Applicants thinking of enrolling on this course can apply for funding to help with the costs associated with attending college.  Bursary funds are targeted at students where there is an identified low household income.

The bursary fund cannot provide help with costs unrelated to your course, such as general living expenses, nor can it be used as an attendance incentive.

Applications to the fund are not normally considered if the household income exceeds £25,000 but may be considered in some instances if the household is experiencing severe financial hardship.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is aimed at helping:
Students who are aged 16, 17 or 18 on the 31st August 2023
Students aged 19 who started a two-year programme before their 19th birthday
Students aged 19 or over on 31st August 2023 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If you turned 19 on or before 31st August 2023, and do not fall into the above categories, you can apply for financial assistance via the Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund.

Awards from the Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund can only be made to students who have received an Advanced Learner Loan. If you do not intend to apply for an advanced learner loan or if your application has been unsuccessful you will not be eligible for an award from this particular fund.

Regardless of income or employment status, students self-funding (including where an employer is covering course fees), are not eligible for financial assistance through any discretionary bursary funds.

When can I apply?

******Applications for student funding for learners starting in September 2023 are now open. Applications can be made from this page using the button below.*****

For courses starting in September 2023, applications should be made by 1st November 2023. If you find yourself in financial hardship after this date it is important that you still contact Student Services. Applications received after 1st November will be considered on a pro-rata basis subject to need and the availability of funds.

Payment Options

Payment should be made in full at the time of enrolment. Acceptable payment methods include Debit Card and Credit Card (excluding American Express). Please note that we are no longer able to accept cash or cheque payments.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes, you can spread the cost of fees. Any student of the College who pays his/her own programme costs is entitled to do so on a monthly payment plan basis, providing the total course fees exceed £200 and the student is aged 19 years, or over, on 31st August in the current academic year.

Where total course fees exceed £200 you (or your employer, if they are paying your course fees) can choose to pay your fees in instalments through a monthly payment plan and 40% of the fee or £500 (whichever is lower) will be payable at enrolment.

The balance must be paid within 6 months or by the end date if the course is less than 6 months in duration.

The monthly instalment payments will also be set up at the point of enrolment, or if you are enrolling using our online enrolment process, a member of our Finance team will contact you to set up the instalment plan after you have submitted your online enrolment.

In order to pay through monthly instalments, students must sign the Colchester Institute Instalment Payment Plan terms and conditions!

If a student fails to sign up to an instalment plan at enrolment all fees will become due for payment within 30 days.

Failure to fulfil any terms and conditions of an instalment agreement will result in you becoming immediately liable for the full outstanding balance and you may not be entitled to pay any future fees by instalments.

Please download and save the form below, then fill it in and sign it. These forms can either be emailed to prior to enrolment, or if you are completing an online enrolment you can upload these documents during the enrolment process.

Further Education Fee Instalment Student Terms and Conditions

Employers who are funding a student’s fees must complete and sign an authorisation form which must be submitted either prior to or at enrolment together with an advance payment of 40% of the course fee or £500, whichever is lower. This can be paid via the online store prior to or at the point of Enrolment.

If the advance payment is not made prior to or at Enrolment the student will not be eligible to attend college.

Further Education Employer Authorisation Form, Instalment Plan, Terms and Conditions

Applications are now closed 

The application window for this part-time course starting in September 2023 has now closed and we will not be processing any further applications for this course*.

Applications for starting this course in September 2024 will open on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.

*This does not apply to all part-time courses and we are still accepting applications for other adult learning programmes

Trinity Certificate in TESOL Level 5 - Part-time
LevelLevel 5
Duration19 Weeks
Course CodeZT67491
Academic Year2024-2025
Study ModePart-Time
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2024
ApplicationsApplications for 2023 starts are now closed
Fee(s)New Lower Fee: £811
Awarding/Validation BodyTrinity College


All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2023-24 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by 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. 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.