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

    Graduate with 130 hours of study – including six hours of assessed teaching practice – ready to enter any ESOL classroom and teach English with confidence.

    Trinity CertTESOL

    Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

A credible qualification helps you stand out as a stronger candidate when applying for top teaching positions. Whether new to teaching or wanting recognised professional development, the Trinity CertTESOL is one of only two certificates accepted throughout all sectors of the ESOL industry, including education departments and reputable teaching organisations.

  • 130 hours full-time or part-time
  • In-person + online study options
  • Recognised globally
  • Accepted by the Hong Kong Education Bureau
  • Level 5 on the UK Regulated Qualifications Framework*

Choosing the right TEFL or TESOL course can have a huge impact on your future teaching career both in Hong Kong and overseas. 

*Comparable in level to the second year of an undergraduate degree.

Course dates

You can take our CertTESOL as a blended course (part online, part in-person) or as a fully online course. Both offer full-time and part-time study options.  Applications should be submitted at least two weeks before the course start date.

Full-time courses

130 hours over 4 weeks: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, plus the final weekend of the course.

"The course is very intense, but the timetable is well-organised. The experience is very rewarding."


A word of advice: plan ahead and choose a course date where you are free from other distractions. Professional qualifications require a high level of commitment. 

Part-time courses

130 hours over 12 weeks: Teaching Practice on Saturdays or Wednesdays, and knowledge-based input sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30 to 9:30pm.

"When I attend interviews, I’m always proud to show them I have a Trinity CertTESOL."


These trainees were once in your shoes. They did their research too, and they chose the Trinity CertTESOL with English for Asia, here’s why: 

Is this the right course for you?

This course is for you if

  • Your goal is to open doors to respected employers offering higher salaries and benefits.
  • You want to experience teaching real learners.
  • You want feedback on your teaching and confidence in your ability to lead a classroom.
  • You want an accredited qualification.
  • You can dedicate the time required for the full duration of the course.
  • You want access to the English for Asia network.

This course might not be for you if

  • You don’t need an accredited qualification at a level appropriate for obtaining working visas, and benchmarked to national qualifications frameworks.
  • You don’t want to be observed teaching real students.
  • Your current schedule doesn’t allow you to be fully committed to the course.
  • Your language proficiency is below CEFR C1 (IELTS 7.0) – check out our CertPT or other TEFL course options if this applies to you.

Need a taste of what the CertTESOL involves before committing to the whole course? Begin our online TESOL Starter Course today.

Our typical trainees include

  • NET teachers requiring a certificate accepted by the Hong Kong EDB and Immigration Department.
  • Experienced teachers looking to upskill or teach EAL/ESOL. 
  • Teaching Assistants looking to transition into the role of classroom teacher.
  • Professionals looking for a career change.
  • Expat spouses wishing to teach in Hong Kong. 
  • Recent graduates wanting to teach and travel.
  • MA TESOL students needing a practical teaching qualification.

Our courses comprise a diverse mix of ethnicities and nationalities, including native and non-native English speakers with a high level of spoken and written English. We welcome applicants of all ages and backgrounds, though it is essential that course applicants hold the minimum qualifications and skills required for entry onto the course.

What our graduates say

Our graduates go on to great things, here’s what some of them had to say.  You can also find tips from trainees on how to pass the CertTESOL on our blog.

“If you are looking to start your career in the ESL field, EfA’s CertTESOL is your one-stop course to make a winning start. You will receive trainers that put in a great deal of dedication as well as industry-leading advice to jump start your ESL career. Soon after the CertTESOL course, I was able to land a job in a big Japanese ESL learning centre!” 

Maggie Tsang

Full-time CertTESOL, 2024

"Take this course if you want to fire up your teaching career. Not only did it open more doors for me to teach in Hong Kong, but it elevated me even as I applied elsewhere in and around Asia. I was equipped with highly sought out teaching skills and I do not think I would have gotten that elsewhere."

Patience Ratambwa

CertTESOL graduate

"The CertTESOL was a perfect extension of my MA(TESOL) because it allowed me to transform theory into practice. Under the guidance of experienced teacher trainers, I was given ample opportunities to experiment with different teaching approaches. The on-the-spot feedback I received from the trainers has influenced my teaching until now."

Jason Chu

CertTESOL graduate

"It's an excellent certificate! In my opinion, the one for your teaching toolkit! The materials, content, and practicum are just what I needed to help deepen my understanding of my daily teaching practice. Whether you've some teaching ability or are an absolute beginner, you will go far with EfA and Cert TESOL."

Derald Reynolds

CertTESOL graduate

"The trainers outdid the online material, which made the entirety of time spent online and in class, a great combination. I would recommend this course to anyone who has aspirations to become an English teacher, or for other interests."

Tiffany Lim

Full-time CertTESOL, 2020

"I had 7 years of teaching experience before doing this course. Despite that, this course taught me a totally different approach. Despite its intensity and rigor, this course is definitely a must to get into a streamlined teaching career. All the schools I have taught through English for Asia have been good."

Urmila Menon

Full-time CertTESOL, 2017

"I can’t recommend the CertTESOL highly enough. The team at EfA propelled me forward … getting my break with EfA teaching the GESE Trinity course online before commencing as a local NET here in Hong Kong."

Konstantin Goldau

Full-time CertTESOL, 2019

"I came from a biomedical science background. I needed a high quality, professional teaching qualification. The online modules and live online workshops were highly relevant to current societal needs, such as learning languages in an online classroom. I finished the course feeling elated and prepared for the teaching world."

Karly Sito

Full-time CertTESOL, 2020

"Straight after I retired from the airline industry, I came across English for Asia. We had to teach actual students as part of the course. This proved an excellent opportunity to learn and share experiences with my classmates, as well as practice teaching skills."

Barbara Rodrigues

Full-time CertTESOL, 2017

"[It’s] not surprising that schools hire from EfA. Their TESOL certificate course is very intense but well worth it. EfA trainers are highly qualified and quite demanding. The career team will be there for you. I was teaching at a school just after my certificate award."

Susana Moretto

Full-time CertTESOL, 2019

"The course is very systematic and well structured. The teachers are knowledgeable and caring, they will provide immediate help. The course content can equip both pre-service and in-service teachers to become a professional English teacher. It is a very rewarding experience. I would highly recommend it!"

Adeline Leung

CertTESOL, 2024

"This course being recognised anywhere in the world makes it a really worthwhile qualification. I found the trainers to be friendly, experienced and knowledgeable [and] I felt a real sense of achievement (and relief!) upon completion."

Anna Wong

Full-time CertTESOL, 2015

"For someone who had no experience in teaching English, the CertTESOL program has helped me develop my skills in teaching with valuable feedback. It also provides employment opportunities for fresh graduates."

Jacqueline Shing

Full-time CertTESOL, 2013

"I decided to change careers and start my ESL teaching journey. Having an internationally recognized qualification like the Trinity CertTESOL has opened up many new opportunities for me. It equipped me with the basics of professional ESL teaching and gave me confidence in delivering well-structured ESL classes."

Mickey Ma

Full-time CertTESOL, 2020

"This course gave me the necessary qualification that will enable me to work in the local kindergarten and primary school. I can say it was worth all the effort. The input session was very helpful as it gives the trainees an opportunity to reflect and practice what we were learning. Teaching Practice was also part of the course."

Mariett Barretto

Part-time CertTESOL, 2020

"The CertTesol course was incredibly useful for developing my career further. The trainers gave valid and very useful feedback on all aspects of the course. The course is advertised as intense but you don't fully grasp the intensity until you start the course. In the end the effort was well worth it."

Luke McKendrick

Full-time CertTESOL, 2020

"The trainers were supportive and helpful. I am glad I did it, as it helped me to land a great primary school job. I would definitely recommend the course to those who want to advance their career and get into teaching."

Lina Lapina

Full-time CertTESOL, 2019

"It was one of the toughest months of my life. But with each day, I felt stronger and more confident in every task, from lesson planning to actual teaching. Now I’m armed with the knowledge to face anything and can really work around with any resources."

Manisha Peswani

Full-time CertTESOL, 2019

"The full time course was quite intensive but it would pave the foundation for a career in education. The bonus is that you would meet wonderful kindred spirits and go through the ups and downs together, I call them my band of brothers, and sisters."

David Wan

Full-time CertTESOL, 2014

Course content and structure

On the CertTESOL course, you will participate in practical live input sessions that will help you apply the theory and teaching skills studied in the online modules. Expert trainers, with a wealth of ESOL teaching experience, will help you to prepare for the five course units that include both the practical teaching component and four written assignments

At the end of the course, your portfolio work is reviewed by an independent moderator appointed by Trinity, who discusses progress on the course and assesses all submitted work to ensure that Trinity standards are met. You will need to attend and successfully complete all five of the course units.

Below you can find a summary of what you will learn and how you will be assessed during each of the five units. Keen to know every detail? Download the CertTESOL Syllabus.

You can experience a lesson by joining a free TESOL course taster – the perfect opportunity to meet our tutors and ask questions live online (via Zoom). 

Our tutors

Enjoys learning Mandarin

Clare Voke

Director of Teacher Training

Loves cooking Chinese food

Allan Crocker

CertTESOL Course Director

Personable and always curious

Karin Xie

ESOL Academic Manager (China Office), CertTESOL Trainer

Appreciates a good bottle of wine

Kevin Clare

Course Director, DipTESOL Trainer

Always enjoys a challenge

Jennie Fung

CertTESOL Trainer

An ancestor of his signed the Death Warrant of Charles I

Sean Martin

CertTESOL Trainer, DipTESOL Trainer

Alex Rubenstein

CertTESOL Trainer

Loves to travel

Amanda Hearn

CertTESOL Trainer

Dedicated to animal welfare

Maria Björning-Gyde

CertTESOL and DipTESOL Trainer, Course Writer

Johanci Bingle

Academic Manager (Macau Office)

Avid gamer - loves card, video and board games

Heath Jeffery

CertTESOL Trainer

Matthew Gordon

CertTESOL Trainer


The total course fee for the Trinity CertTESOL is HK$26,000. This investment in your teaching career includes

  • Enrolment fee and Trinity CertTESOL course fees.
  • Free 20-hour preparatory TESOL Starter Course.
  • All online course materials.
  • Expert input and support from highly qualified and experienced tutors.
  • Unlimited use of our dedicated TESOL resource centre during in-person courses.
  • Examination fees*.
  • Internationally recognised Trinity CertTESOL certificate with EfA graded course report.
  • Careers advice and access to our network and local employment opportunities.
  • Free graduate access to CPD workshops.
  • Visa support if required.

Completing the Trinity CertTESOL requires a substantial investment of your time and money. The reward is a benchmark qualification respected and preferred by leading schools.

“Now, I’m employed full time by a school [in Hong Kong] and I wouldn’t have got that job if I hadn’t have done the TESOL and if I hadn’t have done it through English for Asia.” - Richard Cooke, CertTESOL graduate


You can’t buy years of teaching experience, but you can gain access to some of the best, most renowned TESOL tutors, and the English for Asia network. Assuming you meet the entry requirements, of course – apply now.

As soon as you are offered a place on the course, an initial deposit of HK$6,500 is payable to accept and guarantee your place. The balance of HK$19,500 is payable two weeks prior to the start of the course. All fees are non-refundable unless a course is cancelled. 

*Referral fees may apply to assignments resubmitted after the course (HK$598 per unit)


“I did some research and chatted to friends who are in the industry, and there’s a whole variety of TEFL courses out there and it’s hard to know what’s actually worthwhile and what’s a waste of time, and through the research I narrowed it down to the Trinity CertTESOL.” – Surjit Mahal, CertTESOL graduate

of trainees pass our CertTESOL

(since our first course in 1999)

receive A or B passes

(way to go!)

failed in the past four years

(of those that completed the course)

Entry requirements

We assess your suitability for the course throughout the application process. This includes a pre-interview language awareness task, followed by an interview with a written task. During the interview, as well as assessing your spoken English, we also discuss your teaching and learning experiences. Acceptance onto the course is at the discretion of the Course Director. You can find specific requirements below and we are always happy to chat to you and answer questions.

Recognition and accreditation

English for Asia is Trinity's largest TESOL course provider outside of Europe and the only dedicated TEFL/TESOL centre in Hong Kong. We've been running the CertTESOL since 1999 and have helped thousands of teachers become qualified English teachers and start new careers. 

At the end of the course, your portfolio work is reviewed by an independent Trinity moderator from the UK, who discusses your progress with you and assesses all work to the Trinity standard. 

Feedback we often receive from trainees at the end of their CertTESOL course is that this was one of the hardest, but most rewarding things they have ever done. We ensure you finish the course 100% ready to begin your teaching journey!

Our insiders' guide to all things TESOL

Get insights from the experiences of trainees, graduates, teachers, teacher trainers and other experts on our blog

Avoiding & reducing stress on the Trinity Cert TESOL Course

Using EdTech to Enhance Speaking and Communication Skills in your Classrooms

Teaching Tenses in English: a complete guide

Frequently asked questions

Apply now

Need to ask us some questions before you apply for your CertTESOL? Drop us a message in the live chat box, or reach out via any of the options at the bottom of the page. 

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Submit your application form and pre-interview task

No-obligation interview with one of our trainers

Pay your deposit and begin the Starter Course

Begin Trinity CertTESOL (pay your balance 2 weeks prior)

Let's do this!

Simply submit the form below for access to everything you need to apply. 

Still unsure?

Need a taste of the CertTESOL or a more budget-friendly start to your English teaching career? Try one of these self-study options.  

TESOL Starter

Counts towards the CertTESOL if you progress.

TEFL Course

A 40, 60 or 120-hour TEFL self-paced course.

Taster workshop

Experience a live TESOL workshop. 

Keen to know even more?

Grab a comfy chair and some popcorn as these insightful videos take you through everything you need to know about what it's like on the Trinity CertTESOL.

Diary of a CertTESOL course

Experience exactly what it's like to be on the Trinity CertTESOL, in this unedited week-by-week diary of a course. 

Week 1 - in at the deep end as trainees experience teaching their first ever lesson.

Week 2 - reflecting on the positives and negatives of their teaching practice.

Week 3 - the pressure mounts when assignments are due.

Week 4 - the final week and moderation, trainees reflect on their experience as they complete the final stages of the CertTESOL.

How we maintain quality in our online modules

Learn how we ensure that the quality and learning experience of our online CertTESOL modules is just as high as on our in-person sessions.

Your CertTESOL questions answered by a trainer

TESOL trainer Clare Voke walks you through the Trinity CertTESOL course, the requirements needed to join, and how the qualification can impact your English teaching career.

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