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.
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.
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.
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.
"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:
This course is for you if
This course might not be for you if
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
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.
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.
"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."
Full-time CertTESOL, 2017
"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."
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."
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."
Full-time CertTESOL, 2019
"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."
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."
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."
Full-time CertTESOL, 2020
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.
By the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate
Upon payment of your deposit, you will be able to make a start right away with access to our online Starter Course.
This consists of background information and preparation materials, covering approximately 20 hours of instruction in methodology, grammar and phonology. It will also give you an insight into what to expect from the CertTESOL course.
Completion of the Starter Course is compulsory and ensures that every member arrives at the start of the course with an adequate foundation to begin the CertTESOL.
If you're not 100% sure that the Trinity CertTESOL is the right study option for you, consider testing it out with our online Starter Course. This will give you a good insight in to the knowledge and ability required on the CertTESOL. If you like what you see and go on to take your CertTESOL with us, you'll receive the full value of your Starter Course discounted from your Trinity CertTESOL course fee.
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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).
Director of Teacher Training
CertTESOL Course Director
ESOL Academic Manager (China Office), CertTESOL Trainer
Course Director, DipTESOL Trainer
CertTESOL Trainer, DipTESOL Trainer
CertTESOL and DipTESOL Trainer, Course Writer
Academic Manager (Macau Office)
Clare began began her teaching career in 2008 and has experience in various roles in the UK, Mainland China and Hong Kong. She lived and worked in the south of China as a Regional Trainer for Education First and is particularly interested in Chinese learners of English. Clare has written online teaching courses and content, as well as presenting at conferences all over Asia.
Trinity DipTESOL, Trinity TYLEC, MA International Social Transformation
Allan is the newest member of our Hong Kong team. Allan joins us as a Course Director having previously worked in Shanghai as a trainer, regional manager and course developer. In his spare time he loves discovering new music, ‘the weirder the better’ and cooking Chinese food. Allan has a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with our trainees and we’re so excited to have him with us.
Trinity DipTESOL, Dip. L&D (CIPD)
Karin began her TESOL career teaching English to young learners in Mainland China, before moving on to teach a wider range of ages and levels. Her roles have included senior teacher and in-house teacher trainer. Karin regularly presents at teacher conferences and has conducted research projects on teacher questioning in classrooms, learner autonomy, and how English environments impact learning.
Trinity CertTESOL, Trinity DipTESOL, TrinityTYLEC
Since 2009, Kevin has been involved in teaching English in a range of different settings, teaching adults, teenagers and notably young learners in Australia, Daqing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. He has worked in language centres as a Director of Studies and in various roles in international schools. At English for Asia, Kevin directs courses and conducts online training for teachers in Hong Kong and around the world.
CELTA, PGCE, BA
Jennie has taught in Hong Kong since 2014, with experience ranging from primary and secondary international schools, special needs, young learners and adults, before becoming a Cert TESOL trainer. Her passions include exploring how language acquisition can be enhanced in the classroom in tandem with learners' strengths, and how to create effective online lessons in an increasingly tech-oriented world.
Trinity DipTESOL, CELTA, BA
For over a decade, Sean has worked in a variety of TESOL settings in Hong Kong and Europe. He has taught professional adults of various nationalities to develop their English in a variety of commercial sectors and academic settings. Sean has worked with the university of Sunderland on their English for Academic Purposes programme. He has academic interests in sociolinguistics and it's applications in and out of the classroom.
Alex has over a decade of experience working in the EFL industry in Mainland China. She has held a variety of positions in teaching and education management, including at Education First where she oversaw the teaching department across six adult training schools in Guangzhou. During this time, she was involved in several national projects related to teacher development and performance management.
Amanda became a CELTA trainer in 2007 after having taught EFL in Australia and Thailand for many years. Having been a CELTA trainer in Vietnam, India, and several cities in the USA Amanda especially loved the opportunities to travel and meet people from all over the world that her job provided. Now, she is delighted to be part of English for Asia’s Trinity courses, working remotely from Perth.
DipEd, GradDip, RSA Dip TESL, BA
Maria Bjorning Gyde is an examiner, moderator and marker on all Trinity TESOL panels, including the DipTESOL, CertTESOL, TYLEC, CertPT and CertOT. She has more than 25 years’ experience in New Zealand, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Maria also dedicates her time to education and projects related to animal welfare issues and behavioural change for a One Health approach in Bali.
In a teaching career spanning over 20 years, Johanci has worked in Hong Kong, South Africa, London and Macao. She currently works closely with English for Asia's Macao team, running CPD workshops and courses. Johanci has previously taught General English, Business English and English for Specific Purposes to a diverse range of industries, including Gaming, Retail, Hospitality, Engineering, Security and Human Resources.
CELTA, QTS, Higher Diploma Education, BA
Since 2002, Heath has built extensive experience in English language teaching as a teacher, examiner, Director of Studies, and teacher trainer. He is most enthusiastic about teaching English to adults and teens and is particularly interested in English for professional and exam purposes. Favourite saying: Restrictions breed creativity.
CELTA, Trinity DipTESOL, MA Applied Linguistics (TESOL), E-moderating Skills
Matthew has worked as a teacher of General and Academic English, academic manager and teacher trainer in China for over 12 years. His areas of interest include learning transfer in EAP and reflective practice in teacher training and he has published on both of these topics.
DipTESOL, MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, PgCert in Teaching English for Academic Purposes, CELTA
The total course fee for the Trinity CertTESOL is HK$26,000. This investment in your teaching career includes
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$559 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
(since our first course in 1999)
(way to go!)
(of those that completed the course)
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.
The English language ability that we are looking for you to demonstrate is the equivalent of CEFR C1, IELTS 7.0, GESE 10. These examinations themselves are not required – all applicants will be assessed equally during the interview process.
English for Asia welcomes trainees from outside Hong Kong to attend in-person courses and we are happy to help you apply for a study visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
No visa is required for our fully online course.
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!
The Trinity CertTESOL and the Cambridge CELTA are the benchmark certificate level TEFL qualifications. They are by far the most highly regarded and widely accepted that you’ll find, providing a foundation for better job opportunities, further study and travel options.
Any reputable TESOL employer should be familiar with the Trinity CertTESOL. You may want to reconsider your options if your future employer is not well-informed about one of the best-known initial teaching English certificates in the world.
The Trinity CertTESOL is accepted as a suitable teaching qualification by the Hong Kong Education Bureau (including for Primary NET teachers) and by global English Language Teaching organisations such as the British Council and International House. It is also accepted by the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
In the UK, Trinity College London has corporate recognition from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), and its respective partners in Wales and Northern Ireland. The CertTESOL is rated at Level 5 on Ofqual’s Regulated Qualifications Framework, a comparable level to the second year of an undergraduate degree, and comprises a minimum of 130 hours, with an expected minimum of 70 hours further study required (Total Qualification Time: 200 hours).
Trinity has agreements with a number of leading universities for the transfer of credit points. Holders of the CertTESOL are granted 10 Open University points as credit towards a BA or BSc degree.
The CertTESOL is accepted and recognised by most English schools in most countries around the world. It gives you a good basis to train to teach English in the Lifelong Learning Sector in the UK (further and adult education and other programmes funded through the government).
The British Council is an international organisation that works to build learning opportunities and lasting cultural relationships between the UK and countries around the world. The British Council runs accredited English language schools in over 100 countries worldwide, employing English language teachers in a respectable working environment with good pay. The CertTESOL is one of only two TEFL qualifications that are listed by the British Council in their job postings as an acceptable introductory teaching qualification that meets their standards and requirements.
By obtaining a TEFL/TESOL certificate that is accepted by the British Council, you will be able to apply for teaching positions in any British Council language school in the world.
The British Council only recruits teachers that meet their requirements.
The volume of information online about TEFL/TESOL training can be overwhelming. We recommend sources below for credible information.
In Hong Kong, the CertTESOL is registered under the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Ordinance (Course Registration 250562). It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead.
In order to obtain and maintain this registration, the CertTESOL course undergoes an annual scrutiny by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) to ensure that we can meet the criteria for registration.
This registration ensures that local employers and government departments are able to verify the qualification (including HK Immigration Department, for work visa purposes).
Get insights from the experiences of trainees, graduates, teachers, teacher trainers and other experts on our blog.
TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, TEFL for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESL Teaching English as a Second Language.
TEFL is mostly used in the UK and has traditionally been applied to the teaching of English to people for whom English is a foreign language and who will use English largely for short-term study, work or leisure purposes.
TESL has traditionally been applied to the teaching of English to people for whom English is a second language in their home country, or people who are settling in an English-speaking country.
TESOL is an umbrella term that now usually incorporates the other two acronyms.
There are only two international certificates recognised by the British Council and by employers worldwide: the Trinity Certificate in TESOL and the CELTA offered by Cambridge ESOL.
Although similar in content, mode of delivery and assessment, the two courses differ in terms of more specific components and types of moderation and assessment. Trinity lays great emphasis on reflective journal writing, professional development and self-evaluation for trainees.
In addition to the minimum requirements as outlined in the Trinity syllabus, the course offered by English for Asia also features
The full-time course consists of 130 hours over 4 weeks: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, plus the final weekend of the course. Your Teaching Practice (TP) takes place within this time. This course is particularly intense.
The part-time course consists of 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.
Yes. Our CertTESOL course is available as a blended course (part online part in-person) and as a fully online course.
Your Teaching Practice will be with adults.
For teaching in private schools, the CertTESOL should be sufficient. However, should you wish to teach in state schools you may need to have a PGCE qualification. You should check with government representatives in the country where you are planning to teach.
In Hong Kong, the Education and Manpower Bureau accept a degree plus a Trinity CertTESOL for Primary Native English Teachers (PNETs).
The course offered by English for Asia also features sessions on teaching young learners, which is in addition to the minimum requirements as outlined in the Trinity syllabus.
To build confidence in the areas of classroom management, materials design and teaching methodologies in the context of young learners, we recommend our specialist course, Teaching English to Young Learners.
No. The course is designed for those with little or, more usually, no experience of teaching English, but is also useful for qualified, in-service teachers who wish to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Yes. Although English does not have to be your first language, you must be able to demonstrate a high level of English language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, whether it is a first, second or other language for you. See the section above on ‘Entry requirements’ for more details.
Yes, it is recognised as a qualification for English language teaching in the UK and internationally. It meets the specifications for a Level 5 qualification set by the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA), the statutory body authorised to approve qualifications in England.
It is also accepted as an initial qualification by the British Council in the teaching organisations accredited by the Council in the UK and in their own teaching operations outside the UK.
Many other state and independent sector teaching organisations also accept the qualification. In Hong Kong the Trinity CertTESOL is one of only two named certificates recognised by the Education Bureau (EDB).
Good TESOL teachers are in constant demand in Hong Kong and we often have part-time vacancies here at English for Asia, tutoring classes to primary and secondary level students. Many successful candidates will be offered the chance to begin their teaching career almost immediately after the course.
There is a terrific demand for native English teachers throughout Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
At the end of the course we offer guidance in applying for jobs both overseas and within Hong Kong. We have an exceptional network of contacts and are regularly informed of vacancies. All graduates get lifetime access to our network, for extra help or advice.
We also recommend these articles on finding jobs
We are pleased to say that more than 99% of our trainees pass the course, and of these, about 85% obtain an A or a B grade. Occasionally, however, there are people who do not pass, either because they do not successfully complete the assigned tasks or are unable to demonstrate the principles of communicative language teaching.
It is only fair to outline the principal reasons why this very small number of people do not pass
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.
Simply submit the form below for access to everything you need to apply.
Need a taste of the CertTESOL or a more budget-friendly start to your English teaching career? Try one of these self-study options.
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.
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.
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.
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.