Saturday, May 25, 2024

Examining Trinity

A close look at a useful certificate

The Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages(CertTESOL) launched in 1980 and is one of two certificates offered by an English exam board that also provides a suite of English language exams for students.

The Trinity College London, a British exam board, was founded in 1877 to offer qualifications in music and now offers assessments in a variety of areas, including performance arts and languages.

Its English language exams are widely used and its CertTESOL is one of a small number of TESOL certificates offered by an official body (see box). It appears to be the only one listed on the Register of Recognised Qualifications for England.

The main difference between CELTA and Trinity, apart from the fact that Trinity has 130 course hours, is that it validates courses which meet its requirements. Its courses are particularly strong on the teaching of phonology and pronunciation, and also include some exposure to foreign language learning.

Although the CertTESOL focuses on teaching adults, it also offers a 100-hour Teaching Young Learners Extension Certificate and has just introduced a 100-hour Certificate for Practising Teachers, covering areas from academic English to CLIL (see page XX).

The main disadvantage is that the name Trinity, while well-known in Europe, Latin America and India, is less familiar to schools in East Asia, though all the government schemes we looked at accept it.

The word TESOL is not unique to Trinity College London. Below are some of the main official uses of the term.

  • TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The term is used for many master’s degrees and by Trinity College London for its Certificate, which is at level 5 on the recognised qualification for England (its diploma is at level 8). It also offers a level 7 certificate in Professional Training (see page XX).
  • The Scottish qualification authority, SQA Scotland, offers a TESOL qualification for teachers of adult migrants.
  • TESOL International is the name of the large US-based association of English language teachers founded in 1966. Its members include both
  • US teachers, most of whom teach in US schools and colleges, and teachers from overseas. It runs a large international conference. TESOL has long offered professional development programmes and now has its own 140-hour TESOL core certificate.
  • TESOL Asia is also an association and also runs conferences. It offers online teacher training.
  • The Irish Department of Education has a state-recognised level 7 TESOL certificate.
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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