• China
    • Hong Kong
130 hours
Training Type

Program Details

Teaching Practicum
Job Placement


Starting Price
Nov 13, 2019
Jun 28, 2017
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Our Trinity CertTESOL program is the largest and most popular Trinity course outside of Europe and we are the only dedicated TESOL centre here in Hong Kong. Each year we help hundreds of new teachers start their teaching careers in this exciting region.

This 130-hour course will equip you to teach to the internationally accredited Trinity standard, and provide you with a certificate that is recognized by education authorities and institutions in HK and around the world. Courses have a good mix of both local and overseas trainee teachers and offer an insight into the unique needs of learners in Asia.

The CertTESOL is available as 4-week full-time (courses almost every month) and 3-week part-time programs. Full-time courses run Mon to Fri; Part-time courses run Tue and Thu evenings and all day Sat.

Study visas can be arranged for trainees joining from overseas (FT courses only), and take around 4-weeks to process.

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Program Highlights

  • The largest and most popular Trinity course outside of Europe.
  • Live and learn in one of the most safest cities in the world.
  • Teacher placement opportunities available.
  • Hong Kong is ideally located to visit exotic destinations throughout Asia.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Instruction 5
  • Support 5
  • Value 4.35
  • Academic Rigor 4.35
  • Job Assistance 4.35
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

More than a Certificate

The other reviews have already detailed what you might expect from the course so I'll instead share my experience particularly with the TP aspect of the course.

When the course began I was confident that it will be a cakewalk, especially Teaching Practice, because I've already had seven years of teaching experience. However, just right after the first Guided Observation lesson and before the first TP, my confidence faded away because I realized that most of the things I’ve been doing in class were outdated methods that were not always effective. I was also guilty of a lot of bad teaching habits like asking questions like “Do you understand?” or “Is it clear?” instead of using ICQs and CCQs. So, on my first TP, I was quite nervous. I had to drink a lot of tea just to calm my nerves!

Luckily, I found myself with very supportive teammates who were ready to share their experiences, offer suggestions and point out some weaknesses. This is one the most precious things in TP—the safe and supportive environment that seems to be a natural component of the course. I know I will never find this kind of environment in an actual teaching job where fellow teachers are usually less critical of their peers to avoid conflict. So I relished the feedback and worked harder to improve on my skills.

I was at first disappointed on myself for making errors in teaching but I figured that it’s a good thing because I am still able to correct them. I treasured each feedback, took their advice, and considered the suggested action plan. I worked hard on improving in each lesson and it slowly paid off.

There were highs and lows but by TP6, I was regaining my confidence. By then, I’ve accepted the fact that there will never be a perfect lesson so I instead looked forward to the new thing that I needed to improve on.

TP has been the most challenging part of the course and I enjoyed every moment of it, so much so that I gave it first priority over other tasks in the course.

When the course ended, I felt different. I felt more confident as a teacher. I now look back at my teaching style and laugh at the more ineffective ways I had been teaching. It’s hard to imagine that, three months prior, I was the kind of teacher who taught straight from textbook/ coursebook and with little regard for context.

If you come in to the course pursuing a Certificate, I suggest you do your best and work hard. But if you come in to the course with an open heart and an open mind, you'll get more than just a certificate. You'll get a life-changing experience, you'll get friends, you'll earn the respect of your mentors, and you finish it feeling more confident and ready to be a teacher.

Stray Observations:

EFA is always clean! Favorite spot is at the kitchen bar!

I wish I had more time to go through all the resources! The library definitely made materials prep easier.

The instructors are cool and very knowledgeable. Perfect balance of geek and chill.

During my three months in the course, I saw three batches of the one-monthers. I don't know how they did it. Respect to those guys, they're English machines! Us three-monthers though value our beauty sleep and sanity and the occasional trips to the bar after TP!

EFA's brilliant location in the new trendy side of Hong Kong indeed made it easier to chill and unwind at a nearby cafe, restaurant or bar. You need to unwind if you plan to take this course!

EFA's support after the course is impressive. Until now I still get email alerts on Job openings! And while I already have a job, I imagine this will be very helpful to those who need placement.

When you're done, the sweetest thing you can immediately do is leave your legacy shout-out on EFA's wall of fame (or wall of flame if you're the ranty type but seriously the only thing you'll complain about is the friggin IPA)!

What would you improve about this program?
I'd rather have more Guided Observation than Unknown Language classes. You sort of get the point of UL after one lesson or two at most. GO on the other hand, gives us a chance to observe our own instructors in action and learn different teaching styles and approaches.

Also, since most of us plan to teach young learners, I would have loved it if we had a couple of lessons dedicated to English games and activities that might appeal to kids.
44 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

The best course I've ever taken in my life! The toughest too!

The CertTESOL for me was an important stepping-stone in my career as a teacher. I came from the hospitality and hotel background, I worked as a teacher/tutor throughout the years as a way to provide for myself financially, and decided to make the transition to education full-time last year. I decided that it was important to get qualified as a teacher, and looked at a various number of teaching certificates out there to get me started.

I had a friend who did the CertTESOL at English for Asia (EFA), and he told me it was something worthwhile to do if you want to continue your career in this field. I considered it, looked into a bunch of various different programs, and applied for the Trinity CertTESOL at EFA. I filled out the application and did the pre-interview task. Don’t feel intimidated by the pre-interview task, it gives you an idea on what you’re getting into. If you can’t handle it, then expect to study hard or consider giving yourself more time before continuing with the interview process and the actual course.

I knew coming into the course from my friend that it was going to be difficult, it was going to tear me apart, I was going to cry… but there’s so much you can actually prepare for. But I’ve done tough things in my life, and was ready to take it head on. I guess my first tip is be able to type a lot on a computer, a fellow CertTESOL course mate estimated the words she wrote throughout the course and it came to 34,000 in a month. I didn’t find this too hard as I’m use to typing a lot on my computer.

There are a various number of assignments, and be aware of all the weightings. At the end of the day you just need to pass all of them, there won’t be a letter grade on your certificate, but it may be helpful if you’re going to apply back to university like I plan to.

Would I do this course again? YES! Do I recommend you do it? Well consider to do it part-time or full-time. If you can’t handle stress and 2-8 hours of work every night, I guess take the part-time course.

I rated the program all 10’s except for the job assistance of which I gave a 6. Why? Well, English for Asia has a career placement team, I’ve applied for some positions through them but haven’t had any luck getting anything. I know the department has a lot of work, a lot of other teachers to deal with so I don't at all blame them for not getting a position through them. Do expect to send out your own CVs to agencies, schools on your own. There are a lot of jobs out there. But I rated it a 6 because there isn’t a guarantee they can place you in a school, not because of their efforts.

English for Asia is a great company, and you will make friends for life.

General pointers:
Be prepared to have a lack of sleep for the whole month. You will be tired. You will be emotional. But work together as a course and support each other. Share materials, help each other on projects, share ideas. If you’re a selfish person, you might have a hard time. It’s not a competition… we’re all adults and we are just trying to further develop ourselves professionally.

This course is very reflective. You might see it as a course just writing 34,000 words of bullsh*t, but I found it very insightful. I saw myself develop a lot over the course, and I could see how much I changed from when I started to when I finished. I understood what I needed to do by the end of the course to develop myself to become a better future teacher.

You will cry or breakdown at some point. I guess I was the biggest guy on the course… and yeah I broke down.

Have fun, you will have breaks. Have a dance party, tell some jokes, learn about each other, be silly. Let the stress leave your body at times.

The trainers will help you along the way. Don’t be scared. But don’t go to them last minute and expect a ton of help. They’re busy too, they have a ton of things to mark, on top of their own classes to prepare for during the GOJ period.

You will get tutorials to learn about grammar, phonology, teaching methods, and a lot more. Pay attention to them, don’t skip lessons… A lot of the stuff they teach from the first day will be on your language awareness test at the end of the course. If you’re a native English speaker like me, and you can’t handle grammar, don't worry, you will learn enough in the classes to pass the test.

Practice your IPA throughout the course… many people found this very challenging, I did too. But I spent a bit more time than some of the other individuals and did well on my final test.

Make friends. Don’t push yourself away and hide. But don’t be the annoying person who can’t manage to do anything.

Work with your group, you will have an assigned group for your teaching practices, talk with them, they’ll help you out.

The assignments are: Guided Observation Journal (GOJ), Unknown Language Journal (ULJ), Teaching Practice (TP), Learner Profile (LP), and the Materials Assignment (MA). There will be a language awareness test too, but it’s not too bad if you do a little studying and focus during all the lessons provided by the trainers.

The GOJ: 4 lessons dedicated to watching the trainers in action. You will write a 500-1000 word journal to reflect on their teaching styles, and what you thought was good and bad. You may think you can just type out any 500-1000 words and get the pass, but you really should reflect on how they teach and how you might integrate it. Throughout the classes, you get to see what skills they implement in the class, and the styles you should try to master. We covered a few areas, vocabulary teaching, classroom management (including board work, seating), grammar teaching. Don’t take this stage for granted, paying attention is important and adapting it to your own teaching style will help for your own teaching practice that follows.

The ULJ: 4 lessons dedicated to watching an experienced teacher teaching you a completely new language at a beginners level. You get to understand what it feels like to be an absolute beginner, this really helps if you work with young children as you get to understand what it’s like to somewhat be in their shoes. Not all the lessons go smoothly, but the overall concept is for you to see what works and what doesn’t, especially for beginners, and how you can relate it to past experiences and in order to create quality future teaching experiences.

The TPs: We had 8 of them. The first two, you teach different parts of the lesson with your assigned group mates. You get to choose to teach the beginning, middle or end. DON’T DO THE SAME ONE FOR BOTH PRACTICES. YOU WILL GET IN A WHOLE WORLD OF HURT. You can only observe so much, and it’s best to get your feet wet and mess up in the first TPs rather than the 3rd to the 8th one. They gradually get graded a lot heavier. An A during the first two TPs will be a B at the 3rd and 4th. But the grading is fair so don’t worry. We had a couple of fights amongst trainers and trainees, but in general, most of the marking was fair. This part of the course is weighted about 40% I believe, so don’t mess it up… otherwise you will end up re-teaching classes and that takes up a lot of time. Read the rubric! READ IT PLEASE. I wish I did, but sometimes you just have to tick the boxes.
Best tip, learn to CCQ, ICQ, and ECQ effective, they will save you on time and lessons will go a lot more smoothly. If you want to get an A, you will need to do them.
You get to teach anything you want, you can create your own material as long as it relates to the class objective. You will teach a grammar lesson, a vocabulary lesson, a writing lesson, speaking lesson, the list goes on. Be prepared to get all your skills tested as a teacher. The only lesson I had an issue with was the pronunciation lesson, we had to set context for the lesson and found it challenging to design the lesson as we didn’t have a lesson taught to us by the trainers on how to design a pronunciation lesson for the students the trainees teach.
You get a lot of assistance for your TPs, but please just stay ahead of the game. Ask the right questions, you’ll get the right answers. Your evaluations you write at the end of your TP will help in pulling up your grade. I averaged a B+ and got pulled up to an A- because I reflected well.
You will get feedback on every lesson, listen to it. If you don’t… well, you will re-teach classes. Sorry… but that’s how it goes. It’s about continuous improvement, and if you stick to your bad teaching habits, you’re going to have a hard time progressing through this course. Time is so important throughout this course, don’t waste it!

The LP: I loved this project. First, pick a learner who can speak to you in English without you having to translate every word. This might help… look towards the really strong students in the elementary class, or pre-intermediate students. It's a huge assignment, mine was approx. 8,000 words by the end of everything. Get typing, and get your analysis tables checked. They aren’t too hard, but require time. A lot of it is critical analysis, but the tables take a lot of grammar and phonology skills, which a lot of trainees have a difficulty with. I liked this assignment because it prepared me mentally for future students I get and how to map their progression in my head. Don’t be intimidated by the 8,000 words, it all mounts up, but just get started sooner rather than later. If you’re still writing up things in the last week, well… like I said, time is important, and you have wasted your time. I spent my weekends do this project along with lesson planning, and as a result I didn’t have to pull my hair out at the end of the course. Just get your tables done ASAP, get them checked. If they say you only have to do 2 columns for analysis, but they recommend you to do 4, DO 4! It will save you time and your grade in the end.

The MA: This is pass or fail. No letter grade is attached to it. You will have to design a worksheet, game, or some other piece of material for this assignment. Get your MA done by TP 5 because if you leave it to TP 6,7 or 8… well you’ve left it too late to let your trainer check it, for you to do a decent write up, and to do a practice interview.
The write up is 450-550 words, not one word over or under. It’s harsh. It’s got to be clear and concise. If you write a lot like I do, well, it’s tough. But I gave myself enough time to get it sorted. The write up is the first part of the assessed assignment, the second part is the interview, and it’s a breeze. If you know your materials off by heart, you’re going to pass with flying colours. Make sure you have a practice interview with the trainers, it helps a lot. Remember Trinity wants you to pass, and they will help you the best they can.

If you have decided to take the course, do this one and not any other. It might be the most expensive, but it’s the most worthwhile!

Good luck and best wishes to a month of learning, stress, and pain. It’s all worth it, trust me!

What would you improve about this program?
Only thing I found hard to work with was preparing for the pronunciation teaching practice. There needs to be a segment of the course, whether it be 15-30 minutes to focus on setting context for a pronunciation lesson.
40 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Ryan's overview

I found the CertTESOL at English for Asia does wonders for all trainees. Everyone who finishes the course leaves totally transformed compared to when they start the course.

The CertTESOL is comprised of 6 assignments: the unknown language journal (ULJ), guided observation journal (GOJ), learner profile (LP), teaching practice portfolio (TPP), language awareness exam (LA) and materials assignment (MA). A common feature of these assignments is reflection, where you’ll be asked to comment on what you have gained as a result of completing the assignment. This is a process that many trainees are not familiar with, as many people see this as an opportunity to criticize themselves, where in reality, effective reflection requires a discussion of both strengths and weaknesses.
Tip #1: Always start by focusing on the things you enjoyed or have done well. For the areas you feel need improvement, set yourself a clear goal or mini action plan to implement or adapt an idea in your own teaching. Try to be as specific as possible – “I will try to do this in my next lesson” is rather vague when compared to “I’d like to try planning my board work using different colours for my next TP to improve the clarity of my presentation of new language”

Another difficulty many trainees experience with their assignments is the level of critical analysis of what they observe or notice during teaching lessons or observing others. This means that when writing assignments, many people simply offer superficial descriptions of what they saw, rather than elaborations on why these things occurred, or what the effects of these were.

In addition, an essential feature of the CertTESOL that is it a very practical course (i.e. your trainers want to see you apply concepts, and act on suggestions in the classroom). This is reflected in the written assignments, where a key component of assessment criteria of the teaching reflections, GOJ and UNL reflections is that trainees compare what they see/do on the course to previous learning/teaching experiences, and give concrete examples of how and why they might apply new ideas to their future lessons. Including these features in your reflective journals will ensure you include essential details to enhance the effectiveness of your reflections and make it clear to your trainers that you’re really trying to process and apply the content of the course. Keep in mind that the practical component of the course is also what makes it so challenging for many people, and what makes courses like CertTESOL unique from generic online TEFL qualifications.
Tip #2: For each observation your make in your journals, try to analyse each comment by mentioning the reasons it happened, and its effects. You might also like to include “personal aims” with each main and sub aim you write for your lesson plans. This makes it clear to your trainers that you’re taking on board the feedback after each TP, and can give you clear, concrete goals to work towards to improve your teaching.

One of the key skills you’ll need in order to be an effective teacher is to work within a team. Imagine yourself as a part of a larger staff room – it’s not uncommon for larger schools to employ more than 100 teachers. In what ways might you be able to find support, or get support from the people you work with?

On the CertTESOL you will be expected to teach some of your lessons in a team (that is, each person in your group teachers one part, or one stage of the same lesson). On top of this, relying only on your tutors for help and input on assignments may cause you difficulties as your trainers often have to support groups of 12 to 15 trainees, and so the amount of time they have for each individual is limited. In addition, you are also assessed on how you participate in feedback on your own teaching, and also on the teaching of the fellow trainees you observe during the course.

As you can see, active participation in the course is not only expected, but will enhance your experience and, ultimately, the opportunities for getting the most out of the course. However, remember that everyone on your course will be feeling the pressure to different extents at different points on the course, so be gentle with each other.
Tip #3: Try running questions by your peers before running to your trainers for help. You may find that other trainees also turn to you for help, which gives you the opportunity to clarify areas of confusion. When giving feedback on your peers’ teaching, try starting with phrases like “I really enjoyed…” or “I’d like to try ______ in my lessons but I wondered why you…..”
Managing the workload

One of the key determining factors of success on the CertTESOL is time management. On the full-time (4-week) course, you’ll have 6 assignments to complete (including 9 lessons to teach) in only four weeks. While officially, you may be at your training centre from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, you’ll also need talk to your trainers to get ideas for your next teaching practice and get feedback on aspects of your written work. In practice, this might mean you don’t get home until 6:00, or 6:30. On average, it takes most trainees between 3 and 5 hours to complete each lesson plan. Add on to this 2 or 3 hours of assignment work and study each night and it’s easy to see that you may well be in for a few late nights during your course.
Tip #4: Use a diary, or visual planner so you know exactly what you need to do each week. Do a little bit of your assignment work every night (don’t fall behind on your journals!), and start your learner profile early – this will take up a lot of your time in weeks 3 and 4. Some of the most efficient trainees also tend to use their time travelling home on the bus or train to write a brief lesson plan outline so that when they get home, they are ready to start writing! Of course, you’ll also want to talk to your family, and ensure they’re aware of the time commitment you’re making – and that you have time and space at home to do work at the end of the day!
Language awareness

The most common question I get asked about my job is “how can you teach English if you don’t speak your students’ language?”. The assumption behind much of the methodology on the CertTESOL is that, as a proficient user of English, I will be able to answer my students’ questions using English only – and it is on the course that you learn how to do this in a way the students can understand with their limited knowledge of English.

In reality, many people come to the course having never studied English grammar or phonology (in fact, those whose first language isn’t English often do better on the course in this area because they’ve had to learn it first-hand!). This means that when it’s your turn to teach (and eventually clarify those curly questions) certain aspects of grammar, phonology, vocabulary or skills, you’ll be expected to do some research and familiarize yourself with the content before you teach it – and this is harder than it may sound, especially when you’re tired, and working under the pressure of 2 or 3 looming assignments! In this scenario, some trainees turn to websites and information online – and this can have very unpredictable results.

Each centre is required to send you a pre-course task, or starter pack, to give you the best chance of hitting the ground running at the start of the course, and this should also include a recommended reading list. But with so much to learn, how do you choose where to start?

Given that language awareness is a common area of concern for many trainees – here are a few books that might help give you more confidence before your course starts. We also recommend working on language awareness because, ultimately, as a graduate you will be a language teacher and, to an extent, it is your job to know about the content you teach. Scott Thornbury has written about the benefits of why it’s important for language teachers to know about language, though he also warns that this in itself is not the defining feature of an effective language teacher.

However, by giving yourself a running start on developing your language awareness, you’ll be better prepared for the language awareness exam and more importantly, you’ll be well on the way to improving one important aspect of your teaching. Having your own copy means you’ll also have a reference at home for those late-night lesson planning sessions, and won’t have to resort to unpredictable online research.

42 people found this review helpful.

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