Trinity Cert TESOL

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the lady teaching the two little ones
the lady teaching the two little ones


Improve your teaching skills and career prospects with an accredited, internationally recognized teaching qualification from the only Trinity course provider in Japan.

The Trinity Cert TESOL is an internationally recognized professional teaching qualification, equivalent to the Cambridge CELTA. The course can be done part-time, conducted over 22 Sundays, or full-time, over 4 weeks. There are five assessed elements to the course including teaching practice, unknown language journal, materials development, language awareness (grammar & phonology) and the development of a learner profile.

Dedicated trainers provide personalized attention throughout the course, including workshops, lesson planning, teaching practice and beyond. Local Japanese learners are keen and enthusiastic so classes are always a positive experience and provide you with valuable practice in the classroom.

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Questions & Answers


based on 13 reviews
  • Benefits 8.9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.9
  • Facilities 7.9
  • Safety 8.1
  • Instruction 9.3
  • Support 9.8
  • Value 8.7
  • Academic Rigor 8.5
  • Job Assistance 7.3
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Learned so much. Would take it again.

I had been teaching in Japan for 9 years before I took this course. 4 years at a private eikaiwa and 5 years freelance. I had started feeling that my lessons were getting stale and wasn't sure how to improve both the lessons and myself as a teacher. I decided to take this course to learn how to become a better teacher and develop new skills.
The course taught me even more than I had expected to learn. I feel far more confident in my ability as a teacher now. Already I have had the chance to incorporate what I've learned into my work and my students are responding well.
The course tutors are very helpful, knowledgeable, and fun.
I realized that so much of what I had thought about teaching English was so wrong or could be improved. By experiencing learning a new language from scratch as part of this course, I could see first-hand how effective these new methods were.
If you have the money and the time, I absolutely recommend the course for any teacher.

What would you improve about this program?
I would be more stringent with deadlines if I were the tutor. In my experience, the tutors set deadlines for each assignment but nearly every participant missed every deadline, which the tutors allowed. This resulted in most of the participants turning in several assignments during the last week and even the morning of the deadline, which overwhelmed the tutor. As a result, I felt the tutor was not able to adequately support me, even though I had been the only one to turn in everything before the deadlines. During the last week, I wanted support about the final assignment, but I felt unable to get proper support.
In addition, I felt that if the participants are going to be certified as ESL teachers, they need to be able to meet deadlines. In my opinion, a teacher who repeatedly misses deadlines should not be certified as they have repeatedly shown inability to work under pressure and meet deadlines. By allowing such teachers to become certified, I also feel the Trinity CertTESOL certification's reputation will be diluted.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Although heavily demanding it has transformed my teaching. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The course was thorough and there was a huge amount of support from tutors. We learned as much from each other and be applying the theory to our lessons. The course was intensive but forced us to analyse the language which now means I can teach it to a student depending on his / her needs. It was very interesting to connect with my own language and I feel motivated to continue my study and further my teaching career.

What would you improve about this program?
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience at Shane Training Center -Tokyo

I found the course very professional and I feel grateful to my tutor, Ms.Sophia McMillan for the great support and feedback provided.
I had the opportunity to revise grammar materials, lesson planning, class management etc. This is also a course to improve and enhance teaching methods.
I would recommend this course for teachers with no experience and also for those who have experience in teaching both children and adults.
You will learn everything a teacher needs to know in order to create effective lessons.
After teaching English to children for more than 10 years, I thought I want more and this course was a great opportunity to expand my teaching skills in order to teach adults also.
Now I feel more confident and really happy to have completed it. It was a great learning experience, so I definitely would recommend this course to others. There is nothing to worry about, just follow the steps, ask for advice from the tutors and you`ll get all the support needed.
Thank you Shane Training Center-Tokyo!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great to divide the program in two , one for teachers with no experience and the other one for those with teaching experience.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

All teachers are language teachers

I opted this course although I'm a Biology teacher as I believe all teachers are language teachers. Having been said that I feel multilingualism is crucial for students in the 21st century. That doesn't mean that people need to speak 'proper British English' until and unless it builds a communication. Mostly the second language English speakers determine why English is a global language in the current world. 'English' as a language had always been more flexible, as you may call it 'American English' or include worlds from 'Hindi' like 'shampoo, jungle and so on' but in this era where bias towards the "native speakers" widely exists, this course didn't build that awareness among the cohort.
Collaboration is essential for lifelong learning which is required not just by the students but also by the teachers or as a matter of fact by everyone. Still, the course lacked to build 'collaboration' among the teachers I was working with. Instead, I felt it was a competitive environment. Even if our classes were graded on our individual improvement rather than comparative, still this fact was not brought up. It would have been wonderful if this course involved group work or group projects and a healthier collaborative environment. We didn't discuss our lesson plans or form learning objectives or learning engagements together instead it was one way within me- my TEFL provider.
Keeping in mind this is a certification, I appreciate that it teaches you a lot in such a short span but there are a very few transferable skills taught. I have seen a common way of teaching displayed by most of all 'TESOL' certified teachers as if certification is turning out productive batches of identical people. There are the essential elements like 'reflection', 'lesson planners', observation, peer review but none in practice happen in its true sense.
If I haven't been taught how to 'reflect' as a teacher how can doing it for 10-15 times make a difference. Same goes with the lesson plans, what inquiry cycle you incorporate, which things come first (backward model or not), why I'm using the template given by TESOL, no discussions on such basic issues, I can't be using the same template throughout my life. So are there any transferable skills through which I can design my own planners in future?
The things I learned are innumerable and I give credit to this course that not being from a teaching background I could easily get into the University of Tsukuba to pursue Masters in International Education with International Baccalaureate (IB Board) Educator certification. Also, It motivated me to pursue teaching as a career and I'm doing an online course-Cambridge Biology Educator certification.

What would you improve about this program?
As I shared above;
1. Building awareness that language can be in different dialects or accents the primary purpose of it is communication and forming relationships.
2. Collaboration: I think this is something needs to be included in the way the course is structured not just in how the TEFL provider facilitates it. Is it possible to form a project which involves the group to work together? or lessons taught in groups? Why are you them starting a batch till you get 3-4 people because you want to build learning through the peers or is it just a financial side to it?
3. Focus on the basics rather than teaching practices which are nontransferable. It's not teaching people how to arrange 'evening tea' but to be lifelong conscious teachers.
4. Saying that I feel the focus was on 'staging activities' which is sometimes so unnatural, instead, should be taught how to plan engagements which lead to learning.

Read my full story
Photo of Michael Gade
Yes, I recommend this program

Tokyo CertTESOL Full-Time

I decided pretty early on that I wanted to live in Japan long-term, and while I was studying abroad in the Tokyo area as a university student, I decided to look for a full-time TESOL certificate that I could do during one of my breaks. As an American college student, I have a very limited budget and relocating to Kobe for the CELTA was almost impossible. I knew about Shane's CertTESOL from research, but no courses were offered during my break. I took a shot in the dark and emailed the course director, Sophia, about my interest, and she was more than willing to move the course start time to fit my schedule, so that was a great hint that Shane was very accommodating to my needs.

The Unknown Language is surprisingly effective, as I still remember the vocabulary and phrases. I used some of the activities from those lessons in my own teaching practice. The Learner Profile had the option to be done entirely in the school with a learner arranged by the school, so it saved a lot of time from having to hunt my own. Teaching Practice was the most valuable part, as I literally felt growth in my ability with each lesson. I am very introverted, so the practice is going to save some stress when actually teaching for a paycheck and it really helped me open up about teaching. The class sizes are fairly small on some days, which can be beneficial if one is nervous about teaching larger groups.

This course will teach a lot of phonetics, which is something many native speakers are not used to, but pretty valuable in the long run. Lots of grammar is reviewed, and there are sample worksheets and lesson ideas given with them. It should be noted that there is also a small unit on teaching young learners and business English, which typically has to be purchased separately for a lot of other courses, so a little of everything most ESL teachers may encounter is covered under the one certificate.

It cannot be stressed enough how intensive the course is, and I would probably recommend the part-time option if possible. The first day will feel overwhelming, and you don't fully appreciate the course until a few days of rest after its over. During the course, there were times when I questioned myself about doing it due to the long commute I had and the amount of work. In the end, I am hands-down very glad that I decided to take it and would recommend it to others who want to get in the ESL world, especially in Japan and specifically in the Tokyo/Saitama/Chiba/Kanagawa area. I feel very confident in being able to land a good paying job abroad after I finish my bachelor's degree, and I feel there is more mobility in making it a long-term career by having the certificate. Depending where I end up, I may even return someday for the diploma.

What would you improve about this program?
Even though I liked smaller class sizes, having a large number of students on some days may help prepare trainees for those situations. And while instructional technology is mentioned, the ability to have some hands-on practice with tools such as interactive whiteboards would help give more universal experience for trainees.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Worth the investment

* What made you take the course?
I took this course because I want to become an ALT. The Trinity CertTESOL is well recognized by English schools as well as by ALT dispatch companies in Japan.

* How did you find it?
I was somewhat nervous going in, but the instructors were extremely friendly and helpful. Whenever I asked for help or feedback, their replies were very quick and consistent. The class size was small so it was always possible to speak with the instructor personally.

* What advice would you give other people on the course?
I’m currently in University and this course took way more time than my school work. You will most likely end up writing more than 50,000 words before getting your certificate. Basically, this course is a lot of work. I would recommend the full-time course over part-time course. You'll need to dedicate your life to TESOL either way, and one month of stress is better than six months!
Even if you take the part time course, I would recommend any student to finish the homework and assignments as quickly as possible. This is especially important for the guided observation journal, unknown language journal, and peer observation, where you'll be expected to remember and record specific details. I used a laptop to take notes throughout the course, which was extremely helpful.

* What did you benefit from the most?
The instructors gave us feedback based on our teaching practice, and I was able to fix many of my bad habits as a result. I now feel that I can teach students with confidence.

What would you improve about this program?
Many of the students that you will teach in this course are very eager to participate in class. This might not be representative of the average student that you will teach in Japan. More live guided observations and input sessions on teaching quiet students would be beneficial.
Sara Fitz
Sara Fitz
Yes, I recommend this program

Best investment in my career I've ever made.

I took the summer intensive course last year when I was really struggling with teaching English. At the time I had six years of experience teaching as an ALT under my belt but I felt like I still wasn't sure of how to better serve my students' needs.

The course was intense, and the summer version isn't for the faint of heart, but if you're willing to stick with it till the end, I know you will have no regrets towards this investment in your own education. The class revolutionized the way I approach my students and lessons, and helped me learn how to better assess both my students' progress as well as my own day-to-day progress as an educator. I can honestly say this truly changed and improved my life and my career.

My instructor Sophia was so kind and really helped me during the course of the lessons and even after the course was over, continued to give me support and continues to support my progress now. It's a good feeling to know that if you have further questions or need advice, your education doesn't stop just because your course is over.

Since graduating, I've become a better teacher, and even got a promotion. I'm now the head of the English department at a three-school campus and continue to use what I've learned on a daily basis and pass that knowledge on to trainees of my own.

If you're on the fence about whether or not to start at Shane, don't hesitate. A brighter future is waiting for you. Sign up and complete the course. You'll really be glad you did.

What would you improve about this program?
I think if they added a little more information about teaching younger students or early childhood education in more detail it would add even more value for the course.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenging but thorough course

Why did you take the course?

I took the Full-time Trinity CertTESOL course this past summer because my current job as an elementary school ALT in Japan offers very little support and professional development. Although I am technically an "assistant", the English program in my city's elementary schools is very weak, and ALTs typically become the primary English teacher. Much of my "lesson planning" was centered around scouring the Internet and Facebook forums to find games and activities for a full 45 minute lesson. I was also trained to use a lot of classroom Japanese during my lessons. While talking to a fellow ALT friend friend in my prefecture about lesson plan ideas, I was told me about Shane's Trinity CertTESOL course and how much it helped him become a better teacher. After doing my research about the Trinity CertTESOL and the strong foundation and prestigious qualification it gives ESL teachers, I decided to take the course because I wanted to become a better teacher for my students.


Mornings are input/lectures about grammar, theory, IPA, etc. They're generally more discussion-based with a lot of group work. I loved my class of four. There's a break for lunch, and afternoons are for student teaching. I taught a lesson almost every other day. To be honest, I sometimes felt that there wasn't always the time to enjoy lunch because I often had to work on homework or prepare for my lesson. However, such is the nature of the course. In the end, I felt that I was able to learn best practices and become better at properly planning a lesson from start to finish.

Before taking the course, I was slightly apprehensive of IPA, and I was unsure of how I would fare as an American English speaker using British IPA. However, I grew to LOVE IPA and how useful it is in pronunciation. (And you know you've grown to love it when you start writing notes to your tutor in IPA!) Quite frankly, I have not been able to teach IPA in my courses with my young learners as it's not part of the curriculum; however, I hope to use it in the future if I teach adult learners.

The Unknown Language (UL) and Learner Profile (LP) journals were my favorite two projects over the course because they both challenged me to think from the perspective as a student and develop teacher awareness. The UL is a complete game changer towards teaching English because I learned that you CAN teach English without translation. To this day, I STILL remember the UL words I learned.

The most challenging project was the self-evaluations of the Teaching Practice. The "self-evaluation" is not "fluffy." Talk to your classmates, and talk to your trainers, who are more than happy enough to stay and talk and review any comments you received on your teaching practice.


The tutors are highly experienced and supportive, and they genuinely want to help you succeed not only in the course but also in your job. Tutors are generally available before and after class. They are also there to throw out ideas for your lesson, but it's up to you to execute the lesson successfully. As with any human teacher, no lesson is perfect, and we make mistakes. However, I've gotten better at spotting mistakes (nicknamed "bear traps" during the course) in my teaching, thanks to my tutors and multiple practice teaching opportunities. I appreciated their quick, responsive, and effective feedback. The tutors not only helped me with becoming a better teacher, but they also helped me with my own personal development as a learner. If you have the opportunity to be trained by either Sophia McMillan or Gavin Addison, you are in very good hands, and your course will be full of life and fun.

What advice would you give other people on the course?

The course is not a walk in the park, and it was as tough as previous students have said it is. I took the full-time course because it was the only course that would have fit with my job's schedule, but I probably would have taken the course part time if I had the chance. Talk to your trainers and classmates for help if you need it. Be prepared to work and figure out a study and self-care routine that will get you through the course efficiently and mentally healthy. There is a LOT of paper and a LOT of information in one go, and half the battle is organizing your papers logically in binders. I actually recommend taking a suitcase if you want to keep physical copies of your work; I left for Tokyo with a light carry-on suitcase, and I returned home with the suitcase significantly heavier.

Living close to the training center helped me get home at a reasonable time. I did not explore Tokyo while on the course, and I prepped as many meals in advance when I had the time. But as intense as the course is, take time off to recharge appropriately.

During the course, I used a laptop to take notes during class. This is not necessary, but it really helped me organize any details I needed to catch up on later while working on my homework, particularly during the UL lessons. I found I could better recall what happened during our UL classes much better with play-by-play notes of the class.

How has it helped you? What did you benefit from the most?

The entire course itself helped me change my approach towards ESL. Since teaching for six months after the course, I find that I continuously refer back to my UL journal and the materials that I was given. Even though I teach children instead of adults, I still find a lot of the material that I learned in class relevant to my work, particularly with lesson plan structure and drills. Now that I have new knowledge and key words (hint, Google "Young Learners" instead of "Elementary School"), it has made researching different teaching techniques much more relevant to the kinds of ideas I am looking for. I've also learned to appreciate simpler activities delivered with clear, staged instructions over complicated activities that may incur translation from my homeroom teacher. After taking the educational theory input classes/lectures, I am also able to better explain WHY I chose to do a lesson the way I did when asked to explain.

As a whole, my experience was quite enjoyable. This IS an expensive course, but the materials, knowledge, support, and friendships are well worth it.

Paula Vessey
Yes, I recommend this program

Taking the Cert TESOL at the Shane School, Tokyo

After having taught ESL for over 20 years, I was starting to feel that my methods were becoming stale, so I decided to take a refresher course in the hope of making a new start. Two of my friends had already taken the Cert TESOL course run by Shane, and both recommended it to me. They warned me that it was hard work, but I knew of the course's good reputation, so I decided to apply.

When I attended the interview, the course director, Sophia, told me that there were full-time and part-time options available and that both were very challenging. However, she reassured me by saying that she would give whatever support was needed to make sure I and the other trainees passed. This reassurance, plus the outline of the course contents convinced me that the Cert TESOL was the right qualification for me to take, so I signed up for the part-time course.

Regarding the course itself, the first thing I would say is that it does indeed involve a great deal of work and dedication. If you are looking for an easy-option teaching course requiring minimal effort, this is not the course for you; the pace of the classes is intense and the amount of homework is considerable. If, however, you are serious about teaching and are willing to throw yourself 100% into the course, then you will come away with a top-class teaching qualification and the confidence to use it.

The course was held in Kasai, and I looked forward to going out there every Sunday. My fellow trainees were a great bunch of people, and I appreciated the rapport I built with them; we supported each other throughout the course and are still in touch even now. The in-school activities were comprehensive and comprised a mixture of theoretical and practical classes. In the former, we covered a wide range of ESL essentials - classes on grammar, phonology, classroom management, methodology and types of student. We were also given projects which enabled us to empathize with learners (The Unknown Language Project), assess and develop courses for students (The Learner Profile Project), and learn how to make and use teaching materials (The Materials Assignment).

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this course compared to the many other ESL courses offered is the amount of time spent on actual teaching practice. Each trainee was able to observe the classes of qualified teachers and also had ample opportunity to teach large group classes themselves every other week. The tutors were intensively involved with both class planning and feedback with the aim of giving the trainees the best chance to learn and develop. I am happy to report that not only did I pass the course, but I did so with a good set of marks, and with hindsight I am sure that was because the tutors pushed us so hard to achieve.

All in all, I would recommend this Cert TESOL course to anyone who is serious about a career in ESL and wants to get a top-level teaching qualification. It was probably the toughest course I have ever taken, but it opens doors in the teaching profession that would otherwise remain firmly closed.

What would you improve about this program?
Time was always the issue. I was not working at the time, but even so, I found it hard to meet coursework deadlines. As the majority of time was spent planning lessons, perhaps ways to make this less time-consuming could be found.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Very Thorough Course

I took this course because I wanted to further my teaching career. The Trinity TESOL certificate is world renowned and competitively priced, in my opinion, compared to other companies offering TESOL certificates. Shane offered two scheduling options which were really handy for my own work schedule and support was readily available.
I found this course challenging and thorough. The standard of work they require ensures that you constantly and consistently try your best. The tutors were knowledgeable and clearly experienced in teaching, which they demonstrated regularly. Take in all feedback and ideas learned from the demonstrations, and incorporate them into your lessons each week. This will help to improve your lessons each week.
When taking this course, I suggest starting all assignments as soon as you can. There are some dissertation worthy reports due requiring a lot of time and effort.
Having this certification lead to an immediate pay raise with my employer which was great! I also benefited from learning another foreign language within the course so I could take a few steps in the learners shoes. Seeing language acquisition from this angle really helps you to understand what your students are going through and what they need to succeed.
I would definitely recommend this course to anyone considering taking their English teaching skills to a higher level.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Joy of teaching - every day is a new day!

After a hard week, mind numb and exhausted the last thing I wanted to do was teach an evening class at the end of my week. The lesson started of routinely enough and progressed to the meat of the lesson. Though I tried to stay focused my mind was elsewhere. Then the student asked a question. Time slowed down and data points connected and a stock answer came out. A puzzled look from the student, that means I don't really understand but I don't want to say anything. Hold on a second, I was just reading about this language point in the TESOL Diploma texts. What was it saying again? Oh yes, let's take a step back and approach this from a 'task based' learning scenario. Wow! This is going really well, everyone is really getting into it! Wait, how do you pronounce that word? I spontaneously start dictating it on the whiteboard in IPA, students can say it magically. Hold on, one of them is really having problems with the plosive, no problem, draw a diagram on the whiteboard showing the position of the lips, tongue and palate. Then demonstrate using a tissue over the mouth. Hold on a second, the lesson is over already? Where did the time go? The class finishes on a good buzz. Every day is a new day!

What would you improve about this program?
Not sure yet, will let you know when I finish!
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity to get post-graduate certification while already living in target country

I had been teaching English in Japan for several years before taking the Cert TESOL course in Tokyo through Shane English School. It would have been nearly impossible for me to have gone back to school to get my TESOL certification otherwise, so this was a great opportunity to learn over my summer break.

The course itself was incredibly challenging, and I learned a ton of stuff through this four week trial by fire. I believe that this course equipped me for the first time with the tools necessary to actually teach English with confidence. I am glad that I took this course, and would highly recommend it to anyone already living in the country who is looking to up their skills.

What would you improve about this program?
I can't think of anything that I would have liked changed about the program, except perhaps for its location in downtown Tokyo, which meant a grueling two-hour long train ride each way. However, this is a rather selfish request on my part, as Tokyo is a very central location to many teachers. I wonder if it would be possible to increase the locations of the Cert TESOL program throughout Japan, specifically the more rural regions, to make it easier for others to get their certification.
Yes, I recommend this program

CertTESOL 2015 Experience with Shane English School

* What made you take the course?
I was recommended this course by a friend of mine. I originally wanted official certification in English teaching in order to further my career here. Furthermore, I wanted to learn more TESOL teaching strategies for young learners.

* How did you find it?
I found the course very beneficial for beginning teachers as there was ongoing feedback throughout the teaching sessions to improve and become more efficient/effective/reflective as a teacher. For example, the phonology/grammar sessions provided practical advice on how lexis and vocabulary could be taught, to which I have incorporated many of these techniques into my full-time teaching work.

* What advice would you give other people on the course?
Originally I had underestimated the difficulty of the course, and the work involved. Time management skills are needed efficiently juggle the demands and ongoing assessments in this course with full-time work. Time is also needed to review the work covered in the input sessions and to apply it into practice during teaching sessions. However, this time is well worth it as it equipped me with new strategies and approaches that I had not encountered before during my teaching endeavour.

* What did you benefit from the most?
I benefited the most from with input sessions and the Unknown Language project. The opportunity to learn a new language provided me with the opportunity to put myself in students' shoes, and thus develop tailored approaches to English learners in my community and some of the barriers to language acquisition, in the same way I had experienced difficulties with the new language myself. The teaching sessions also provided me with an opportunity to experiment a variety of teaching approaches, and clear and detailed feedback from tutors allowed me to reflect on the fine tuning of these ideas.