Trinity Diploma course: the next step in your TEFL career

Do you want to be a top TEFL Teacher? Here's how you can teach English as a foreign language with greater confidence, get experience in teacher training, find a job with more responsibility and even move up into TEFL management. We guarantee that on our Trinity Diploma courses you'll get new ideas for your lessons!

About the Trinity Diploma course

Our DIP TESOL is an advanced teaching qualification. If you have two years' TEFL experience (960 hours classroom teaching), and plan to pursue TEFL as a full-time career, it's the course for you. We have many years' experience of running this top-level qualification and guarantee our course will extend your repertoire of practical classroom activities.

Back to top

The aims of our Trinity Diploma course

Doing a Trinity Diploma is a great investment in your future career as a professional TEFL teacher. With our course, you'll develop your professional knowledge and expertise so you can teach with confidence in any situation. We aim to help you build on your existing skills and to increase your understanding of the key factors affecting language learning and teaching.

  • You'll be familiar with a huge range of techniques for ensuring your EFL classes promote effective learning time after time
  • You'll know the best TEFL publications on the market, and how to use them to get the most from your students
  • You'll be able to adapt your teaching style to suit your learners
  • On top of that, you'll be a great colleague, able to help novice TEFL teachers with ideas, and ready to give guidance on a range of topics relating to EFL classroom skills. What's more, you'll probably find you prepare your classes more effectively and in less time ‒ with practice!

Back to top

The content of the Trinity Diploma course

Our Trinity TESOL Diploma course is comprehensive, and uses a research-based method. That means that you will do a lot of reading ‒ both from specialised TEFL magazines and from books to develop your awareness of the issues. It also gives you the chance to explore in more detail areas that are of particular interest to you. We'll further encourage you to reflect on your teaching and your learning, so you can accurately evaluate the appeal and appropriateness of the activities you use in class.

Main areas of study:

Teaching methodologies in TEFL Aspects of classroom practice
Syntax, morphology, semantics and pragmatics of English Games and warm-ups
Materials evaluation Professional development
The phonology of English and transcription Discourse analysis
Learner strategies and learning preferences Course and syllabus design
Needs analysis and lesson planning Lexical approaches
Historical development of EFL teaching Sociolinguistics
International English and cultural contexts Authenticity
Use of resources and technology, including TEL Testing and assessment

You'll become familiar with the contributions to language learning theory and practice of a number of leading figures, including:

Saussure Skinner Chomsky
Prabhu Krashen Widdowson
Nunan Willis Lewis

We'll also help you explore in great detail every aspect of your practical classroom management and EFL teaching, including:

Lesson planning Monitoring and giving feedback
Error awareness Using visuals and whiteboard policy
Effective praise Classroom research
Using dictionaries Effective input and output

Back to top

Why our Trinity Diploma course helps you succeed

Our course has several special features that make it different and prepare you for success. Here are some examples:

  • You'll have access to our excellent TEFL resources and several libraries of useful books
  • You'll be part of a small group of motivated TEFL teachers and receive guaranteed personal attention from our trainers
  • You'll have regular tutorials through the programme to review your progress
  • You'll receive our FREE collection of more than 100 EFL teaching activities to help your lessons go with a swing
  • You'll have access to our essay bank of more than 200 answers to past Trinity Exam questions ‒ excellent guidance for your written work
  • You'll have a detailed overview of every session of the course, complete with reading lists and exam-style questions to guarantee you are prepared for the written part of the exam
  • You'll have regular practice with timed writings to help you develop the exam skills you need, and to give you a chance to recycle what you've learnt on the course so far
  • As soon as you register we'll send you our handy 'Top Tips For Preparing Dips' - 40 practical tips that will help you get ready for the TESOL Diploma so you get the most out of it

Back to top

Assessment and exams

Our course will prepare you for success. That's our intention.

Assessment for the Trinity Diploma is in four parts:

  • Part 1 ‒ The written paper: One written exam dealing with aspects of language including grammar, lexis and discourse, theory and practice of learning and teaching, and aspects of professional development
  • Part 2 ‒ The portfolio: Your coursework portfolio, consisting of three elements ‒ 10 hours of classroom observation, a developmental record reflecting on 15 hours of teaching at various levels and an independent research project on an area of particular interest to you
  • Part 3 ‒ The interview: An interview in three sections consisting of a presentation of a phonology topic, related to classroom practice. Assessment of your knowledge of the characteristics of spoken English and discourse, including phonology, stress and intonation with live transcription of an utterance of 20 lexical items. Discussion of your classroom practice regarding strategies for teaching spoken English, and the skills and sub-skills involved in effective listening and speaking
  • Part 4 ‒ Teaching practice: Assessment of teaching practice based on four internally assessed lessons carried out by our experienced trainers, one externally examined lesson assessed by a Trinity examiner and a teaching journal documenting your teaching practice and self-evaluation. Of course we'll ensure you are fully prepared for every aspect of the exam.

Back to top

Our Trinity Diploma course programme

We offer the Trinity Diploma course in the following formats:

  • Full-time: 10 weeks full-time in one intensive term
  • Part-time: 30 weeks part-time in three terms of 10 weeks, with classes from 1.30pm to 6pm on Wednesday afternoons, plus observations and teaching practices by arrangement. There is one full-time week usually in January as part of the course

All sessions take place at our premises in Bristol. Examinations are also held at International House Bristol.

Back to top

Practical details

Workload: There is a considerable amount of reading to do on the DIP TESOL course but we make this more manageable by giving you guided reading sessions and a detailed list of activities and books to read for each aspect of the programme. The workload is heavy but, we hope, rewarding and thought-provoking. Do not take it on unless you feel confident  you can manage. Our booklet, 'Top Tips for Preparing Dips', will give you dozens of practical tips to help you manage the workload before and during the course.

Group size: To ensure the best combination of rapid progress and personal attention, groups tend to have a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 participants.

Format: Each programme involves a combination of seminars, mini-lectures, workshops, presentations and project work. In addition, there will be observation and teaching practice sessions, and both written and practical assignments.

Back to top

Dates and prices 2018 / 2019

We are offering the following courses in 2018 / 2019

Part-time course:

  • Wednesday 3rd October 2018 to Wednesday 8th May 2019. Date of written exam to be confirmed by Trinity College London.

Cost of course: £2,200 plus exam fee of £360.

Please note: We need minimum numbers to run our Trinity Diploma course. Four weeks before the start date of any course we will decide if we are able to run the course. In the event the course does not go ahead, we will give a full refund of any fees you have paid.

Key reading list

It is impossible to list all the publications which can help develop a TEFL teacher's understanding and awareness of the central aspects of teaching. The following are key titles of interest to all motivated teachers:

  • Bygate, M. Speaking ‒ OUP (1987)
  • Cook, G. Discourse ‒ OUP (1993)
  • Kenworthy, J. Teaching English Pronunciation ‒ Longman (1987)
  • Lewis, M. The English Verb ‒ Heinle/LTP (1986)
  • Lewis, M. Implementing the Lexical Approach ‒ Heinle/LTP (1997)
  • Nunan, D. Designing Tasks for the Communicative Classroom ‒ CUP (1989)
  • Richards and Rogers Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching ‒ CUP (1986)
  • Richards and Renandyna: Methodology in Language Teaching ‒ CUP (2002)
  • Roach, P. English Phonetics and Phonology ‒ CUP (1991)

These books are essential reading for the DIP TESOL course and for all teachers keen on making progress in the profession, so you are strongly recommended to buy your own copies for future reference. This list is by no means exhaustive. You will also need a good learners' dictionary and a reference grammar such as Leech and Svartvik's A Communicative Grammar of English ‒ Longman (1994).

Back to top

Frequently asked questions on our Trinity Diploma course

Q: What is the workload like?

A: There are regular assignments from all areas of the course (usually one main piece per night) as well as the need to prepare for practice lessons. There is also a substantial amount of reading throughout the course. You will have to do the pre-course reading before the course.

Q: How much will I have to teach?

A: On the full-time programme you will have 15 hours a week of teaching in weeks seven and eight. On the part-time course this is negotiated to suit your existing teaching situation.

Q: How theoretical is the course?

A: Don't be put off by theory. We will look at the 'personal theories' all TEFL teachers have, whether they are aware of them or not, as well as theories based on research. We will relate the major changes in teaching and learning in the last 100 years to the theories that support them. We'll also evaluate many of the ideas from major contributors to the development of EFL. Theory is considered mainly in the light of the implications it has on teaching and learning inside the classroom.

Q: How is a Trinity Diploma different from a certificate?

A: Certificate courses tend to focus on getting the basic classroom skills. At diploma level, we focus more on developing a range of alternatives for basic EFL classroom procedures so you can increase your repertoire. We also examine the justifications for different activity types in different situations. As part of the diploma course, you will become aware of current trends and issues in TEFL teaching, you'll be familiar with a range of the latest materials and you'll be able to justify your classroom choices with reference to theories of teaching and learning. On top of that, you'll also look at various aspects of teacher development and this will help you move into teacher training.

Q: What is the pass rate like?

A: We take great care to ensure everyone on our diploma course has a realistic chance of passing this important examination. Trinity sets no limits on the number of students than can pass from a particular centre. The success rate of our candidates has been hugely impressive: just one fail since 2001!

Q: Why Trinity and not Cambridge?

A: We feel there is a broader range of topics in the syllabus including issues outside the classroom and the historical perspective on methodology. We like the focus on teacher development that is central to the Trinity syllabus.The Trinity Diploma also specifically includes working with novice teachers ‒ an important first step into teacher training.
What's more, the Trinity Diploma can be taken several times a year and, if the worst comes to the worst, you can pay for and retake individual components at the best time for you. We find it a more flexible option, and one that really does allow the participant to follow up on significant areas of personal interest in some detail.

Back to top