Entry Requirements & Selection

Essential criteria and selection procedure needed to enroll in our Trinity CertTESOL course

Applicants from all backgrounds are welcome! If you have a passion for teaching English and meet the criteria listed below, you are invited to apply for our CertTESOL course.


  • Minimum age 18 on entry to the course.
  • As a minimum, qualifications for entry to higher education in the UK or applicants' own education systems.
  • Competence in written and spoken English appropriate to a teacher of English (demonstrated ability of CEFR C1, IELTS 7.0, GESE 10 or equivalent).
  • An awareness of the significance of the structure and functions of English in teaching the language.
  • The willingness to work cooperatively as a member of the whole training group and respond constructively to feedback on personal performance.
  • The potential for combined study including language analysis and practical training that is rigorous and demanding of time, energy and emotional stamina.

Overseas Trainees

Trainees coming from overseas will need to obtain a study visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department; tourist visas are not accepted for study in Hong Kong. A study visa normally takes around 6 to 8 weeks to process. EFA is happy to help you apply for a study visa and can also provide useful contacts for finding accommodation.

Acceptance on the course is at the discretion of the Course Director at EFA. The judgement of your suitability for the course is done by means of:

  1. A language awareness task (Download it here)
  2. Followed by an personal/telephonic interview.

The interview cannot be a foolproof screening process; the only way to judge whether you are going to make a successful English language teacher is to see you teach. Therefore, throughout the course you'll be given constant guidance.

To teach English, your own use of language must be of a high standard. In the classroom you will be writing words on the board and using your own handouts. Obviously you must be able to write correctly or your mistakes will be learned. Similarly, you will be marking students' work and must know yourself what is correct and incorrect.

How will the pre-interview task be assessed?

  • The expectation we have at the interview stage is that the applicant’s level of English is near-native. While Trinity publishes the guideline that they have achieved Cambridge Advanced, IELTS 7.0 or over 600 (250 with computer-based) in TOEFL, however, we assess their suitability on a case by case basis in person at interview. Hence this task score gives us an idea about the students' hold in English language and does not rule them out from enrolling.
  • In addition to having basic language awareness, you should be able to talk about the language points presented in the pre-interview pack. Of course, the reason that trainees come to the course is to improve exactly this knowledge, so we don’t expect a very high level of language awareness, but they should be doing some research to complete the task, and prepare to talk about the questions in the interview.

Selection Procedure at a Glance

  • The process begins by submitting the application form thereby showing your interest in the course. Upon receiving your application, we will send you a pre-interview task to complete and submit.
  • If you qualify, and if your application is suitable, you will be invited for an interview. Although the interview is not a formal one, we ask you to dress for it in the same way as you would present yourself in a classroom teaching situation. Interviews will be conducted by telephone for applicants who are not currently residing in Hong Kong or China.
  • You will be notified by letter as to whether or not your application is successful. Once you have been accepted on the course, the first installment of HK$6500 is required to confirm your place.
  • Upon receipt of your payment you will be given a Starter Pack, which is recommended for you to begin studying immediately. This consists of background information and preparation materials, covering approximately 20 hours of instruction in methodology, grammar and pronunciation. Completion of the Starter Pack is compulsory and ensures that every member arrives at the start of the course with the same minimum level of language awareness. You should bring your completed Starter Pack with you on the first day of the course, and be prepared for a short test revising key points.
  • You are also suggested to purchase these books for pre-course reading and reference during the course.
    - How to Teach English (Jeremy Harmer)
    - Practical English Usage (Michael Swan)
    They can be obtained from amazon.com or good bookshops in Hong Kong, including:
    Commercial Press: 3/F, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
    Swindon Book Co: G/F, 13-15 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
    Cosmos: Basement & 1/F, 30 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
  • The remainder of the course fee is due two weeks prior to the start of the course. The final date for payment will be given with the letter of acceptance. Should the course be cancelled or postponed due to any unforeseen occurrence, all payments will be returned to you in full. However, if you decide to cancel your place on the course after having paid the initial installment and/or final balance, EFA will not provide a refund for which regretted.
  • You will be sent a Course Handbook and Course Timetable before the start of the course.

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