Trinity Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (DipTESOL)

The British Council  runs the Trinity Diploma course as a professional development opportunity for our staff at our centres across Spain in 2020.   

Session input was of a high quality and attended very well to the needs of course participants. In a focus group candidates commented on the support and flexibility of the tutors, support that enabled them to achieve their own learning and teaching goals. This support was also cited as a reason for participants’ high achievement and ability to continue with courses, despite having full-time teaching schedules.
Course inspection report 2019

This is an advanced, internationally respected and recognised qualification, designed for experienced teachers of EFL/ESOL who are looking to expand their practical knowledge of teaching and learning, and take their career to the next level.  British Council in Madrid has been running this Diploma course since 2011 and we have an excellent pass rate of over 90%.  Previous candidates have gone on to develop into teacher training, publishing, further advanced study, materials development, academic management as well as continued high level teaching and classroom research. 

Support for success on the Trinity Diploma course

Tutor Team

Overall, I feel that this is a strong course: well taught and resourced, and closely supervised and supported.  

Trinity Inspector.

All of the tutors on the course are informed and well qualified British Council professionals with years of teacher training experience.  They are approved by Trinity on the basis of their qualifications, teaching experience as well as teacher training and mentoring experience.  All observing tutors are standardised each year.

Learning Resources

We have a well-stocked and up to date Resources Centre to ensure that you have access to an extensive range of books to support your studies.  

You will also be given access to the online subscriptions for the major ELT journals for current and archived editions. 

Lesson observation consultations

Before each assessed lesson you will have a formal consultation to help with planning for the observation. These will take place on different days and consist of:

•10 minute consultation focussed on the main aim

• 1 hour consultation for the whole lesson

You should expect tutors to guide and question rather than ‘tell’ you what to do.  

You will be observed by at least two different internal tutors throughout the course in addition to the external tutor for the final assessed lesson. 

Research projects

There is a dedicated and experienced tutor for each research project undertaken within the diploma course.  These tutors provide candidates with feedback at a number of stages for each project.




Advice from our tutors

Planning your time

The course is intense, especially when coupled with teaching at the same time.  There are over 140 hours of timetabled hours and direct tutor supervision, consisting of input sessions, research tutorials and lesson consultations.  In addition, you are expected to allocate a further 12 hours a week for private study e.g. for lesson preparation, reading, research and writing assignments.  There will be more intense periods during certain parts of the course when you might be expected to be attending sessions, preparing for assessed lessons and working on a research project.

Effective candidates need to be good planners, organisers and time managers, especially since a lot of the work involved in the course requires you to work independently.

Prepare with our resources

Once you have been accepted on the course we provide a number of suggestions to help you prepare for the course in addition to having access to the print materials in the Diploma library.


An in-depth understanding of the systems of contemporary English ( phonology, grammar, lexis, discourse) commonly taught in beginner to advanced syllabuses

The ability to identify the language background, needs, motivation and cultural context of learners and teachers

An understanding of the changing roles of English in different regions of the world

Learning and Teaching

A critical understanding of current and historical developments in language learning theory and teaching methodology.

  • Familiarity with issues related to motivation and second language acquisition
  • The ability to plan, design and deliver a series of lessons appropriate to learners’ language needs and learning styles as individuals and as a group
  • The ability to design, deliver and evaluate a language programme over an extended period
  • The ability to assess learners’ knowledge of and skills in English
  • An understanding of the main methods and forms of assessment for young learners and adults


Personal and professional development

  • The ability to assess and develop own effectiveness as a language teacher
  • The ability to provide principled professional support to teachers with less experience
  • An appreciation of the principles of teamwork and classroom-based investigation
  • A sharp awareness of teaching observation and the importance of reflective learning

Trinity Diploma Assessment

Tinity Diploma Assessment

The Trinity Diploma course is designed around four units, each unit has three sections:

  Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Unit 1:
Language, teaching and learning
Written paper 
Language (four short questions) Learning and Teaching (one essay) Professional Development (one essay)
Unit 2:
Research projects
Observation Instrument
Design and use an observation research tool to gather classroom data 
Developmental Record 
Action research on an aspect of your teaching to develop
Independent Research Project
Research on a topic of your choice, with students, teachers or course books (or a combination)
Unit 3:
Phonological Interview
 Talk on prepared phonology theme and discussion Phonemic transcription  Discussion on aspects of knowledge, theory and practice 
Unit 4:
Teaching practice
Classroom observation five hours plus diagnostic observation (unassessed)
Four internally assessed observations
Planning, Teaching, Lesson evaluation
One externally assessed observation
Planning, Teaching, Lesson evaluation 
Teaching Journal