TESOL Teacher Acronyms

As an experienced TESOL teacher, you have no doubt come across most of the common acronyms used in the profession when teaching. However, since you’re looking at career development and an additional post-graduate degree, there is a whole new set of ‘advanced’ TESOL acronyms that are worth explaining before you search for the right Master’s in TESOL program.

TESOL Awarding Bodies

Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) (formerly AEB & NEAB) Certificate in English Language Skills (ESOL), JET SET, range of graded exams for ESOL. www.aqa.org.uk

Cambridge see University of Cambridge

Chauncey Group (part of ETS, below) US-based group that administers the TOEIC student examination. www.toeic.com

ETS (Educational Testing Service) Based in Princeton, NJ, the world’s biggest examination board, administrators of the TOEFL student examination. www.ets.com


Institute of Linguists Diploma in English for International Communication. www.iol.org.uk


International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Managed by UCLES, the British Council and IDP Australia for academic and vocational English. www.ielts.org

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Exam Board (LCCIEB) Range of business and specialist English examinations. www.lccieb.com

London Examinations – Edexcel International London Tests of English range of exams graded from basic to proficient. www.edexcel.org.uk

Pitman Qualifications Range of general ESOL exams, including spoken English and business English. www.pitmanqualifications.com

RSA Royal Society of Arts is a body that works with UCLES (see below).

Trinity College London Responsible for the Certificate in TESOL and the Licentiate Diploma in TESOL examinations. www.trinitycollege.co.uk

UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate) Syndicate of local examination centres around the world that administer the University of Cambridge ESOL examinations. www.ucles.org.uk

University of Cambridge ESOL Organization responsible for developing a number of important English language exams (including PET, FCE, CAE) and teacher training programmes including TKT, CELTA, CELTYL, and DELTA examinations. www.cambridgeESOL.org


TESOL Teacher Qualifications

Access Certificate in Education. An entry-level training certificate from City and Guilds.

Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. Widely-recognised certificate course from the University of Cambridge ESOL (UCLES) and RSA (see also DELTA, which is the advanced Diploma qualification).

Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners; this is a certificate course developed by the University of Cambridge ESOL (UCLES) and taken as an add-on option with a CELTA.

Certificate in Teaching English for Business. A certificate course developed by LCCI to provide a qualification for teachers specialising in business English (see also LCCIEB)

Certificate in TESOL. Widely-recognised certificate course developed by Trinity College London. There is also an advanced diploma for experienced teachers (the Lic.Dip.TESOL).

Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners. A certificate course extension developed by Trinity College and often taken as an add-on with a Cert.TESOL course.

Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults. The advanced qualification from University of Cambridge ESOL (UCLES) that is often taken once a teacher has both experience and a CELTA.

In-Service Certificate in English Language Teaching – certificate for teachers awarded by CambridgeESOL, used to develop a working teacher’s skills

Licentiate Diploma in TESOL. An advanced diploma qualification from Trinity College

Teaching Knowledge Test – award developed by Cambridge ESOL to test the basic teaching requirements of a teacher.