Trinity College London

trinity-300Trinity College London is an international exam board providing qualifications across a spectrum of communicative skills — from music, drama and arts activities to English language — at all levels. The English language examinations are broken down into two categories: qualifications for teaching English (TESOL) and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). The ESOL programs are intended for candidates who have learnt English as a foreign, second or additional language. There are three ESOL programs: Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE), Integrated Skills in English (ISE), and Spoken English for Work (SEW).

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL) is a TESOL or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate designed for those with little or no experience of teaching English. It equips candidates with the basic skills and knowledge needed to take up a first post as an ESOL teacher. It gives an introduction to the theory and practice of English teaching and an insight into the challenges facing the learner and the role of the teacher. Trinity also provides other TESOL training and accreditation including the Trinity Diploma in TESOL (DipTESOL) and the Fellowship Diploma in TESOL Education Studies (FTCL TESOL). more…

Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

The Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) exams are intended for candidates who have learnt English as a foreign, second or additional language. There are 12 GESE grades grouped into four stages: Initial, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. The number of tasks in the exam depends on the stage. At each stage there is a new task, which increases the linguistic and cognitive demands for the candidate. Candidates must be at least 5 years old at the time of the examination. There is no upper age limit.

The language requirements for each of the 12 grades are clearly shown in the GESE Exam Information Booklet. There is a GESE grade to suit every candidate. Please read the GESE Syllabus carefully to decide which grade is most suitable.

GESE Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 5 exams are approved for UK visa or settlement purposes when taken at a UK SELT centre. Additional information for these and other UK visa language requirements can be found on the Trinity Secure English Language Tests for UK Visas page.

Integrated Skills in English (ISE)

Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) is a contemporary four skills qualification intended for young people and adults. It is also suitable for teachers and other adults who require a respected English language qualification. ISE assesses students’ ability to interact in English in an authentic and meaningful way through the use of integrated reading and writing tasks and integrated speaking and listening tasks. Preparing for ISE builds real-life English skills and transferable skills required for academic study and employability.

The exam modules can be taken together, or at different times, when students are ready, (except when taken as a SELT test in the UK, where they must be taken on the same day). Students must pass both modules to gain an ISE qualification. ISE is available at five levels from A2 to C2 on the Common European Framework (CEFR), so there is a level for every learner. Detailed information about the different modules and levels, including introductory videos, can be found on the Official Trinity ISE page.

Spoken English for Work (SEW)

The Spoken English for Work (SEW) exam is an assessment of spoken English communication in a work context. Through a series of interactive tasks, SEW tests assess a range of practical speaking and listening skills that are required in the world of work on a day-to-day basis. SEW prepares candidates for real-life working situations by providing valuable practice and assessment in telephone conversations, formal and informal presentations – along with the opportunity to discuss real work issues in an English-speaking context. SEW provides a measure of linguistic competence from intermediate to advanced levels – from B1 to C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (2001). SEW is offered at four levels:

  • SEW B1
  • SEW B2
  • SEW B2+
  • SEW C1

Additional information can be found on the Trinity SEW Home Page and the SEW Basic Information Page.

Testing Organizations, Locations and Dates

Testing organizations and locations for the TESOL tests can be found on our TESOL page. Information regarding testing locations and dates for the ESOL tests is out of date on the Trinity local site. We will update this section as soon as we have current information.

Additional Resources


Trinity 2016 CEFR Chart


Trinity TESOL Resources


Trinity Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) Home Page
GESE Exam Information Booklet
Trinity GESE Sample Exam Videos


ISE Frequently Asked Questions
ISE Student Factsheet
ISE Teacher Factsheet
Trinity Guide for Students – ISE Foundation – (A2)
Trinity Guide for Students – ISE I – (B1)
Trinity Guide for Students – ISE II – (B2)
Trinity Guide for Students – ISE III – (C1)
Trinity ISE Foundation (A2) Resources
Trinity ISE I (B1) Resources
Trinity ISE II (B2) Resources
Trinity ISE III (C1) Resources
Trinity ISE IV (C2) Resources
ISE Exam Dates (2016)


SEW Teacher Factsheet
SEW Guide for Teachers
SEW Specifications

See Also

Trinity College London China, Hong Kong and Macau Website (Chinese and English)