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A beginner’s guide on a Certificate IV in TESOL

Teaching English to non-English students can be an arduous task. However, these courses remain an essential component of Australia’s education system. If this interests you (whether you want to teach it or take the course), you should undoubtedly research what a Certificate IV in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) is all about.

How does a Certificate IV in TESOL differ from a TEFL qualification?

Both acronyms primarily refer to the same thing; however, there are some minor differences. For example, TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) refers to when English is taught in a country where it is not the primary language. A hypothetical scenario would be an Australian teacher providing English classes to students in China.

On the other hand, a Certificate IV in TESOL involves teaching English as a foreign language and teaching it as a second language. Most universities offer degrees or courses with the Certificate IV in TESOL, as opposed to TEFL.

Who is the course designed for?

The qualification is primarily designed for qualified teachers who might wish to upskill their communicative teaching techniques and focus on oral English education. Having said this, it can be applied to people who are not qualified educators but who have a desire to work as a teaching assistant.

What will you be taught?

As a student studying the Certificate IV in TESOL, you’ll learn a range of critical theories and practices. You’ll learn essential theories about studying English, while also strengthening your practical teaching skills.

The benefits

There are many great benefits to studying a Certificate IV in TESOL. Here are some of the most apparent advantages:

Short-term commitment

The entire course should only take one year of study (consisting of two consecutive six-month terms). However, this is dependent on which institution you attend and how they structure the course. Make sure you read the course outline closely and understand the requirements you need to fulfil to pass.

Furthermore, make sure you sign up before the cut-off dates since a lot of institutions, universities and schools are stringent with late applications. If you miss the date, you might be waiting several months before another intake.

Practical assessment modules

Moreover, the assessment modules for a Certificate IV in TESOL are practical and relevant to your degree. You’ll receive assessment tasks that specifically target lesson preparation and functional teaching scenarios. You’ll need to pass a series of teaching scenarios and placements that assess your ability to teach across different environments and settings.

Straightforward application process

For most institutions and schools, the application process is straightforward and easy to understand. There might be some requirements regarding the completion of Year 12 (Higher School Certificate) and your English language capabilities. However, some schools might require you to complete an interview (online or face-to-face). This is often used to verify the applicant’s English and linguistic abilities, along with their career goals and aspirations.


Finally, it’s also good to know that completing a Certificate IV in TESOL is affordable and fair. Most schools offer relief fees and flexible repayment options for students encountering financial hardship and stress. Most schools provide the program for approximately $1600 for the term, meaning the entire course should cost you a little over $3000 for the year. This is certainly cheaper than a conventional full-time year at university.


So, if you think your career could benefit or be strengthened by pursuing this qualification, then do not delay and start applying. Thankfully, there are plenty of schools available in the area that offer the diploma. You won’t regret it!