Skip Navigation LinksHomeProgrammesEducationNew Zealand Certificate in Language Teaching

New Zealand Certificate in Language Teaching

New Zealand Certificate in Language Teaching

Level 4

Become an English Language teacher with UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Language Teaching (TESOL) qualification.

UCOL's international students chatting and laughing
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Online with a block course and on-campus workshops in Palmerston North

Duration: 13 weeks full-time
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)


Domestic Fees: *
TBCScholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Language Teaching is an introductory language teaching qualification for those who are or want to be a language educator in Aotearoa New Zealand or overseas. This introductory Teaching English for speakers of other languages (TESOL) programme represents a foundation level qualification for a language educator practising under broad professional guidance.
Candidates will be proficient users of the target language, which may be English or any other language.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 13 weeks, including 1 holiday weeks..

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
10 hrs

In-person, online and in-work.
Teaching Experience

This programme required you to complete a mimimum of three hours language teaching.
Study Time
21 hrs

Study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Language Teaching (Level 4) (TESOL) will be able to:
  • plan lessons, under broad guidance, to respond to the language needs of learners within a specific learning context
  • analyse language, with support, for teaching purposes
  • use learner-centred teaching strategies that respect learners’ mana and diverse backgrounds, in order to facilitate quality learning
  • deliver lessons to facilitate language learning
  • use assessment processes to enhance language learning
  • reflect on own teaching practice and respond to feedback.

You'll have the basic knowledge and skills to teach language under guidance in the community and other informal educational settings in such roles as language tutors, teacher aides and language assistants.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Teachers.

Alternatively, you may wish to pursue further teaching study at Diploma level.

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

From 2023, UCOL and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga. So, if you join UCOL in 2023, you will be awarded Te Pūkenga certification. And, if you are a current learner graduating in 2023, you will be awarded a co-branded certificate.

This programme consists of 40 credits. The courses include:

Language Teaching Theory (20 credits)

  • Analysing language construction in preparation for teaching a language
  • Acquiring learner-centred strategies used to facilitate language acquisition
  • Assessment methods and tools

Language Teaching Practical (20 credits)

  • Learning how to progressively plan and deliver a series of language lessons
  • Demonstrating learner-centred teaching strategies
  • Assessing learners and providing feedback
  • Reflecting on one's teaching practice and responding to feedback

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 2 


Equivalent academic achievement on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

International Students International students will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure they meet New Zealand University Entrance requirements. Places are available to international students on a full fee basis. In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5. IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a commitment of:

  • 127 hours of lecturer supported learning 
  • 270 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent on research and study to complete your written assignments)
  • A minimum of three hours spent on the practicum

The programme is offered through a blended delivery of on-line learning and a one hour optional class (Thursday 4-5pm). 

Work experience
A minimum of 3 hours ESOL teaching.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme 
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.