SIT Graduate Institute TESOL Certificate

Become an SIT Trainer


Frequently Asked Questions
  1. If I become a trainer, what will I do in that role?
  2. What does SIT look for in trainers?
  3. How do I know if being a trainer might be right for me?
  4. How do I become a trainer?
  5. How do I apply?
  6. What can I do as a Licensed Trainer?

1. If I become a trainer, what will I do in that role?

  • Work, most often together with another trainer, to deliver the components of the course: workshops, assisted lesson planning, practice teaching, feedback, setting up and assessing written assignments.
  • Prepare and teach course activities as mutually agreed upon with your co-trainer.
  • Support and advise course participants as needed.
  • Provide participants with on-going feedback and evaluation throughout the course, orally and in writing.
  • Provide participants with a final written evaluation of their work within 1 week of the end of the course.
  • Arrive for program planning at least one working day (Monday – Friday) prior to the beginning of a course. Remain at least one working day afterwards to close up the training room and write participant evaluations.
  • Be present for all or nearly all components of the course on a daily basis as opposed to only being present for the parts you deliver.
  • Meet with your co-trainer at the end of each day to discuss the progress of the participants, to provide and receive feedback, and to plan for the next day’s sessions.

Important note: The SIT TESOL Certificate Course is intense and involves long hours when a course is running. It requires trainers to dedicate most of their day to the course for the duration. This commitment, however, is completely rewarded by the positive experience of delivering a course.

2. What does SIT look for in trainers? The basic requirements to become a trainer are:

  • MA in TESOL or equivalent, or experience
  • Minimum three – five years ESL/EFL teaching experience (5 years preferred);
  • Teacher Training and professional publications/presentations expected;
  • Appreciation for and experience with experiential learning and reflective teaching practice expected.

In addition to the above requirements, trainers should have consistently demonstrated the following qualities in past experiences: the ability to ...

  • Be mature, self aware and “emotionally intelligent.”
  • Be able to take initiative and be proactive and positive in stressful and ambiguous situations.
  • Be creative.
  • Respect learners and their diverse strengths and challenges.
  • Be committed to continuous self-development and so appreciate critical feedback and be able to act on it.
  • Be familiar with and value both experiential learning and reflective teaching practice.
  • Be able to give significant critical feedback to other trainers and course participants in a helpful, positive way.
  • Be able to synthesize and apply new material and to be able to lead others in doing the same.
  • Work with others and to help groups to work effectively together using a variety of strategies and skills.
  • Communicate authority, confidence and leadership in a teacher-training situation.
  • Communicate strong enthusiasm for working with people, including those with very different styles.

3. How do I know if being a trainer might be right for me?

  • You meet the requirements and have demonstrated the desired qualities.
  • You have a place in mind to open a host site and a plan to begin the process of running at least one course a year at that site. OR
  • You have a schedule that would allow the flexibility to work at least one course a year as a contract trainer (most courses are May – Sept). As stated above, it is most useful for you to identify a site or sites that have trainer needs and can accommodate you as a trainer. OR
  • You have identified an established site that is interested in hiring you as a staff trainer.

4. How do I become a trainer? There are several steps to becoming a trainer. They are listed below.

Step One: Application, non-refundable $50 fee.
Applications require a minimum of 2 weeks, and sometimes up to a month to process. Applications need to be submitted a full three months prior to the start of any course the applicant hopes to work on.


  • Master’s degree in TESOL or the equivalent, or experience
  • Minimum three – five years teaching ESL/EFL to adults
  • Teacher Training experience expected (presentations, supervision, publications)
  • Appreciation for, and experience with experiential learning and reflective teaching practice expected

The application includes an information form, a CV, and an essay that addresses facility with experiential learning, learner-centered teaching, and familiarity with reflective teaching practice. It also includes the submission of a lesson plan that incorporates student learning objectives and logical lesson development. Finally it requires a written reflection on teaching the lesson that meets much of the course criteria for successful reflection (these are provided). Additionally, four references are required and a form is provided in the application. Only fully completed applications will be reviewed.

Step Two: Pre-course Task Book, non-refundable $550 fee paid to SIT
The Pre-course Task Book generally takes 4 – 6 weeks for working teachers to complete and up to 6 weeks to be assessed. Interested applicants should begin the tasks at least 8-10 weeks before the start of any course they hope to work on.

Applicants work independently to complete a Pre-course Task Book and submit their tasks to a Trainer-of-Trainers assigned by the Training Manager. Successful applicants will demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills covering the content of the SIT TESOL Certificate course and that they have awareness and basic skills of a trainer on the course. Applicants can expect to spend about 40 - 50 hours working on the tasks.

Step Three: Training on the SIT TESOL Certificate Course, non-refundable $550 fee paid to SIT for each course.
Upon completion of the Pre-course Task Book, successful applicants will be invited to work on an SIT TESOL Certificate course as a first step as a Stage 1 trainer under the supervision of a Trainer-of-Trainers. Depending on the trainee’s experience plus Trainer-of-trainer feedback on the trainee’s work on the course and assessment of the trainee’s portfolio for the stage, a trainee can expect either to move to the next stage of training, to repeat Stage 1 or to be counseled out. If the trainee progresses, s/he becomes a Stage 2 trainer, and again her/his work is on-the-course work and portfolio are assessed by Trainers-of-training. Stage 1 trainers work as third trainers on a course (alongside two fully licensed trainers); Stage 2 trainers are generally one of two trainers on a course and are compensated for their work as co-trainers.

There is a non-refundable fee of $550 paid to SIT for each course the trainee works on as part of the training process.

Step Four: Licensed Trainer
This person is able to run the course with any other licensed trainer, or in cases of a small number of course participants to run a course alone.

Important Note: Once licensed, trainers are able to run the course at their own host sites, or to be hired by existing host sites as staff or on a course-by-course basis.

Step Five: Trainer of Trainers (TOT)
Experienced Licensed Trainers may apply to become a Trainer of Trainers (TOT). As a TOT, the trainer can train new trainers and assess Pre-course Task Book work and trainer portfolios.

5. How do I apply?
Download* and complete your:

  1. Application (DOC)
  2. Application tasks (PDF)
  3. Credit card authorization (PDF)
  4. Your CV/resume to:
    Kevin Giddens, Program Officer
    World Learning/SIT
    PO Box 676
    Brattleboro, VT 05301 USA
  5. Please also download the reference form (DOC), make four copies, and have your four reference writers send the references in to Kevin Giddens at the address above.

Important Note: Only fully completed applications (all four components and four references) will be reviewed. There will be no feedback given on the application, and the application will not be returned to the applicant. SIT reserves the right to reject any applicant whose application, qualifications, or experience do not meet the necessary criteria and/or standards.

6. What can I do as a Licensed Trainer?

  • You can deliver courses through a host site that you establish and run. This can be done in addition to other work that you have (i.e. a teaching position), or you could make it a primary source of employment by running several courses a year.
  • You can deliver the course through an already established host site that hires you as staff with a contract for several courses, or on a course-by-course basis.
  • You can freelance: working as many courses a year as you are available and can arrange with the various host sites. There is no guarantee of employment for freelance trainers, so we ask that you look carefully at your availability and the options open to you at various sites.

Important note: All SIT TESOL Certificate Course trainers are trained and licensed through SIT, not the host sites. You may do your training at host sites, but the process is overseen directly by SIT.

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802 258-3316

Mailing Address:
SIT Graduate Institute TESOL Certificate Program
William Kennedy
SIT Graduate Institute
1 Kipling Road, P.O. Box 676
Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676

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