Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is an innovative programme hosted by the Department of Languages, Faculty of Management, Social Sciences and Humanities of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. This is structured in a way that would offer a separate academic qualification and a professional qualification. In order to fulfil the requirements to obtain the academic qualifications, students are expected to complete 20 compulsory modules and the academic dissertation. The professional practical certificate (Cambridge CELTA) will be issued by Cambridge English upon successful completion of Cambridge CELTA. Both qualifications are required to receive the degree.

The programme aims to:

  • develop knowledge and skills in language teaching theory and practice.
  • facilitate access to enhance skills in classroom teaching in local and international contexts.
  • provide opportunities to collaborate with ELT experts.
  • provide opportunities to develop research skills to engage in ELT research.
  • develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication needed for their profession.
  • help acquiring positive social skills needed to be global citizens.
  • help developing learner autonomy to be independent professionals and life-long learners.

Entry qualifications

1. Sri Lankan nationals

Minimum requirement: G.C.E. (Advanced Level) – Three Simple Passes (S) in any stream, pass in the Common General Test and a Distinction (A) pass for English in the G.C.E. (O/L) examination (or equivalent, e.g. London O/L, Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE/BEC). Equivalent qualifications to G.C.E. (A/L) (E.g. Cambridge or Edexcel) are also considered.

2. Foreign nationals

Should possess qualifications equivalent to G.C.E. (Advanced Level) in Sri Lanka indicated above, in any study stream.  All foreign nationals need to obtain at least 6.5 (overall) in Academic IELTS test with at least 6 for writing. Equivalent (e.g. TOEFL iBT) will also be accepted.

Higher studies

Students who take BA in TESOL will be well qualified to apply for higher education programmes overseas and in Sri Lanka. The following are some of them.

  • MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Lancaster University
  • MA in Applied Linguistics for (English) Language Teaching, University of York
  • MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching with Cambridge DELTA, King’s College London • Any relevant postgraduate course offered in Sri Lanka


The first batch of undergraduates have already got employment placements in British Council Sri Lanka, international schools, private universities etc. with the growing demand for internationally qualified English language teachers.  In countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and the Middle East, English language teaching jobs are common. English teachers are required to work with different types of learners ranging from very young to very old and in different sectors including business organisations, public sector organisations and universities.