I’d just finished a story on the end of Guardian TEFL Update for TEFL News via TEFLnet when into my inbox popped a Google alert for a piece in that very same paper called How to Choose a TEFL Course That’s Right For You, this time in the careers section. It started well enough with a warning against choosing just by price. However, much of it was odd, such as the advice that spending 6 months doing a 120 hour course was good preparation for classroom teaching. Most of the rest sounded logical but is actually bull, e.g. that accreditation and careers advice are what make a good course, when Trinity and Cambridge rely on neither for their reputations.
Assuming it was written by a Guardian hack who knew little about TEFL, I clicked on Joe Hallwood’s name. No biog there, but lots of other stories on TEFL. Putting that same name into Google, however, suddenly made things clear – in 2009 Guardian had much more honestly written that “Joe Hallwood is founder of TEFL England and TEFL Scotland.”
And lo and behold, the exact same things he was recommending as the “Guardian TEFL expert” were also there on this site as characteristics of his courses:
- “TEFL England are the UK’s most accredited TEFL organisation”
- “Free lifetime access to the TEFL Jobs Centre for all students and graduates”
And it gets worse. They openly boast that in 2009 The Observer (basically the Guardian on Sunday) was recommending their course. Conflict of interests? Surely not!?
And another little point which can be used for all kinds of dodgy TEFL course providers. The IATEFL site not only bans the use of their logo by outside organisations like TEFL courses, it also recommends only Trinity or Cambridge courses. So, if TEFL England/ TEFL Scotland think highly enough of IATEFL to misuse their logo, maybe they should also follow their recommendation of not advising people to use courses like theirs…
Click on the categories below for more about The Guardian and TEFL England/ TEFL Scotland.