Kaplan join the TEFL course bullshit party

Kaplan is a huge educational company that is most famous for exam-prep courses. They now seem to have decided to branch out into TEFL courses, and given their size it could well spread until it is also somewhere near you. In many ways it sounds like a reasonable course, with eight hours of observed teaching practice and plenty of face to face time in its industry-standard 120 hours. Unfortunately, they have also joined in the industry standard practice of bollocks on their website and in their PR announcements:

– “Our Kaplan Teaching English as a Foreign Language course is the only TEFL program that offers you a real-time classroom experience, in an international environment.” (that’ll be a surprise to Cambridge, Trinity, TEFL International, Via Lingua, etc etc)

– “All teaching practice is performed alongside some of the most experienced teachers in the industry.” – (In the whole industry?? Wouldn’t they all need to be over eighty to make that true??)

Given the standards of untruth above, I very much doubt that their special offer of 260 dollars for a 1760 dollar course turned out to be true for many people who applied. (The PR announcement says “for as little as $260 USD” but their website just states that as the price of their first course in March).

I also have some concerns about the academic rigorousness of the course, e.g.

– “Our course was designed…  to help you obtain the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT).” (that’ll be Cambridge ESOL’s lowest level teaching qualification – so why not spend the same amount of time getting the higher level Cambridge CELTA for about the same as their standard price??)

– “Course entry level/ Admission requirements: None” (just have to be an over-18 native English speaker with a US passport or green card)

– Graduation requirements: “Completion of all assignments including observation sessions and teaching practice sessions” (sounds like weasel talk for impossible to fail to me)

Very pretty website though!

PR announcement here:

Kaplan offers special promotion on new TEFL course

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3 Responses to Kaplan join the TEFL course bullshit party

  1. Matthew Noble says:

    That’s right down the street from me. I might just have to pop in!

    So disappointed by the ridiculous promotional materials though. For pete’s sake, what’s wrong with the more honest alternative?

  2. Kathy Cook says:

    I went through this course to get my TEFL certificate, and I have to say it really was as good as it sounds. I did pay $260 total. The teachers were extremely qualified with years of experience in other countries and here in the states. There was a lot of classroom observation and practice. It was an exhausting six weeks, but it really helped me get better as a teacher. (And I’ve already received training as a Peace Corps ESL teacher.) I have nothing to gain with this comment and Idon’t work for Kaplan. But the people that they found to develop and run this program did a great job. I doubt they received the compensation that they deserved. But they were fantastic.

  3. Simon says:

    I did the Kaplan course too. It was such a pleasant surprise to discover all the teachers were actually Archangels in disguise who’d come down from heaven. The price was USD 260 and it was the best money I ever did spended!!! The Kaplan school was also kind enough to send a chauffeur-driven limo to my apartment each day to pick me up and drive to the course. As I walked in the door each day the receptionist walmly welcomed me with a bearhug and a hot cocoa.They paid for the apartment too. I would heartily recommend the Kaplan course although I now see they have discontinued it on their website :((

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