courses – all the usual signs of dodginess

If you want to know how dodgy a TEFL course is, all you usually need to do is look at the accreditation page and look for these typical signs:

– Mention of membership of IATEFL (which is available to literally anyone, including your postman and paper boy, and so proves absolutely nothing)

– Inclusion of the IATEFL logo (which not only doesn’t prove what they want it to, but is specifically banned by IATEFL, and so proves the exact opposite)

– Meaningless weasel words like “leading” (and no answer when I asked them what that actually means)

– Not only having a link to an accreditation agency that only accredits other dodgy-sounding TEFL courses, but only being an “affiliated course” on their tiny list of accredited courses and so presumably not even directly accredited

– Stats that sound as impressive as they are supposed to for about ten seconds until a quick calculation shows how ridiculous they are (in this case “over 40 years of combined experience teaching”, which could be for example a whole course with just five trainers with eight years of teaching experience each, a calculation that would give Cambridge “thousands of years of combined teaching experience”)

All that from just the one page. And from other parts of their site:

– Limited time discount offers (not generally a good sign in any industry)

– Names of courses that make the low standards instantly clear like “Advanced” for an 80 hour online course and the hilarious “Master TEFL Expert Teacher” for the real length of a basic TEFL course like Trinity CertTESOL but of course in this case all online with no observed and graded teaching practice, the most important bit…

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14 Responses to courses – all the usual signs of dodginess

  1. Monica says:

    Many excellent points! We can´t stress enough how important it is to do your research before buying!

  2. Pingback: The slavery of teaching English? | Matt's TEFL Blog

  3. alexcase says:

    Have messaged the guy on LinkedIn with a link to this piece, but no reply.

  4. jane says:

    I’m confused. Now, MyTEFL is listed at the end of the OTTSA as accredited. Hole in your story?

  5. alexcase says:

    Well, that’s hardly the most important thing in the post is it? The fact that it is now officially accredited by an organisation that only accredits other dodgy TEFL courses wouldn’t exactly change my mind about them…

  6. Allison Pullen says:

    I recently started looking for an online class and came across MyTEFL. I am skeptical but the price is so good! I’m a certified teacher (elementary, reading, and special ed) from the US teaching privately in Spain and just want to take some refresher classes because I haven’t used my TEFL learning in 20 years. Suggestions?

  7. Marcela says:

    Is the same company as

  8. klloyd05 says:

    Thank You! It seems that every travel blogger who has even thought about teaching English abroad recommends MyTefl. They pay big money for affiliate links, which seems to be the only reason they are being recommended.

  9. alexcase says:

    I have no idea. TEFL providers often have several websites without making the connection clear, but the content is usually similar enough that it is easy to spot.

  10. Yvan says:

    I’m right now in the process of selecting an online TEFL courses certification. And I have to say I was kind of tempted by the offer of “”…Do you mean It’s a bad one to choose? Which one would you recommend me to choose then?? There is so many online TEFL organisations and i can’t afford an on-site course.

  11. CJ says:

    Look, I think all people want to know is whether their certificate after 120 hours will get you a job at any school that accepts online TEFL certificates. Their website isn’t very clear about that and neither is this website or anything else I’ve read online. Is it a genuine TEFL certificate? regardless of whether it’s online or not. Will it be honored in Thailand as compared to any other online teaching course? Mind you, Im not comparing online to in-class. Ive already heard plenty of people say in-class is always better and most employers prefer that. But I’ve also heard people say online classes are good enough for most employers in places like Thailand and Cambodia (I’m not even touching on the bachelor’s degree thing).

  12. Ian Leahy says:

    Yeah, lots of bloggers recommend them because they are being PAID. An affiliate ad looks something like SAVE 35% when you enter the code (the code is the bloggers name who gets a cut).

  13. Kent Wilkens says:

    Interesting comments. I would be more interested in Alexcase comments and observations if he actually took the courses. I totally understand where he is coming from looking at the surface, as the whole industry is essentially not accredited. It is buyer beware, just as with going to a real “accredited” university and passing without really learning much of anything.
    I chose myTEFL for several reasons. 1/ it was at the top of a list of 15 recommended. 2/ it did have the varying options of levels from 40 hour to 120 hour. 3/ I was already in country and they really didn’t care if I had any certificate, it was a village of 300,000 with no other English classes, so the fact I was a native English teacher was good enough. I took the 40 hour course, and found it an immense help in getting ready to teach a class. I then used linguahouse as my curriculum, which also worked very well, structured. A lot of the basics taught in in the myTEFL course were indispensable in giving me a fast start and competence in my first go at it.
    I then upgraded to the 120 hour course, which used main modules from the 40 hour course, which I just completed. The 120 hour course was more in depth with grammar. Their recommendations are insights from professionals, so you get out of it what you put into it. The structure is sound, the value is there. They also offer the ability to intern if necessary. In my position it was not necessary or practical.

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