TESOL (TEFL) Certification with Global Leadership College

Despite the fact that I have an advanced degree, I do NOT have a degree in English Education or a teaching license (you don’t need one to teach in universities). Because of this, I needed a TESOL or TEFL certificate in order to gain employment as an English teacher at a public school in Korea. While the GEPIK program did not specify whether or not your certificate must be earned in an online or in-class course, they did specify that the course must be 100+ hours. A quick search on the internet reveals that these courses can cost anywhere around $200 – $1500.

It should come as little surprise that I pounced when I saw the deal below on Groupon last September.

tesol groupon

For a meager $69, you can get a certificate that meets the 100+ hour requirement? Sold! Before I started the course, I hadn’t found many reviews online – and what I did find was a complete mixed bag. The deal was recently back on Groupon and several people have been on the forums asking for feedback. What follows are answers to some questions I’ve been asked.

Is there anything I should be aware of?

  • I had a look at the company website (tesols.com) and thought it looked like a decent course. What I did not realize, however, was that this online course would be hosted by Global Leadership College. This is something you learn after you’ve paid your money and attempt to begin the course. Not a big deal.

 

  • Keep in mind that you will need to purchase your certificate once you’ve finished the course. At the time of this posting, an emailed copy of the certificate cost $20 and a hard copy cost $30 (including shipping).

 

  • The course began regularly enough, but somewhere around the end of section 1, things got a bit strange. There were often references to “The Good News” and discussions of sin, forgiveness, apostles, and disciples. While I’m not especially bothered by the use of religious doctrine, there may be others who are. And, even though I’m not especially bothered by it, I would have liked some warning up front that things would get a bit preachy or that this was a course heavily based on Christian mores. So, dear reader, you’ve now been warned. 

 

Is this course accepted by public and private schools in Korea?

I applied to a public school position in Korea, so I cannot speak on what a private institution will or will not accept. My certificate was deemed acceptable by GEPIK, so there’s a decent chance that yours may be too. Of course, what’s acceptable in Korea (or any other country) can change rapidly. At the time of my application, the only requirement set forth by GEPIK was that aspiring Native English Teachers without a teaching license be in possession of a 100+ hour TESOL/TEFL certificate.

What topics are covered?

The course has chapters/sections covering topics such as:

  1. Language Characteristics
  2. The English Language
  3. Development and Usage of English
  4. Learning and Understanding Standard English
  5. Teacher Student Relationships
  6. Understanding Classrooms

Once you get over the preachy bit, I’d say there was some pretty useful information. I applied what I learned regarding communication methods and group dynamics within the classroom to my university courses with great success last semester.

Is it hard?

I cringe when I read this question being asked in forums because it makes me think of some of my lazy university students who always wanted the super easy way out. Furthermore, what does this mean? What’s difficult to me may not be difficult to you. However, I will go out on a limb and say that if you have a Bachelor’s degree and a speck of common sense, you shouldn’t have much difficulty with this course. If you do run into trouble, you may email the instructor (Note: I didn’t feel the need to do this, so I have no idea how responsive the instructor/tutor is). Here’s a breakdown of the structure of the course… Within each chapter/section, there are several lessons, a few mini quizzes, 1-3 writing assignments/projects, and a more detailed exam. Many questions on the quizzes and exams are multiple choice – with a few short answers thrown in for good measure. In addition to the lessons and assessments mentioned above, each chapter/section has silly games that you can play to help you remember the material you covered before a quiz or exam.

I’m pressed for time. How long will it take me to finish each lesson or this course?

I started the course in September and finished in December – with a break from the course during the entire month of November. I worked on the course whenever I had free time on the weekends and was able to complete most chapters/sections within 10 hours. Your mileage may vary.

Is this course beneficial for someone who has never taught before?

Though I have not taught formally in a K-12 setting, I have been teaching at the university level for the last 5 years (as a graduate instructor and as a professor). That being said, I’m no stranger to the classroom and having a course with an in-class component wasn’t a requirement for me. If you are new to teaching and are looking for a course that may ease some of your anxiety about being in front of the classroom for the first time, this may not be the course for you. Perhaps an online-only class may not be the best way for you to learn things about pedagogy, lesson planning, or classroom management. In all honesty however, there are plenty of other resources for you to learn these skills – books on Amazon or free websites for EFL teachers. If you do not wish to return to school to earn a Bachelor’s in Education, you may want to consider the CELTA program, which has a widely respected curriculum and provides in-class teaching practice/observation (see a review posted on The BELTA Blog). Again, I’ve learned that absolutely nothing prepares you better for being in front of the classroom than… being in front of the classroom. Gaining on the job experience often means being thrown in the fire and figuring things out as you go. 

Any final thoughts?

From my understanding, there is no governing body for accreditation or standardized curriculum for TESOL/TEFL courses. Some will be a crapshoot and others will be phenomenal. Most, however, will likely sit somewhere in the middle. If you need a certificate and are prepared to put in extra work to continue learning about becoming a good EFL teacher once the course is done (which I think you should do anyway), then why not go the cheap and quick route? For $57 (I had a credit on my Groupon account) plus another $50 for both versions of my certificate, I say this course was well worth my money. I used it as a very inexpensive means to accomplish my goal of securing a GEPIK position so I could live and work in Korea by March of 2013.

Choose wisely and proceed as you wish. If you have any more questions about this particular course, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section.

152 thoughts on “TESOL (TEFL) Certification with Global Leadership College

  1. Thank you for the review of GLC. I hadn’t found many helpful ones but decided to go the Groupon route for a mere $69. So far I’ve completed the first three units and I’m confused as to whom the course is for. The lessons have yet to instruct on how to teach the information to non-English speaking students. At some points I think the lessons are designed for ESL students. I may need a review of parts speech and sentence structures. Other than that, perhaps I am taking the wrong course. Do they assume you have never taken any grammar classes or just don’t remember them from high school or never had to write any papers in college? Can you give me any insight? Thanks!

    • Ah! I forgot about that in the first few lessons as well. I too had to double check to make sure I signed up for the correct course because it felt like the lessons were geared more towards an ELL. Perhaps they’re trying to help you understand the language and challenges that many ELLs face so that you can become a better educator? That’s the only explanation I can give for what happened in the beginning of the course. However, I will say that some of the grammar review served as a helpful reminder to me (i.e., lay vs. lie). Stick with it and it will get better. I especially enjoyed the section on group dynamics and characteristics. I think that’s in one of the later sections. Happy to help.

    • Hi,

      This course is Tesol therefore it is geared or ESL students. So you might want to try a TEFL certifcation if that is your concern.

    • I had a 92% I believe. There is no transcript, per se. You will receive a certificate stating that you have met all the requirements and passed the course. It works similar to a university degree in that no one cares what you got for the degree/certificate, so long as you have a passing score. The most important statement on that certificate is the amount of hours (100+) of your course.

  2. Do you know how to reattempt the the course? They informed me that if I had below 75%, I’m able to retake the question. In addition, did your “teacher” ever got back to you? Mine never does. Also, did you get an username and a password after you put your code or used the code that they gave you? Groupon informed me that mine is expired when I’m already taking the courses and some of them are already graded.

    Thanks

    • I’m not sure how to reattempt the course. As for the teacher, I never tried to contact them since I didn’t run into any major problems or issues. The username and password I used were the groupon code I was given when I purchased. I’m still able to access the course today even though the deal has expired and I finished several months ago.

      Perhaps you will have to email the folks over at GLC for more information.Sorry I couldn’t be of more help on that one.

    • Hi, just click “ask for help” at the bottom of a question in the exercise and type “2nd attempt” or “3rd attempt” to get another try.

  3. Does anyone know what the passing rate is? Passing rates for an overall score as well as any requirements for receiving below a percentage on the individual sections.
    I tried emailing them about it because I didn’t read it anywhere else.
    Thanks and I appreciate any responses.

    • Many places have a passing score of 65% or 75% overall. Send an email not to your teacher but to the company. This is the email address listed when you attempt to order a certificate. Click the Order button. You can always send your message again.

  4. Hi Timah,
    You are great, thanks for this article! I couldn’t find anything helpful online…I just started the course and your tips are very motivating..I will bookmark it and get back to you if I need help. Thanks again.

  5. I’m glad I found your blog; my question was precisely : did this course ever help anyone get a teaching job? I’m glad to hear that in your case it helped. I’m going to spend some time in Asia and am considering teaching English, though I have a full-time job where I live.

    I’m currently looking at job offers and am glad to read that there is a chance that this 70$+50$ course+certificate will be accepted somewhere; of course depending on the rest of my CV and experience.

    However, I can’t help but notice that the course structure was different for you than for me. Mine was 1. Language characteristics, 2.The English language and 3.Development and usage of English. Nothing specific about classroom dynamics or student/teach relationships, though a great deal was spent on non-verbal communication in section 1. I wonder if they changed the course in time.

    • I can’t speak for anyone else. This was a credential I needed at the time of my application to appease the Ministry of Education. I’m told the rules have changed or will change soon so that online-only courses will no longer be acceptable.

      As for the course content, I don’t necessarily think this is a course that will teach you how to be an effective English teacher. It’s a quick and cheap way to get a credential. If you’re looking for more substance, I suggest another course.

  6. Hi, I’m glad I read your comments, they helped me. Although I have a question. I was researching about this “TESOL” program and the one in the Groupon.com is supposed to be lead by Tesols.com. However in kind of send me to “Global Leadership college”. I was checking a bit about this “college” and I couldn’t fine that much information. I tried even facebook (you know now is free Ad in that website) and nothing. It is like it doesn’t exist. I manage to get their address from other website http://www.actdec.org.uk/members.shtml and copy and pasted the address

    Tesols (Global Leadership College)
    100 Consilium Place, Suite 200, #5
    Toronto, Ontario
    M1H 3E3
    Canada

    And found on internet that there are over 5 “colleges” with that address there I’m so confused!
    It’s like the same “college” with different names, same address and phone numbers no one of them actually have reliable information on the web!

    I’m doubting about this, I just purchased this Groupon, but I know the Groupon staff will refund this money if I change my mine (I have done it before) and in this moment I and considering.

    Check by yourselves:

    Sathor College
    100 Consilium Place, Suite 200, #5
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    M1H 3E3

    Insoc international

    100 Consilium Place, Suite 200, #5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M1H 3E3
    Tel: 416-568-7956

    Toronto international

    100 Consilium Place, Suite 200, #5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M1H 3E3
    Tel: 416-568-7956

    ETC verify yourselves i’m not lying

    • I believe you. I think the information about the school/organization change is listed in this blog post. It was deemed a legitimate school for my employer and that’s all that mattered to me. If you’re uncomfortable, then I highly suggest you get a refund for your groupon and look elsewhere. There are plenty of other online certification schools. This one just happened to be cheap, quick, and meet my needs. Good luck to you.

      Sent from my iPad

  7. Thank you very much for your post. I bought the deal from Groupon as well but I haven’t started the course yet. On your certificate does it say the name of the college is “Global Leadership College” or “Tesols “?
    I bought another deal for a Business Administration certificate from Groupon and it was supposed to be at a college called “Insotus” but I was surprised that the courses are on “Global Leadership College”. So it seems to me that “Global Leadership College” works as a hosting college for more than one institution. I don’t think these colleges are accredited but I think it is still a good idea to take benefit of such deals because you never know who may accept them. They may open a new door to good changes in the career field.

    Regards

    • You’re more than welcome. The certificate says Global Leadership College. Although this place isn’t accredited, it didn’t matter for my needs. I also don’t think there’s an accrediting agency for TESOL/TEFL yet – but I could be wrong. Regardless, you’re right. It’s always good to learn something new.

      • There is an accrediting agency for TESOL online courses and it’s the ACTDEC (The accreditation concil for TESOL distance education courses) at www. actdec.org.uk

    • You can print any and all of the instructional sections plus some helpful grammar links. I found those external links extremely useful and would keep them open when working on a lesson. Don’t know how another’s notes will help. For my learning style, I copied most of the onscreen instructions by hand into notebooks and referred to them as needed. Plus, any quiz, test, exam can be retaken for a better score. Just ask your ” Instructor” who should have sent you that info at the start of the course. Mine didn’t until I kept asking/ emailing about teaching opportunities. The writing assignments seem futile since my instructor doesn’t give feedback, just a score. I’m almost finished with the course and hope that the certificate is worth something in the ESL teaching world! Good luck!

    • Are you taking the course now, Mark? Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t take any notes? I opened a new window/tab in my browser for each unit/lesson and kept it open while taking the quiz/test. For the essay questions I coped and pasted the question into Word and wrote up a quick outline of what I thought I should cover before babbling on in my writing. Many of those essays ask for personal responses, so I’m not sure if those notes would help you, either. Good luck to you.

  8. Yes, but when I try to do that it says that the application is intended to be one tab only. Ugh. Just started. Will take the quiz 1. Is it timed? It can be taken only once. Other lessons are 10 attempts.

    • Hmmm… Try opening in 2 different browsers or hit “Print” for the lessons and save as a PDF or word document instead. From my understanding, you can always re-take the quizzes if you don’t pass.

      • That happened to me too with it saying I cold only have one browser opened. It locked me out of the quiz but I asked to retake it since I couldn’t answer any of the quiz questions. I was able to retake the quiz just ask if you get blocked out.

        Also is there a time frame that you have to finish this in? I’ve become super busy lately and haven’t had as much time as I’d like.

        I appreciate your blog and it’s helped a lot!

    • Highlight entire lesson text and copy paste into a blank Word document. Save for future use. You can logoff and study your Word document. When you are ready to answer quiz questions, reduce the size of Word document and have it open NEXT TO the website screen. (I was able to save ALL lessons in Word. You can also highlight and save writing questions, too.)

  9. can someone please send me what they wrote under Unit 1: Language Characteristics
    8. Project: Recognizing Nonverbal Behavior. those 5 examples. :-/

    • Is it that you need help understanding the assignment? Emailing your instructor and asking for some clarification on the assignment might be more helpful in understanding the lesson.

  10. Can someone who already finished the test send the code to have peak inside, just to check how it looks like? 🙂 I’m thinking if I should go to a regular classroom course instead of the online version… if so, my email is disabilitytaxcredithelp@gmail.com

    thanks!

    • Just seeing this, Joanna. If you’re thinking of doing a regular classroom course and have the time/funds to do that instead then go for it. Honestly, if you think there’s something better out there… You’re probably right. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

  11. Your website and responses are exactly what I’ve been looking for. I purchased the Groupon $69 special a month ago and I’ve started the on-line class. I put in a considerable amount of time, basically any downtime I get after work and on weekends, and I’m pretty satisfied with the course. My intent is to use this Certificate in Italy (I’m an American citizen). I understand that the Certificate does not guarantee a job, but my hope is that it at least gives me that extra edge over the competitor. Are you familiar with a website where I can confirm what the TEFOL requirements are in Italy?

    Thanks for any feedback, and thank you for your post! Brooklyn to South Korea…..wow!

  12. I lived in the Middle East and my experience there is that they respect native English speakers inordinately. They also love degrees and certificates. I had no formal training or certification and my English skills alone qualified me for many jobs. I began working as a tutor and found myself teaching English at a university, so, go figure.

    I want the certification so that I have more opportunities and also to have a better command of the language. We take a lot for granted as native speakers of the language.

    CELTA cert. is the top of the heap so far as TEFL courses are concerned. That will get jobs internationally, no doubt. It is expensive, intensive and challenging. I want to take it and if any of you have the opportunity, I would encourage it. OTOH, $69 is affordable and can help one to get a job. The blogger here looks to have a lot of credentials other than the TESOL.com course, so that should be kept in mind. I would suggest that if the other credentials are lacking, the more respected the TEFL course, the better for you as a potential hire.

    My best to you in Korea! It’s a big step to relocated and I hope you enjoy the adventure!

    • Thanks for the insight and well wishes. So far, working in Korea has been more rewarding than frustrating. If I stay, I may search for another option that will yield more income and vacation time to happily spend the income on travel. 🙂

      I’d also be interested in picking your brain about your experience teaching in the Middle East.

      IMO, perhaps Korea is moving in a direction to eliminate Foreign English teachers in public schools – or significantly reduce their dependency upon this population. I wonder if places like Dubai or elsewhere may be in favor of similar moves.

  13. I am almost finished with the course and I feel that it was probably a waste of money. There are several sections that don’t seem to have anything to do with teaching English, such as the section which includes several lessons on properly constructing a Works Cited page. Why on earth would someone who is trying to learn English need to know about plagiarism and the proper formatting of a parenthetical citation? There were several other lessons on relationships which might come in handy if I ever decide to become a marriage counselor but, again, I don’t see how they are much help in teaching people to speak English.

    As far as communication with the teacher, I received no feedback whatsoever. I actually called their phone number in Toronto re the username/password issue (they told me to continue to use the one that I was issued) and also re feedback. They told me that I had to specifically request feedback, but I didn’t see where I could make that request.

    The quizzes were a little odd. At the end you get a popup box saying this was the last question and did you want to submit your lesson. It always appeared as if the popup box appeared while the last question still showed as Not Submitted, so I always said “no” and resubmitted the last question before I said “Yes” I wanted to submit the lesson.

    Also, it would have been nice if you could have reviewed your quizzes after they were submitted. Several times I thought I did well and was dismayed at low scores but I couldn’t go back and see which questions I had missed.

    I thought the religious stuff was a little odd too, but I had read an earlier review that mentioned it, so I knew that it was coming and pretty much ignored it.

    • Hi, Kathy!

      Sorry to hear that you feel that way. I thought the Works Cited stuff was ridiculous as well. I’m not really sure for whom that course is designed, but I got what I needed and moved on from there.

      I’ve heard horror stories via the comments about lack of teacher communication/feedback. Personally, I just trudged through the course and didn’t contact them at all. I figured out the grading scheme pretty quickly after the first few writing assignments. Basically, regurgitate whatever the key expressions were in the lesson and write a few paragraphs with complete sentences. LOL! As someone who has graded over 175 undergraduate papers in one sitting, I can tell you that whatever you wrote probably wasn’t looked at very carefully… But I could be wrong.

      Ultimately, I think your impression of the course’s value (whether that be measured by time, money, or knowledge gained) will depend on what your goals are/were. My goal was simple – print out a TESOL/TEFL certificate to appease the Ministry of Education in Korea. Despite the fact that I have more education and experience than someone who just earned a Bachelor’s (or Master’s even) in Education, my degree was neither in Education nor English so that paper was my way into the system. The course served my purpose, but I didn’t go in expecting it to provide me with much new information. In fact, I found myself cringing at the information given about language acquisition in the first lesson as this is my field of expertise.

      I do hope that you will be able to find something that meets your needs, though. Silver lining: You’ve only invested around 150 hours and $69. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of your life and earnings 🙂

      • Timah,

        You’re right, it’s like most classes – you just regurgitate what you know they want to hear and you can ace most any test (except mathematics). I finished the course yesterday with a 91.4 so I guess I’ll send off for the certificate, now that I have invested the time and money to complete it. I really thought it was going to learn more about teaching English. I did learn a few useful things but all in all I’m glad I only spent $69.

  14. I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still
    exists.

    • Hi Gina,

      I vaguely remember having similar problems. You may want to try another browser or closing and restarting your current browser. Beyond that, I’m sorry I can’t be of much more help.

  15. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle
    for book-marking and adding your RSS feed
    to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates
    and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.

    Talk soon!

  16. sorry Timah, I believe you tried to copy-paste something, but it didn’t work. it just says; “My certificate says:”

    🙂

    • Sorry about that. I was rushing to post…. It says:

      Has completed the 150-hour, TESOL/TEFL: Specialist Course from Global Leadership College and is recognized as being in good standing. The course covered the following topics: classroom management techniques, teaching strategies, communication skills, and skill development in grammar, pronunciation, reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

      • Except that the course doesn’t really cover any of those things. But if you need help with your marriage or need to know how to format a Works Cited page, you’re in the right place!

  17. I just started this course on Thursday, already 34% of the way there. I would say I agree with this blog, I’m really just getting it so I have something with which I can get into teaching English overseas somewhere. Hopefully this certificate will accomplish just that, the course itself is (by my standards) incredibly easy, I don’t think I’ve read a single lesson, I just skip right to the questions and get er done. Only annoying thing is that if a particular set of questions requires more than one written portion, it won’t accept them, but that’s happened so infrequently that I’m still sitting on a low ninety. Hoping to finish it up within the next week, wish me luck!

  18. Okay, I just finished this course, and yes initially i wondered if I was in the right course or should this have been for a ESL student. I found some of the topic strange as it had no bearing on teaching someone and was at the ease level of a grade 7 student, perhaps. As far as assistance. I challenged my instructor regularly. On each lesson there is a button called HELP. click it. A dialog box comes up where you can leave a message for your instructor. Failing that. there is a messages tab where you can send an email to the instructor. I don’t understand how this is difficult to find. However, not trying to be insulting, just open some eyes. The resources are there. Saying that. If i got a wrong answer on a test. I challenged them. When my projects came back with the automatic 71%. I asked for feedback. My marks were upgraded to reflect my comments, and the teacher going in and setting the mark.
    I believe that if I didn’t question, i would have received a 70% in the course, rather than the 92% i got. In other words, I made the instructor pay attention. This is an online course I think you need to be responsible for ensuring that you are getting the best learning and all the attention you need. I don’t think it will be provided otherwise.
    It was okay overall, but I don’t feel i have gained anything special from the course other than the piece of paper which says I have done this.I did it for something to do and it was cheap. I found it interesting nevertheless.

    • Way to be proactive there, Claire! I felt the same way regarding what I got out of the course… A piece of paper saying I did it – which, incidentally, was all I needed to land my current gig. Glad you could find a silver lining.

  19. Hi everyone, if someone could please please send me a saved webpage of lesson 1 in unit 5, Types of Teacher Student Relationships in PDF. thanks a million!!!! my email is preponas@gmail.com

  20. Hi there,

    I really appreciate your blog! I am in the same situation – I need this piece of paper. I took a TESOL academic course a few years in Barcelona. Even though the course was fantastic, it didn’t lead towards certification.

    My only concern about this course is the religious aspect. Is this throughout the course, or isolated to a specific section?

    Thanks again; I look forward to following your travels on your blog!

    • Hi, Warren!

      The religious stuff isn’t completely unbearable. If anything, it’s just a little off. Meaning, it seems to be introduced without warning. Regardless, I do believe most people should be able to sift through the texts objectively to get what they need from the course.

  21. I recently completed the course and passed. A few friends have asked me if it was “easy or hard”. The answer is that for me it was easy, I didn’t read any of the chapters, I just skipped ahead and took the exams at the end. I have years of experience teaching English, however I am certain that any college or university educated person can pass it. It’s a Pass/Fail system so your certificate won’t have any indication what your final score was. I’ve got no problem helping anyone that needs a hand. Remember, you have to complete the course within a certain amount of time after purchase. I strongly suggest starting as soon as you buy the course. My certificate was emailed to me for free. They may have dropped the fee for a .pdf. I’m looking into living in China, Brazil, or Egypt in the next few months and teaching English is an excellent way to cover the daily living expenses I may incur there. I’m recommending the course because even though I have years of experience teaching English on my resume, having this simple certification opened up quite a few more doors for me and gave me a notable increase in base pay. It’s definitely a “community college” level course, with a few flaws. However at the end of the process I was given a certificate that clearly states I completed a 160 TESOL/TEFL course. Well worth the few hours I spent taking the course. Even if you are only considering a trip abroad for an extended period of time, I highly recommend jumping on this deal. You can still pick it up on Groupon here -> http://www.groupon.com/deals/tesols-com-30-atlanta?mobile=true If the Groupon has expired by the time you read this, contact me. I can still get the deal for my friends.

    ~Watt
    http://YusefWateef.com

    • Thanks for submitting more recent feedback, Watt. I’m hoping others will take the time to read through the comments section so this can be a richer resource.

    • Hi Yusef, I have completed the course too. And ordered a hard copy and paid $30 including shipping. I was not aware that we can get the pdf version for free!? it says $20 for the digital copy. my teacher still didnt contact me, under my profile it just says 100% and my score of 97.48. under status field nothing is changed. did they contact you after completion or?

  22. Hi Tamah, thank you for your information.

    I want to know if the online course are taught American or British way? Which is more acceptable to teach in Asia?

    • Hi, Judy!

      I’d say the course is taught more toward the American way. The certificate is acceptable in Asia. Honestly, I’ve found that schools/companies asking for TEFOL/TESL certification just want you to have one -any one. Unless a job ad specifically states a requirement for CELTA/DELTA or in-class components, this should be good enough.

      Good luck.

  23. Thanks Timah! I want to teach in Korea as well. May I know did you use any company to help you get the teaching job in Korea? What city are you teaching at?

    • Hi, Judy!

      I used Korvia Consulting to navigate the hiring process for me. They were fast, reliable, and professional.

      I live in Uijeongbu – a city 45 minutes north of Seoul on the metro. It’s very foreigner friendly yet still has a Korean feel to it.

      • Hey Timah,

        I have been reading online and a few people said it is more like baby sitting instead of a teaching job in Korea, is that true for you?

        • Hi, Judy! I hate when people give me this answer… but it’s the best advice I’ve had to date… Your mileage may vary. I don’t feel like I’m babysitting. I’m also a firm believer that education doesn’t have to be as buttoned up and formal as many people make it out to be. I’m game teacher, but my students are practicing their English while we play. You may get a school that is better or worse. Luck of the draw, really.

          Now that I think about it… I think I’ll do a more detailed blog post on this topic. I have more to say 🙂

  24. Hi there,
    I am just about to complete the TESOL 150 hr course with GLC as well, I am living in France and feel that having this certificate will help with my chances of finding work here. They are offering a Teaching Business English, course after completion of this course (90 hours). Has anyone done this? I feel like it might add some value to my c.v. as the English teaching market here is very competitive. If anyone has any feedback on this extra course (which can be purchased for $69 as well) is it worth giving my time?

    Thank you

    • I was thinking about the same thing. I have completed the GLC 150hr TESOL/TEFL course and saw the same offer. Kunja, I’m moving to France too, Caen, Normandy. Can I ask you few things via e-mail regarding work in France?

    • Hi Kunja!

      I haven’t done the extra course, so I can’t speak on that. When you say competitive… What do the top contenders in the market have? From my understanding, the highest regarded credential for those of us who aren’t licensed ESL teachers with a Master’s is the CELTA. Have you looked into that?

  25. Hello Timah! I am currently taking the course and also had a terrible time finding reviews on it before I began. Your review comes as a great relief as I have almost completed it and really was unsure whether it would be useful to me or not. So, THANK YOU for sharing valuable information!

      • Timah, I hope to teach in SE Asia. I don’t have a degree and I thought the certificate would be my best bet at finding a paid position. If all else fails I can still travel 🙂

        • You can definitely still travel. Do you have credits toward a degree? If so, you may qualify for the TALK program in Korea. Double check the requirements, though. Policies change here very quickly. Good Luck, Sheila!

  26. Just finished the TESOL course and enjoyed it! I took the course just to get the credentials to support the teaching I’ve already been doing…..and to prepare for future travels.
    The course helped clarify aspects of teaching (group dynamics) that I already knew but I appreciated the simple breakdown of explanation. Some units were review, but so what, it never hurts to brush up! Anytime you can receive education or take a course, you’re better prepared for your future. You never know where life takes you!
    I pressed the “help” button often to question, challenge or clarify, and I “messaged” my online teacher regularly. With quick replies (same day), I was able to move along quickly. I finished in 7 wks, 3-4 hrs/ day without a problem.
    I also appreciated the option to have it read to you, just to change up the routine. Also, the video clips add to the presentation of material. Games also help. I think they’ve used all the options. Material is easily printed. I also printed off my transcript at the end of my course so I have every unit with the breakdown of each chapter, project, review, and test score.
    Would highly recommend this course. There are lots of options online but, after consulting my teacher friends, this was recommended and found this one to be a good choice. Not disappointed at all!

  27. Timah, thanks so much for this. I have been trying to find some feedback about this certificate. Thankfully, I found you before the course took a religious turn. Otherwise I would have freaked out. Personally, I thought it was weird when one of the essay requirements was to reveal one’s culture. Anyway, I have plodded through. This is pretty much a recap of high school English. I have no teaching experience and….now I still don’t! Does anyone have suggestions what to do with the certificate if you’ve never taught? My plan was to just teach at a local library or such. I am an older adult. Thanks again, Timah, and good luck with your Korea experience.

    • Hi, Marissa. So glad this was a helpful review. The essay dealing with revealing one’s culture isn’t as strange to me now that I’ve been in the classroom abroad. You’ll be doing a lot of that when teaching and will likely draw upon your own cultural references when teaching students. I think teaching at a local library would be a great idea. Volunteer to teach free EFL/ESL conversation classes for the population you feel most comfortable with to get some experience. You can also go to a language exchange meetup in your area. Google, Facebook, and meetup.com may serve you well for the last task. Good luck!

  28. Hi Timah,

    I bought the Groupon for this back in the summer and just started really doing the course this month and am already pretty far along. I was wondering though, did you have trouble ordering your letter of enrollment? I ordered the electronic copy Monday and have not received it, as well as the hard copy. I thought it would take time so I didn’t try calling them yet; I’ll have to do that this Monday. However, they did say their hours were 10am-3pm Saturdays and I’ve tried calling them today (Saturday) with no response. I have also emailed them with no response. This has me nervous especially since I need my to send my documents to Korea soon (like, next week) to teach. Any insight on this? Thanks so much for your helpful blog and for the rest of the commentors who have also been helpful!

    • Any updates on this, Amea? I didn’t get a letter of enrollment because I had enough time to wait for my certificates. The process was simple and delivery time were fairly quick for both the emailed certificate and the physical certificate sent via snail mail.

  29. Hi there,
    I would like to ask the same- did any of you have troubles in receiving your certificates online or via post? i never finished the course as i found it super weird but now i need the certificate so i am thinking if to invest another $50 to buy another 3 months to finish it..ideas?

    • I received my certificate online within 1-2 business days. I think it took around 5-7 business days for me to receive the certificate via post.

  30. Wow! This was all interesting! I HAD read several reviews before signing up, and they were mostly bad, stating that it was like a grade school English class…”something you could read for free in a grammar book…”. But after reading this, it seems maybe acceptable. I started out majoring in English and then became a nurse. I do not have a Bachelors degree of any kind Timah, but I have all of my prereqs and three years nursing school. Will this certificate be helpful for me, or do I really need to get the bachelors?
    Thanks for the blog……even if its for justification on my part, it’s the most positive I’ve seen. “Dave’s ESL Cafe” really dissed it. And just curious, what is your degree in?
    Thanks so much!

    • Thanks for dropping by, Deb! It looks like the TALK program would be a viable option for you in Korea without a Bachelor’s degree. If you have an Associate’s or can prove that you’re still enrolled in your BA program (and have been attending for at least 2 years), then this is possible. The TEFL/TESOL certification would only help you in this case. I’m not sure of any other way for you to be in Korea legally teaching English without a Bachelor’s or a Korean spouse as the visa requirements for E1 and E2 require conferred degrees. Perhaps there may be other Asian countries that might not be so stringent? Either way, having the certificate won’t hurt you.

  31. I’m about to apply to a few graduate schools. I was wondering if it would be a ‘joke’ to send them such a completion. Any input?

    • Hi, Emily! To what types of programs are you applying? And in what areas? I’m not sure how important this would be, but I would list it in my CV under skills or additional information. Kind of like saying, hey here’s something else cool about me. However, I doubt that it will hold any weight with the school or program.

  32. Hi there! I just finished the first unit and still have 6 or 7 to go, I just wanted to know, will this course be equivalent to studying for a university degree since the hours are 100+? and where does the certificate come from> i mean which country and which educational organization?
    is it true that the pdf certificate free? or do i really have to pay additional 20$? Thanks a lot for the amazing post

    • Hi, Michelle. I doubt this course has any equivalency to a university degree. The certificate comes from a school whose address is listed in Canada… To my knowledge, there is still no established accrediting agency or school for TESOL/TEFL certificates. The only one with any kind of backing is the CELTA/DELTA, I believe. I could be wrong, so you would do well to continue your research on the matter. The PDF certificate was not free when I did the course. I paid for it and a hard copy to be safe. No one has asked me to see the hard copy so far. Best wishes to you as you finish the course.

  33. I am working on the course now, and am VERY FRUSTRATED!! I have asked – in 3 separate emails – for an explanation of why I received a certain grade on a paragraph (paragraph answer to a Unit question…), I have received no response to any of the emails. This is extremely upsetting, considering the course advertises that you get an instructor/”tutor” while you are taking the online course. It’s like sending messages/emails into the far beyond. Very, VERY bad for a school to have “instructors/tutors” who do not respond to student messages for explanations or help!

  34. Hi Essie.
    I experienced similar problems with contacting the tutor when I started, January 2,2013. To contact her, I go to the “HeLP” button, found on the same page that I am having issue with. NOT to the “New Message”. This way, I am getting attention within a few hours.

  35. Hey, thank you so much for your blog!
    I’m a GED student. Currently I’m attending a private certificate School for graphic design in all mediums. My goal is to have a career in graphic design, but I’ve always wanted to teach English as a second language. I just worked a part time job as well for many months for experience.
    The only reason I don’t have a high school diploma and college degree by now has to do with health problems that I suffered as a teenager. I’m fully recovered now without the finances to attend college, so I began this program as well because of the Groupon deal.
    Hope I can find a job once I’m done!

    • To my knowledge, all of the teaching positions in South Korea require a college degree because of the visa laws. Without a degree, you may be hard pressed to find a job teaching abroad due to visa regulations.

  36. I am in Florida… and have a Bachelor in Business Management… can I show this certificate to teach in public schools? Anybody know?

    • This certificate will help you to teach in public schools in South Korea. You need a license and other certification to teach in schools throughout the US.

  37. I’m so glad to find this posting. Like many of you, I’ve read a lots of negative reviews about this course. It’s a little discourage but I went ahead and made the purchased. I’m half way finished with the course and I can’t wait to get the certificate. I have to comment the teacher I have is very prompt in responding to my messages and very helpful. Thank you all for the useful responds!

  38. Aloha. I too jumped on the groupon deal offered at the beginning of the year and completed it 11 days later. I am a full-time surf instructor and college student at WGU. WGU is very similar to this course yet fully accredited so I felt comfortable doing this course online. A few things in my experience I’d like to share, first be aware there are multiple choice questions as well as multiple select…I didnt realize until the second unit :/ Minor setback though, I finished with an 88%. To stay with the flow, I liked to do all the lessons while copying and pasting them into a word file to reference during the quiz, then after I was done I would go back and do the projects which usually were essay questions. I did two retakes, one because while doing the course on my phone I hit the ‘submit lesson’ button, accidentally. The second was while starting the test on my cpu I attempted to finish it on my phone. I think while having both open it closed me out. I requested retakes and got them no problem. After completion, I ordered the $20 digital copy. However, I called the school about job placement assistance and talked to them about when I’d receive my digital copy. She informed me they are free for groupon buyers and they refunded me my money. I enjoyed the course and the peace of mind this blog gave me. Mahalo Timah!

    • Aloha, Justin! Wow! You finished in 11 days? That’s outstanding. Mahalo for the awesome feedback. I hope it helps someone else currently taking the course as it seems things have changed a bit since I took it in 2012. Do me a favor and soak up some sunshine for me today. It’s downright chilly in Korea. 🙂

  39. I am a college student who is looking to maybe take a gap year and teach abroad. I purchased the course and have barely started the course, but is there any reputable websites or programs that I could look into for looking at teaching positions in other countries that you may know of besides the Korvia Consulting or the Talk program you mentioned?

    • Korvia Consulting is a recruiting agency exclusively for Korean teaching jobs. There are other agencies, such as Footprints, that are reputable and do teacher placements in other countries. Your best bet to get started is to have a look at the job board on Dave’s ESL cafe to see what’s on offer globally. Alternatively, you could also try using Google to find blogs of people who are currently working abroad by typing in the search terms: teach abroad (country of interest) blog. Good luck!

  40. I started the course while taking other classes. I was unaware that they could put a “temporary hold” on the class which charges an additional ($50 per 3 months) to continue what I’ve already paid to do.

    The potential for extra charges should have been more clearly stated on the official site. :/

    • Wait so if I don’t finish within three months I have to pay more to complete it? I understood that i had a year to complete it

      • Hmmm. That is odd. When I purchased mine, the code to activate the course needed to be input within a few months, but there was no mention of needing to finish by a certain amount of time. Perhaps this is a new policy?

  41. That was very helpful. I have a teaching certificate but have always been interested in TESOL, but naturally was leery of the groupon deal. You eased my mind. Thank you.

    • Happy to help, Heather. If you are certified to teach in your home country, then you’re already in a great position for TESOL jobs abroad. Would you be getting this certificate to make your application packet stand out even more?

  42. Timah, I was wondering about this course when I saw the Groupon deal and thought it sounded so good to be true. Based on your objective comments I decided to “go for it” and purchase the course. I have been at it for about 3 weeks (not full time) and just finished Unit 1. I have found things to be just about how you described it. It isn’t a piece of cake, but you can work through it comfortably if you put in the effort. In my case, I have had email contact with my instructor. On two occasions I have respectfully questioned a grade I received on a short answer essay, and have found the instructor to be willing to listen and reconsider and/or change the points given, so I was more than satisfied. The turnaround on the email communication is timely, usually within 24 hours. Overall, I’m enjoying the course and certainly plan on working through it. Thanks for your blog and providing some useful, objective thoughts.

  43. Hey there! I’m currently taking this course so I can also go teach overseas and i noticed you landed a job in Korea which is exactly where i want to go! I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering some questions I’ve been concerned about! Your post has eased some of my concerns but there are still a couple of concerns. Firstly, i dropped out of university after my first year because I decided that the program wasn’t for me, will not have a degree seriously affect my chances of getting a job? Secondly, i have no teaching experience but am very avid to learn, do you have any advice for what i should do about that? Lastly, how are you finding teaching in Korea? and did you get the job through the course or did you go through another program? Thanks for taking the time and reading this! Look forward to hearing from you!

    • Erm, I don’t believe that you can teach in Korea without a Bachelor’s degree or higher. I think Japan may have something through their gov’t program where you can qualify with an Associate’s Degree+higher level tefl training/experience, but pretty sure in Korea, you have to have a B.A. to get the VISA and/or job.

      • Actually, you CAN teach in Korea without a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The program is called TALK. You will need college credit likely equivalent to the associate’s degree or 2 years full-time. Google the program and see for yourself what the requirements are.

  44. I am currently enrolled in the course…using the Groupon. I have been working on it every morning while I am at my full time job and I am in the middle of the 3rd unit. This isn’t even the slightest bit hard. I’ve only been working on it for 2 weeks today.

  45. After reading so many strictly negative comments about this groupon, I found this review to be so helpful! Thank you!

  46. Hello,

    I am currently taking the online course so I can obtain a certification in TESOL. I am a teacher assistant in NYC public schools. I have a bachelor’s degree in Education. I should be certified to teach in New York state by April. I have plans to teach outside of the U.S but I would like to know if I can also teach in the U.S as well with the certification?

    • Jay, unfortunately this certificate means absolutely nothing in the US. Your NY teaching license trumps all. In fact, that’s your ticket to teaching abroad. With your US license you can even teach in international schools around the world – no extra certification needed.

  47. I would warn potential students that this TESOL program is in fact being used by Global Leadership College to indoctrinate students with its religious beliefs. Many of the texts are about their version of God and a lot of the exercises you actually have to type sentences about the Most High (???) being superior to other religions’ gods.

    Be warned of the religious crap that will be forced on you in what is supposed to be a language certification program.

    • Yes, I was taken aback by that, and the passages stating the absolute truth of creationism. I just had to get past that part, and challenge the grades/scores/answers when they were wrong, and I’m about to complete the course. I have a BA in English, a CLAD Certificate, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with 13 years experience teaching English and ESL in California public schools and international prep academies abroad. I need this certificate to get my foot in the door to teach community college. I had to correct the program’s grading/answer key several times. I diplomatically and respectfully contacted the teacher several times and he obliged to my requests with respectable responses. Do be prepared to fight for your grade.

  48. Timah- Thanks for all of the helpful information. I’m considering purchasing on Groupon and you answered many of my questions. Just a couple of other questions..were there any books that you needed to purchase? Were there any hardcopies/downloads of materials? I assume work/tests/quizes where “turned in” via email. I completed my BA and MS degrees about 15 years ago now and have never done a course online.
    Thanks!!

    • Hi, Jennifer! No. There were no extra books that you need to purchase. You can copy/paste the online workbooks into a word document as others have suggested. All assessments are done via the school’s website online. No need to email anything. Simply log in, read, click answers, and submit all from the same screen. Good luck!

  49. I am currently taking this course with hopes to get a job abroad in Japan!! Your post has definitely cleared some anxiety I had about the reputation of this course. I know for a fact that the Tesols.com “globally recognized” statement was FALSE. If you go to their “About Us” Section and look up the accredidation companies it list, all of them are a fake.

    At one point I called their headquarters directly to give them a piece of my mind about false advertising, but kept on getting the run around.

    Once I have my certificate in hand, I will call them and speak to the manager about it.

    Otherwise, this course has taught me NOTHING about Teaching English. It was designed for someone learning English. The first chapter, for me was somewhat challenging, the second chapter I breezed through (grammar practice), I am currently working on the 3rd chapter.

    We will see what happens…

    Also, I purchased this course May 2013, and it is now April 2014 and I still have access to this course. I have been procrastinating, but I am more than sure this course will be finished before the end of April. I went through Chapter 2 in one day.

    Anyways, thanks for the post!

  50. Yeah, I found the references to The Good News and the Most High to be over the top. Also, the unit called Teacher Student Relations had almost no content related to the title. But still, it is a relatively cheap way to get a TESOL certificate. Very easy course for the most part.

  51. I took the course as a college graduate with a BA in Linguistics expecting some refresher on the TESOL classes I took within my degree. I was grossly disappointed with the relevancy of the content. The first chapter seemed like it was going in the right direction, but there was never any mention of different teaching methods for teaching a second language, no guidance on lesson planning.. nothing…and several of the lessons asked questions that only held relevance with high school students living with their parents. I have the certificate, I did not have to pay anything for the PDF but they ask $30 for a printed copy. I don’t have a problem with that cost. I am comforted to hear that your institute accepted your certification. After going through the program and seeing the lack of relevancy, I was almost embarrassed to put it on my resume. However, knowing someone found an institution that accepted the credits eases my mind a little. As for the site working and instructor response, any time I requested anything I received a response within 24 hours. The site worked unless it was down for maintenance which was once over the year I was completing it. It really can be finished much more quickly, I just had a lot going on. However, there is little, if any feedback given on any essays which was disappointing. Once I asked for feedback and instead of answering me, he changed my grade to a higher grade… I didn’t question it. I give the course 2 stars out of 5.

  52. Thought I would chime in about this. I read some reviews before paying for the Groupon $69 deal so I would have to say that I didn’t find any real surprises. The only surprise was that I actually found a lot of the course content interesting and worthwhile. But I will admit that most of the content had little to do to prepare someone to teach English in a classroom setting. Or little about teaching English period. Once I got used to how to do the course I was able to complete it fairly quickly. It took me about a month, but I only logged in about half that time so I would say it could be completed within a few weeks or about 30 hours. I was able to print out my certificate without any extra charges. All in all I would rate the experience *** out of ***** (3 out of 5 stars)…….better than I expected.

  53. Timah, thank you for your post and thanks to all for comments. While not the best course, it sounds like it will be useful for me. I m retired and may not be seeking s full time job but think it might be of value for me.

  54. I never received an “activation’ email…is there something special i’m supposed to do..?

  55. I’m curious as to what the actual certificate looks like. I have nearly finished my course. I just saw a different certificate from another school and it looks very simple and almost fake. How official does this certificate look? Just wondering if I should pay to get it sent to me, seeing as my school has not been very adamant about having a copy. Thank you!

    • If the certificate given now looks anything like what I received a few years ago, it definitely looks like something you could make yourself 😉 Maybe get the email copy (PDF) if they offer it and print as needed.

  56. Thanks for this. I bought the course last month but am glad to know it’s legit. It is pretty easy. I’ve gone thru more than 40% in less than a month and there was a 2 week period where I barely worked on it at all.
    In many cases I’ve been able to get the teacher to adjust my grades on assignments. One thing that hurt my score is when I did the first section I didn’t realize that some questions had multiple answers. The teacher did let me redo one of the assignments. Still my score was only 85% after the first section but I’m about halfway done with the 3rd section and my score is now about 92%.
    Even though it says your essay questions are graded by the teacher I think they are graded automatically by the system and are programmed to give you partial credit no matter what but if you argue with the teacher about them he will usually adjust it to full credit. If something is spelled wrong in a fill in the blank question and the system counts it wrong just send a note to the teacher and he will adjust it.
    It is a bit preachy like you said but I think they may have toned it down a little bit since you took it.
    I already have a job lined up in China that didn’t require me to get this, but I plan on teaching overseas for a while and I’m a few credits short of my BA so I thought this might help me get a better job down the road and help prepare me for my current job.
    How do you like Korea? I was thinking of going there for a little while after a couple years in China because I hear it easier to save money.

    • Hi Jeff! I’m no longer in Korea, but I can now look back fondly on my experience there. I’ve heard similar things about it being easier to save money in Korea, but I suppose that all depends on you and your lifestyle. Going to the bars and eating imported foods will surely put a hole in your savings. Happy to hear that you have a job lined up. Hope the course helps you in some way with your new position.

  57. I started the course on August 18th, 2014 and will complete it today September 22, 2014. I am retired so I could work on for about 4 hours most days. I, too, was very surprised to find the religious content. As I had already invested the money I continued. I want my certificate so I am going to write a review to the Leadership college after I receive it. I hope I can use the certificate in Costa Rica. I have a MS in Social Science and most of the information was in the ESL program was a review.
    Thanks for your posting.

  58. Great post! I was also iffy about purchasing the groupon, I think im going for it now! I also have an interest in teaching English in Korea upon graduation with my degree in Early Childhood Education. Thanks of the honest advice!
    ~Leanna~

  59. Hi, I finished the course last week and no information from them since then even though I have emailed them twice asking about how long it takes to get the certificate — I read a review that says it takes them at least a month to get to that step. Can anyone speak to the truth of that?

    The thing I found especially odd about the heavy emphasis on the Good News and the Most High, and blah, blah, is they are pretty hypocritical in being so dishonest about the value and having to pay extra money to actually get a copy of your crappy quality certificate. And this non-existent “job bank” they tell you that you are getting for your money – really?! No such thing exists. The preaching was bad, the Joel Olsten type of hypocrisy where giving them money and preaching about the Most High is Christianity, but being honest business people is not??! What a joke. But whatever, I just want the certificate – how long before that shows up?

  60. Hi, I recently finished this course and am about to order my certificate. Did you need your letter of enrollment or transcripts to work in Korea, or is that just a money grab?

  61. After having a mini freak-out due to questions about the legitimacy of the certificate course, I messaged the teacher in charge of grading my course to see if the certificate I received at the end would be internationally recognized. Her response was:

    Hi,

    Yes! This meets international standards.

    The course you took is TESOL, which stands for: Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages. The course is heavy on communication because ultimately this is what makes the difference between teacher getting through to their students or not. You will find many opportunities of teaching English language in your country or abroad.

    Have a nice day!

    I hope this message reassures some people about their doubts. Plus it seems the certification worked for the OP, which is awesome to know.

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