Why doesn’t ESLinsider have any 3rd party reviews?

Are you searching for reviews of ESLinsider’s TEFL courses? Wondering why there aren’t any on 3rd party sites? O.k. that’s fair enough. Someone asked me this recently, so I thought I would share a bit why at the moment there aren’t.

If you are searching for reviews on ESLinsider then I’ll assume that you are also checking out other companies too and you have probably been to some review sites like:

  • gobroad.com
  • teflcoursereview.com
  • gooverseas.com

Those are affiliate sites. They make money by referring people to other courses. You have to create an account there before people can leave reviews on your course.

I did initially create an account with either the goabroad or the gooverseas site (can’t remember which one) a few years ago, but changed my mind and had it deleted for a few different reasons.

No, it wasn’t because of a bad review. But one reason was if I wanted a better position on their site and to be found there then I had to pay money.

Plus I was thinking, would it be better if I had reviews on another site or my own site?

So I decided to put the reviews on my own site instead.

There are lots of affiliates in TEFL…

And chances are that you have come across them unknowingly. What that means is that a lot of the reviews that you may have read were written by someone who makes money by referring people to courses.

Once you click on their referral link which could be on sites like above or on blogs or a place like Quora you will be taken to another site and if you make a purchase on that site then the affiliate will make some money.

That’s fine if that’s what you want to do, but most people aren’t going to write a totally honest review if they are getting paid to do it and in many cases these people recommending these courses haven’t even taken the course.

Are paid reviews genuine?

Do a search in Google for these keywords:

  • tefl affiliates

And you will find a lot of companies – pages and pages of TEFL course companies that do this.

If you want to learn more about this then I recommend that you check out this article on TEFL affiliates.

Anyways…

ESLinsider doesn’t have an affiliate program. Maybe I could make more money doing that, but I just don’t like it.

I have read that many of the reviews written online are fake and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are plenty of fake reviews in the TEFL course world.

  • Yelp estimates 25% of it’s reviews are fake. Source
  • Some companies may offer discounts to customers who write fake reviews. Source
  • Some companies hire PR firms to write fake reviews. Source
  • Companies may manipulate their customers to write reviews. (see below)

I read a story on Reddit a few years ago (which I can’t seem to find now) about a girl who had to write a review of the TEFL company before they gave her a certificate.

So as you can see some TEFL reviews may be fake or manipulated in some way.

ESLinsider is small, but genuine and maybe more personal

It’s not a large company or anything like that. It’s been up and online steady since 2011. It offers online training and resources for teachers especially focused on teaching kids in Asia. Many people who have reviewed it have commented that it is personable.

All the reviews that are written on my site are written by people who have taken courses there. I also kept some testimonials (2012-2016) which started long before I set up the reviews on my site in 2016.

As of right now there are 18 or 19 reviews on ESLinsider. I ask people if they can leave a review when they finish the course, however they aren’t obligated to. I think if you read the reviews you will see that most of them are genuine as they are specific.

I don’t edit these reviews except for a few typos or if I changed the course name that they mentioned. There I do say that I may delete a review if they don’t use their name and email used in the course. But I only say that to prevent possible trolls or jealous competitors from writing a malicious review with the intent to damage ESLinsider’s reputation.

If you are interested I could possibly ask to offer you further contact with one of these reviewers. I’d imagine they would say that’s o.k.

Do you trust 3rd party reviews more?

Because who knows maybe the reviews on my site are fake. Right?

I have only had that reviews component on my site for maybe a year and a half or so. And I am learning that people may find 3rd party reviews more trustful, so as of recently I have mentioned that teachers could also leave a review on Youtube.

Again I could incentivize teachers by having an affiliate marketing program, but I just don’t do that.


Read reviews of ESLinsider’s online TEFL courses or ask me a question.

THE HAGWON

This is my latest creative work that I posted on Youtube and on ESLinsider. It’s about teaching in Korea. If you are a first timer then to teach in Korea you basically have 2 options for schools to teach in.

You either teach in a hagwon or in a public school. Hagwons are private institutes. There are quite a few horror stories online about teaching in hagwons.

Yet they are not all bad, but I decided to make my own horror story to help promote one of the latest ebooks that I wrote.

ESLinsider’s 10 Most Popular YouTube Videos

ESLinsider.com is a resource for those interested in teaching English abroad. It provides resources such as how-to videos, online TEFL courses, guides and a blog. It’s also a place where you can find out what’s it like teaching and living in Eastern Asia: China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

It has a strong presence on Youtube with over 200 videos and over a 1,500,000 views between two channels. This post will take a look at the 10 most popular videos.

Most of the videos are how-to videos shot in the classroom. The other videos posted here have to do with culture, money, advice from teachers and teaching ESL without a degree.

1. Teaching English To Kids in 5 Fun Steps


I took some time to make this one. My goal was to make it informative and fun. This video takes you through a lesson plan and gives you some structure as well as some ideas for class in a fun way.

The majority of the how-to videos were uploaded in 2011 this one was later in 2014 and it’s growing fast. At this rate this video will become the most popular video ESLinsider has on Youtube.

This video was filmed in a kindergarten in Busan, South Korea.

By the numbers since 2014:

  • 185,000+ views
  • 286 likes
  • 191 shares

“Amazing!!! I have my very first day teaching kids on a EFL context in Nicaragua! I’m pretty sure they will love a class like this one! Thanks!” – iMedia’s comment

2. The Preview – ESLinsider’s 1st Video On Youtube


This video and another longer version were the first to go on Youtube in 2010. This video was a preview of the videos that went on Youtube and on the site. It shows a sample of some of the how-to videos.

This video is a preview of 3 of the how-to videos.

  1. The first one is an icebreaker called “Categramble” that can be used with lower intermediate to advanced students.
  2. The second one is called “One Hand, Two Hands”. This is a listening activity that is used here to tell the difference between plural and singular nouns. It can be used with all levels.
  3. The third one is called “Whispers”. This is a speaking activity that works well with younger students through elementary school and sometimes even older.

This video contains footage from a public school in Changwon, South Korea and a kindergarten in Busan.

By the numbers since 2010:

  • 165,000+ views
  • 220+ likes
  • 73+ shares

“Nice video with very cute kids^^ What is the name of the song at the end of the video? Loved it! :)” – Leyl’s comment

This video is on a channel that was discontinued. The following videos are placed on ESLinsider’s main channel.

3. “Teacher Says” – A Warm-up/TPR Activity For Kids


This activity can be used as a warm up for kids or it can be used for teaching body parts and actions as well. It works well with young kids. If you can’t get them to make a mistake then that probably means they are too old for it or their level is too high.

In my experience it works until about 3rd or 4th grade.

This was filmed in a kindergarten in Busan, South Korea.

By the numbers since 2011:

  • 114,000+ views
  • 78+ likes
  • 50+ shares

“Loved it! Good strategy to teach human’s body parts!” – Shimeny Soares comment

4. “Line Up” – An Icebreaker


“Line Up” is an icebreaker that will work well on the first day of class. It’s a simple getting to know you activity with a twist.

This video was filmed in a public elementary school in Changwon, South Korea. As you can see the students here were adults. They were in fact parents of some of the children that I taught. There was an adult class once a week.

By the numbers since 2011:

  • 75,000+ views
  • 41+ likes
  • 26+ shares

“Great job!!!!!” – Cesar’s comment

5. “Sprite” – A Simple Vocabulary Activity


Sprite is a simple and effective game that works well with practicing vocabulary. Students get a chance to practice writing, speaking, and listening. It’s also fun too as they kids get to move around which is important.

This video was filmed in a public elementary school in Changwon, South Korea. These children were mostly in the fourth grade. I think some were in the 5th grade too.

By the numbers since 2011:

  • 48,000+ views
  • 58 likes
  • 39 shares

6. Why The Obsession With Asian Women


Did you know that according to some studies Asian women and white men are considered the most attractive by most people of different races?

By the numbers since 2012:

  • 44,000+ views
  • 173+ likes
  • 391+ comments
  • 20 shares

7. “Pass The Bag” – Vocabulary Game


This was another popular game for teaching vocabulary. It uses music which can be fun and refreshing. This video was filmed in a kindergarten in Busan.

By the numbers since 2011:

  • 43,000+ views
  • 62+ likes
  • 40+ shares

“Haha, they are sooo cute! And he is great at giving dynamic classes!” – Ursula’s comment

8. How much money can I make teaching English in Asia?


This video talks about how much money you can make teaching English in Northeast Asia. It specifically talks about hourly wages and salaries for teachers in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China.

I share my experience and how much I made teaching.

By the numbers since 2011:

  • 30,000+ views
  • 123 likes
  • 12 shares
  • 169 comments

A little note…

Some videos that I didn’t post here were a bit more popular in terms of views.

Such as:

However, there a few videos that are growing faster that were added later like the last 2 on this list. So I have included them here. I also thought they would add a little variety to this post.

9. Advice On Teaching Abroad From 26 ESL Teachers


I interviewed about 30 ESL teachers in China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. One of the questions that I asked them was if they had any advice for newcomers. Here they share it.

By the numbers since 2014:

  • 26,000+ views
  • 170 likes
  • 34 shares

10. Teaching English In Asia Without A Degree Or As A Non-Native Speaker

This video talks about teaching in Asia without a degree or if you are not a native English speaker. Those are the two main requirements (degree + native speaker) that you usually need to teach there.

Teaching without those requirements can be illegal and sometimes it isn’t. It largely depends on how you get your visa. There are some loopholes to that.

I am also not advocating that or not, but rather just telling it like it is. It can be illegal and there are risks, but that being said most teachers abroad probably taught illegally at least once.

Read more about teaching English in Asia without a degree.

There are other videos with more views than this, but this one is newer and growing.

By the numbers since 2015:

  • 15,000+ views
  • 67+ likes
  • 7+ shares

So what other kinds of videos will you find there?

Most videos are how-to videos. You’ll find instruction and ideas on:

  • Lesson planning
  • Warm-up and icebreakers
  • Vocabulary games and activities
  • Sentence/Q&A games and activities
  • Teaching tips
  • Teaching numbers, reading, writing, etc.
  • Classroom management and more

All of these videos can be found on the site and you’ll also find written instructions below the video that you won’t find on Youtube. They are also organized better on the site.

You can catch the latest blog updates, get feeds from other teachers in Asia by following ESLinsider on Twitter. You can also read reviews of ESLinsider’s online TEFL courses.

ESLinsider – The Long Preview

Back in late 2008-2009 I got the idea to create a groundbreaking^^ video how-to guide for ESL teachers. It was going to be a guide for those interested in teaching English in Asia (China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan) and also serve as a resource for teachers. A resource that would help them in the classroom, by giving them instruction and fresh ideas. There were a lot of sites and resources out there for ESL teachers, but few of them were video based.

I also wanted to interview teachers throughout Asia and find out about their experiences. So I set out and started with a skydive in Hawaii. After that I returned to Korea where I was at the time and then left for China, then Taiwan and Japan. Not necessarily in that order. I interviewed a total of 30 or so teachers.

So this preview shows portions of exactly what ESLinsider is. I juiced it up with a little music and some scratching. Just so you know the text in the video is a little dated as the site has grown since that video was made in 2010.

I went to Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Xiamen, China. In Taiwan I went to Taichung where I used to live and visited old friends and then to Koahsiung (that’s where the monkey was filmed). I spent a few days in Tokyo, Japan as well. After all that I went back to Korea and ended up interviewing the majority of teachers on Haeundae beach in Busan.

All of the how-to videos were shot in Korea in a combination of Hagwons and public schools.

The site started out as a paid membership site, but few people would pay. So whether my marketing story sucked or whatever, people just didn’t see the value in it. I think that without an incredible story few people will pay for online content. On top of that there is so much competition out there and it’s all a click away if people don’t find what they immediately want.

So in December 2011 I made the site free and added advertising. Initially costs of the video were too high, higher than any money I got back from advertising. So the next step was to put the video on Youtube and embed the Youtube videos on my site.