This post will point out some of the reviews on ESLinsider and offer additional input on some of those attacks left by troll competitors.
ESLinsider is my site. I started working on its videos in 2009. And it’s been online since 2011. It offers activity based teacher training especially focused on teaching in East Asia where I taught.
The best place to find reviews on ESLinsider is here.
But you may be wondering why aren’t there many on 3rd party sites?
But wait a second.
Actually there are on ESLinsider’s Youtube channel or on the Quora post I’ll mention later.
I’d like to point out that unlike many other courses ESLinsider actually has a lot of “reviews” if you want to call them that on its how-to videos on Youtube. And those videos are used in ESLinsider’s courses.
Take a look.
Here’s a comment from one of the videos:
“I’m a new teacher and these videos really saved my hide (they still do) and my students like these activities a lot. I would like to thank you…” – Luiz Felipe
A comment on the video above.
Why I don’t use 3rd party review sites
The short answer is: I don’t like middlemen.
If you are searching for reviews on ESLinsider’s courses then I’ll assume that you are also checking out other companies too and you have probably been to some 3rd party review sites like:
They make money by referral links and from advertising from the courses on their site.
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 as they look the same to me) a few years ago, but changed my mind and had it deleted for a few different reasons.
If I wanted a better position on their site and to be found there then I had to pay money.
Those sites are not “unbiased” like some say.
So instead of paying them money and helping their site grow I decided to put the review software on my own site instead.
DO YOU TRUST 3RD PARTY REVIEW SITES MORE?
Sites like Amazon have MILLIONs OF FAKE REVIEWS.
And like 25% of Yelp reviews are fake.
There are also plenty of fake reviews in TEFL too. In fact there are entire review sites out there that are fake and I’ll tell you about one later.
I don’t do affiliate marketing
Unlike most other TEFL courses, ESLinsider doesn’t have an affiliate program. Maybe I could make more money doing that, but I just don’t like it.
I don’t know about you, but to me it’s not very genuine. It’s basically like bribing people to write a review of you or link to your course.
Accreditation is another 3rd party
Accreditation in TEFL is also basically a paid review.
You may think accreditation is a sign of quality, but is it really?
- It’s easy to fake or it’s paid for in TEFL.
- It’s seeks to maintain the status quo on “standards”.
The question nobody seems to ask…
What do you know about the accreditor?
The idea behind accreditation might be good, but some educational non-profit organizations say it doesn’t work.
I have taken two different TESOL/TEFL courses and both were accredited, but neither one was very helpful or practical.
And that’s the problem with “education”.
Accreditation isn’t about learning.
It’s about money. Your money.
How many classes did you take in high school and college that were useless? I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember anything from geometry, chemistry, biology, history classes, etc.
ESLinsider is small and more like a
mom and pop shop
I try to be transparent vs. not.
I didn’t originally design ESLinsider to be a course.
I didn’t like the TEFL/TESOL course industry because of all the lies. The courses came later. It’s more popular as a resource (its videos) for current teachers.
I have no interest in being another look alike TEFL course. Are all the courses out there starting to look and sound the same to you?
I wrote a bit about TEFL copycats in this PDF.
I have taken some atypical stances not trying to fit in with what I don’t believe in. For example, accreditation and TEFL course “hours“. When it comes to online courses those hours mean nothing.
I completed a so called “120 hour” online TEFL course on Groupon in 8 hours, not cause I needed it, but because I wanted to see what I would get.
Until about 2016-17 I did name my courses with “hours”, but it never sat well with my conscience and then as the course developed more I changed it…
George has left a few reviews his first one was left 4 years ago.
120 hour course->Advanced->TEKA
I don’t follow “best business practices” in some sense and I do criticize the TEFL course industry (some of my so-called competitors), because this is ESLinsider not blue pill TEFL.
I try to keep it simple and practical minus the hype and lies.
It’s not popular maybe because I didn’t do what other people did, but on the plus side I think you’ll find it to be more personable.
And one of my favorite quotes by Seth Godin was…
Regardless of how you measure ‘best’ (elegance, deluxeness, impact, profitability, ROI, meaningfulness, memorability), it’s almost never present in the thing that is the most popular.
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 30 (5 star) reviews on ESLinsider and 1 with just a 4 star rating, but no written review. I ask people if they can leave a review when they finish the course, however they aren’t obligated to.
There I do say that I may delete a review if they don’t use their name and email used in the course.
I say that to prevent possible trolls or evil competitors from writing a malicious fake review like some of the people below did.
Does ESLinsider have any bad reviews?
Well, to be honest there are a few that were written by people who used troll accounts.
They didn’t take a course with ESLinsider although one of them claimed to.
One troll claimed that I was selling diplomas, perhaps he saw this drawing I did and believed it.
But if you search Google for the keywords “ESLinsider diploma” you won’t find any place where you can buy a diploma on my site.
If you search:
You’ll see some negative pages that were written by the people below.
“Trusted” TEFL reviews?
There’s this other newer site out there that claims to be “trusted” who wrote a fake review of my site and attacked me on Quora, TEFL.net, etc. His sites are called “trusted” TEFL reviews and TEFL online pro (the winner of some award on that “trusted” site).
He formally had a similar review site scam called ITTP and now it’s TEFL online pro and “Trusted” TEFL reviews.
Here’s a comment from the video above.
Aside from that…
See the site “
UPDATE: That site appears to be removed.
That was written by the owner of myTEFL.
A troll competitor whose affiliate marketing I pointed out in a review really hated me and created the site “Eslinsiderreviews.com” and called ESLinsider a “spam machine” and that I “smeared” competitors.
I later figured out who wrote that.
I wouldn’t say that I “smeared” any competitor. “Best business practice” is to not talk about your “competitors”.
But I think “best practices” are stupid.
And I just got tired of turning my cheek while these weak trolls try to destroy my work.
I just told the truth.
Am I biased?
Yeah, everyone is.
But there is a difference between a bias and a lie. Every review that you will read was written by a biased human.
There is no such thing as an “unbiased” review.
I just tell it as I see it because I feel like someone needs to tell the truth.
He also said something about a “free course scam”. I used to have a free course from about 2012 to 2016, but that was discontinued and that was mentioned in a blog post called, “Free TEFL is dead”.
He also said I did affiliate marketing referring to an old article and interview with Alex Case. You can see the link in that article is not an affiliate link and you can go ask Alex Case that.
He also criticized my “qualifications” or lack of them. True, I am not a “licensed teacher”, but I did graduate from Northern Arizona University.
I have done 2 different TEFL/TESOL courses, but I don’t put that info in my blog because I think it’s irrelevant because they are just superficial qualifications.
You are not a resume.
Any critical reviews?
Like not from trolls???
Yeah, 1,000 dislikes on the videos in the pic above which is like 11% of the people who watched my videos and pushed either the like or dislike button.
And here’s a critical email I got once about the course:
“I understand the level of difficulty between the courses. However, in the 20 hour course, when answering the questions, the answer could be easily seen in the text that was meant to be studied.
I would suggest more of a challenge where studying the context is mandatory to correctly answering the question. Not just searching for the match to the question.
That is my personal opinion. Other then that, the material was well put. Thank you.” –
My thoughts on that are why should I make it intentionally more difficult to learn? I try to make it easy not hard. Some teachers make you want to work for no good reason.
I intentionally broke up all of the text into mostly small bits because that’s a better way to learn AND I put the answer right there as I didn’t think hiding the answer would help.
Listen to Seth Godin’s comment.
“Open book open note ALL THE TIME. There is zero value in memorizing anything ever again. Anything worth memorizing is worth looking up.” – Seth Godin
“Not Well-Known, Yet Has Invaluable Information and Advice From a Great Teacher…
At first I was hesitant to take Ian’s Advanced Course, since there didn’t seem to be much information about it online. However, I can now say with full confidence that Ian has put together a masterclass catalog of teaching materials, each presented in a clear and logical way, with a great website to re-find anything if needed. The course pages seem to be frequently updated and Ian is incredibly quick to respond to submitted assignments or messages.
Direct communication with Ian is a huge plus. There are a few assignments to submit (Lesson Plans, mainly) and Ian gave me very detailed and meaningful feedback on every one. – Kyle P.
You’re reading this on my personal blog, but you can also learn more about ESLinsider here.
Also there are some reviews on a guide book that I wrote on Amazon and other related posts below:
- ESLinsider’s Youtube stats: total likes/dislikes, shares, views, etc.
- Is ESLinsider a scam or legit? (Quora reviews)
- Review on ESLinsider’s Lazy Teacher’s Guide To TEFL
- The best course reviews on ESLinsider (video)
- ESLinsider reviews on Reddit
- Interview with Alex Case about ESLinsider’s free course (DISCONTINUED)
- ESLinsider’s 10 most popular Youtube videos
- About ESLinsider