There are a lot of great deals to be found on discount websites, but is a Groupon TEFL course one of them?
We’re guessing that if you’re looking to get TEFL qualified it’s because you want to find a job teaching English. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to make sure that the course you take will give you the best chance of finding a great teaching position.
Occasionally, we’re asked by someone why they should pay for one of our courses when they can buy a Groupon TEFL course for as little as £20 to £50. Of course, we’re inclined to recommend you get TEFL qualified with us! We’re confident about the quality and value of our courses (as are thousands of our graduates), but it really is essential for you to know how to choose a course that’s going to properly prepare you for teaching English and get you a job.
Why do we think it’s important to talk about this? We’re often contacted by both employers and students who have issues with these cheap TEFL courses. Employers have told us they don’t accept specific cheap TEFL qualifications and we’ve had students study with us because they’ve taken a budget course and been unable to secure work with it.
We want to help you make an informed decision before buying a TEFL course, so we’ve put together some information we hope you’ll find helpful.
Why are Groupon TEFL courses so cheap?
Our courses are competitively priced, and the cost reflects what’s offered. As with most things, you get what you pay for! Groupon TEFL courses keep costs so low because they don’t have the same level of quality-control or tutor, technical, and administrative support.
Some of the reasons Groupon TEFL courses are so cheap is because:
- They’re not adequately accredited
- There are lots of hidden costs
- Lack of quality course content
- Tutor support is minimal or non-existent
- The courses were not created or developed by experienced EFL teachers
Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.
Groupon TEFL courses often lack accreditation
When a provider says they’re ‘fully accredited’ don’t just take that at face value. Considering the fact there is no over-arching accrediting body for TEFL courses it doesn’t really make sense to say a course is ‘fully accredited’ in the first place.
What does it mean for a TEFL provider to be accredited? Simply put, it means that a provider has undergone external monitoring to ensure the courses they offer meet a certain standard of quality set by the accrediting body. This is extremely important. Anyone can create and market a course, but if it hasn’t been assessed by a credible external body then there is simply no guarantee of quality.
What is good accreditation?
As we’ve just mentioned, there isn’t a single accrediting body for TEFL courses. You’ll find that most reputable providers are accredited by recognised and established bodies who accredit a wide range of courses.
Not all accrediting bodies are equal and the easiest way to spot a quality TEFL provider is if they’re accredited by non-governmental or non-governmental awarding bodies. For example, The TEFL Org is an SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) approved centre and our Level 5 courses are regulated by TQUK, an Ofqual-regulated awarding body.
Membership of an organisation or register is not accreditation. Neither is endorsement. Remember, accreditation entails external monitoring, not just the payment of an annual membership fee.
Why is accreditation so important?
Proper accreditation means quality control. It means that you can be sure that a course is going to deliver and prepare you for your first teaching job. But it also demonstrates this to an employer.
TEFL Org tutor, Carl, has taught English all over the world and recruited other teachers for positions. When he’s recruiting one of the first things he looks for is that the TEFL qualification a teacher has is from an accredited course provider.
If you can’t find information about a provider’s accreditation on their website, or if they’re only accredited by one body that seems to specialise in accrediting budget courses then we recommend proceeding with caution. We’re the most accredited provider of TEFL courses in the UK and you can easily find further information about that on this page.
A cheap TEFL course might not be so cheap when you factor in the hidden costs.
Did you know that Groupon takes a 50% cut from deals advertised on their site? That means if you buy one of these budget TEFL courses for £20 the company is only getting £10! These hidden charges are where these companies make their money.
If you’re going to teach abroad then you’ll more than likely need a hard copy of your certificate. Don’t expect this to be included when you’re paying a rock-bottom price for a course. In fact, the cost of a printed certificate can easily amount to more than you paid for the actual course! And you might need to pay for a PDF copy of it as well.
A hard copy of your certificate, including shipping to anywhere in the world, is included in the cost of all TEFL Org courses. You’ll also be able to download as many PDF copies of your certificate as you need after qualifying.
Faster marking fees
Don’t want to wait a week or more for an assignment to be marked? Be prepared to cough up. These courses know that those purchasing are often aiming to get TEFL qualified as quickly as possible, so forcing you to pay for quicker marking is an easy way to get more money out of you.
With a TEFL Org course you won’t have to wait more than 48 hours for your tutor to mark and provide feedback on your assignments.
Fees to resit exams/assessments
This is an easy way for these companies to get more money out of students, especially when they deliberately set students up to fail. You shouldn’t have to pay to resubmit or resit. Here at The TEFL Org, if you fail an assignment your tutor will provide you with feedback on it to help you understand where you want wrong.
The course content lacks quality
As we’ve already covered, proper accreditation is your guarantee of quality control.
Some common complaints we hear about these courses is the amount of spelling and grammar mistakes within the content. They’re also known to lift (without credit) content from books and other sources. And this is all because these courses have been rapidly created by people who don’t have any direct TEFL experience.
How long should a TEFL course take to complete?
When you see the reviews for a cheap TEFL course and you read about people completing it within a day or two that’s definitely not a good sign. It means a few things:
- The number of hours the course lists is false
- The course content is lacking
- Students are not being properly assessed throughout the course
Most of our students take around 10 to 12 weeks to complete our popular 120-hour Premier Online TEFL course. Completing a proper 120-hour TEFL qualification in just a few days is, frankly, impossible.
The course hasn’t been developed by TEFL professionals
It’s really important when you undertake any sort of learning experience that you’re learning from those with experience. We’d say this is essential!
The problem with Groupon TEFL courses is that it’s unlikely they’ve been developed by qualified or experienced TEFL professionals. Why would you take a TEFL course written by someone who’s never even taught English?
When you look into a lot of these budget TEFL courses you’ll notice they run a wide range of other cheap courses, sometimes hundreds. They can run anything from dog grooming courses to those focused on law – quite a diverse range!
The tutors employed by these companies are highly unlikely to have TEFL experience, instead they will be marking assignments for a large number of different courses. All of our tutors here at The TEFL Org are highly experienced and qualified EFL teachers. They know their stuff.
Will a Groupon TEFL course be recognised by employers?
Ultimately, you’re taking a chance. Some employers may accept the qualification, but there are many who won’t. We’ve previously written about TEFL scams and bad employers and we know that bad employers don’t care much about your qualifications, so will often accept anything.
Accreditation isn’t just important for you but it also gives reputable employers assurance that the teacher has undertaken training of a certain quality. If they see that the company you’ve gained your qualification with isn’t adequately accredited then they may not recognise it.
Put yourself in an employers shoes – if you’ve taken a Groupon TEFL course and are up against other candidates who have a qualification with a highly accredited and internationally recognised TEFL provider then who’s going to stand out?
Investing in a good TEFL course is worth it
If you’re looking to find a job with a good employer then it really is worthwhile to invest in a TEFL qualification from an established provider. It might not seem like much to potentially waste £20 on a Groupon TEFL course, but you could easily end up wasting a lot of your time if it’s unusable.
A good TEFL course really doesn’t have to break the bank, either. And it quickly pays for itself when you start working!
Do your research and make sure the course you choose is going to prepare you to teach English, provide you with support both during and after the course, and give you the best chance of finding work. You can always get in touch with us if you have any questions and you can even ask current students and graduates by joining our Facebook group.