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Is The TEFL Academy a Scam? My Experience Becoming a TEFL Teacher

Considering teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) abroad or online? Not sure how to go about it? Neither did I. I was once in your position posing the question – how do I become a tefl teacher? Where do I start? This is a question I’m asked constantly by friends and family.

I started by getting certified at The TEFL Academy ( – but before I delve into my experience with them, let’s look at a few of the particulars.

Teaching English as a foreign language is a good option if you are adventurous, adaptable and interested in making a difference. Being a TEFL teacher allows you to travel the world on your own terms while also earning an income. You will meet fascinating people, experience interesting cultures, eat the most glorious food, and have the biggest adventure you can imagine.

All you need to do is get TEFL-qualified. You can do this by doing a TEFL course. You don’t need a degree to do a TEFL course (or to get a TEFL job), and you don’t need to be a native speaker of English but you do need to be fluent in English. Trust me when I say it’s a straightforward process – with extraordinary, life-changing potential. Many people I speak to, seem to think it’ll be a tough, arduous process – it’s really not.

What are the options for TEFL teachers?

There are a few different scenarios for being a TEFL teacher. You can:

teach in the country of your choice
teach in your home country
teach online and live wherever you like.

Teaching English as as foreign language allows you to teach part-time or full-time, so it can be your full-time job, part-time job or side hustle. You can teach young learners, school-going learners, university students, stay-at-home parents, business-people. You can teach General English, Business English, English for Academic Purposes, English for Hospitality, English for Air Traffic Controllers – the opportunities are endless.

The demand for English instruction is so high that there are jobs for TEFL teachers  in most countries around the world, from Thailand to Tunisia to Turkey. I personally chose South Africa.

So now the question is: how do I get TEFL certified?

Doing a TEFL course with The TEFL Academy

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room, is The TEFL Academy a scam? The short answer is no, certainly not. In fact, The TEFL Academy is one of the most widely recognised TEFL course providers worldwide. They are accredited in the UK, and approved by a US government-regulated awarding body.

I delved into their reviews online before enrolling in a course with them and they are testament to their quality. Plus, I noticed that they have won awards from Go Overseas and Go Abroad for a number of consecutive years (although I’m not really a HUGE believer of awards, but, the reviews really did it for me)

The courses they offer are exactly what you need to become TEFL-qualified.

The TEFL Academy offer:

A 120-hour Level 3 online TEFL course
A 168-hour Level 5 online TEFL course (my choice)
A 168-hour Level 5 combined TEFL course, which includes a 10-hour practical course.

If you sign up for a Level 5 course you will also receive their three top-up courses. These courses focus on more niche topics within TEFL:

Teaching Young Learners
Teaching Business English
Teaching Online and 1:1

The latest course from The TEFL Academy is their Level 5 Observed Teaching Practice course, which gives you six hours of observed teaching practice done in your own time – a first of its kind, I believe (I haven’t seen it anywhere else)

My Honest Feedback on The TEFL Academy

I was thoroughly impressed with The TEFL Academy from the day I registered until I finished the course. I am an experienced, qualified English Teacher and I found the content of the course and the assignments to be of an extremely high standard. I really felt a sense of accomplishment on completion of the course.

The course was well-structured, and easy to understand and simple to follow and the support from staff was exemplary.

Their courses offer materials which provide a wide spectrum of opinions of many specialists in the field.

I have a dream career teaching in South Africa – a place I had always wanted to live – and you can too. If you’re looking to take the plunge, to become a TEFL teacher, I really couldn’t recommend it enough.

Whatever TEFL provider you choose, I wish you a career full of success and new experiences. Becoming a teacher made my dreams come true, go make yours!

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