Every one is biased and that includes all of TEFL. So if you are new to teaching abroad then keep that in mind. Keep it in mind because you will find various opinions and experiences regarding teaching abroad which may leave you confused.
Not only is everyone biased, but everyone is a marketer too.
They may not have a job, a book or a course to sell, but they have an idea or philosophy or way of thinking that they believe in. They have a religion or they don't and they probably have an affinity for a certain political party or not.
It's just human.
Humans are biased.
Why is it that some people seem to think 3rd party review sites are more reputable or credible?
And do they? Or is it just me?
I can partly understand why some may think that if reviews are on the company site that they may have been written by the company themselves, but...
Amazon is stated to have 200,000,000+ FAKE REVIEWS.
And Yelp like 25% (of 171 million reviews in 2018). And there is one TEFL review site out there that claims to have "trusted" and "unbiased" reviews and that reviews on a company site are more biased.
All reviews are biased in actuality because all humans are biased.
Do a search for:
everyone is biased
Here's a big caveat.
There is a difference between a "biased" review, a fake review and a lie.
How can a 3rd party TEFL review site not be biased?
They are dependent on your reviews.
How do they make money? They make money from the TEFL courses either through affiliate links or advertising a better position on their site.
The TEFL courses themselves are the ones that write many of the articles on sites like Goabroad.
Teachaway a recruiter site claims to know where the "unbiased" reviews are. But they don't exist. Some people seem to think that reviews on a company site are more biased.
Every reviewer is biased, but some are liars
Even that review that you read by that seemlying honest person is biased. They are biased because they are human and they have a certain taste and preference for certain things.
They haven't taken every course out there so how could they know what was the "best".
Or if you are searching for info on where to teach you are also going to come across some biased info because...
People haven't taught in every school or every country, so they might say, "hagwons suck", "Korea sucks" or "____ (insert country) sucks".
But did Korea suck or was it the school that sucked? And what about the teacher?
Again everyone is biased, but not everyone tells a lie.
Some people tell it as they see it so perhaps that's a "pure bias". And a lie is devised to trick you so that some selfish person can just maybe get what they want.
Recruiters are biased middlemen
I never really met one I liked.
Because like everyone else I am biased. I had bad experiences with recruiters. They weren't all horrible, but I think I just don't like what they do. Middlemen are not A or B. They are not the teacher or the school.
They are more of a salesmen.
If you're a teacher it's better to deal directly with the school.
And recruiters sometimes recommend certain courses because they make money by doing so since they may be an affiliate.
TEFL affiliates are biased
A blogger or peer your age may seem to be helpful in recommending you a course. You may believe and trust them more because they aren't the company, but they are trying to sell the companies course so they might as well work for that company.
It may appear that they don't to you or perhaps you didn't know so you trust and thank them.
But many times they haven't even taken the course they are recommending.
They are a TEFL affiliate.
What about accreditation? Why is that a simple word like "accredited" carries so much weight?
Why is that most people don't dig any deeper than that?
They just assume that if it's "accredited" then it must be o.k.
Because of that, accreditation is easy to game and you could be fooled by that. There are fake accreditations in TEFL and why is that people don't want to know about what the accreditors actually do or much about the accreditors themselves?
That's because of a bias to the superficial.
Learn more about TEFL accreditation.
You're biased too
If you are a new teacher you're biased.
I'd say most prospective teachers are biased in the way that they are scared of going abroad and they're looking for security. So when they go shopping for a TEFL course they are looking for accreditation, a job, a promise of a job, more money and mainly a course as a means to get from where they are now to another place.
You're not focused on the teaching aspect of it because you are not teaching.
So companies know that and they market to you given your biases. They usually note that they are "accredited", "internationally recognized", and show you some pictures of a beach somewhere because you think you are going on a vacation or would rather think that than work.
Since you're biased you're less likely to choose the actual "best" option, but rather the cheapest option or the most popular.
And is the most popular the best?
Is McDonald's the best restaurant?
And then again what is the "best"?
That's an opinionated question to be answered by biased people and for a biased person to choose what they consider is the best based on their limited knowledge.
Or again why is it that you would pick a course without checking up on the accreditation or what they actually do? Maybe because on the surface that's good enough for you.
As long as it says it's "accredited" that's enough. And if you can make it look like you are a good teacher with some certificate then that is good enough.
So you're biased too.
If you are an experienced teacher you're also biased.
You have experience, but your experience is still limited.
Employers discriminate just like you
They might pick the teacher with the most experience or the best smile or a female teacher or a caucasian teacher or because they like baseball just like you do.
Think you don't discriminate?
Why do you hang out with the people that you do? Why did you choose your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife that you did?
And so are you're students
Maybe they like their old teacher better and not because they were actually a better teacher, but because they thought he or she was more attractive. Or maybe they made them laugh. Or they played that game they really liked.
And what about you...
Here's a few random questions.
What's your favorite color?
Do you have a favorite kind of dog?
Everyone here is biased. But some of all the above lie. So I guess you have a choice. Tell the truth about your bias or lie.