This is about TEFL Express's online TEFL course on Groupon. I collected these from a few blogs and Reddit.

Keep in mind that I didn't take these from affiliate sites, which I think makes a difference because affiliates are writing the review because they will get paid if you click on their link and buy that course.

Before I tell you about that here's something to consider...



What does a marshmallow have to do with TEFL?

Have you ever heard of the marshmallow experiment?

If you are just focused on getting a certificate for a job then well, cheap TEFL may help you do that because to many schools the kind of certificate that you get won't matter.

But a cheap and easy TEFL course is just one marshmallow. Getting the job is just the beginning and getting a certificate and a job is just a short term victory.  

What's the 2nd marshmallow?

The second marshmallow is doing your job and what you learn. It's not something you get in a couple of days from a cheap and easy course.

Teaching English to kids is NOT easy.

If you don't know what you are doing you will be stressed out and teaching abroad won't be that much fun since you are going to be spending the majority of your time teaching. You have to apply yourself if you want that second marshmallow. 

More work now means less pain later.

Cheap courses are usually cheap for a reason and some people say "you get what you pay for."

Do you know what the results of that experiment were?

The children that delayed their gratification and waited to get the 2nd marshmallow ended up being more "competant" and successful when they grew up.

So do you want one marshmallow now (cheap and easy TEFL) or two later?

If you teach English to mostly kids this is how to get the second marshmallow.

Now back to the review...


  • 75 days enrolment
  • Accredited by Accreditat
  • 160 hour certificate
  • $69-89 on Groupon ($380-$600 on their site)
  • 24GBP ($32) for certificate hard copy
  • 24-48 hour wait for certificate after completion


"The course is quite extensive, but the learning format is rubbish—speaking as someone who regularly has to complete online courses as a requirement of his profession. You have to read pages and pages of text and then answer knowledge-check style questions; there is nothing at all interactive about it." - Tom

My thoughts

This sounds similar to the Full Circle course on Groupon. Lots of text is boring and it should be supplemented with related images, video and audio. 

According to some studies users only read 20% of the text on a page. I intentionally made ESLinsider's courses short on the text and heavy on practical videos. What that means is that you only have to read small bits of text at a time before answering questions.

Video is more memorable than text. 

"What I find hard to figure out is if the course is quality, then why would they sell it at £65? You would have to feel sorry for the innocent students that paid £365. It really doesn't make sense to me." - Patsy

My thoughts

This selling strategy is especially common on Groupon. Course providers will tell you that you are getting a huge discount. Here's an example, "$89 for a $1009 course". Who really sells something that's worth a $1000 for $89?

Some TEFL courses use tactics like this to get you to buy.

"I did the TEFL Express and was quite pleased with it. Just make sure you have the time to dedicate to it as the 160-hour course needs to be completed within 75 days from when you initiate the course." - Carolyn K

My thoughts

Courses usually have time constraints. 75 days is pretty short actually and often the cheaper the course the less time you have. It's certainly enough to complete the course as online TEFL course hours aren't accurate anyways. For example, I completed a so-called "120 hour" course in 8 hours.

The problem with short access times is that it won't be there when you want to review something. And repetition and review is part of the game if you want to learn. ESLinsider's advanced course offers lifetime access.

"Did anyone find the course website buggy? To the point where the submit buttons didn't work?" - Steve

"Every morning (Chinese Time), the TEFL Express website is down meaning, I can only access the course at night, after a long tiring day at work." - Sammy

My thoughts

I have heard some other people complain about Groupon courses being down. It could be that the server (perhaps a lower quality one) is overloaded with traffic from Groupon.

"I bought the TEFL Express course but was a little disapointed by the content and the fact that it lacks accreditation." - Paul David

"Whilst I am disappointed to find out that this course offers me nothing in the way of formal, accredited qualification, I feel that £69 still represents fair value for money and I intend to finish the course. I have friends that have completed various 'online TEFL' courses, that I now know are not accredited..." - Tom

My thoughts

At one time it may not have been accredited, but as stated above it is currently accredited by Accreditat. Accreditation is not a requirement in TEFL. There is no one TEFL accreditation body either.

"It was a necessity for me so I basically flew through it as quick as possible, some small parts added value, but for a lot of it I skipped straight through to the test then reviewed content to find the answers." - A message from Rovioxo on Reddit

My thoughts

Yeah, the other course on Groupon that I took was kinda like that and that's part of the reason why I made it through the course so fast (8 hours).

This is a problem with some online TEFL courses. You can cheat like that. However, I made ESLinsider's courses so that you have to maintain an 80% through the course and you can't skip ahead. You have to complete content bit by bit.

As mentioned before there are also no large blocks of text to read. Content is delivered bit by bit and followed with questions.

"Some of the acting is a bit dodgy in the observation units, but for me this made it funnier and more entertaining. I could still get the point of what they were saying, but it was often a little over the top." - Stacey Kuyf


My thoughts

This is the case with most in-class courses. Even though in-class courses are touted as being better because it's actually in a class, the problem is that those students that you see in that picture are probably not real students.

They are other teachers like you who are taking the course. The in-class course that I took was like that too.

This doesn't mimic the reality that you will be teaching in. If you are going to be teaching in Asia then ESLinsider's courses include many how-to videos that were shot in the classrooms of Korea and Taiwan.

These are real classes similar to the classes that you will be teaching in especially if you teach in Asia.

Related articles

Reviews on other cheap Groupon TEFL courses

Reviews on other online TEFL courses

cheap ez tefl

How about taking a practical course that will teach you the tools that you need to have a good experience abroad?

This course will make your experience teaching English abroad (especially to kids) better. And in Asia teaching kids is like 70+% of the job market.