Reviews: TEFL Express course from Groupon

The TEFL Express qualifications that Groupon advertised in 2011 looked promising at first glance. However, buying courses online can be risky in any profession.

The main problem is weighing up the cost savings of doing the course online against the quality of the material, and the usability of the platform that you have to use.

If you’re a freelancer, you probably don’t have time or money to throw around. Full TEFL courses take quite a long time to obtain (and are quite expensive), so it’s understandable that many people decide to take cut-down versions online. But is it worth it?

When I originally wrote this post in August 2011, I was excited to see this offer from Groupon for a TEFL Express course at 82% off RRP:

TEFL Express course from Groupon

It was a cut-down, online-only version of the real course. And reports are certainly mixed. You only have to read the comments below to see that opinions vary on this topic. And it should be noted that we received a fair few positive comments that were similar in content and tone.

Groupon is still selling online TEFL courses. It’s clearly a big industry now. And worryingly, almost seven years on, the reviews are not that encouraging. Take this one for the TEFL Graduate course as an example:

Groupon TEFL course review

This is very similar to my experience of TEFL Express. The course interface was very poor, and I eventually obtained a refund from Groupon.

Has anyone else tried TEFL Express, or another TEFL course from Groupon? What did you think of it?

Let us know in the comments.

This post was originally published in August 2011. It was updated with new content in November 2017.


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Reviewed Item
TEFL Express
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61 thoughts on “Reviews: TEFL Express course from Groupon

  1. Hey! I haven’t done the course but from experience of dealing with language qualifications it may be worth looking into what you will do with the qualification once you’ve completed the course. Will the company or organisation you want to work for accept the TEFL Express certificate over the full TEFL course cert? Presumably the certificate says you completed the Express course?

    For admission to courses at the uni we have a requirement for very specific language qualifications – typically short-cuts don’t cut it for admission to the better quality institutions, so definitely worth checking out. You may take it thinking it’s a bargain only to be disappointed if no respected company will accept it. x

  2. Hi there!

    Just came across your page here and I follow this company on Twitter and there’s been quite a big response from another company giving the following link anytime anyone asks about the £65 course:

    Hope it helps! I did a weekend classroom course with another TEFL company in Leeds and it was great to meet face to face with a tutor, I liked that a whole lot more than the idea of an online course, but that’s just me! Good luck!

    By the way I’m a different Katie to the one previously posting 🙂 didn’t want you to think I’m obsessed with TEFL ha ha

  3. I have just finished a TEFLexpress qualification. I originally looked at doing a CELTA course with them but due to time and money constraints I went for the online course instead. Sure, the course doesn’t provide teaching practice but they offer a supplementary course which I’m thinking about doing… . Given the hard times, this course is a breath of fresh air and doesn’t cost the earth. I would most definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to get into TEFL. Got my first interview for an internship in Uzbekistan next week!

    1. Hi Nina
      How did you get on with that internship? their internships are attracting me but would love to hear from someone who has done it or is doing an internship with these guys. Are they all they promise to be? Or are you unsatisfied? if so why?

  4. We did buy this course in the end but expressed some concerns to Groupon (via email and Facebook) about the lack of accreditation (as linked to by Katie, above). They promised to get back to us and reassure us and get some evidence from the vendor, but so far they haven’t.

    I have redeemed my code and had a look through the course. It’s mainly based around reading, so any active learners would have a nightmare trying to take it in. I tend to be a passive learner and I’m finding it hard. However, this may be more a reflection of how much time I have to study (i.e. not a lot!). The content is interesting enough and worth knowing though.

    I think it’s probably worthwhile if there is some evidence of it being properly accredited – which I have yet to receive, of course. I’ll post again if I do hear anything more.

  5. The response from Groupon said:
    “As far as we are aware TEFL Express is accredited by the British Council, the principal accrediting body for Language teaching in Britain.”

    The ‘as far as we are aware’ bit didn’t fill me with hope! Although £65 is cheap for a course, I also had to weigh up the 120 hours I’d not be working when I was completing it. I decided to ask for a refund, since ‘as far as we are aware’ wasn’t really enough to justify 120 hours of lost earnings.

    I’ve now received my refund from Groupon which was done quickly and without fuss, so I’m impressed. Mathew is still waiting for his refund but hopefully it’ll follow within a few days.

  6. I cant redeem the teflexpress coupon – it keeps on saying it doesn’t recognize the voucher number – is there a trick or am I just blonde.

  7. Hi Adele. I think you should email Groupon about that. They were really helpful when I contacted them.

    We have been sent two good reviews for the course on this page, but neither give much information. It seems some people apparently got jobs remarkably quickly as a result of this TEFL Express course. I am sceptical as to the origins of these comments.

  8. Hi,
    I am currently working my way through the online course and am finding it difficult and not very informative. I have just learned that it is also not accredited which is not what the advert said. I am going to write to groupon for a response but am not expecting anything now that they have had my money.
    If anyone asked for my advice about buying the course I would say do not bother, check on the website mentioned above and find an accredited course.

  9. Hi, Unfortunately I never got to try the TEFL course! Groupon took the money from my bank account in plenty of time and failed to send the voucher and todate have still not dealt with the matter or more importantly refunded my money. Buyer beware!!

  10. Hi Jan. Mathew and I have received our refunds from Groupon and they were very helpful. I can only suggest you email them about it.

  11. Not to be the bearer of bad news but the British Council does NOT accredit TEFL courses, they are very clear on their website about this.

    British Council accredits language schools only. There are other organizations that accredit TEFL courses. Any inference a school may have to associate their TEFL accreditation with their language school accreditation is sloppy (using kind words here).

    A top TEFL school is accredited, has 100 hours of coursework, 6-20 hours of practicum (student teaching), university level professors, free lifetime job guidance. As they say, you get what you pay for. A great online TEFL school is [link removed]

    This is a good article on evaluating a TEFL school: [link removed]

  12. I was told by TEFL Express they are full accredited by the ODLQC and then told by someone else they are not.

    So, I contacted the ODLQC to find out for sure. They are not. They hold no accredition and are lying about this!

    I rang TEFL Express and asked them why they are telling people they hold accredition that they don’t… They hung up on me. charming.

    Basically avoid avoid avoid… the ‘qualification’ with them is useless. Why pay £65 for something that is useless? Total scam!

    Also groupon were wrong to saying they thought TEFL express were accredited by the British Council. There is NO offiical governing body for TEFL making that statement by groupon totally false. I also checked this out!

  13. I am doing the TEFL Express course it and all ok so far – They have a spelling mistake on every second page though… Will update if I have any issues

  14. I’ve had three comments now promoting this course from supposed students. All three had Yahoo or Hotmail accounts and posted stories about getting jobs in exotic locations within days of passing. I think we’ve established that this course isn’t accredited, so I’m not going to publish these comments unless they are posted with a legitimate school or university email address as I think the comments could be misleading.
    For balance, I have also edited a post from a rival TEFL provider to remove promotional links.

  15. Hey,

    I’ve been doing some research into TEFL courses UK and have found the internet to be a wash with useless information. Bad tinternet!

    I’m faced with a dilemma, I can’t do the Trinity or the Cambridge due to my lacking academic background and anything other than these seem relatively untrustworthy.

    I was looking at TEFL Express but after reading this I think I may stay clear but has anyone heard anything about or worked with TEFL England? I can’t seem to find any reviews on them, or not ones that seem to be from trusted sites.

    If not how would I go about checking the legitimacy of this company myself?

    Or are there any TEFL courses that you know of that are recognized and useful i.e 120 hours with 6 hours class room time?

    This is a link to the course I was looking at but like I said can’t find any decent internet chatter on it.

    [link removed]


  16. I did the TEFL express course and was very disappointed.
    Lots of spelling and grammar mistakes in a ‘Teaching English’ course is not very reassuring!

    They don’t respond to emails and the certificate you get at the end is a low resolution piece of junk that probably isn’t worth the paper I would have to print it on!

    The only reason they are flogging this course on Groupon for so cheap is because no one is buying it at the normal ridiculously high price of £369!

    Save your money and do a proper course that will actually get you somewhere.

    The reviews from people claiming how wonderful it is and that they are now teaching in exotic locations are from TEFL Express employees. Don’t be fooled.

  17. Ali – I would definitely consider that a bit better as it has at least some time spent in a classroom environment and it at least has tutors!
    Aside from accreditation, one good way to check how good a TEFL certificate would be for you is to see what support they offer you after you’ve got your certificate – if a company has a lot of *paid* jobs that they can help set you up with. If you’ve got somewhere specific that you want to work, it might be worth ringing up and seeing if they have specific recruiters or schools there that often hire their graduates or if they have contacts that they can offer you.

    TEFL Express have a grand total of one single job in China and a government programme in Korea that is certainly not hard to get on! I have a bad feeling that a lot of people will get suckered into buying through groupon and the like and find out that very few employers will be at all interested in them after parting with their cash!

  18. Hi,

    I bought the TEFL Express course but was a little disapointed by the content and the fact that it lacks accreditation.
    I have now bought the Cert TEFL 120 from [link removed] which comes with a second award from EDI ( British government recognised accreditation board ). I plan to take some teaching practice in Thailand afterwards. I just wished I had not wasted my money on TEFL Express.

  19. Have been reading all of the comments though I’m already signed up and halfway through the online course. I’m already a qualified school teacher so less worried about accreditation but I do feel that I have been mislead as I was sure the FAQs of the site were quite clear that I would receive a proper qualification before I signed up.
    The course certainly has a lot of content and I hope it will be useful but it is hard going, pages and pages of reading and the “tests” (drag and drop exercises) are rather random and I wouldn’t say pedagogically sound but they do mean you can’t just pretend you are reading and actually have to make some effort and there is much to learn.
    Two things to add to previous comments… TEFL Express seems to be a subsiduary of Language Link London – I can’t really tell from their website how reputable they are but they claim to have been going for 30 years.
    Also this page on one accreditation body shows they have been applied but have not yet been accepted. Maybe something to make me more optimistic!

  20. I bought the course and was disappointed, spelling mistakes, cheap certificate I honestly think this is a complete sham. I have since found out they are not accredited and play on the school being accredited.

    Shame on you teflexpress

  21. Just to add some more clarification here: the only courses which are fully recognised and respected around the world are CELTA and Trinity TESOL. They are offered at thousands of institutions around the world and are the only way you’re going to get a job (at least with someone reputable).

  22. I know the course has been on groupon a few times, 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.

    There are a lot of negative comments regarding the course throughout forums saying the certificate is worthless and you would have a better idea of teaching buying a book. I think your right Adam the only course is a Trinity. It looks like a lot of the other TEFL providers are just trying to make a fast buck.

  23. Hi,

    Thank you for all these comments. I was considering going for the tefl express course, but after reading all this I’ve decided not to go anywhere near it. I’s a shame that Groupon isn’t more effective in doing background checks on all the deal offerers! I’ve had some good experiences but more often than not have been disappointed..

  24. Ive just bought the TEFL express course through groupon. one of my university friends also did this course a year ago and has had many job opportunities within the uk because she has got this tefl qualification. To be honest i am so confused at the moment with everyone saying its uselss and getting very worried. Ive tried to get into my account at tefl and cant get in today, where last night i could. Im panicking as i dont have that much money 🙁

    1. Hi, I am currently doing TEFL Exp 120hrs. Looks pretty good so far although it has been a bit tedious lately. Maybe we can share some ideas on how to tackle the modules?

  25. I think any deal purchased through a daily deal site should be carefully researched. The TEFL course is just one transaction we had problems with lately, although I should stress that we did get a refund from Groupon for the course.

    If you wish to endorse the course, please ensure you use your university or school email address.

  26. Hi, I am currently half way through the TEFL express course. I find it tough enough and I’ve been teaching for 2 years. I feel a bit stupid as I presumed the certificate was genuine now I am questioning it.
    I get so many emails from TEFL course providers abroad charging £1000 to do the course. I chose the online one as it was a bargain at €99. I don’t think it is a scam as such as the course is pretty intensive but they do not ever answer their phones which is a bit suspicious. Could anybody doing the course or those who have done it please contact me as I have questions about how to do some of the tests. I score in the 80’s on and others I’m only scoring in the 60’s. I am worried I won’t get a merit now after spending all this time on it.

  27. Hi Everyone,

    We have spoken with TEFL directly and they have commented below.

    “The 120 hour online course is accredited by Language Link International. If you need to contact Language Link please feel free to do so. Language Link’s head office is based in London. In addition, to this accreditation students are also fully prepared for the University of Cambrige ESOL Teaching Kowledge Test (TKT). This is an internationally recognised qualification thats accepted in schools around the world.”

    Best Regards,

    The Groupon SA Team

  28. If Groupon’s quote of TEFL Express’ response is exact you should be very leery of purchasing. Misspelling “knowledge” and improper punctuation (comma following ‘in addition’, “thats” instead of “that’s” in a few short sentences.

  29. I too purchased this course from the Groupon deal and I’m currently about half way through. The course is quite extensive, but the learning format is rubbish—speaking as someone who regularly has to complete online course 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.

    On the subject of accreditation, It would seem that broadly speaking, only the Cambridge and Trinity courses are ‘officially accredited’ but these course are quite expensive and have academic entry requirements.

    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; despite this, most of them have found paid work overseas and having a piece of paper which says ‘TEFL Certificate’ on it, seems to have helped them.

  30. I found their course fine, you get what you pay for and I paid for something good value, gave me the paper I needed to get a job, and good enough grounding.

  31. I teach English – and enrolled my son on the 120 hours cert in good faith, alongside the TEFL express weekend. He had hoped to do a CELTA course, but needed the flexibility of an online course (and he did have a fair amount of teaching experience). However, last month (a month before the course was due to expire) he was unable to access the course, and when he contacted them was told that the server has crashed, and his work was probably lost. They said they would get in touch with him/us – but have since been uncontactable. I have just e-mailed again, and waiting to hear back. Will keep you posted. I am hoping this is just one of those things, and they will be in touch with a solution. Although reading through a range of reviews for this and other online companies, I have to say it doesn’t look good.

    As an experienced teacher in a very good college in London, I think this is appalling. I recognise that many students will increasingly opt for cheaper and more flexible avenues in education, but it seems that the online market is wide open to scams. Buyers beware!

  32. I was about to purchase this online course, but have changed my mind after reading these comments. Any course materials that contain spelling and grammatical errors are a complete turn-off for me. It sounded too good to be true. I think I’ll save my money. Thanks for the feedback.

  33. We’re receiving some positive comments about this course which are all written in the same format and style. All of them come from free email addresses which cannot be verified.

    We get hundreds of hits every day on this post. It is by far the most popular post on our blog. I’m very wary of contributing to the confusion by publishing anything which is not genuine.

    If you want to post an endorsement of the course, please provide some proof, such as a university email address.

  34. I purchased this TEFL course from Groupon and I was just about to sign up for it when my Groupon voucher number seemed to not be working. After filling out my personal information, I was stll prompted to the page to ender my credit card information to pay the fee. I wrote them, but as it is the weekend, have not heard back.
    Now, I cannot decide if I should go through with the course or not (providing my Groupon voucher will in fact work.) I am currently a teacher in Korea for a government program called EPIK. Honestly, it is not impossible to find teaching jobs without a TEFL certificate- I don’t have one. Although I don’t wish to continue to teach English, I wanted to take the course in order to improve my teaching methods and classes for my students next semester. (I only have half a year left in public middle school here in Korea.)
    Aside from accredidation issues, is this course something that could help me improve as a teacher? Or should I ask for a refund from Groupon?
    Thanks for all the information about! Now, on to do more research about TEFL Express.

  35. I purchased the Groupon for the 120 hour online course too. And my voucher code doesnt work either. I’ve emailed TEFL Express a few times and i haven’t heard anything from them yet. Groupon replied to an email but pretty much said I should contact TEFL Express. I am extremely disappointed in this experience. I buy from Groupon a lot and this is the first issue Ive ever had with a voucher, and its the one I was looking forward to the most.

    1.  Yes, I’ve just had this same issue; tried going through the registration process, entered code, and it flagged the code as an issue, and referred to go any further. I tried the Live Chat option, but no one was available, so not immensely happy at this point in time!

  36. I purchased the TEFL Express program via Groupon. I’m approximately mid-point in the course. I am very disappointed. As mentioned in other posts: there are many typographical errors; testing is awkwardly formatted; testing precedes the presentation of content on which the testing is based. I think the course is worth the $79 I paid for it, but it is certainly not worth the “list” price.

  37. I have now completed module 1 of the TEFL Express online course (120 hours via Groupon).  I am delighted with it.  As a professional Trainer and qualified Primary Teacher I feel it’s excellent value for price paid BUT I would say this is geared for people who are highly accustomed to presenting/training and mentoring (not for young/new graduates with no training experience).  This certificate will provide me with exactly what I need in order to move overseas and work in a higher level teaching role in Asia.  Hope this advice helps, regarding mispelling/incorrect grammar, it appears TEFL Express are a fairly new company and hasn’t been correctly tested/proof read prior to go live online, perhaps the mispelling etc keeps us on our toes – Just a thought…

  38. Doing it right now. I had a problem with my voucher, emailed them and sorted out the following day. So far so good.

  39. I have a Master’s degree and work as a speech and language pathologist.  I am have begun the first module and find it poorly organized and confusing to work with.  Testing offered as one proceeds along does not reflect the information presented.  I find it curious that the sequence of modules presented makes little sense to me.  I have also called them and emailed them several times with questions and they have never responded.  Additionally they make claim to that they are a CELTA  certified online course, however this is misleading. CELTA is has very rigorous standards and requires classroom teaching.  The only place to do this is in England. I bought the groupon for the U.S. CELTA from Cambridge, England is the one and only one to officially offer this combined online and classroom certification. 


  40. Hi everyone, hope this info helps before you apply for internship:

    Email from Reach To Teach ( via TEFL Express ) :
    “The governments in Asia only issue work permits to English teachers of a certain nationality. This includes USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Please confirm you hold a passport form one of these countries”- Mr John Kellenberger

    Taiwan,Korea,China,Thailand,Georgia recruitment contact:
    John Kellenberger
    Reach To Teach Recruiting
    email: john,com
    skype: john-reachtoteach

    Japan recruitment contact: 
    Marie Farias:
    Interact Co UK
    email: [email protected]:disqus
    apply if you have 12years or more learning in English speaking school or that you come from a native speaking country.

  41. An absolute nonsense of a course. Badly written and presented. Answers in exams often contradict the course material or have no relevance to the material. Just a shoddy mess made to make a quick buck. Avoid.

  42. Groupon should check before selling bogus courses.not only does the course have lots of spelling and grammar errors, the certificate given has grammar errors too. I checked with Thailand education board, ,got bad feedbacks and got my full refund.

  43. I am another unsatisfied customer.  This course is poorly organised and the in-course examination is often incoherent with the coursework.  I can’t quite understand why such syntax errors as “No tasks are there in this unit” would crop up in a course purporting to prepare English teachers.

  44. Yeah, SIngapore Education Board strictly warns of bogus courses like this. Groupon should just stick to tangiable products or risk being sued for false advertising. Don’t advertise paid internship to opportunities when it’s just a gimmick to sell junk.

  45. One consistent problem of English and other foreign language is financial scenario. Costs and costs are a aching point in almost every school section, terminology institution and coaching / studying scenario. Songs though, is most often easily available in many styles regardless of where you may be living or coaching.

  46. Actually TEFL express offers the South Korea EPIK programme as the internship for that country. I think that the sections on teaching methods was fairly well explained but then again I did a WEA course in ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’ which was accredited and classroom based and that taught me how to teach, lesson plan, evaluate and adapt lessons. All of which are invaluable. Would be interested in how your confidence has grown since your original post?

  47. Terrible piece of crapola product. I purchased the Groupon for $70 and I am thoroughly disappointed. Had I paid $700, I would probably go apeshit and blast both Groupon and the TEFL company all over internet.

    1. Yes I had the same experience .I brought this tefl course from them for 29 pounds.They are a Scam..You buy the course at a cheap price,and obviously you will never pass at the first attempt with them.The n you have to keep buying course extensions and they will deliberately fail you so that they keep getting money out of you. Be very careful with Tefl247 but there could be more like them.I am going to Report them to Police as well.

  48. I was reading about TEFL express in another course. There was one dude writing good reviews about it…however he had his promo code there so dunno what to think about….will give it a shot…it is pretty cheap.

    [link removed]

  49. I know Tefl 247 is a big scam.They sell the course on groupon for 29
    pounds and then they deliberately fail you several times so that you
    continue to pay for the corse extension 9.95 every time.You cannot pass
    because they deliberately fail you even though you have answered all
    questions correctly.

  50. I know Tefl 247 is a big scam.They sell the course on groupon for 29
    pounds and then they deliberately fail you several times so that you
    continue to pay for the corse extension 9.95 every time.You cannot pass
    because they deliberately fail you even though you have answered all
    questions correctly. Beware

  51. Moderator, this is SPAM. TEFL Express are using your website to use black techniques to rank the page. They are creating lots of links to this site, because it’s a big site Google trusts it. If they did the same thing to their own site it would be banned.

    Then once it’s ranked in Google they will flood it with testimonials and it’s Free advertising for them

  52. Hi all. I would like to know if anyone has any experience with Global Language Training Ltd. as their product is also on special on groupon at the moment and after looking at these comments and general reviews about online TEFL/TESOL courses, I’m quite concerned. Any help would be appreciated.

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