Review of Oxford Seminars

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Established in 1992, Oxford Seminars is a 100 percent Canadian owned and operated company. Thousands of satisfied students have graduated from our course and have gone on to teach English around the world in rewarding teaching positions. Oxford Seminars’ course is conveniently held on university campuses across Canada, the course content is taught at a first year university level, and you must be at least 18 years of age to attend. Our course is designed for anyone who is interested in the exciting opportunity to teach English in an international setting.

Whether you are still in school, have just finished school and are unsure of which career path you should take, or have been in the work force for a number of years and are looking for a change, the course curriculum is designed to accommodate your needs. Upon completing the course, you will receive an internationally-recognized certificate, which demonstrates to employers that you are familiar with both the theoretical approaches as well as the practical techniques required to be a successful ESL teacher. Many Oxford Seminars students who begin their job search during the course, receive interviews and offers for full-time teaching positions before the course is over.

Special Offers

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Courses Offered

Type: On-site Courses
Length: Short Courses (40-100 hours)
Certificate: TEFL / TESL / TESOL
Specializations: Teaching Business English (BE)Teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP)Teaching Young Learners (YL)

Location of Courses

Canada, USA
Overall Rating3.953.953.953.953.95
Course Content4.114.114.114.114.11
Practice Teaching33333
Quality of Feedback4.064.064.064.064.06
Lesson Plan Guidance4.064.064.064.064.06
Instructor Competency4.534.534.534.534.53
Job Placement33333
Facilities/Resources3.673.673.673.673.67
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28 Customer Reviews of Oxford Seminars

Review by James, February 23, 2009

Overall Rating 22222
Course Content 22222
Practice Teaching 11111
Quality of Feedback 44444
Lesson Plan Guidance 33333
Instructor Competency 33333
Job Placement 22222
Facilities/Resources 22222

Not a good course. THey give you no classroom experience which is required by many schools. Finding a job will be tough with oxford seminars.

Review by Reg, August 23, 2009

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

I thought the training was really good. Especially given the short amount of time it it held.

I do believe it mostly had to do with the instructor. She was really well informed and had a wealth of experience to share. I can see how it might be a negative experience for folks who have a poor trainer – especially since it’s only one person leading the course. Even if you have the most in-depth training in the world, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a good teacher. The materials and job search help alone are worth it.

Review by Jerry O, August 26, 2009

Overall Rating 33333
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 11111
Quality of Feedback 33333
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 44444
Job Placement 55555
Facilities/Resources 44444

I had a decent teacher who really stressed the importance of lesson plans, but gave us very little in terms of detailed guidance. The whole course was pretty breezy, and it seemed like a bit of a rubber stamp process, but I did get a good sense of what a classroom needs.

Review by Culain, September 13, 2009

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

I have mixed opinions about the Oxford Seminars TEFOL certification course. This course provides the knowledge on how to make and use a lesson plan. There is one individual exercise where you actually teach a lesson in front of the class. I am an intelligent person with multiple degrees and I did not feel prepared going into a classroom. There is not enough focus on teaching spoken English. I am employed in China at a Foreign Language College; in fact most teaching institutions want their American teachers to teach spoken English. I did not feel Oxford seminars prepared its students for this approach. There was not an emphasis on grammar and there was not much guidance on actually teaching either. I had a good teacher, but the content was really ephemeral. I could have gone into my classroom without taking this ESL course and been fine; however, most schools look for the certification. It dismays me to see that I spent $1000 dollars on this certification when there were better certification courses out there. I did not need their job placement services because I had found a job before even taking the class. Experience is always the best teacher.

Review by Kent, December 4, 2009

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

After reading the prior reviews, I do not share the predominant opinion about the Oxford seminar’s lack of quality.

My prior teaching experience is one year teaching oral English communication in Beijing. The students were mid-career analysts with a major Chinese company. Prior to that experience, I have very limited teaching experience of any kind, primarily teaching work related courses duiring my thirty plus years of public service employment. After the one year experience in China, I felt I had made every teaching error, although the students succeeded in passing the end of course test. (I wonder if they would have passed without the educational experience.)

My objective in taking the Oxford Seminar courses was to gain insights which would assist in future overseas teaching assignments. After completing the Basic course, the grammar course and the TOEFL course, this objective has been met. For example, although the actual teaching experience in the basic course was limited and artificial (the “students” being individuals whose first language was English) the emphasis in the class was on lesson planning and the need to integrate each lesson within a larger set of classes. The practicum also allowed me to plan a class and practice techniques which addressed several of my perceived deficiencies after the Beijing experience.

While I disagree with Culain’s comment about the lack of grammar in the basic course (at least within the course I took, the emphasis in the practicums and the primary text was on teaching grammar) I feel I could have (in fact, did) succeed without the Oxford courses. However, I am better prepared for additional assignments because of the courses. The Oxford training appears to be part of the evolution toward becoming a quality teacher. Like individuals who get collegiate degrees and enter teaching, the evolution does not start with entry into institutes of higher education, does not end upon completing the requirements for the collegiate degree, but continues throughout the professional life.

Review by jane sears, February 9, 2010

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 44444
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources 55555

We attended the session in Winter Park, Fl. Our instructor was well prepared, had a wonderful grasp of teaching ESL, and good interpersonal skills with the students. Our class had 8 students, a good size for interaction. Because there was so much content in the material, we couldn’t linger long on each. However our instructor encouraged us to contact her if we needed more help. She chose portions of the books to focus on, giving the main ideas for that material. She was encouraging organized, and yet kept good discipline. We loved it!!!! We are considering taking the Grammar portion next. We are both in our 60′s.

Review by JAMES, April 2, 2010

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

Please understand that this is a beginner course. Did you want a PhD in education in 3 weekends? Before u pack ur bags and spend money on airfares, hotels, etc. this course gets your feet wet and will let u decide if this is a career path for you. My instructor gave us a lot of information on what it takes to make it abroad Although I decided to reinforce this course by coming to Madrid, Sp and taking another TEFL certification, I could have worked here with just the Oxford. If u like teaching kids and have a bachelors degree then just take the one year teacher certification course and you´ll be hirable just about anywhere. Good luck.

Review by Steve, April 15, 2010

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources 44444

Clearly, two criteria govern whether you will feel the course is worth your time and money: the quality of the instructor and your personal objectives.

The instructors can be researched online and, I would think, if you got a commitment before handing them a check that you could switch to a different workshop if you didn’t like the instructor, you’d probably be ok.

My instructor was phenomenal. Her lesson plans were direct, coherent; her experience was evident from the moment she introduced herself. It was relaxed, but when she gave a critique, it was sharp and to the point. I was very impressed.

If you know what you want to get out of the course, then you’ll know if this course is for you. I was in school full-time and needed the schedule they offered. They also guaranteed job placement assistance afterward and provided many great resources for finding positions as well as valuable warnings about what to look out for.

Those of you who are disappointed were probably thinking you could get a university-level certification in three weekends. I’m not sure why anyone would think that, but I can also tell you that those friends who have gone through college TOEFL programs have hated them. They’re tedious, full of overly simple lessons that could be accomplished in much less time and for less money. (Education degrees in general are not very reliable at most universities.)

With my Oxford TOEFL certificate I secured a job teaching at a major state university in New York. (I did this on my own, so I didn’t take advantage of Oxford’s job placement and cannot speak to that service.) While there were a few minor gaps here and there–no classroom experience with actual students–I thought Oxford was great. Indeed, I’ve recommended the program to about a dozen other students since then. Just know what you want.

Review by Prez, April 20, 2010

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 44444
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

I took this course in October in Memphis, TN. I have an Elem. Ed K-8 degree and wanted to get training in ESL, TESOL, TEFL etc. It opened a lot of avenues for me to investigate in my learning this to teach adults. I am currently volunteering with the Refugee Empowerment Program here and have found it very rewarding and encouraging. The course cracked open the door for me to see there is so much to learn! Our instructor was very well prepared and had great ideas for us in what the students will need to grasp. In the beginning, working with REP, I referred back to my notes often. Now that I’m more comfortable, I don’t look at them. But I’m very glad that I had them as my support in the beginning. I would not have taken this on, if I didn’t have this training. Thank you Oxford! I know at least 2 people from my class were hired to teach English in other countries, based on the Oxford Seminars Course.

Review by g, May 15, 2010

Overall Rating 11111
Course Content 11111
Practice Teaching 11111
Quality of Feedback 11111
Lesson Plan Guidance 11111
Instructor Competency 22222
Job Placement 11111
Facilities/Resources 11111

This course is an absolute waste of time and money. I lived in Europe and know how hard it is to get legal residency and employment for foreigners. The teacher Kate proceeded to tell all of these young, ready to graduate college students how great it is to live in Europe and so what if you are working illegally! She told us how easy it is to get work in Germany, just go and work illegally! So what if you have no retirement, you are young! The courses, of which I took three, teach you absolutely nothing.

As for the “Placement Service” there isn’t one. I was in Europe for five weeks looking for work, and asked them to line up some interviews. They sent me back a job opening in South America, and one in the Middle East. In six months, I sent several requests for Turkey(very popular for American teachers)- they couldn’t come up with one job. Upon applying for many jobs on my own, I found that the popular, accredited schools would not accept, nor had they heard of Oxford Seminars. I also find it interesting that a Canadian based company is not accepted at most Canadian schools???!!!

Save your money, go to England and take the Celta otherwise you will end up in the crappy schools, with no future.

Review by Marko, May 23, 2010

Overall Rating 33333
Course Content 33333
Practice Teaching 22222
Quality of Feedback 33333
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 33333
Facilities/Resources 33333

I found the Oxford seminar to be helpful. I have teaching experience, but no ESL experience, so I learned quit a bit about teaching ESL.
I did not view this as something necessary to get a job teaching ESL in Asia, but as a relatively low-cost program that provided me with background knowledge about teaching ESL that I could add to my other teaching knowledge.
G’s May 15 review mentions how he finds it odd that a Canadian based company is not accepted at most Canadian schools. This is not surprising at all, and Oxford made it clear from the time that I signed up that this was mainly oriented towards teaching overseas. Of course a 60 hour course that took place over 3 weekends will not qualify me to teach in a Canadian school. Teachers in Canada all have at minimum four years of full-time University education. If you think this course will get you a job in Canada you’re nuts.

Review by ESL1, July 3, 2010

Overall Rating 44444
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 22222
Quality of Feedback 33333
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 44444
Job Placement 11111
Facilities/Resources 11111

I took this course back in 2007 and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of the course. Yes, it depends on the instructor you get, and of course going into the course knowing that this is NOT going to open every door for you. I have 2 degrees and I took this course just to get me exposed to the world of ESL. Now I had some issues finding a good job at the beginning. Let’s face it, Free-Lancer contracts are total garbage; however, you can scrape on by with it – stick it out for a year to get some “experience” abroad and try your chances elsewhere. I’m currently working full-time in Luxembourg which has surpassed my expectations on pay and job satisfaction. I would not have been able to get my job had it not been for the TESL certification and subsequent specialization in Business English. Just go into the course with the expectation of being introduced to the theoretical side of things, unless you spend more money and time doing a full, University grade; multi-year course, this is the best bang for your buck. Well provided you’re willing to stick with it and accept that fact you won’t be working for high level institutions right off the bat. At least that’s how it works in Europe.

Review by Kevin, July 13, 2010

Overall Rating 44444
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 44444
Quality of Feedback 44444
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 33333
Facilities/Resources 55555

I also took the Oxford course backin 2007 in southern California. I found my instructor very knowledgable. Overall she did a great job. I learned a lot about teaching overseas. Remeber this is for teaching English, it’s not like they’re getting you ready to be a fully qualified full time teacher. I had a very pleasant experience with Oxford Seminars.
The placement service was great. They lined me up with three different schools. I ended up finding a school on my own, but they reviewed the contract to ensure I wasn’t being taken. I ended up working in China. It was a great experience. My actual employer was in Australia, so I was able to get paid in US dollars directly deposited into my U.S. checking account. It was such a good experience I have kept their contact information in case I decide to go to China again. For now I’m on my way to Colombia to teach history at a private school.

Review by TaraK, September 15, 2010

Overall Rating 44444
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 55555
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 11111
Facilities/Resources 22222

I had been teaching for 12 years prior to doing the course, so my objective was to put in the time to get the piece of paper I needed to get on with my life. The course was taught well, there was a great balance of theory and practical, and the teacher had a lot of great experience to share. I also did a specialization module via correspondence, which was a bit silly. Their final test for that had a few mistakes on it that I pointed out to them. But only a handful. I think, as with any course, it all depends on the teacher and how well you click with their style. On the grammar issue… this isn’t an English course. If you don’t know grammar, take a course on it. But this is a course to teach teachers educational skills, not subject matter. When our teacher asked if we wanted grammar a few of us told her that was not the point of the course. Then I moved to Rome with my requisite piece of paper and landed a bunch of jobs (most likely due to my experience, not the piece of paper…). Oxford didn’t help but they were honest that they wouldn’t help with Europe from the first day. The teachers I was teaching alongside in Rome sometime had a tenuous grasp of English and sometimes no certification at all. Most likely the jobs I got in the schools that paid the most required the certification before they even looked at your CV but I get the feeling that no one cares about where you got the certification from. Did I think it was a waste of money? It was the cheapest of those available but it was still extremely expensive. Too expensive. But overall, the course itself, due to the teacher, was a good one.

Review by Paul, February 13, 2011

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 55555
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 55555
Facilities/Resources 55555

I took the 60 hour Oxford seminars course in 2008. This course gave me a lot of good teaching ESL information. I thought it was good preparation for teaching abroad. I’ve taught for 3 years in Korea now. I’ve recently taken another 40 hour specialization module, and plan to complete all the modules they offer soon. These additional courses will enable me to teach all ages and levels with confidence and competency. Provided of course, that I continue to prepare my lessons professionaly. The courses are very informative, and give many ESL resourses and ideas for success. I’m very happy with Oxford seminars !

Review by steven, May 8, 2011

Overall Rating 33333
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 33333
Lesson Plan Guidance 33333
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 11111
Facilities/Resources 44444

I found the materials were nice, our teacher was experianced and knew what she was talking about. altogether the class it self was pretty good. the problem i had is the job placement. they did set me up with a “recruiter” in china, the recruiter kept offering some very bad jobs. which generaly anoyed me so i stopped talking to her and got my own job.

Review by Cynthia, June 19, 2011

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

Hi – I am very glad that I didn’t read these bad reviews and took my ESL Training with the Oxford Seminars. It is absolutely true that the experience is very teacher dependent – luckily I had one who loved teaching ESL and wanted all of us to love it too. The diversity of backgrounds of the students would have been a challenge for anyone – there were credentialed teachers with years of experience all the way to just barely attending community college – and I believe our instructor managed to give each of us something we found useful – or so every one said. The group dynamics also play a part – our group was exceedingly committed to either becoming good or better ESL teachers.

I originally chose Oxford because they were cost and time effective and I did not expect to learn as much as I did. I left pleasantly surprised with 1) the quality of my teacher, 2) the usability of the materials generated by class and of the book, and 3) how fast I got a “piece of paper” to mention on my resume. Although it would have been better if it had been more hours – an issue they have corrected by the way by adding an online component to the training – I felt that it was an excellent experience, gave me some very real tools to use in the classroom and was a decent value for the price. No, it isn’t a CELTA or MA in Linguistics/ESL – it is exactly what it was presented as – a fast way to get some training and information to get you started in the field at a moderate cost.

I think it is important to note that I have not gone overseas to teach ESL. That said, I do teach ESL to recent immigrants at a community center in a major city – one that has offered me additional free training and lots of experience – and I would never have tried to teach there if I hadn’t had my Oxford Seminar training. I use things I learned from “Oxford” *all* the time and after meeting many different people with many different ESL backgrounds I am of the opinion that great teachers are not made through credentialing programs – one of the best teachers I have ever seen there got his “piece of paper” online – but instead come from a combination of elements: Training, observation, ongoing supervision + “in-service”, good role models, trial and error, reading books and generally working hard at doing the best they can for their students benefit.

Again, your life, and your teaching career, is what you make it – so, whatever program you pick – it matters most what you do with it. Oxford Seminars was a good launching pad for me, I have only good things to say about my experience, and I hope you will find a program you enjoy too. Thanks.

Review by Suanne Miki, July 20, 2011

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 33333
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources 55555

I studied the four weekend Oxford Seminars at SFU last February 2010. My instructor was well versed, had taught overseas, and was well prepared. She made the group fun and interactive. I benefitted by being able to show my Oxford TESL certification. My first time as a ¨ESL Teacher¨was for a major institution in Costa Rica. I received both a bouquet of roses from my students for my birthday surprise and also a beautiful red jeweled earrings with a necklace set from my other class. Yes, I taught part-time two adult classes. I have found that it is necessary to have a good command of the language of the country as my classes did express difficulty in understanding total English. I have since been given the opportunity to observe how a ¨student centered approach¨works. Great course as lots of ideas, books and ability to be placed abroad. The only problem is that most countries require one to have that DEGREE. I must say that it would be an advantage to complement the program with the GRAMMAR course.

Review by Anna, September 6, 2011

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 55555
Facilities/Resources 44444

I was extremely impressed by the Oxford Seminars Instruction. I had a great instructor who keeps in touch with all of us even after we’ve completed the course. I finished the class in June and I’m already getting job offers…more than I can keep track of. I don’t have classroom experience, but there are PLEANTY of places that will take first year intructors. If you take a class from anywhere…make is Oxford Seminars.

Review by teaching in HK, September 16, 2011

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

It’s a great programme. I was shocked when I read all the bad reviews. When I graduated back in 2007, they offered to find a placement overseas or money back. I don’t regret taking it. It was my first step into ESL teaching overseas.

Review by Carmen Piner, September 19, 2011

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

I recently completed the 60 hr. seminar, and I was very impressed with the quality of instruction and materials. I did feel somewhat pressured by the pace of the class, and the instructor having to cover so much material in the limited time we had, but it did not detract from the overall quality. I cannot comment yet on job recruitment because I am very much in the process of seeking work, and haven’t taught outside of the U.S. yet. The classes offered very practical information, and after attending many graduate courses in TESOL, I think the academic approach to the field is far to bogged down in useless pedagogy and theoretical fluff. I feel far more prepared to do the hands on work after taking the seminar.

Review by chris swartwout, January 16, 2012

Overall Rating 33333
Course Content 44444
Practice Teaching 22222
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency 33333
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources 33333

At the time I enrolled with Oxford, I had no idea there were even other schools out there. I was glad to go anywhere as long as I rec’d that TESOL certificate. NOW I know that 60 hours training is not nearly enough to be prepared whatsoever as a teacher overseas. I would say 160 would have made me feel confident. 60 hours does not allow you to make mistakes, as you only give 2 presentations. I feel almost totally unprepared to go overseas, this company is a cookie-cutter outfit that will pass anybody, as long as they get your $1100. Seriously, how could they pass a student who cant speak proper english to begin with. NO PROBLEM with Oxford, here’s your degree. The book is good, but there is so much more that needs to be done. Reminds me of the Chris Rock routine where he says he got a GED, that would be 3 years of high school, in 5 hours. That is about what is going on here.

Review by Sarah, February 19, 2012

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 55555
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 55555
Facilities/Resources 55555

I took the course in NY and had the most amazing teacher ever. She provided us with many starter lessons and her class was very practical. She explained everything in tremendous detail and make sure we had many examples on how to teach a specific topic. The course was more than helpful and worth every penny. Our assessment was to give a lesson and she provided us with wonderful feedback on how to stretch out our lessons for days. Maybe the other courses didn’t have such great teachers and thats a shame because this course is really valuable.

Review by LOU Livescu, April 1, 2012

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

Wonderful course, detailed, very informatibve, practical, very good materials and experienced Instructor. An awesome 60 hours Certification Course.

Review by Tyree D., June 6, 2012

Overall Rating Not Rated
Course Content Not Rated
Practice Teaching Not Rated
Quality of Feedback Not Rated
Lesson Plan Guidance Not Rated
Instructor Competency Not Rated
Job Placement Not Rated
Facilities/Resources Not Rated

It’s been 5 1/2 years since my course. I had already been a teacher in Thailand. The course made me at times go to myself, “I wish I already knew this…this would’ve worked this one time.”

For those saying it’s a scam; it is what it is and that’s a 60-hour TESL course. It’s not a master’s degree or a state certification.

I still use the lessons they give me and keep in touch with a few of the students.
With those said, it has made little difference with getting me hired. While I took the course (Cal State LA December 2006) I was a substitute at a language center in Torrance and never advanced on the priorities list even though I immediately used what I learned. I then taught one year in South Korea. I was the only person I knew with a TEFL or TESL (it’s debatable as to whether or not there is a difference). I went back to Thailand and jobs still told me I was a man and not Caucasian (yes, that did happen). So I was back to the same large public high schools (government Mathayom) in the middle of nowhere I was in during my pre-TEFL days! In Vietnam I still got hired but there was a deal about how I took a 60 hour course and not 120. Back home I still am not state certified. Once again, it’s a TESL; not a master’s degree, etc.

Oxford Seminars is not a scam. I still use what I learned and talk to classmates from the course. It is what it is.

Review by Carole, July 23, 2012

Overall Rating 55555
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 55555
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 55555
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 55555
Facilities/Resources 55555

This course exceeded my expectations! It was focused on the communicative teaching style, and I learned quite a lot. The instructor was wonderful, taught by modelling, was engaging and shared her own experiences. I have teaching experience, but everyone did well. We each wrote lesson plans and taught a 50-minute lesson the last weekend. I’m very impressed with the placement process; the school will help you with cover letters, resume, application, information, current openings. I can’t wait to begin applying! I highly recommend this course and would be very wary of schools whose programs are solely online.

Review by Jude, November 25, 2012

Overall Rating 44444
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 33333
Quality of Feedback 55555
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 44444
Facilities/Resources 55555

I was hesitant to choose Oxford Seminars due to mixed reviews. But because of time restraints, I had little choice. I was pleasantly surprised. The other students in the class were a great group and the instructor was incredibly knowledgeable even though it was her first time teaching with the company. Like a college course, I suppose a lot depends on the instructor and the overall enthusiasm of the class. So maybe the people who gave mediocre reviews didn’t have my luck. My only real complaint is the short practicum. I wish I would have had more time to practice giving a live lesson. However, with everything I’ve learned about classroom management, lesson planning, and how to approach teaching, I’m quite confident nonetheless. I haven’t dealt with their placement service too much yet, but they did respond right away with more information than I expected. If your course is anything like mine, it will be worth it!

Review by Yeah Right, December 10, 2012

Overall Rating 33333
Course Content 55555
Practice Teaching 22222
Quality of Feedback 33333
Lesson Plan Guidance 44444
Instructor Competency 55555
Job Placement 11111
Facilities/Resources 33333

First, let me say that Oxford Seminars is a business. They are there to make money for their owners. This is not a bad thing. But, just know that they are there to get potential students in the door and in the seats. As such, they will not give you any reason to doubt that they are the best for you.

My class experience: Oxford offers an introduction and informational session prior to signing up for the course. I don’t know if it is the norm, but the presenter was the teacher for our course later on. We had about a dozen people interested in the session. Ages and experiences were numerous. It was a good session with lots of information and lots of answers to our questions.

They say hind sight is 20/20. Boy, is it ever. In the information session, the presenter tells you there are 20,000 jobs a month available to teachers. This may be true. But there are stipulations to this.
1. the majority of the offers you will receive are low paying positions that you may not be able to live on.
2. Unless you live in the EU, many European countries are not available to you.
3. The job markets are very tight in the popular countries such as Korea and the Middle East. Most require teaching experience and that you be in your 20-30′s.

There is more to say about the informational meetings, but that is enough for now. I will say that they will not lie to you to get you to register with them. But, they will side step some of the issues with new ESl teachers getting into the field. Make sure you ask and then research.

Once in the class, it was very informative. You do get trained to be a teacher. There are plenty of exercises to be done. But, you soon realize that as long as you attend the classes and you participate, you will more than likely get a rubber stamp to a certificate.

The good:
1. The teacher was excellent. She was patient and informative. She had a great teaching style and lots of ESL experience to draw from.
2. The books you receive are fair. You jump around a lot in the books, but there does seem like a method to the madness.
3. There are lots of games and exercises you do to learn the material.

The bad:
1. There is not nearly enough practice to get your teaching skills perfected. We only had one real experience in which we performed a lesson plan in front of the other students in the class. This was our end of class evaluation. The evaluation of your teaching instruction was very detailed and useful. But, you definitely need much more than one exercise to perfect your teaching skills. Especially when you are asked to conduct a mock demo lesson on Skype for a potential employer in another country. Much of the class is theory to teaching and methodology learning.
2. You do not get your complete 100 hours through the classes. only 60 hours of the certification is class experience. The other 40 hours is an online course you have to take after the class is finished. It is nothing but grammar training. And, if you are like me who has not been around grammar in many years, you forget much of your grammar rules. It takes a lot of studying. You are left to defend for yourself during this process. No teachers to answer your question. Just you, your training books, and an online course that is useless to assist you throught he process. Oxford really needs to rethink this process. And, at the end, you take a 100 question test that is not easy by any means. The only good thing is that you can “cheat” on the test. It is not times (took me nearly 9 hours to get through it). It is an open book test and you can actually print the questions off, save the test, find your answers in your resources, and then go back and put the answers into the test.

Overall, the class does provide you with a certification. If that is your intention, then you will be pleased. The graduate assistance is fair. They will send your information to some contacts. But, they are not a recruiter. And, there seems to be little support along the way. Once you begin applying (this is in regards to Asia), you need to know a few things:
1. Korea has gotten highly competitive and very specific. Basically, you need to be an experienced teacher with 1-2 years experience. You need to be in your 20-30s. There seems to be a high demand for females. And, you have to look a certain way since the schools will want to use you in their marketing pieces. Yes, the benefits and pay are awesone. But, getting a job there might be very hard. I equate it to the following: You can’t get a credit card without having credit. But, you can’t get credit without a credit card. So…if you do not have teaching experience, you will find it hard to get a teaching job.
2. China is fast becoming like Korea. Korea has gotten much better in the past few years with schools not trying to screw you in a bad experience. China has just moved into that phase. Contracts are hardly negotiable. And, many schools are only in it for the money. So, teachers are not their main concern. As such, many schools are getting bad reputations. That is not to say that you can not find good schools to work for in China. But, with any ESL job you are looking at, research, research, research. Look at the school reviews online from former teachers. What are they offering you and what “guarentees” will you have in the contract that they will follow through with what they say?

Overall, the key word in this whole process is RESEARCH!!!!!!.

Would I recommend Oxford Seminars to people. Yes is an answer I can provide to 85% of the people I have talked to. Oxford is not a sham operation out to steal your money. They deliver on what they say they will. I would never recommend you doing an online course to get certified. And, the best option appears to be to enroll in a school to get your TESOL degree which would take a few years. But, if you are looking to get a certification, in a short period of time…Oxford might be a good choice for you. If you ask the right questions, evaluate your wants and needs, if you fit the mold, and you are preapred to jump through the hoops after your certification (2-4 months of getting all your documentation together to enter some countries)…then take a good look at Oxford Seminars.

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