39 reviews of Oxford Seminars

Review 30 of 39 Oxford Seminars

53%
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The in-class portion of the course was great, my instructor was highly qualified and I learned a lot. My main issue is with the job placement. My “advisor” simply does not answer my emails! I have sent four or five emails over the last three weeks and haven’t received a reply. She replied to me only twice, setting me up with two crappy contacts in Mexico (one who offered an absolutely ridiculous pay rate, the other did not get back to me at all). After reviewing the opportunities in Mexico I sent her another email requesting my CV be sent to other countries such as Vietnam and Japan. I have yet to receive a reply even though I’ve sent multiple follow-up emails. My opinion is that they have my money and now they don’t care if I get placed or not. One of my main motivators for spending $1000 on this course was the job placement component but apparently it is non-existent! Huge letdown

Review 29 of 39 Oxford Seminars

78%
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Okay, so I see a lot of people who are dismayed at their Oxford Seminars course. Fine. All well and good. My friend with over ten years ESL experience didn’t exactly believe me when I told her about the TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate as one thing. She said that often times those are all separate certificate programs. That raised my eyebrow a bit, because this friend is also helping me find a job.

The biggest beef I had with Oxford was that they hooked me up with this ass-hat backwards run company in Beijing that made me sign a different contract once I arrived with a different (lower) pay-grade. I left that company after a month because of how awful it was run. Needless to say, things worked out in the end and I’m now on my third year in Beijing.

My *ONLY* beef I have with Oxford is that and I’ve raised my concerns with them. They were REALLY genuinely concerned about me and my safety after everything went down. I had regular emails from them checking up on me even 6 months after all the problems I had. To me, that stood out the most – I had a team of experienced former ESL teachers on standby willing to give me counsel.

I *really* wish I had more chances to stand in front of the class room. If they could come up with a preferred class of maybe ten students rather than 30 I would have gotten a lot more out of it, I think. I did learn a lot of valuable classroom management skills and lesson planning. However, I was unprepared when I made the switch from kids to adults and had to learn a lot on the fly.

I’m pretty happy with my life overall, three years later, Oxford must have taught me something right!

Review 28 of 39 Oxford Seminars

65%
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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.

Review 27 of 39 Oxford Seminars

88%
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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 26 of 39 Oxford Seminars

100%
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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 25 of 39 Oxford Seminars

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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 24 of 39 Oxford Seminars

100%
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Wonderful course, detailed, very informatibve, practical, very good materials and experienced Instructor. An awesome 60 hours Certification Course.

Review 23 of 39 Oxford Seminars

100%
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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 22 of 39 Oxford Seminars

60%
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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 21 of 39 Oxford Seminars

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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.

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