Some clips of Flight of the Conchords. "Business Time" and "Jenny" are partcularly great. Two very talented and funny Kiwis!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The TEFL Whitelist

What TEFL programs would you recommend?

The Inspector was asked this very question only today, which is an interesting one to answer as he is often accused of only being up to mischief. The standard reply is usually that the number of schools listed on The TEFL Blacklist is tiny, considering what a massive global business TEFL/ESL has become and there are many fine places to train to teach or to learn English.

The Inspector is thinking of creating a TEFL Whitelist in the near future for that very purpose. There are loads of decent schools around, about whom, one hears nothing. The Inspector has no problem at all with the idea of schools making profit, but some of the horror stories listed on The TEFL Blacklist really do need to be aired somewhere and thanks to the whole blog revolution, free speech is still thankfully alive and kicking.

The TEFL/ESL profession is split between devils and angels. The trick is in spotting the difference between the two.

The angels go into TEFL/ESL with a genuine love of people and full of enthusiasm about giving and usually have a great sense of wanting to experience a new adventure and a different culture. For those people, money is not the main thing and they often find themselves being exploited.

The devils go into TEFL/ESL either because they love the power trip or because they want to make money - or both!

One of the main hypocrites is Dave Sperling whose ESL Cafe money machine is heavily moderated. The moment any comment appears that Dave's advertisers dislike, it gets removed. Dave's ESL site is however viewed as being akin to a neighbourhood "cafe" which gives the impression of a friendly place to get honest impartial advice. Some of the forum comments about different countries taxation systems etc. are worthwhile reading but once dodgy schools are named then you can't see the wood from the trees.

Cactus TEFL are another organisation professing to offer impartial advice, which is absolutely not the case as they earn a commission from each course they sell.

Watch out for the possible birth of the TEFL Whitelist. It'll be a tricky one to set up as it would need to be completely impartial which is no easy feat to pull off. The Inspector is working on the concept and if he can find a system that works it'll be up and running soon.


Inspector McHammered of the Lard in Val Ferret, Switzerland